When you buy your CPU it will probably come with a cooling heat sink and fan. You can’t use a microprocessor without any cooling. At best your system will just shut down and at worst you could burn out your expensive CPU! Unfortunately whilst the ones that come with your CPU will at least work, they are not always that good. I would recommend that you get something better for the main reason that in terms of increased performance, this is one area that you won’t have to spend too much to get a decent amount of improvement. The increase that you are looking for is an increase in the cooling and a decrease in sound produced, as I hinted earlier, the included heat sinks and fans are fairly basic so it doesn’t take much to improve on them.
You also need to bear in mind that as there are several different types of CPU sockets, there are also several different types of heat sink and fan combinations that are only compatible with their corresponding CPU types, so if you have a socket A CPU (also known as a socket 462) you obviously need a socket A cooler. Some of the better coolers to look out for are Zalman, Cooler Master, Corsair and Arctic Cooling. The fans on some of these are huge and because of this, they can revolve slower to move the same amount of air as a smaller one and slower equals less noise.
There are even massive heat sinks with lots of fins and copper tubes increasing the surface area sufficiently to get rid of so much heat that a cooling fan isn’t necessary. This has two huge advantages, the first being no fan equals no noise at all! The second being that as the cooling is passive (that’s the term for fan less) you don’t get a dust build up so no maintenance is required, so my advices here is if possible try and get a fan less, passive heat sink.
Depending on the computing power of your system you may need to install some case mounting fans to increase the air flow. You will find in your computer case various places that have been made where internal case fans can be mounted. These types of fans usually come in two standard sizes of 80mm and 120mm. some of the better bios’s allow these case fans to be controlled automatically by sensing the temperatures inside your system and speeding up or slowing down the fans when it’s needed.