Without question one of the most affordable and thus commonly upgraded components by PC builders and enthusiasts alike is the CPU cooler. Generally the main goal is to lower operating temperatures, but aftermarket coolers can also reduce operating volumes and provide a greater overclocking headroom.
There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, though not all of them will deliver the desired results. Numerous times we've found third party coolers that perform no better than the standard box cooler, or worse, improve things at the cost of increased noise output, making them impractical upgrades.
Included in the comparison are the Thermalright True Spirit 140, Prolimatech Panther, Thermaltake Frio Advanced and Noctua NH-C14. All four are designed to support multiple platforms on both AMD and Intel camps. They range in price from just $40 all the way to $85, so it'll be interesting to see how they compare and more importantly what they offer over stock cooling units.
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