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The Best Liquid CPU Coolers

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The Best Liquid CPU Coolers

Everyone who has either owned or operated a computer at some point in their lives is familiar with CPU heat. Whether you’re working with your laptop on your lap and begin to feel that heat emirate from the bottom of the machine onto your legs, or you’re using a desktop in an already-warm room and feel the temperature rise with every click, computers getting hot is just a fact of life. This is especially the case for those of us who work with pro-level applications and tasks—such as video editing, music production, or even gaming. And if you’re constantly pushing your CPU to its limits, the repercussions can be more severe than a warm leg or a slightly heated room. Constant amounts of extreme processing that overheat your CPU to the point that your internal fan can’t help can permanently damage your processor and, subsequently, your computer. Indeed, there have been several cases of the CPU and surrounding circuitry melting away after prolonged periods of insufficient cooling, which can ruin your work and lead to an expensive replacement board.

For this reason, more and more people are turning to external cooling systems to keep their CPUs cool and happy even during their more extreme tasks. These systems not only prevent damaging overheating but also enhance the performance of the processor itself. And although it may seem a bit counterintuitive, the latest and greatest CPU cooling technology is liquid-based—allowing for more efficient cooling across the board for people constantly pushing their processors to their limits. So if you regularly fret about an over-pushed and super-hot CPU, we highly recommend picking up one of these liquid cooling systems before it’s too late. 

01 Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT

The Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT is an excellent liquid CPU cooler that will work with the newest Intel and AMD processors. This liquid cooler promises to give you superb cooling performance and high clock speeds thanks to its thermally optimized cold plate and pump. It comes with magnetic levitation fans that enhance airflow further to keep your CPU from overheating. Each fan from the cooler runs from 400 to 2,400 RPM. The cooler even features a Zero RPM mode that will make the fans top once it detects low temperatures. Many gamers don’t like having a basic-looking workspace setup, and you’d often notice that their setups come with RGB lighting. The Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT can blend well into anyone’s aesthetically-pleasing workspace because it has dynamic multi-zone RGB LEDs. It’s fully customizable, so you can set it to different colors or lighting effects. The only catch is that the RGB lighting is only found on the pump head. Users should download the iCUE software because it’s not only where you can customize the RGB lighting but also where you will get to monitor your cooler and CPU and adjust pump and fan speeds.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Fantastic cooling performance
  • Customizable RGB lighting
  • Zero RPM mode
  • Useful iCUE software

Cons

  • Can get pretty noisy at 100% speed
  • Screws are tiny
  • RGB lighting is only on the pump head

Specification

  • Price $119.99
  • Cooling Method Water
  • Maximum Rotational Speed 2400 rpm
  • Air Flow Capacity 75 Cubic Feet Per Minute
Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT

02 MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360

For those who want the best of the best and have no limitations with their budget, one of the best premium options you can go for is the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360. It has three 120mm fan slots, and many people love it because of the superb silent cooling it promises. It features MSI’s MEG SILENT GALE P12 silent gaming fans and has a useful 0 RPM fan mode. It also has a 60mm water block fan that can provide better heat dissipation for its surrounding components. Its tubing is made with three layers of netted plastic and has a reinforced mesh exterior, which helps it become evaporation-proof. This cooler doesn’t come with RGB lighting, but it stands out from its rivals because it has a 2.4-inch IPS display that shows you helpful hardware information or custom graphics/videos. Users are advised to download the MSI Center to customize the display and adjust the fans’ speed conveniently. The cooler is already compatible with AMD Ryzen 7,000 Series and Intel LGA 1,700 processors. The deal-breaker we see from this cooler is its hefty price tag, but if you can afford it, you will have one of the best cooling systems available.

Pros

  • Premium cooling perofrmance
  • MEG SILENT GALE P12 silent gaming fans
  • 0 RPM fan mode
  • Evaporation-proof tubing
  • 2.4-inch IPS display
  • Useful companion software

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No RGB lighting

Specification

  • Price $312.54
  • Cooling Method Water
  • Maximum Rotational Speed 2000 RPM
  • Air Flow Capacity 56.2 CFM
MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360

03 EK AIO Basic

If you don’t care too much about aesthetics and prioritize the value and performance a liquid cooler offers, you won’t be disappointed by the EK AIO Basic 240mm All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler. It provides an all-in-one liquid cooling solution for your processor, and its installation is easy because of its compact design. It features a pre-filled pumpless combo design and has a water block. This cooler won’t be the most appealing to gamers because it lacks RGB lighting. It has a basic all-black design, which is perfect for those with a more minimalist setup. Users can use this cooler with all CPUs since it’s compatible with the latest AMD and Intel sockets. The EK AIO Basic 240mm cooler has two EK-Vardar S Black Edition fans. These PWM fans are high-static and industrial-grade and are perfect for high-performance liquid cooling systems. Users are free to adjust the air circulation of the fans, and they can operate between 550-2,200 RPM. You can rest assured that this cooling system will last you long because of its sturdy and high-quality design. It has rubber tubing, reinforced sleeving, durable aluminum cover, and diamond-cut swivel fittings.

Pros

  • Excellent cooling capabilities
  • Durable and minimalist design
  • Fantastic value for its price

Cons

  • No RGB lighting

Specification

  • Price $161.14
  • Cooling Method Air
  • Maximum Rotational Speed 2200 rpm
  • Air Flow Capacity 77 CFM
EK AIO Basic

04 NZXT Kraken X53 RGB (White)

Many of the liquid coolers you see on the market come in black, but there are also options like the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB that will blend well with those with a computer that has an all-white aesthetic. This cooler features Aer RGB V2 radiator fans that deliver enhanced durability, excellent cooling, and a silent operation because of its fluid dynamic bearing and chamfered intake. The fans have a winglet-tip fan blade design which helps keeps things as quiet as possible while providing optimal airflow. Users can easily adjust the pump head’s orientation without affecting the logo’s direction since it has a larger infinity mirror ring LED and redesigned rotating cap. The cooler’s larger infinity mirror cap gives users a more vivid RGB performance. You can rest assured that the NZXT Kraken X53 RGB will stay protected and durable because of its fine nylon mesh sleeves. You will find it easy to play around with your cooler’s settings and customize its lighting effects because it works hand-in-hand with the PC monitoring software CAM, which you can download for free. Customers will receive a six-year warranty from NZXT upon purchase.

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Compact
  • Aer RGB V2 radiator fans with a winglet-tip fan blade design
  • Silent operation
  • Larger infinity mirror ring LED
  • Redesigned rotating cap
  • Excellent companion software
  • 6-year warranty

Cons

  • Could use direct controls for the fans
  • Not the most affordable

Specification

  • Price $155.99
  • Cooling Method Water
  • Maximum Rotational Speed 800 - 2,800 ± 300RPM
  • Air Flow Capacity 17.48 - 52.44 CFM
NZXT Kraken X53 RGB (White)

05 Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2

The Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2 offers excellent value because of the performance you get without spending more than $100. This cooler promises top-notch reliability because of its Anti-Leak Tech system. It gives you an automated pressure balance that can enhance your AIO liquid cooling system’s operation safety. The L240 V2 has a larger thermal contract area and better heat circulation efficiency because of its E-shaped micro water-channel design. Unlike other coolers whose RGB lighting is only found on the pump, this will satisfy all your aesthetic needs because it comes with RGB lighting both on the pump and fans. It has an integrated 12V RGB lighting system, and six ultra-bright RGB LED lights on the fans. There are three built-in RGB effects, and users will have access to PWM control and could even get a super silent performance. The L240 V2 will work with mainstream motherboards and supports synchronized lighting control. This cooler will give you stronger liquid pressure and flow because of its high-efficiency induction motors and closed impellers. You can also expect extra-long service life thanks to its ceramic axle cores and bearings, and you get better heat dissipation and effective coverage from its large, pure-copper base.

Pros

  • Incredible value for the price
  • Impressive cooling performance
  • RGB lighting
  • Quiet when idle

Cons

  • Gets pretty noise when CPU has a heavy load

Specification

  • Price 87.80
  • Cooling Method Water
  • Maximum Rotational Speed 1500 RPM
  • Air Flow Capacity 69.34 CFM
Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2

Nick

Sep 27, 2022

50 Articles Published

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