CPU AIO (all-in-one) coolers are designed to cool a computer’s central processing unit (CPU), which is responsible for executing complex instructions and performing intensive tasks. GPU (graphics processing unit) coolers are designed to cool a computer’s graphics card, which handles rendering and visual output.
To answer the question being addressed here, it is impossible to use a CPU AIO on GPU because they differ in cooling requirements and may also be incompatible due to mounting system differences.
On the contrary, it is possible to use a GPU cooler as a CPU cooler, regardless of it not being an efficient idea. GPU coolers may be able to prominently cool CPUs due to being large and more powerful than CPU coolers, so they may be able to meet the quantitative qualifications of cooling a CPU.
Mounting differences, however, are what may reduce their effectiveness.
In addition, the GPU cooler may void the CPU’s warranty or cause other problems. Therefore, it is recommended to use a dedicated CPU cooler instead. There are many CPU coolers and AIO in the market to help your CPU perform at better temperatures, which will also be discussed in this article.
What are the Best CPU AIO Coolers?
There are many great CPU all-in-ones (AIO) coolers on the market, so choosing the best one can be difficult. Compatibility, cooling performance, noise level, ease of installation, and price are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a CPU AIO cooler.
Here are some of the best CPU AIOs:
- Corsair H100i RGB Platinum SE: It has a 240mm radiator and two 120mm fans and supports both Intel and AMD CPUs. It is quieter and also has ARGB lighting.
- NZXT Kraken X63: It uses a 280mm radiator and two 140mm fans and supports both Intel and AMD CPUs. Similar to Corsair H100i, it is quieter and features customizable RGB lighting.
- EVGA CLC 280: It also uses a 280mm radiator and two 140mm fans, supports both Intel and AMD CPUs, and is relatively quiet. It is also easy to install.
- Be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4: This cooler also supports AMD and Intel processors. It uses a 250mm radiator and two 120mm fans. It is one of the quietest AIO coolers out there.
The best AIO, however, may depend on the aspects you’re looking for.
How to Install an AIO Cooler on a CPU?
Installing an AIO cooler is a relatively simple process, but the attention and even assistance (in some cases) may be required. Here is a little guide on how to install an AIO cooler on a CPU:
- Prepare the cooler and components: Assemble all the necessary components and tools. You’ll need the cooler, mounting brackets, thermal paste, a Phillips head screwdriver, and screws.
- Remove the old cooler: Removing the first cooler will be required. Carefully unscrew the mounting brackets and lift the cooler off of the CPU.
- Apply thermal paste: After removing the old cooler, apply a thin layer of thermal paste on the CPU. This will improve the heat transfer between the CPU and the cooler.
- Install the cooler: Follow the instructions manual of your AIO cooler and install its mounting brackets on the motherboard. Attach the fans to the radiator and then connect them to the motherboard.
- Power on and test: As soon as the AIO cooler is installed, run the computer to test the cooler’s functionality. Use a program like Core Temp to monitor the CPU’s temperatures.
The process may seem scary for the first time, but the process is simple if the steps are precisely followed.
What are Some Alternatives to Using GPU Coolers on CPU?
As stated above, using a graphics processing unit (GPU) cooler on a central processing unit (CPU) may not be the most effective or reliable solution for cooling the CPU. The performance may be worth it, but the difference in the mounting system may make things difficult. There are several other alternatives to consider, though.
One alternative is to use an air cooler, which uses a heat sink and a fan to dissipate heat from the CPU. Air coolers are less expensive than AIO water coolers and are easy to install. They may not be a good choice for high-performance CPUs and are also louder than AIO coolers.
Water coolers, too, are a good alternative. They use a water-filled radiator and a pump to dissipate heat. They are, however, more expensive and complex to install.
What concludes is that the best cooling system entirely depends on your system itself, as well as its intended use for it.
In conclusion, CPU AIOs can’t be used on GPUs due to entirely different cooling requirements and mounting systems. On the contrary, while it is possible to use GPU coolers on CPUs, it is not a recommended solution, as that can void the warranty of a CPU and cause additional problems.
If you want your PC’s temperatures to stay in the excellent zone, using a dedicated CPU cooler is ideal. Depending on your budget and specific needs, you may find high-quality coolers in the market.
AIO coolers are some of the best cooling solutions for a CPU and are not too difficult to install. Regardless, their article is way too specifically designed for CPUs to be any effect on GPUs.