Does any CPU cooler fit any Motherboard? (Answer, Guide)

Cooling the CPU with an appropriate cooling system is very important to get high performance at all times. You can find a lot of CPUs to come with a cooler out of the box. But they may or may not be efficient for your use case. 

When you are going to choose a cooling system for your CPU, you should choose the right type of cooler that will fit your motherboard too. In this article, let us find out whether any CPU cooler can fit any motherboard or not.

Does any CPU cooler fit any motherboard

Does any CPU cooler fit any motherboard?

No, not every CPU cooler out there can fit any motherboard. The CPU is placed in the socket of the motherboard and the cooler should fit over the socket. This socket compatibility will be provided with every CPU and the motherboard manual in the specifications section. So, when you are buying a CPU cooler, you must check whether it can fit the CPU socket. 

Motherboards are designed with a CPU socket that will only be compatible with certain models of CPU. This will be primarily mentioned in the motherboard specs. 

For example, the CPU pins on an AMD processor are different from an Intel processor. So, motherboards will mention the list of CPUs from AMD or Intel it is compatible with.

If you look at the cooler, you can find it to be fixed over the socket. So, according to the type of CPU used and the socket compatibility, you have to choose the cooler.

Another thing that will affect the cooler choice is the size. The cooler size may be small or large and you must choose it by considering the size of your case. Because the case might be a hindrance for the cooler.

So, only by confirming these factors you can choose a CPU cooler for your motherboard. Here is a simple guide for you to choose the cooler for your CPU.

Read: Do all Motherboards have HDMI ports?

Guide to choosing Cooler for CPU

  • Check the motherboard specifications to find the CPU socket code
  • Before buying the cooler, match the socket code with it 
  • Find out the size of your PC case
  • Check the size of the cooler you are buying. If the size is bigger and doesn’t fit the case, you cannot choose it and go for a smaller one.
  • Once you have found the correct size and a matching socket, you can choose that cooler for your CPU.

How do I know what CPU cooler I need?

There are various factors you need to consider before choosing the right cooler for your CPU. Earlier we saw the choice of the cooler according to the motherboard and PC case specifications. But those are not the only things you must consider. 

Technically there are some factors that will help you to choose the right type of cooler for your CPU and they include:

  • The heat generated by the CPU
  • Cooler model
  • Pins available in the motherboard

The heat generated by the CPU

The first thing you must consider technically is the amount of heat generated by your processor. According to the type of processes and tasks you perform, the level of heat generated will vary.

For example, if you are editing videos, the CPU will have to work a lot. But if you are doing photo editing, 3D modeling, rendering, etc. along with video editing, then the CPU will be running at its peak and expelling a lot of heat.

So, if you do such highly intensive tasks every day, then your choice of the cooler will also change. If you want to know the exact level of heat generated by the CPU, then you can use the temperature calculators available online.

These calculators will tell the thermal design limit of the CPU you are using and using this max limit value you can choose the cooler.

Read: Can you control RGB fans with motherboard?

Cooler Model

There are different types of coolers available right from cooler fans to liquid cooling systems. Some coolers will have efficient heat sinks too.

So, according to the heat generated and the size of the case, you must try to choose the right model of cooler for your CPU.

The heat generated is a major factor you should consider because when more heat is generated you cannot buy a small cooler with a simple fan. You might have to go for either a cooler with heat sinks or a liquid cooling system.

Once you have the right type of cooler model, you have to go for the pins available for connectivity in the motherboard.

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Motherboard Pins

Earlier we saw the socket compatibility. But here we are looking at the power pin that will be connecting the cooler to the motherboard. Some motherboards will have 5 pins and some will have 4 pins. 

According to the pin availability, you must choose the cooler. Check whether your cooler will have 4 pins or 5 pins.

If you consider all these factors, you will be able to choose the right type of cooler for the CPU and get seamless performance even with heavy multitasking.

CPU coolers power option from the motherboard

After installing the right type of cooler for your motherboard, you can alter the power options for the cooler as per your requirement. 

In PCs, you cannot find a separate temperature sensor to increase or decrease the power supplied to the coolers. Due to this, they might start running continuously at a higher rate even when it is not necessary.

So, it becomes important to turn down the cooler fan RPM by reducing the power options available. You can alter the power options for the coolers using the application that comes with the fan module or you can alter the settings in the BIOS.

In the BIOS settings, go to power options and choose hardware monitor. Under it, you can find the CPU fan speed and reduce it to the desired RPM.

Read: How do I make sure my graphics card is compatible?


You must ensure a proper cooler for your CPU to get the maximum heat transfer from the processor. If you fail to match the CPU cooler and the motherboard specs, you might not be able to fix the cooler properly.

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