Liquid CPU Cooler

Introduction

A liquid CPU Cooler is one of the most common heat dissipation methods. It uses liquid as a heat transfer medium and can be divided into two categories: The first is an AiO (all-in-one) liquid CPU Cooler, which combines the water block and pump. The other one is a common liquid CPU cooler that only has a water block.

AiO liquid CPU coolers usually have a pump that is attached to the water block, and the water block is attached to the CPU. Then, it uses a flexible tube to transmit the liquid from the pump to the radiator. The radiator has a fan for heat dissipation.

There are no rigid tubes, so there isn’t any pressure drop which means that the liquid can dissipate heat through the radiator at its maximum flow rate.

However, it’s hard to install and maintain an AiO liquid CPU Cooler. Also, the radiator fan produces a certain level of noise. In contrast, common liquid CPU coolers only have a water block and a heat radiator. In this case, the water block is directly attached to the CPU surface. This design has a major advantage in that it’s easy to install and maintain.

However, it can’t have a high flow rate because of the pressure drop caused by the rigid tube which is attached to the water block. As the water moves slowly through the tube, its flow rate will decrease. Also, because there is no pump to drive liquid to the radiator, the CPU temperature will rise.

In summary, an AiO liquid CPU cooler has better cooling performance and is more convenient to install and maintain than a common liquid CPU cooler. However, a common liquid CPU cooler has better performance than an AiO liquid CPU cooler in terms of installation and noise.

In the past, the mainstream liquid CPU coolers were from Asetek, CoolIT, and Swiftech. In recent years, however, there has been a shift away from CPU cooling companies to manufacturers of computer hardware.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing:

There is a list of the things that we need to consider before going to the list of the top best Liquid CPU Coolers.

Radiator Size:

The radiator size is the most important factor in determining how effectively a cooler can conduct heat away from the CPU. The larger the radiator, the more heat it can absorb and dissipate.

No. of fans and RPM:

The number of fans and their RPM (revolutions per minute) also affect the CPU’s cooling. The higher the RPM, the more cooling capacity the fan has.

Efficiency:

A liquid CPU cooler is more efficient than a heatsink and fan. If you want to know how efficient it is, divide the number of degrees of temperature drop by the power consumed. The higher the result, the more efficient it is.

TDP Rating:

The TDP or thermal design power is the maximum amount of heat generated by a CPU under a specific workload. It’s measured in watts.  If a CPU cooler can cool a CPU at its max TDP, the better it is.

CPU Socket: 

We need to consider the CPU socket that the liquid CPU cooler is compatible with. There are several types of sockets including LGA (land grid array), AM4, FM2, and so on.

Socket Compatibility:

If a liquid CPU cooler is compatible with the CPU socket, it will be much easier to install it.

Price:

As with any purchase, we need to consider the price. The higher the price, the better the quality. However, if you are buying a liquid CPU cooler for the first time, it’s better to try the cheaper one because it’s a good chance to check the performance and see if it’s what you really want.

After considering all of those factors, we can make a list of the top 8 best liquid CPU coolers.

Top 8 Best Liquid CPU Coolers:

The Best Liquid CPU Coolers You Can Purchase Today

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro

Corsair-Series-H100i-Pro
Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 276mm X 120mm X 27mm – Base Height: 27mm – Weight: 4.38 lbs – Fans: 2 – Socket Support: Intel 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066 AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, sTRX4, sTR4 – Warranty: 5 Years

Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro is the top best liquid CPU air cooler.  Its performance is excellent. It can control the pump speed intelligently to lower noise and power consumption.  It’s compatible with the latest sockets. It has an excellent radiator surface.

In addition, Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro has a large radiator for excellent cooling performance and low noise. It has a double ball-bearing fan with low noise and a long lifespan. Another advantage of Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro is that you can install 2 fans of your own choice. It supports Corsair Link software and has a 6 port internal header. The installation process is simple, too. If you are looking for an AiO liquid CPU cooler to replace your common air CPU cooler, H100i Pro will be a good choice.

Pros
  • Corsair iCUE software
  • Great fan speed control
  • Whisper-quiet operation
Cons
  • No flexible housing
  • No AMD socket sTR4/sTRX4 bracket

Lian Li Galahad

Lian-Li-Galahad
Lian Li Galahad (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Budget Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 240mmx273x123.5x27mm – Base Height: 27mm – Weight: 3.2 lbs – Fans: 2 – Socket Support: LGA 115X, LGA 1366, LGA 775,LGA 1200, LGA 2011, LGA 2066, AM4 – Warranty: 5 Years

The next best liquid CPU cooler for me is Lian Li Galahad. It’s not as popular as Corsair H100i Pro, but the performance is also excellent. It has aluminum heatsink plates, so it can conduct heat away from the CPU effectively with its large surface area.  It has a high-pressure pump for excellent cooling performance.

It comes with two low noise 120mm PWM fans. They are designed for efficient heat dissipation at lower RPMs, which will generate less noise. There is a 3 pin connector and a PWM signal cable to control the speed of the fans. The installation process is also simple, too. Galahad is a good choice for those who want to have an AiO liquid CPU cooler, but don’t want to spend much money.

It supports the latest sockets, too. The installation process is simple and Lian Li Galahad also supports all kinds of mainboards with its flexible fittings. It has RGB LED lighting, too. It comes with a 5 years warranty.

Pros
  • Removable aluminum cap
  • 400m double-braided tubing
  • Triple-chamber designed water pump
Cons
  • Complex wiring
  • No software management UI

Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2

Deepcool-240-Pro-V2
Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Ultra Cheap Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 282mm X 120mm X 27mm – Base Height: 27mm – Weight: 3.75 lbs – Fans: 2 – Socket Support: Intel LGA 2066, 2011-v3, 2011, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1366, AMD TR4, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1 – Warranty: 3 Years

Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2 is the only AiO liquid CPU cooler on this list that is not compatible with LGA 2066.  Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2 is on the cheaper side, but it’s also one of the top liquid CPU coolers. It has an excellent heatsink and aluminum radiator, which can conduct heat away from the CPU efficiently because of its large surface area. It has 2 fans which rotate at 1200 rpm. But, it can lower the noise and power consumption by slowing down the fan speed intelligently when the CPU is idle. Besides, Deepcool claims that you can lower the noise to 17 dB.

It supports all kinds of sockets, too. It has an excellent performance, which is comparable to Corsair H100i. What’s more, the installation process is also simple and you can have a clean system with Captain 240 Pro V2. It comes with an RGB LED logo and a backlit power button. Therefore, the appearance of your system will be improved significantly. Besides, Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2 comes with 3 years warranty.

Pros
  • Anti-Leak technology
  • Pressure-regulating radiator
  • Easy RBG and PWM control
Cons
  • No 4-pin pump connector
  • Noisy operation under heavy load

NZXT Kraken X53

NZXT-Kraken-X53
NZXT Kraken X53 (Image credit: Amazon)

Best 240mm Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 275mm X 123mm X 30mm – Base Height: 30mm – Weight: 4.1lbs – Fans: 2 – Socket Support: Intel LGA 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AM4, sTRX4, TR4 – Warranty: 6 Years

NZXT Kraken X53 has a larger radiator than other AiO liquid CPU coolers. It’s suitable for high-performance gaming machines and overclocking. As a result, you can get a better cooling performance with Kraken X53. It has 2 Aer P 140mm fans that spin at 1300 rpm and produce only 26 dBA of noise while operating. The fans also have a magnetic levitation bearing which is said to last up to 6 years. NZXT claims that the life span is 150000 hours.

The installation process is simple, too. Kraken X53 has a large surface area, so it can conduct heat away from the CPU very quickly with its large cooling plates. You can also control fan curves on your device or on NZXT CAM software for more customization. The appearance of your system will be greatly improved by its LED lighting.

Pros
  • Multi-language manual
  • LCD infinity effect on the block
  • High-performance Asetek pumps
Cons
  • No direct fan control
  • No Thread Ripper bracket

EVGA CLC 280mm

EVGA-CLC-280mm
EVGA CLC 280mm (Image credit: Amazon)

Best 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 312mm X 140mm X 27mm – Base Height: 27mm – Weight: 2.6 lbs – Fans: 2 – Socket Support: Intel LGA20XX, 1200, 115X, 1366, AMD TR4, AM4, AM3, AM2, FM2, FM1 – Warranty: 5 Year

EVGA CLC 280mm is an advanced version of EVGA’s popular liquid CPU cooler, the 240 mm. Like its predecessor, it has 2 low-RPM fans with excellent performance. So, it can lower the noise and power consumption by slowing down the fan speed intelligently when the CPU is idle. But, these fans are larger than the fans of its 240 mm versions. As a result, the cooling performance is better than ever. It comes with an RGB LED logo which has 6 different lighting modes.

The best feature of CLC 280mm is that it has an external radiator. The radiator is made of aluminum which increases its surface area by 25%. It also helps break the heat more efficiently. The CPU contact plate is made of pure copper, too, which makes the performance even better.

Besides, CLC 280 mm is compatible with all kinds of sockets. You can choose between downloadable and tool-less installation kits for your CPU cooler, so you can easily install them on different mainboards.

The appearance of your system will be improved by its RGB LED lighting, too. It looks great and adds to the overall value of your build.

Pros
  • Onboard fan control
  • High operation on low noise
  • Teflon Nano Bearing technology
Cons
  • Heavy and bulky
  • No LGA 2066 support

Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix

Corsair-H150i-Elite-Capellix
Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix (Image credit: Amazon)

Best 360mm Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 397mm X 120mm X 27mm – Base Height: 27mm – Weight: 2.42 lbs – Fans: 3 – Socket Support: Intel 115x, 2011, 2066, AMD AM3, AM2, AM4, sTR4 – Warranty: 5 Years

Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix is one of the most advanced liquid CPU coolers from Corsair under its iCUE ecosystem. It’s a superior version of H150i Pro. With its 3 large radiator fans and 2 RGB LED logo, this liquid cooler can reduce noise and power consumption while delivering a great cooling performance. It’s compatible with Intel LGA2066/2011/115x/1366 sockets and AMD TR4/AM4/AM3+/FM2+ sockets. iCUE H150i Elite Capellix has a combined radiator length of 382mm, which is longer than most liquid CPU coolers. It can cover more surface area and dissipate heat more efficiently.

There’s a control box to make things easier for you. You can adjust the RGB LED lighting on the cooler by connecting it with the control box, so this cooler will definitely improve the appearance of your system.

It’s more expensive than other AiO liquid CPU coolers, but considering all of its features and performance, the iCUE H150i Elite Capellix is a very good deal. It’s a must-have for gamers and overclocking enthusiasts.

So, it’s not compatible with many PC cases. But, it’s very easy to install on your motherboard with the existing installation kit. This liquid CPU cooler is also more expensive than other AiO liquid CPU coolers.

Pros
  • Excellent heat dissipation
  • iCUE commander software
  • Tool-free mounting bracket
Cons
  • No sTRX4 socket support
  • No motherboards sync software

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage

Cooler-ML240P-Mirage
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage (Image credit: Amazon)

Best RGB Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 277mm X 120mm X 27mm – Base Height: 27mm – Weight: 3.63 lbs – Fans: 2 – Socket Support: Intel LGA 2066, 2011-v3, 2011, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 775 AMD TR4, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1 – Warranty: 2 Years

Cooler Master has its own ecosystem of liquid CPU coolers which is called MasterLiquid. ML240P Mirage is one of the latest members of this family. It has a 240mm radiator and one RGB LED logo with 16 different lighting modes.

The 2 fans have a speed of 1200 RPM. It means they are very quiet when the CPU is idle. But, since these fans have a speed of 1500 RPM at maximum, they can also deliver a great cooling performance.

When you open the box, you’ll find an RGB LED control box and both installation kits for Intel and AMD sockets. The control box has 4 ports, which allow you to connect it with 1-4 LED fans. So, you can adjust the lighting effects of your cooler according to your build.

The pump features rubber protection which prevents the device from slipping on the CPU contact plate. So, no matter if your CPU cooler is upside down or on its side, you can run the fans without worrying about leaking.

Pros
  • Thread ripper support
  • Transparent Pump Design
  • PWM motor with a silent driver
Cons
  • Extra bright RGB
  • No graphene Coating

Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora

Alphacool-Eisbaer-Aurora
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora (Image credit: Amazon)

Best Refillable Liquid CPU Cooler

Specifications

Dimensions: 397 x 124 x 30 mm – Base Height: 30mm – Weight: 3.36 lbs – Fans: 3 – Socket Support: 775, 1056, 1155, 1150, 1151, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 AMD AM2, AM2 +, AM3, AM3 +, FM1, FM2, FM2 + , AM4 – Warranty: 2 Years

Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora is a very good option as it has the most advanced pump among all AiO liquid CPU coolers. It has a built-in reservoir. There’s also an Aurora Indicator for showing the current speed of your LED fans. The maximum speed is 1500 RPM and this cooler can reduce the noise level of your system.

The pump and the radiator fans use sleeve bearings which need less maintenance than ball bearing pumps and fans. This liquid CPU cooler has a 3-year warranty which is much longer than other AiO liquid CPU coolers. So, this product can be your best choice if you want better reliability and durability.

The pump pumps water on both sides of the tank, so it can dissipate heat more efficiently. It has a speed of 2000 RPM, which ensures a great cooling performance while keeping your system quiet. Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora has a 3-year warranty.

Pros
  • Copper made radiator
  • Flexible pump housing
  • Digital RGB LED controller
Cons
  • No threadripper support
  • Installation is a bit difficult

Conclusion

If you want to cool your computer using a liquid, the Corsair Hydro Series H100i Pro is the best choice since it is the king of liquid cooling systems. Corsair iCUE software allows you to change both RGB LEDs and fan speeds from a single interface. Fans can even be turned off when needed with zero RPM control. It’s a high-end model meant for high-end gamers, and it’s far superior to anything else on the market. IEVGA CLC 280mm is the finest low-cost CPU cooler on the market. The EVGA CLC 280mm is the greatest low-cost CPU cooler in today’s market. Its build quality is excellent as well. It covered the overview and highlighted key features of the most cost-effective cooling solution.

If we combine the two, Lian Li Galahad is the clear winner. It’s the best liquid CPU cooler in terms of cooling and price. It has a PWM or DC mode fan speed control mechanism. It also allows for overclocking to a certain extent. Multi-chamber technology is included, which improves heat transfer efficiency. So, there you have it—the greatest liquid coolers on the market! I’ll wrap up by proposing that if you’re looking for a cooler with a good price-to-performance ratio, try getting one. The best liquid cooler has all of the characteristics required by gamers. It’s the greatest mix of features at this price point. It is the optimum balance between performance, aesthetics, and affordability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the finest AIO Cooler in 2021?

The best cooler of 2021 is the Cooler Master Master Liquid ML240P Mirage, which features a transparent pump design. Its build quality and features are to thank for this. The transparency of the pump enhances its appearance. It’s endowed with durability thanks to the twin tubing design. The pump’s side tubing and fitting may be rotated for convenience of placement. Because of the anti-vibration rubber pads and the square outer casing of the fan, it is a quiet water cooler. The blade rotates smoothly due to the case’s unique shape, which provides less noise.

Is it worth your money to purchase a liquid CPU cooler?

It is all dependent on your demands and requirements; liquid cooling is well worth the investment. Fans take up less room than liquid cooling systems. CPU and GPU are more effectively cooled as a result of efficient heat removal. They are noisier than air cooling systems because they remove excess heat through evaporation. Water cooling is ideal for high-end GPU users who wish to overclock their processors. The H150i Elite Capellix from Corsair provides fantastic, as well as inexpensive, cooling capabilities.

What CPU cooler should you buy in 2021?

The best CPU cooler in 2021 is the NZXT Kraken X53. It provides superior cooling for mid-range gamers with this large radiator. The CPU block has a larger surface area. It improves heat transfer and extends the life of the processor by increasing the CPU block’s surface area. With low noise levels, Cooler’s Asetek type pump delivers excellent flow and minimal noise. It’s waterproof and has a high resistance to abrasion, making it safe for handling and routing. It comes with a guarantee of 6 years, demonstrating the product’s excellent build quality and long durability.

Which is better, a closed-loop AIO or an air cooler?

In many aspects, AIO coolers outperform air coolers. They are more expensive than air cooling systems, but they are more efficient; for example, the Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2 is a liquid cooler that even compares to air cooler in terms of efficiency and features. Water cooling has superior heat transfer capabilities than air cooling. They produce less noise than air coolers. They are more energy-efficient while also being greater heat dissipaters. High-end gamers/users get a larger overclocking margin from them.

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