Which Cooling System Is Best For Linux?

The Linux operating system rules the world as it is one of the fastest operating systems out there. You will find this system everywhere whether it is your car, smartphone, a supercomputer, even in home appliances and home desktops to the enterprise servers. Just like other operating systems be they Windows, iOS, and Mac OS, Linux is also one of them. In fact, Linux is one of the most popular platforms on the planet.

So when it comes to heating problems we quickly grab a good cooling system that will minimize the overheat in a jiffy. Since Linux is such a fast operating system I reckon it produces heat like no other which is why you need to ensure that you have a proper cooling system to reduce the heat. 

What is a cooling system?

A cooling system is basically the system that dissipates heat because processors or even other components of the CPU are bound to produce heat like crazy. Therefore, it is the work of a cooling system to take that extensive heat out of the system so that the integral parts of the CPU don’t get any damage.  

liquid cooling for linux

Why does the cooling system matter?

In order to increase the performance and speed of the hardware, modern processors have lots of transistors installed. These transistors produce a tremendous amount of heat that heats up the surface of the processor. Moreover, these transistors are placed very close to each other. This also results in the production of a large amount of heat. The problem that arises, in this case, is that if the temperature in a computer goes above 60-degree celsius, the performance of the computer is hampered.

In an extreme possibility, it may result in hardware failure. You must take precautions against this kind of scenario by getting a cooling system that provides ultimate performance by removing the excess heat from the processor core as quickly as possible. In order to assist your cooling system, you can enlarge the heat output surface to prevent overheating.


How does the cooling system work?

The most common methods of cooling in a CPU are air cooling and liquid cooling. In air cooling, the cooling of the parts in most of the computers takes place by the air moving throughout the case. The CPU cooling is done with a heat sink fixed with a fan that is attached to a flat area of the CPU. This is done so that most of the surface area is covered. The heat sink has aluminum fins laid out in rows and a fan is either fixed at the top or side of the metal fins.

The air is pushed through the fan to the heat sink where the hot air expands and then comes out of the sink. Afterward, the case cooling system pushes it outside the case. Hence, the temperature of the CPU doesn’t rise.   Liquid cooling takes up a large space so it is usually used in special systems. In liquid cooling, a special water block is used to direct heat away from the processor. The water circulates through this block and goes to the radiator through the pump. There it is cooled. The radiator has a fan attached to it for cooling the water. 

Why go for liquid cooling?

The best way for cooling a CPU is with liquid cooling as water transfers heat more effectively than air. Also, it is much quieter as there are no fans running at high RPM. However, there is a danger of water leaks onto the hardware that may damage the PC drastically.

In order to avoid such an accident, there is an option of AIO (All-In-One) liquid cooler that has everything packed in a custom liquid cooling solution. You don’t have to worry about bending tubes, alter fittings or drill holes in your PC case. You can also cool a GPU by adding a liquid cooling mounting kit. For immersive gaming sessions, cooling a GPU becomes much more important than cooling a CPU.

Which is the best cooling system for Linux?

If you want an all-in-one water cooling system for Linux, you can go for the GKraken project. NZXT Kraken X series (X42, X52, X62 or X72) are AIO liquid CPU coolers that come with an independent GKraken open-source software for controlling the pump USB interface, the cooling and lighting features. 

GKraken software helps to control and monitor water pump’s speed, the radiator fans, and their related functions. You can get to know the fan RPM along with pump details on the liquid temperature, and pump RPM. Not only does GKraken provide this data for monitoring, it also allows you to adjust the fan and pump profiles for silence, performance, or a fixed rate.

It is being improved for the lighting controls of the pumps with RGB lighting. Python 3+GTK application seems to be pretty good for NZXT Kraken X water cooling products. Kraken X72, which costs just $180 and supports both Intel and AMD processors, is at the high end of the cooling system. It has 3 cooling fans of 120mm for cooling the radiator. At the low-end, there is a Kraken X42 with a single 140mm radiator. 


Other coolers that work well with Linux


Corsair Hydro H100i v2 under Linux

For exceptional liquid cooling performance, you can opt for the Corsair Hydro H100i liquid cooling system. They provide extreme performance for cases with 240mm radiator mounts. These radiators provide a huge cooling surface area and can be easily fitted in any modern PC case. The 240mm radiators along with SP120L PWM fans result in superb heat dispensation even for highly overclocked CPUs. 

This is the most trusted CPU cooler due to its performance. It has a built-in RGB lighting system for illuminating your PC and it can be customized. The speed of the pump can be adjusted by choosing between performance or quiet mode to get an optimum flow rate or low-noise function. The 2 SP series PWM fans of 120mm can be run between 850 to 2435RPM depending on your choice. 

CORSAIR LINK has a powerful software that lets you adjust RGB lighting, fan speeds, and pump speeds in addition to the monitoring of CPU and coolant temperatures. Having a built-in link, you can directly do it from your desktop. It is compatible with both Intel and AMD. For Intel, you can use LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3 while for AMD the sockets could be FM1, FM2, AM2, AM3.


Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler

Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler works well with Linux. It provides well-balanced cooling performance by providing maximum fin spacing along with leveled high and low-speed operations. Aluminum fins have 4 direct-contact heat pipes that dissipate heat exceptionally well. The heat pipes have patented CDC technology with side-by-side pipes configuration without any gaps creates a perfectly smooth surface for heat dispensation. 

Installation of the fan is pretty easy with a 120mm PWM fan that has anti-vibration rubber pads and a quick snap cover. These fans provide excellent airflow due to their wide range and unique wave-shaped blade design. For increased cooling performance, an optional 120mm fan can be installed. It is compatible with Intel® LGA 1366 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 and AMD FM2 / FM1 / AM3+.


Cooler Master Nepton 240M

Another cooler that can be used for cooling the Linux system is Cooler Master Nepton 240M. The Nepton 240M All-in-One liquid CPU cooler is a closed-loop air cooler. Due to its closed-loop design, it provides exceptional cooling without much maintenance. Moreover, the coolant used in Nepton 240M is a factory filled coolant, not water.

Therefore, you don’t have to replace it. It also has a unique pump design along with an impressive water block for optimal water flow and performance of the system. The performance is further enhanced with quite sturdy and thick FEP tubing that allows less liquid dissipation.  

The cooler has a large 240mm radiator and dual Silencio 120mm fans for providing exceptional cooling and heat dissipation. Hence, you can overclock the CPU for even better performance.

The fans generate powerful air pressure and the rubber pads on the side lessen the vibration and noise. There is an optimal water flow and heat dissipation from the cold plate to the coolant due to the ultra-fine micro-channel design. There is an illuminated LED indicator present on the water block. It lights up when the cooler starts operating.


You have a variety of coolers available to choose from and all of them work very well on Linux. Even if you are using any processor like an i9 9900k, i7 9700k, i7 8700k because they work very well with Linux then I suggest you get the best CPU cooler for i9 9900k. You can find some of the best coolers here that will work with any system and will dissipate heat with maximum performance. 

Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before making a choice as switching to liquid cooling, although easy, may be a bit expensive for some. However, you have the advantage of cooling both CPU and GPU very effectively. 


Author Bio

Aaron is an intense gamer and he likes to experience new things related to games or gaming tech. When he isn’t doing that he likes to review different gaming tech for Gaming Verge.