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Is Stock CPU Cooler Enough for Gaming?

By: Henz Llarves | Date Posted: July 4, 2022

Is Stock CPU Cooler Enough for Gaming?

Today’s games require more processing power than ever before. With that comes the need for better cooling to prevent your system from overheating. But is the stock CPU cooler that comes with your processor enough to keep things cool?

The short answer is: it depends. If you’re just casually gaming, then the stock cooler will probably be fine. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer who is always pushing your system to the limits, then you’ll likely need something more powerful.

There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether or not you need an aftermarket cooler. The first is how often you game and how demanding the games you play are. If you only play a few hours a week and don’t push your system too hard, then the stock cooler will probably suffice. However, if you’re gaming several hours a day and always have the settings cranked up to max, then you’ll need something with more cooling power.

The second factor to consider is the environment in which you game. If you live in a warm climate or don’t have great airflow in your gaming space, then you’ll need a cooler that can cope with those conditions. Conversely, if you live in a cooler climate or have excellent airflow, then you might be able to get away with a less powerful cooler.

Some Games are not CPU Intensive

Playing a first person shooter with mid range PC

The games you play also have a big impact on whether or not you need an aftermarket cooler. If you’re primarily a console gamer, then you probably don’t need to worry about it. The same goes for certain types of PC games that aren’t very demanding on the processor, such as 2D platformers or point-and-click adventures.

These types of games don’t make the processor hotter because they don’t use many CPU resources. So, even if you’re playing them for hours at a time, the stock cooler will still be able to keep things cool.

Other Games are More Demanding

Call of Duty Cold War Use a lot of Resources

On the other hand, there are some games that are much more demanding on the processor and will require a better cooling solution. These include most AAA games, especially ones that are graphically intensive. Games like Witcher 3, GTA V, and Assassin’s Creed Origins are all examples of these kinds of games.

These types of games make the processor work harder and generate more heat. If you’re playing them for extended periods of time, then you’ll need a cooler that can cope with that level of heat. Otherwise, your system could overheat and start to throttle, which will impact your gaming performance.

So, if you’re a hardcore gamer who plays demanding games, then you’ll likely need an aftermarket CPU cooler. However, if you’re a casual gamer or don’t play many demanding games, then the stock cooler will probably be fine. Just remember to take into account your environment and how often you game when making your decision.

My Personal Suggestions

As any PC gamer knows, one of the most important aspects of gaming is maintaining high framerates. After all, no one wants to be stuck playing their favorite game at a choppy 10 frames per second. Unfortunately, achieving high framerates often comes at the cost of high temperatures. Many gamers are content to run their CPUs at dangerously high temperatures, but this can lead to decreased productivity and even hardware failure. I suggest tracking the CPU temperature using a program like HWMonitor or CoreTemp while gaming. If you notice the temperature getting close to 90°C, then you should consider upgrading your cooler. Taking these simple precautions can help you maintain high framerates without compromising the longevity of your hardware.

I have many experiences using a stock CPU cooler, and some of them are good enough, so it will depend on the stock cooler you are using as well as the other factors I mentioned. If you are using a high-end stock cooler like the Wraith Prism from AMD, then it should be good enough for gaming. However, if you are using a lower-end stock cooler, then it might not be enough. Ultimately, it depends on your individual situation.

The Benefits of Using a Stock CPU Cooler

AMD Stock Cooler

Stock CPU Coolers are Often Quieter

While aftermarket coolers can offer better cooling performance, stock CPU coolers often have one big advantage: they tend to be quieter. That’s because many aftermarket coolers use larger and/or faster-spinning fans to move more air, resulting in more noise.

If you’re looking for a quiet PC build, using a stock CPU cooler can be a good way to achieve that goal. And even if you’re not particularly concerned about noise levels, a quieter cooler can still be a more pleasant experience when you’re using your PC for gaming or other activities.

Take Up Less Space

One of the biggest advantages of using a stock CPU cooler is that they take up less space than aftermarket coolers. This is because aftermarket coolers often come with larger fans and heat pipes, which can make them quite bulky. As a result, stock CPU coolers are a great option for people who are looking to save space inside their PC case.

Can Help You Save Money

Ryzen 5 2600 with Wrath Stealth Cooler

Most CPUs today come with a stock cooler in the box. So, if you’re building a new PC from scratch, chances are you already have a stock CPU cooler that you can use. This can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re on a tight budget. And even if you’re not looking to save money, using the stock cooler can free up some extra cash that you can use to upgrade other components in your build.

Should You Keep Your Stock Cooler?

Intel Stock CPU Cooler

With all things I’ve said above, you probably think that I would say to keep the stock cooler. But the truth is, it really depends on your needs. If you’re a casual gamer who doesn’t play demanding games, then the stock cooler will probably be just fine. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer who plays demanding games regularly, then you might need an aftermarket CPU cooler to keep your system cool. Ultimately, it comes down to your individual situation and needs.

Is It Worthwhile Investing in an Aftermarket Cooler?

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black RGB

I, myself, don’t really recommend cheaping out on important aspects such as cooling for a gaming rig as it is one of the most important things for a gaming PC. Not to mention, stock coolers look really ugly compared to aftermarket CPU coolers. A good cooling system will keep your components from overheating, ensuring that your PC can handle even the most demanding games. Cheap cooling systems, on the other hand, are more likely to fail, leaving your PC vulnerable to overheating. In addition, a good cooling system will also help to improve the performance of your PC, giving you an edge in even the most competitive games. So if you’re serious about gaming, it’s worth investing in a good cooling system.

Good thing that there are actually aftermarket air coolers and AIOs that don’t cost much but still offer great cooling performance.


So, there you have it. That’s everything you need to know about whether or not stock CPU coolers are enough for gaming. As you can see, there are pros and cons to using a stock CPU cooler. Ultimately, it comes down to your individual needs and situation. I hope this has been helpful.

Henz Llarves

Henz Llarves

I'm Henz Llarves and I'm passionate about writing and gaming. I've been building gaming PCs for a long time, and I've been writing about them as well.

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