Any computer causes temperatures to rise, with the electrical operation of components giving off heat. And if fans are the traditional cooling solution, more and more users – especially gamers – are turning to water cooling kits – or even creating their own!
This water cooling system has strong performance, preventing temperature variations. To preserve the durability of your components, we invite you to discover our comparison of the best water cooling for PC.
If you are looking for an efficient way to avoid overheating your processor, AIO water cooling is one of the most efficient solutions on the market. AIO kits are all-in-one coolers, based on a closed-circuit water cooling system, significantly less loud than coolers and comparably effective, or considerably more for certain models!
120 mm, 240 mm, 360 mm? With or without RGB? In case you are lost among the numerous offers of water cooling? Try not to look any longer! We have chosen the best AIO units to help you with your decision!
Selection and comparison of the Best Water Cooling kits
Let’s start with a quick methodological point. Our selection is intended to be versatile, so it addresses models with one, two, or three fans.
It is based on the analysis of the technical characteristics, then on its perspective in relation to customer reviews and other tests. In this way, the editorial staff’s opinion is intended to be as neutral as it is complete.
Watercooling with 1 fan
1. NZXT 120mm Kraken M22 RGB CPU Water Cooler
|Noise Level||21 dB|
We started on the first high-quality device, coming straight from Kraken – a manufacturer with a flawless reputation.
And this relies on attention to detail, such as reinforced and waterproof pipes, or compatibility with almost all Intel and AMD sockets.
Performance is not forgotten either, including for gaming. Note that consumers are divided on the noise of the fan, so they recommend some settings via the CAM application.
Note that the model is accompanied by a rather worked RGB and that it is also possible to customize by passing through this same app, available on smartphones and desktops.
2. Corsair Hydro Series H75 120mm Radiator AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
|Noise Level||31 dB|
|Item Weight||1.16 pounds|
Facing Kraken, Corsair stands out as another genius manufacturer. This AIO water cooling testifies to this, the quality of which is reflected in the reliability of the tubes and the care taken in manufacturing and finishing.
The manufacturer thus manages to combine practicality and design, which will make it a model particularly intended for gamers!
The AIO cooler has two 120 mm fans whose speed you can adjust thanks to extremely precise PWM control and thus keep control of the noise.
Its white LED lighting adds elegance to the already neat design of the Hydro H75. Cooling is efficient, but don’t expect it to work in silence!
Note, however, that these same gamers notice that, during intense gaming sessions, the fan becomes much more noticeable, so much so that some of them prefer to replace it.
3. ELC-LMT120-HF LiqMax III 120 Liquid CPU Cooler
|Noise Level||1 dB|
|Item Weight||2.2 pounds|
Faced with previous models, Enermax wants to be the face of accessibility and aggressive pricing – evidenced by this model available at less than 80 dollars.
But, performance isn’t neglected, guaranteeing a productive thermal management system. Also like its practical facilities, for example, the installation facilitated by the AIO, or the Shunt Channel innovation, honestly restricting the essential maintenance.
Clearly, we can not request a great deal from him, so the fan becomes lazy and generally noisy during gaming meetings.
Watercooling kit with 2 fans
4. Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
|Noise Level||37 dB|
Very reliable, this model benefits from the high-quality standards applied by Corsair from design to manufacture.
And – a sign of confidence – a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty applies! In addition to notable performance, we can see a very refined aesthetic, with multizone RGB with advanced control from software.
Two 120 millimeter ML PRO Series RGB magnetic levitation PWM fans convey an impact of shading and improved airflow for extreme CPU cooling execution. It has an airflow of 75 CFM and a noise level – 37.0 decibels.
5. WATERCOOLING THERMALTAKE F RIING RGB 280
|Noise Level||18 dB|
|Item Weight||3.41 pounds|
Very aesthetic, this model does not count only on its finery to charm you: its manufacturing quality, as well as its excellent performance (including for gaming and with overclocking), make it a benchmark in the industry.
Obviously, the device comes with an RGB backlight that can be personalized thanks to the dedicated software.
Note all the same that users are divided as to the noise of the fans, which is not very discreet during intense use.
Watercooling PC with 3 fans
6. ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 360 CPU AIO Water Cooler
|Noise Level||22.5 dB|
|Item Weight||3.75 lbs|
The Freezer Artic II is full of strengths; although it is not equipped with RGB lighting, it must be said that this is a silent water-cooling kit, excellent in terms of cooling, and above all with a very sober and very pretty design.
The lone visual disadvantage lies in the way that it is just made of plastic, this can repulse more than one gamer.
Regardless, the presentation of this pack is to a great extent at the degree of assumptions, particularly for such a cost.
Really awful, nonetheless, that the brand has settled on single wiring which is very crippling during get-togethers, particularly since this link ends up being somewhat short.
7. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R RGB CPU Cooler
|Item Weight||3.75 lbs|
Let’s start the 3 fan models with this one, coming straight from Cooler Master, a benchmark in cooling solutions!
In addition to a very accessible price, the model boasts great advantages, such as its quality of manufacture in aluminum, the solidity and the tightness of its tubes or the RGB pushed and customizable via the CM Plus application.
Still, we would have liked a more complete user manual to allow us to draw the full potential!
To finish on practicality, the AIO solution is advantageous, but the cable of the pump is a little short complicates the installation.
8. Enermax Liqmax Water Cooling 360mm Cooling Kit
|Item Weight||14 dB|
Let’s meet again the flagship manufacturer of accessibility, with this model with very attractive pricing.
Available in several sizes and colors, it aims here for practicality with its All In One solution, although some consumers notice too many cables, making the installation a little messy.
If the performance is more than honorable at this price, note that intensive use will be accompanied by a rather pronounced noise.
The cooler is certified by ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI for synchronization with addressable RGB motherboards and upholds LED control by means of the motherboard programming. The T.B.Pressure PWM fans have great twister-bearing innovation and guarantee calm and effective cooling.
9. ASUS ROG Ryujin 360 All-in-One Liquid CPU Cooler
|Cooling Method||Water, Air|
|Noise Level||0 dB|
|Item Weight||5.07 pounds|
ASUS quality is well established, and it can be seen here both in the manufacturing quality of the equipment as a whole and in that of the Noctua fans.
The performance of these should be enhanced, keeping the temperature at an acceptable level even with overclocking and for gaming. Everything works in silence, a real wonder for the users.
These also feature very advanced customizable RGB – and including Aura Sync – as well as compatibility with many sockets.
Keep in mind, however, that performance and quality come at a price, so this model is the most expensive of our selection.
10. NZXT Kraken X72 360mm AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
|Noise Level||25 dB|
|Item Weight||2.84 pounds|
Let’s finish on this Kraken model, which delights us again with its incredible style. It is also one of the strengths most regularly cited by consumers, 75% of whom give it the maximum score overall!
It must be recognized that the manufacturer does not skimp on the means, both in terms of aesthetics (with customizable RGB) and performance.
Note that the CAM app gives you access to a range of features, for the backlighting of course, but also for adjusting speeds or accessing the status of the equipment.
The only downside: for intensive use, such as gaming and GPU overclocking, the performance mode of AIO water-cooling is rather noisy.
Advantages, installation & criteria of best water cooling kits: the Buyer’s Guide
You have seen it: notwithstanding the quantity of fans, there are numerous models hidden the choice and acquisition of such a pack.
We will detail them for you in this aide, to help you in your cycle. You will likewise discover down-to-earth exhortation and data, for instance on the activity and establishment of such a cooling framework.
Why choose a water-cooling kit? Benefits and operation
As we advised you previously, water-cooling picks fluid over air cooling. In this manner, through an arrangement of lines, water courses between the various segments. Coming to cool the processor, it is then moved to radiators, which cool it on account of an inward/outside exchanger framework and fans.
This activity may appear to be outlandish – water close to electrical parts, truly? – yet it accompanies numerous benefits, beginning with the presentation.
Adequately, it protects a low-temperature range and forestalls varieties, expanding the strength of your hardware. Likewise, these models are clearly extremely calm, including when the illustrations card and additionally the processor are exceptionally anxious.
How to install a PC water-cooling?
The establishment of a water-cooling unit isn’t pretty much as simple concerning fans, for which basic associations are made. So as not to get lost en route, here are the means to follow:
- Set up your work plan. You should reverse engineer the PC, by destroying every one of the parts to get to straightforwardly to the motherboard. Likewise, eliminate the links and plan for the vital assets like devices, parts, and obviously, the cooling unit gathering guidelines.
- Mount the water cooling to the processor and, if fundamental, to the graphics card by adhering to the guidelines gave.
- Place the pump in the reservoir.
- Reinstall the card mother into place, then, at that point organize the pipes
- Replace all the components, then make the connections.
- End with a leak test followed by a performance test, from a software solution.
For more details and details, we refer you to our article on How to install liquid cooling on CPU?
Special PC Gamer: fan or water cooling?
It is straightforward why gamers were quick to move towards this cooling framework. Its presentation is brilliant for serious use, which is especially the situation with gaming.
You can even push your GPU as far as possible with overclocking, without influencing in-game execution because of overheating. No drop-in FPS at the meeting, yet the smoothness. How about we get done with their style, disregarding the conventional “block” of coolers, to upgrade a worked plan, and regularly in RGB.
Be that as it may, water cooling units are not an ideal arrangement. Harder to introduce and keep up with than fans, they are additionally more costly. Be cautious in dealing with, to keep water from reaching the electrical parts.
As it was revealed to you during the comparison, many criteria were taken into account to establish the final selection. You can find them below; we urge you to use them in your turn to make your choice, while of course keeping your own expectations in mind.
This is obviously a crucial point, since if you make the wrong dimensions, the kit may not fit in your PC case! And more than the pipes and radiators, it is the fans that will condition the dimensions. There are thus 3 main families:
- 120mm (standard for 1 fan)
- 240mm (standard for 2 fans)
- 360mm (standard for 3 fans)
If these classic sizes concern a majority of models, some manufacturers are however innovating with a little more surprising dimensions.
Thus, the Thermaltake CL-W167-PL14SW-A water-cooling PC – mentioned in the comparison – comes with 2 fans, but a dimension of 280mm. So remember to make sure of it precisely before buying.
In addition to the dimensions, you need to check the compatibility of the cooling with the processor. And for that, we are interested in the socket!
This varies depending on the manufacturer: Intel or AMD. For the first, we find in particular the LGA 1155, 1150, and 1151 sockets, while the second uses the AM3, AM3 +, AM4 and TR4. Again, dwell on this point.
Obviously, the number of fans will play a big role, but we will also think of consulting the consumer opinions, focusing in particular on those sharing your use (office automation, gaming.
Either the manufacturer directly details the decibel count, or you will have to turn to user reviews and tests again.
Keep in mind that noise pollution will also depend on the intensity of the use of the components, which will therefore heat up more or less, so look for a model adapted to your practice.
Manufacturer’s quality and warranty
The quality of manufacture is obviously an essential point to ensure the durability of its material. And this is all the more crucial for a liquid cooling solution, for which a cheap construction will most certainly lead to leaks.
You must therefore turn to reliable manufacturers, like Kraken, Cooler Master, Asus, or Corsair. Also find out about the warranty offered by the manufacturer, which is generally extended beyond the legal period of 2 years (from 5 to sometimes 10 years!).
RGB backlighting and Aura Sync
While more gadgets, it remains essential for many users, especially gamers. This backlighting can thus display various colors – customizable or not, in the choice of colors but also in their variations and effects.
Some manufacturers also make a point of offering their own systems, like Asus and Aura Sync. In addition to synchronizing the backlight with all compatible components, the Aura Sync makes the RGB react according to what is happening in the game. The result? Enhanced immersion for even more intense and exciting gaming sessions!
Via an application and/or desktop software, you can take control of your water-cooling at any time, and thus configure performance, modify speeds or even check the operating status of the equipment. It is also from this external solution that you can activate and customize the RGB, for a beautiful gaming effect!
As indicated previously, water cooling is a relatively expensive liquid cooling solution. The price depends mainly on the number of fans, so there are 3 main ranges:
- With a fan, the price usually starts at around $70. However, some manufacturers value aggressive pricing, like Enermax and its Liqmax III.
- With two fans, the price remains mostly between 110 and $140, although some models push up to $170.
- With three fans, the bill is steeper. For the high-end, count a minimum of $180-200. However, we appreciate the quality-price ratios of more accessible manufacturers, such as Cooler Master and Enermax, whose devices with 3 fans are sold for around $120.
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