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Is a CPU Cooler absolutely necessary?

Last response: in CPUs
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August 15, 2012 3:19:58 PM

Hi I'm building my computer soon and I was wondering if I needed to buy an extra CPU cooler. Will the stock one included with my i5 processor work fine? I don not plan to overclock anytime soon, but I probably will in about 2-4 years. Thanks!

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a b à CPUs
August 15, 2012 3:41:58 PM

As long as your case has good airflow AND you're not bothered by moderate noise levels then it'll be fine.
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a c 190 à CPUs
August 15, 2012 3:45:22 PM

The stock HSF (heatsink/fan) that comes with our processors are fine for normal usage of the processor. However if you are in a poorly ventalated environment, looking for a quiet PC, or goin to overclock you are going to want to add a 3rd party HSF to deal with the increase temperatures.
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a b à CPUs
August 15, 2012 3:47:44 PM

There are also some pretty cheap alternatives out there that will both cool much better and at lower noise levels, like the $25 CM hyper 212+.
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a c 132 à CPUs
August 15, 2012 4:15:00 PM

kevinduan said:
Will the stock one included with my i5 processor work fine?

It would be silly for Intel to ship stock HSFs that are insufficient to cover normal use throughout the warranty period.

The stock HSF may have grossly underwhelming thermal performance but it gets the job done as far as normal operation and warranty requirements are concerned. Most half-decent aftermarket HSFs will perform at least 15C better at stock clock under full load.
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August 15, 2012 4:19:48 PM

The standard HSF is designed to work with the CPU at default setup for the life of the chip. If you are not going to overclock then it will be fine. The aftermarket HSF are only needed for situations where you are going to overclock or need a very quite system.

I also find that the loudest part of most systems are the GPU fan(s).
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a b à CPUs
August 15, 2012 4:22:59 PM

AND if you're not going to be folding/stress testing ;) 
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a b à CPUs
August 15, 2012 4:29:48 PM

Overclocked my 3570k 100mhz on the stock, it was stable through all benchmarks and about 4 hours prime 95 (large ffts). Aftermarket coolers would destroy it performance wise but the stock kept it under 70C so you can't really complain
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