Poll: The "CPU stock cooler" club

Your CPU cooler(s) (tick all that apply)

  • Total voters


Aug 14, 2000
Anyone else not happy with recent cooling trends? We're moving completely backwards. Four-slot surfboard GPUs weighing 2kg. CPU tower coolers weighing 1.5kg. And we now have tower coolers and water blocks for M2 SSDs.

AMD tells us 95C sustained is "just fine"(tm) and Intel ships 300W CPU monstrosities.

ATX was never designed for any of this. But it's not ATX's problem, it's these companies redlining their parts to chase the last 5% benchmark numbers, the result of the "turbo-core-boost" trend that started years ago.

Screw that, several months ago I power-capped my CPU to 65W and replaced my 120mm tower cooler with an Intel stock cooler. Observations:

  • ~$2, and came in a simple cardboard container with pre-applied thermal paste. Perfect.
  • I paid for the cheaper plain silver one but got the better black one with braided cable. More importantly, the central slug is copper instead of aluminum.
  • Pushpins are easy to install. No stupid mounting kits, backplates, washers, or screws.
  • LGA1200 fits fine in my LGA1155 socket. I've seen many posts online incorrectly saying this won't work.
  • It's now very easy to access anywhere around the motherboard: RAM sticks, M.2, GPU, fan headers, etc.
  • Fan profile out of the box is very noisy, including my mobo's "silent" setting. But after tuning it's completely quiet and ~1300rpm adds virtually nothing to the existing low noise of my system.
  • This isn't delusional "quiet" on my part, I have very low tolerance to fan noise, to the point where I consider 120mm case fans @ 800 RPM too loud, and drop them to 700RPM.
  • Even under artificial heavy stress tests like Cinebench it peaked mid 80s-C, but the fan was still spinning a quiet 1300rpm. After extended looping I got it spin up a little to around 1500rpm - 1800rpm occasionally but it quickly dropped down after a few seconds.
  • This was much better than my BIOS fan curve (100% at 75C) so I looked it up, and it turns out it might have a thermistor which takes ambient temperature into account.
  • Gaming never reached those temperatures and topped out mid 70s-C. This wasn't much higher than my tower cooler since it's now the GPU roasting the area.
  • None of my workloads were impacted by the drop from 95W to 65W, including gaming and C compiler.

TL-DNR: Intel stock cooler is usable and quiet for 65W CPUs if you tune the fan curve.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Bric


Golden Member
Mar 21, 2007
In 2010 I bought a Xigmatek Dark Knight CPU cooler for my i7-920. 12 years later the ID Cooling SE226 that I got for my daughter's 7600x is basically the same thing. You don't have to go crazy. Do you see OEMs putting crazy cooling on their PCs? Nope!


May 19, 2011
The AMD stock cooler is fine (they don't ship their own coolers for any CPUs except the <=65W types). "Fine" in this context being, you got this cooler basically for free, and the CPU doesn't thermal shutdown due to insufficient cooling, nor does it sound like a vacuum cleaner at full tilt. If you don't like the noise level, paying £20-£30 will get you something significantly quieter.

I started a thread recently about AMD 7000 and coolers:

My take-away from what I read is that you can easily get away with lower-end coolers, it's just that the more cooling you apply, the longer the CPU can turbo for.

My main concern about this whole "turbo as long as possible, yay 95C" business is the long term: while I'm sure they tested the CPUs a fair bit at these sorts of temps, what about the surrounding components.

I decided to go for a NH-D15S mainly because I do Blu-Ray ripping so therefore the CPU gets hit hard for hours on end. I think if I was just gaming then I probably would have gone with something smaller like a BQ! Shadow Rock 3.
Dec 10, 2005
I had used the stock cooler on my wife's 2600, but changed it to a Pure Rock 2 when I upgraded to a 5600X. Could have used the included stock cooler, but I found it was just noiser overall, even with adjustments to the fan curve.

Used the same cooler in my own machine with a 12400.

Plenty of good air coolers that are not completely oversized or overpriced that provide better cooling than stock to support sustained turbo modes and are quieter.


Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
The LGA1700 stock cooler is terrible, even on a 12400 or 12100 that it's perfectly capable of cooling. The pitch of the noise it makes is just unbearable to me and it's straight in the bin. Even for a cheap PC I'll drop the <$20 for a Thermalright single tower.
Feb 25, 2011
I use the stock cooler that came with my 5600X. It works fine, temps are fine, and it's quiet enough - my GPU Is usually the loud part. No complaints.