How to Tell if CPU Cooler is Bad

How to Tell if CPU Cooler is Bad?

Many people didn’t know How to Tell if CPU Cooler is Bad, so I wrote this article to help you choose the right one. A CPU that doesn’t have a cooling system is like a fridge that doesn’t have a condenser.

A refrigerator can’t do what it’s supposed to do without a condenser. In the same way, the PC won’t even work without a cooler, which is weird.

Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, including the Best AM4 CPU , Best CPU for RTX 2080Best CPU under $300 , and Best Motherboards for i7 9700K.

When the cooler for the processor stops working, the chip will get too hot and shut down. In very bad situations, it can also get fried. So it is very important to keep the CPU cooler in good shape.

In this article, I’ll explain how to tell the status of a cooler and why that’s important. Let’s dive in.

How to Check if the CPU Cooler is Defective

There are signs of every problem. In the same way, there are ways to tell if a cooler is dying or at a critical stage.

The cooler’s fan can make loud noises, the chip can get too hot, and the computer can randomly freeze or shut down. All of these are signs that there might be a problem with the heat.

This will make the computer take longer to start up or handle apps less well. In addition, these signs point to the cooling system.

Check to see if your CPU cooler is compatible with your processor and motherboard before you decide that it is broken. Also, check to see if the cooler is working right.

One of my friends cleaned his computer a few months ago. After he was done cleaning, he was playing Microsoft Flight Simulator, but all of a sudden, the game would stutter. The CPU cooler is also making some loud noises.

Later, I told him to check the cooler, and when he did, he saw that it wasn’t mounted right. This was making the computer overheat and slow down.

So, how do you know that the processor cooler is bad?

Here are a few surefire ways to tell if the CPU cooler is broken:

Check Cooler’s Fan Noise

Even when there isn’t much load, the cooling system’s fan can make more noise and run at its highest RPM. This can be a sign that the cooler is broken.

You can hear the noise, but a number you can see can prove that it is real. You can use BIOS, SpeedFan, HWiNFO, etc. to check the speed of the fan on the cooler.

How to Tell if CPU Cooler is Bad

For BIOS, you can get there by pressing the key that your motherboard maker gives you, such as the Delete key or F2. During boot, press the Del key on the X570 Aorus Master motherboard to get into BIOS. In EASY MODE, the CPU fan speed is in the Smart Fan section, which is in the middle of the bottom.

Follow our guide to

You can keep an eye on different hardware sensors with HWiNFO:

  • Get the version of the software that you can take with you.
  • Sensors-only will let you open it.
  • Scroll down and find the section for the model of your motherboard.
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There, you can find the RPM speed of the CPU fan and the speeds of other system fans.

If the fan is running at full speed, it could mean that it can’t get rid of the heat from the dust or that the bearings are getting loose.

Look for Physical Damage to the Cooler Fan’s Blade

The fan blade can get damaged or broken. If that’s true, it won’t work right and won’t be able to spread the heat from the heat sink. This will cause the temperature of the chip to rise, which will eventually make the fan spin faster. If you don’t take the right steps quickly, you will fail.

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You can open the side panel of the case and look at the cooling fan to see if there is a physical problem. If it breaks, you should get a new one right away.

Track Down Processor Temperature

It’s not necessary to check the temperature of hardware on a regular basis, but it’s important to keep an eye on it. Because high temperatures can even burn things.

HWiNFO can be used to check the temperature. A lot of people use this free software to keep an eye on different sensors.

Here’s how to use the app to check the CPU temperature:

  • Sensors-only is used to open HWiNFO.
  • Go to the section for your CPU’s model name.
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There you’ll see the temperature of your CPU. If it’s too hot and the CPU slows down because of it, the software will show the temperature in red. This high temperature shows that the CPU cooler isn’t doing its job and isn’t enough for the chip.

Stress Test the Chip

You can also test how well the CPU cooler works by putting the processor under stress. During intense gaming or stress testing, it puts a lot of stress on the chip, which makes it get used a lot. This causes a lot of power to be used, which makes the temperature rise.

Do check our latest post on the Do CPU Coolers Come with Thermal Paste?

If the cooling system is strong enough to deal with the heat, it will work fine. But if the cooler is broken, it won’t be able to keep the chip’s temperature in a safe range, which can cause a lot of damage.

Inspect the CPU Cooler’s Position

To get a good look at how the cooler is put in, you should take the motherboard out of the case. So that you can check the position of the cooler and make sure the CPU cooler is in the right place.

Here are the steps to verify a cooler’s placement:

  • Open casing’s side panel.
  • Carefully unscrew the screw on the motherboard from the case.
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  • Be careful when you take the motherboard out of the case.
  • Check to see if all the cooler’s clips or screws are tight enough.
  • Check to see if the heat sink is attached to the CPU evenly and correctly.

Now you know how to tell if a cooling system is working properly or not. It’s time to save yourself some trouble by fixing the cooler before it breaks. Read on to find out more.

How to Maintain the CPU Cooler

For the cooler to work well, it’s important to keep the cooling system in good shape. You need to know the differences between air CPU coolers, all-in-one (AIO) coolers, and custom water loop coolers.

CPU coolers that use air are easy to install and keep up. Most of the time, this kind of cooler has a heat sink and one or two fans. To keep this kind of cooler in good shape, you only need to clean the fan and take the dust off the heat sink. If the fan breaks, you just need to switch it out for a new one.

AIO coolers work better than air coolers to cool down the chip. There are two or three fans, a radiator, and a heat sink in these coolers. To make sure air flows well, you need to clean the fan and radiator.

The expensive one is the one with the custom water loop, but it also cools the parts down a lot. This needs to be taken care of by a professional, since a leak of liquid can damage all of the computer parts inside the case.

For this kind of cooler, the most important thing is to make sure the pump works well and that the pipe doesn’t leak.

How Long Does a Cooler Fan Last? What Happens to Your PC Then?

If you don’t take care of your cooler properly, like we talked about above, it won’t work as well as it could. If you use an old cooler, the fan will also stop working after a while.

So, if a CPU cooler fan stops working, your computer will overheat right away. If you notice that the CPU fan has died, you should turn off your PC right away.

Even though Intel and AMD CPUs have safety features that will start to slow down the clock speed to lower the temperature, if that doesn’t work, the system will shut down. It will also show CPU Overheat Temperature Error the next time it starts up.

So, in general, how long does a cooler fan last?

Well, it depends on how good the fan is, but if you take care of it, it should last between 4 and 5 years. The heat sink can last for a long time if it doesn’t get dusty or rusty.

How to Pick a CPU Cooler

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that your cooler is broken or not working as well as it should. So, if you want to buy a new CPU cooler, you need to keep a few things in mind.

Before you buy a new CPU cooler, you need to pay attention to the following things:

  • TDP of CPU: A Thermal Design Power, or TDP, value is assigned to every processor by the manufacturer. This displays how much heat the chip spreads. Checking a cooler’s ability to determine whether it is capable of working with the exact CPU you already own is an absolute necessity before purchasing a new CPU cooler.
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  • Casing Clearance: For each case specification, they say how far away the CPU cooler can be. Most of the time, a cooler with a 120 mm fan needs 160 mm of space around it. So make sure there is enough room on the sides of the casing. If not, you have to choose a 90 mm fan, which might not be enough for your CPU, or you might have to choose an AIO cooler or something else.
  • RAM Clearance: Before you buy a new air cooler, you should also check the RAM clearance. Some air coolers have 3 fans with heat sinks on both sides. This takes up a lot of room and may cause problems with your RAM.
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  • Size of the Cooler: The size of the cooler also affects how well it works. A mid-tower air cooler can’t cool as well as a tower air cooler. So you need to choose the right size for your needs.
  • Motherboard Sockets Compatible: Since newer chips have different sockets, mainboards sometimes change how the cooler’s bracket works. So, it’s very important to make sure that a cooler works well with the motherboard.


A CPU cooler is a component that is close to the central processing unit. If the cooler is not present, the system will not start up, and even if it does start up, it will power off after one minute. Without a cooler that is in good operating condition, excessive heat cannot be managed.

So, it is important for day-to-day usage to have an understanding of the status of the cooler. In addition to that, it is essential to do regular maintenance on the cooling system.

In this essay, I will describe how you can recognize the warning signs that a processor cooler needs to be replaced. While looking for a new cooler, there are a few key characteristics that you should be on the lookout for.

In the event that you have any further inquiries, please do not be reluctant to return and leave a comment.

FAQs about How to Tell if CPU Cooler is Bad

How do I know if I need a better CPU cooler?

If you only have a low-wattage CPU, like 40w to 70w, it doesn’t make much sense to get the biggest cooler you can find. Instead, you would be better off with a smaller or medium-sized cooler that costs less. If your CPU is around 70w or higher, you should get a bigger, more efficient CPU cooler.

What happens if CPU cooler fails?

The CPU can get so hot that it will catch fire, making it impossible to fix. When the CPU dies, it can take the motherboard and other connected parts with it. If you keep using the computer with a dead CPU cooler fan, the CPU will break.

How hot is too hot for CPU?

At full load, the average temperature of your CPU can reach 80–85°C, but this is the absolute max. If the CPU temperature stays above 80°C for a long time, it can damage the silicon inside the CPU. If your CPU’s temperature stays above 90°C for a long time, it may shorten the life of your processor.

What is the lifespan of a CPU cooler?

They can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years if you take good care of them, clean off the dust, and keep an eye on how well they are working.

Is it OK to replace CPU cooler?

Yes, you can change out a CPU fan. Just make sure that the cooler works with the motherboard of your PC. If you want an aftermarket cooler, make sure you get one from a good brand like Coolermaster. The cheaper ones might not be as good as you want.