Tower coolers are preferable to the heat sink and fan combinations that blow air down into the processors (incidentally, both AMD and Intel include these with their retail boxed processors).
So, do AMD and Intel include tower coolers or heat-sink-and-fan-combinations with their boxed CPUs? (LOL at poor writing style.) I did some searching and I'm finding that, 1) the cooling solutions included with boxed CPUs seem to be heat-sink-and-fan-combinations, and 2) Google doesn't seem to know what a tower cooler is. Thus, neither do I.
Can I get a little help here? Super noob feeling SUPER noobish. What's the difference, if any? And if there is a difference, do I need to be looking into buying an alternative cooling solution to what comes with my CPU? No one I've talked to up to this point has given me any indications to that effect (since I'm expressly not interested, at least at this juncture) in overclocking.
The stock coolers that come with cpus are generally just barely good enough to keep the cpu from overheating when not overclocked, and often rather noisy. Mostly they use downdraft (meaning with the motherboard flat and level on a table, the airflow is pointing downward), but there are a few stock coolers that are tower-style, such as for the i7-980X.
Both such wonderful, informative responses! Thanks! I'm sorry I can't select both as "best answer." I suppose I'll see if I can find my CPU (thinking either i5-3570 or AMD FX-8350) without a stock cooler to save some money that I can put towards a more efficient, reliable solution.