Keeping your processor properly cooled is critical for getting the most performance possible out of it. While there are many CPU coolers to get the job done, few are as exciting as liquid coolers. Fortunately, you don’t actually have to be some plumbing professional to set up a liquid cooler these days thanks to the proliferation of all-in-one (AIO) liquid coolers.
The AIO liquid coolers you’ll find can actually be incredibly simple. They come with a water pump pre-installed with hoses that connect to a radiator, which can vary in size from a simple square 120mm way up to 240mm and even 360mm. They’re even pre-filled with fluids, so you don’t have to fuss around with any of that. In some ways, they can be even simpler to set up than an air cooler, as you don’t need to carefully mount a heavy heat sink onto your processor.
The benefits of liquid coolers go further than that. They can also do a great job keeping your CPU chilled (just make sure you get one that is designed to handle the heat output of your processor), and can often do it more quietly than an air cooler. Plus, they can work better in tight spaces, such as mini ITX cases, since they don’t have the same size constraints as air coolers that have to stick straight up from the CPU socket. So, if you’re ready to dabble in liquid cooling, these are the best AIO liquid coolers to check out.
TL;DR – These are the Best Liquid CPU Coolers:
1. Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro
Best Liquid CPU Cooler
If you’re getting an all-in-one liquid cooler, you’re clearly not looking for a product that involves a bunch of fussing around to get set up, otherwise, you’d do a custom loop. To that end, the Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro series is the cream of the crop and ready to fit into full tower PC cases, mid towers, and even a few ITX cases. Corsair has been at the front of the pack for AIO liquid coolers for a long time, and the H100i Pro does a solid job keeping it there.
This cooler keeps it simple with a 240mm aluminum radiator, dual 120mm fans, and a simple, low-profile pump with a copper plate to pull heat from your CPU. Corsair’s included fans have PWM control, so they won’t be any louder than they need to be, maxing out at 37 decibels. Corsair doesn’t let the simplicity make this cooler a total bore though. The pump features RGB lighting which you can use Corsair’s iCue software to control right alongside your fan and pump speeds.
2. Lian Li Galahad
Best Budget Liquid CPU Cooler
Lian Li isn’t just making some of the best PC cases, and the Lian Li Galahad is a strong case for where else it can excel. This AIO cooler comes in at an affordable price while offering a sizable 240mm radiator and dual 120mm fans. Those fans feature stylish aRGB lighting that will let you customize the look of your PC, and the water pump housing also gets in on the light show.
The Lian Li Galahad fans can generate 2.79mmH2O of air pressure and 72CFM of airflow, sending plenty of air past the radiator to keep your CPU cool. The fans are rated to run for 40,000 hours and the pump is rated for 70,000 hours, ensuring you get every bit of value possible out of this cooler. Heck, Lian Li even includes thermal compound for the application so you don’t need to spend extra picking that up.
3. Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2
Best Ultra Cheap Liquid CPU Cooler
Looking for an all-in-one liquid cooler with a 240mm radiator? Want it to have RGB-lit fans? Want the pump to have RGB lighting as well? And you want it all for a low price? Lucky for you, you actually can get all that with the Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2.
This AIO liquid cooler brings a bunch of the most exciting features at a low price point of just $100. You’ll get your big radiator, and it’ll include two fans with addressable RGB lighting. The water pump also has a light bar around the sides and an array of lighting on the top. All of that lighting can connect right to your motherboard for direct control and syncing with the rest of the system, or you can just use the included controls built into the cabling. The Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2 is the complete package, and you can set it up with a wide variety of builds thanks to extensive socket compatibility, including AMD’s AM4 and TR4 sockets and Intel’s LGA20XX and LGA1200 sockets.
4. NZXT Kraken X53
Best 240mm Liquid CPU Cooler
The NZXT Kraken X53 is the successor to our longtime favorite NZXT Kraken X52 that features some major improvements to look better and cool more efficiently. It comes fitted with Asetek’s latest 7th generation, so you’re getting the best flow and longest reliability compared to other cooler equipped with older water pumps. In our personal experience, we’ve seen this cooler have no problem keeping an Intel Core i7-9700K running well under 50-degrees celsius.
On top of all the cooling performance you get out of the NZXT Kraken X53, it still features the most unique looking infinity mirror lighting setup. Thanks to some optical trickery, this cooler can create seemingly unlimited rings of RGB lighting that go on forever. We’ve featured the 240mm X53 here, but the Kraken series is also available in all sorts of sizes from 120mm to 360mm.
5. EVGA CLC 280mm
Best 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler
Evga has recently been breaking into all kinds of new hardware territory and is a newcomer to the closed-loop cooling market. Still, the company knows how to craft some sweet hardware, and its new 280 CLC is one of the best bang for the buck models available. It utilizes a 280mm radiator with twin whisper-quiet fans, and also has beautifully designed LED integration on the water block.
Topping it all off is its killer software dubbed EVGA Flow Control, which allows you to control the fans, RGB lighting on the block, and the pump RPM as well. The pump is built with Asetek’s Gen5 pump technology, which is known for its reliability and efficiency. At around $115, the performance, noise, and quality are well worth it, and it is one of the best values in the market right now.
6. Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix
Best 360mm Liquid CPU Cooler
If you want the most cooling potential, then you’ll want a lot of fluid to sink your heat into. With a 360mm liquid cooler, you’ll get just that. The Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix can provide you with that cooling capacity and adds in a ton of style to top it off.
This 360mm offers impressive value given how large it is while still costing under $200. It’s all the more impressive that Corsair throws in not one but four splashes of RGB lighting at this price. The water pump features a copper cold plate on the bottom for performance and 33 Capellix RGB lights on the top for fashion. The kit includes three 120mm Corsair ML RGB fans with eight RGB LEDs each. With that much light going on, you’ll get tons of customization options for the style of your PC. The PWM fans allow for precisely controlled cooling with adjustable speeds from 400 to 2,400RPM as well as a Zero RPM mode for silent operation while the system is cool.
7. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion
Best RGB Liquid CPU Cooler
RGB lights are fun on their own, but they get an extra special boost when paired with translucent material. That material basically turns into a glow stick when lit up, and then the RGB lights still get to cast their glow around the rest of your rig. So, when it comes to liquid CPU coolers, there’s a good reason the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion stands out.
This cooler uses a translucent dome to house the dual-chamber water pump, letting the very heart of your motherboard shine brilliantly. Cooler Master also pairs the radiator with a duo of MasterFan MF120 Halo fans, which each feature a total of 24 ARGB LEDs to let you really customize the look. Naturally the fans also use translucent materials to push the light show to greater heights. Cooler Master even makes it easy to control the light show with an included ARGB controller so you won’t have to rely on your motherboard’s RGB hardware and software. You won’t miss out on strong cooling either, as the radiator has wide water channels to increase surface area and thereby the cooling potential, and the fans offer up 47.2 CFM of airflow and 1.6mmH2O of static pressure.
8. Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora
Best Refillable Liquid CPU Cooler
The Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora offers just about everything you could want in an AIO water cooler. It features a 240mm radiator to provide plenty of cooling performance, and the radiator is paired with two 120mm Aurora Lux Pro fans capable of 2.0 mmH2O of status pressure and 61.5 CFM of airflow. There’s a healthy dose of RGB lighting on display here as well. Both fans offer rings of RGB lighting while the pump includes a transparent window with RGB lighting inside. And, of course, this cooler sets itself apart because you can refill the fluid inside to extend its useful lifespan. If you’re interested in this one, you might have to wait a bit though, as stock has been scarce recently.
9. NZXT Kraken Z63
Best Liquid CPU Cooler with a Display
In the last couple of years, multiple manufacturers have tried to popularize liquid CPU coolers with screens embedded in them to varying success. But leave it to NZXT to perfect the idea with the gorgeous Kraken Z63.
Rather than just showing off rainbow circles in an infinite mirror, this flagship NZXT features an LCD screen you can use to show important information like your CPU and GPU temperatures. Alternatively, this little screen is also great for displaying completely unimportant things like animated GIFs. Aesthetics aside, this cooler comes equipped with a pair of strong 140mm fans and Asetek’s latest water pump.
10. ekwb EK-AIO 240 D-RGB
Best High-Performance Liquid Cooler
EKWaterBlocks has your high-performance gaming rig covered with its capable EK-AIO 240 D-RGB cooler. It’s ready to use right out of the box on Intel and AMD systems, and it’s compatible with the RGB control of many motherboards. Both of the included fans and the water block offer RGB lighting, so your rig won’t just stay cool but will also look cool. The included Vardar S 120mm fans can produce 2.89 mmH2O of static pressure and 66 CFM airflow to ensure the 240mm radiator can consistently releases heat from your system. The hoses on this kit are especially flexible, letting you bend and fit them into even cramped cases while the nylon sleeve around each hose keeps it safe from damage.
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