Computer hsf: What is a Heat Sink and Fan (HSF)?

HSF / CPU Cooler Recommendation Chart

Helping you find the best CPU Cooler for your particular PC build

Last updated: March 2019

A heatsink and fan (HSF), also known as a CPU Cooler, sits atop the CPU to draw heat away from the CPU and disperse it, because CPUs produce heat while operating. Most CPUs will come with a free “stock” HSF; but if you buy a CPU that comes without a cooler and/or if you plan to overclock your CPU, you will need to buy an “aftermarket” HSF like one of those listed in the chart below.

Things to note:

Before you read the table of HSFs below, please keep in mind the following points:

  • The budget, mid-tier, and high-end columns are for air-cooling. Closed-loop-coolers (CLCs), or liquid coolers, use water to cool the CPU instead of air.
  • If you’re not overclocking, stock HSFs are fine. If your CPU runs warm, stock HSFs tend to get loud because the fans spin faster.
  • Spending more money will get you better cooling and quieter operation.
  • Stock HSFs are sometimes simpler to install. Aftermarket HSFs usually include screws and other small parts.
  • CLCs are divided into two categories: 120mm units and 240mm units, as shown here:
  • 120mm CLC units perform somewhere between mid-tier and high-end air coolers, but they are often priced as high as the high-end. They offer less value, but take up much less space.
  • 240mm coolers compete with high-end air HSFs, and can be superior in cooling. However, they are very expensive, and do not fit in all cases. Never buy a 240mm unit until you have made sure that you can install it in your case.
  • Many CLC units are made by the same manufacturer (Asetek), with the main difference being the type of fans that are used.
  • If your budget is constrained, you can always stick with stock HSFs, and buy an aftermarket cooler later when you have the money.

Recommended Heatsinks/Coolers:

Brand Budget ($0-$35) Mid-tier ($35-$65) High-end (>$65) CLC (120mm) CLC (240mm)
AMD Stock ($0) Wraith Spire ($46) Wraith Prism ($66)
Antec Kuhler 750 ($55) Kuhler 1250 ($120)
be quiet! Pure Rock ($35) Shadow Rock 2 ($50) Dark Rock 4 ($75)
Cooler Master 212 Evo ($32) MasterAir G100M ($40)
MasterAir 620P ($50)
MasterLiquid Lite 120 ($70) MasterLiquid Pro 240 ($110)
Corsair H60 ($65)
H75 ($85)
h200i Pro ($110)
CryoRig C7 ($30)
H7 ($35)
H5 Ultimate ($47) R1 Ultimate ($90) A40 ($115)
Intel Stock ($0)
CPU Cooling Fan ($15)
NZXT Kraken M22 ($85) Kraken X52 ($150)
Noctua NH-U12S ($58)
NH-U14S ($64)
NH-D14 ($75)
NH-D15 ($90)
Phanteks PH-TC12DX ($60) PH-TC14PE ($100)
Raijintek Aidos ($28) Ereboss ($50) Tisis ($75) Orcus 120 ($90) Orcus 240 ($100)
Scythe Kotetsu Mark II ($35) Mugen 5 ($50)
Ashura ($55)
Ninja 5 ($60)
Fuma ($47)
Silverstone Argon 02 ($40)
Argon 03 ($57)
Tundra 02 ($90)
Thermalright Macho ($50) Silver Arrow ($100)
Thermaltake Contac Silent 12 ($25) NiC-C5 ($48) Water 3. 0 Performer ($65) Water 3.0 Extreme S ($95)
Zalman CNPS10X Optima ($40)
CNPS10X Performa ($45)

Stock HSF:

Many people think the stock HSFs are bad. They are actually adequate for stock settings, will work fine, and are free. If you overclock significantly, however, stock HSFs become quite loud. And if you live in a hot area without air conditioning, you may need something better than the stock HSF.

Non-stock HSF:

Aftermarket HSFs cost money, but are typically much quieter, and have better heat dissipation, meaning you can overclock heavily. If the stock HSF is good enough, you do not need an aftermarket HSF.


  • Make sure the HSF is compatible with your motherboard + CPU socket. For example, a HSF that is compatible with AMD’s socket AM3 is not necessarily compatible with Intel’s socket 1150. Multiple sockets sometimes use the same mounting system. Intel sockets 1150, 1151, 1155, and 1156 all use the same HSF mounting system, so they share compatibility.
  • Make sure the HSF you buy will fit your case, and will not disturb the other components in your PC (your RAM, specifically).

Water Cooling:

Done properly, water cooling can give you better cooling with less noise than the best air cooling. However, electricity and water don’t mix well, so it can be dangerous. Do your research. More reading can be found in links at the bottom of this guide. Corsair makes some high-quality closed-loop solutions, like the H80i and h200i, which will fit in many of the cases we recommend. We’ll do a proper water cooling guide eventually. If you would like to try writing one, email us at [email protected].

Thermal Paste:

Modern thermal paste is usually very good. Use whatever comes with your heatsink. Replacing the thermal paste on your stock heatsink may actually decrease cooling performance. If you want every last bit of cooling performance, do your research before buying thermal paste, because different pastes will perform differently based on your application method and the mounting pressure of your heatsink. You may also want to check out these thermal paste performance benchmarks.

More info:

Check Frosty Tech and Silent PC Review for high-quality heatsink and fan reviews.

HSF Training

The HSF Training Working Group aims to help the research community to provide training in the computing skills needed for researchers to produce high quality and sustainable software. The group works with experiment training groups, HEP initiatives (such as IRIS-HEP and FIRST-HEP) and organisations like Software Carpentry to coordinate training activities.

The group aims to develop a training program that can be pursued by researchers to achieve the level of required knowledge. This ranges from basic core software skills needed by everyone to the advanced training required by specialists in software and computing.

Join an event!
Discover new topics together with mentors and peers!

Self study!
Learn at your own pace. No matter if you want to get a quick overview
or dive in the details, this is for you!


Tweets from @HSFTraining

Our mission

The long term sustainability of the research software ecosystem is important for HEP as HL-LHC and other facilities of the 2020s will be relevant through at least the 2030s. Meeting this challenge requires a workforce with a combination of HEP domain knowledge and advanced software skills.

The software skills required fall into two groups. Nearly all researchers need basic programming skills (Python, C++), basic software engineering skills (Unix, git/GitHub/GitLab, continuous integration, performance evaluation), and skills in the core data tools in HEP (e. g., the ROOT data format and analysis framework).

More advanced training is then needed (with domain examples!) in parallel programming, efficient software implementations, performance optimization, and machine learning and data science tools. A workforce trained in this range of software skills is the critical ingredient from which the solutions to the computing challenges can grow.

Today’s graduate students will be the young faculty members driving HEP research in the 2020s. Investing in their software skills is not only important to actually build the requisite software infrastructure, but will also change community norms, create role models and promote career paths for computational scientists within the HEP research community. Computation is a central element of 21st century science, and clearer career paths will provide a virtuous cycle of feedback to enhance the vibrancy of the training and workforce development activities.

Our most recent paper
Several years of experiences and plans for the future (2021)

Our vision of software training as of 2018

More about us
A collection of talks, papers and other material about our group

Learn with us

Join an event!
Discover new topics together with mentors and peers!

HSF Training center
Learn at your own pace. No matter if you want to get a quick overview
or dive in the details, this is for you!

Analysis essentials
A course on basic computing required for HEP

PyHEP resources
A curated list of python modules for HEP

Participate & Contribute!

The easiest way to get in touch are our weekly meetings, usually held at 16h00 CERN time on Mondays. Everyone is welcomed to discuss! Check Indico for details. The live notes and the zoom connection is linked in the right sidebar in the category view.

Everybody is welcome to join the forum dedicated to HSF training activities. This is the place where ideas and proposals are discussed and actions decided!

Talk to us!
We meet weekly, usually on Monday at 16h00 CERN time.

Chat with us on Slack!
Brainstorm your ideas with us.

Join the community!
Join more than 50 people working on our mission.

Browse our GitHub Organization!
Browse all of our training material. Issues & pull requests are always welcome!

Write us!
Use our public mailing list and reach a wide range of training enthusiasts.

The number of commits in our repository and the number of registered learners closely follows the number of our educators.
You, too, can make a difference!

Training events

We are always looking for volunteers from the community to help us with our training events.

Training events
A list of training events both with and without HSF participation

Training roles
We have standardized the different roles your can fulfill at our events

How to organize a workshop
Whether you work with us or not, these guidelines might help your organizing an awesome workshop!

Upcoming schools:

  • 16 Jan — 20 Jan 2023 — Analysis Preservation Workshop HSF


  • Wouter Deconinck (EIC, University of Manitoba)
  • Kilian Lieret (IRIS-HEP, Princeton University)
  • Michel Hernandez Villanueva (Belle II, DESY)
  • Sudhir Malik (CMS, University of Puerto Rico)

The conveners can be reached by email.

Kilian Lieret

Michel Hernandez Villanueva

Sudhir Malik

Wouter Deconinck

Former Conveners:

  • Dario Menasce (INFN Milano), 2016-2019
  • Sam Meehan (CERN, ATLAS and FASER), 2020
  • Meirin Oan Evans (ATLAS), 2021

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Hillstone Finance (HSF) Buying Guide — Binance

Binance is constantly reviewing and adding cryptocurrencies that can be used on the platform. If you want to buy Hillstone Finance, which is not currently listed on Binance, please follow the step by step guide below. This guide shows you how to buy Hillstone Finance by connecting your crypto wallet to a decentralized exchange (DEX) and using your Binance account to buy the base currency. nine0008

Download Metamask wallet

There are several crypto wallets on the Ethereum network, and Metamask seems to be the most integrated. If you are using a computer, you can download Google Chrome and the Chrome wallet extension. If you are using a mobile phone, you can download the wallet from Google Play or the iOS App Store if available. Simply download the official Chrome extension and mobile app by going to the Metamask website.

Set up your Metamask wallet

Register and set up your cryptocurrency wallet through the Google Chrome wallet extension or the mobile app you downloaded in Step 1. Detailed information can be found on the wallet support page. Please save your seed phrase and write down your wallet address. You will use this information later in Steps 4 and 6.

Buy Ethereum as your base currency

After setting up your wallet, log in to your Binance account and go to the buy and sell cryptocurrency page to buy Ethereum. If you are not yet a user of the platform, please refer to our How to Buy Ethereum guide to sign up and buy your first cryptocurrency on Binance. nine0008

Send Ethereum from Binance to your crypto wallet

After purchasing Ethereum, go to your Binance wallet to confirm receipt of Ethereum. Click the Withdraw button and fill in the required information. Set the network to Ethereum, enter your wallet address and the amount you want to transfer. Click the «Withdraw» button and wait until your Ethereum appears in your Metamask wallet.

If you are using the Binance website:

If you are using the Binance app:

Choose a decentralized exchange (DEX)

There are several DEXs to choose from. You just need to make sure that the wallet you chose in Step 2 is supported by the exchange. For example, if you are using a Metamask wallet, you can go to 1inch to make a transaction.

Connect your wallet

Connect your Metamask wallet to the DEX you want to use using your wallet address from Step 2.

Exchange Ethereum for the coin you wish to receive

Select Ethereum as your payment and select Hillstone Finance as the coin you wish to purchase.

If Hillstone Finance is not displayed, find the corresponding smart contract.

If the DEX does not show the token you need, you can refer to https://etherscan. io/ to find the smart contract address. Then copy and paste it in 1inch. Beware of scams and make sure the address you receive is the official contract address. nine0008

Confirm swap

After completing the above steps, you can click the «Exchange» button.

Cryptocurrency prices are subject to high market risk and volatility. You should only trade or invest in products that you know and understand the risks associated with them. The content provided on this page is not intended to and does not constitute an endorsement by Binance of the reliability or accuracy of such content. Before investing, you should evaluate your investment background, financial situation, investment objectives and risk tolerance, and consult an independent financial advisor. This material should not be construed as financial advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. The value of the invested funds may increase or decrease. You may not get your investment back.