Best pc liquid cooling kit

Best pc liquid cooling kit DEFAULT

So you want the best water cooling kit for your gaming PC? Well, before that, tell me why do you want the best CPU water cooling kit?

Well, as a gamer and PC enthusiast, you may have a lot of good points to share. But we all know the main reason.

You’ve guessed it right. I’m talking about the performance.


The math is simple. When you let your CPU run at cooler temperatures, modern CPU functionalities can boost clock speeds. This way, you get better performance from your CPU.

Don’t have much time to read? Then here’s my recommended Water Cooling kit for you.

That, in turn, results in buttery-smooth gaming and productivity. As a matter of fact, in contrast to air cooling your CPU, you will see an 8-10 degrees dip in CPU temperatures. Clearly, this lets you overclock your CPU to higher clock speeds. And yes, that’s how you end up with better performance.

Today, I have a couple of options for the best liquid cooling kits in 2021. I will go through them one by one, talking about their features and shortcomings. So, let’s get started!

7 Best Custom Water Cooling Kit Reviewed

I have tested and reviewed the Watercooling kits extensively to make sure that you make the right choice in getting one. You will get to know all about these water cooling kits including the list of components they consist, their unique features and overclocking performances.

So, here are the best water cooling kit for gaming PC:

1. Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i

Corsair, as a PC hardware brand, doesn’t need any introduction. Even in 2021, Corsair water cooling kits hold a good chunk of the market share.

And that’s because of the overall reliability it provides to its customers. PC gamers and enthusiasts love the way Corsair designs its products. As a matter of fact, many will argue that Corsair is the best PC hardware brand on the market.

As I am talking about water cooling kits today, I will start off with the Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i Hardline Water Cooling kit. And I did clarify why I gave Corsair the no.1 spot above.


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Highlighted Features of Corsair Hydro X Series XH350i:

  • Features solid support for Corsair iCUE software.
  • Highly customizable lighting effects for CPU block and RGB fans.
  • The XT tubes are super easy to bend and offer robust rigidity.
  • Features a copper-plated nickel CPU block construction.
  • CPU cooling performance is superior in contrast to other brands.
  • All components feature Addressable RGB.
  • There’s very little possibility of corrosion.
  • Super easy installation with intuitive RGB integration.

Before we start talking about the performance, here are the contents of this liquid water cooling kit:

  1. Corsair XC7 RGB CPU water block
  2. Corsair XR5 360mm water block
  3. Corsair XD5 pump/reservoir combo
  4. Corsair iCUE QL120 RGB fans (set of 3)
  5. Corsair XT hardline tubing (3m-10/14mm) and kit
  6. 250ml filling water bottle
  7. 8-hardline 14mm fittings
  8. 90-degree rotary adapters (set of 2)
  9. Corsair XL5 clear coolant
  10. Corsair Commander PRO RGB controller
  11. Cutting saw

From the highlighted features, it should be evident what I’m trying to say. The XH305i comes with all the bells and whistles you could possibly need to get extra overclocking headroom. And that does convert to extra performance.

The RGB lighting and design choices are both aesthetically pleasing. As for the performance, the premium quality parts do most of the heat dissipation. For this very reason, you don’t have to worry about excessive thermals.

And this gives you the ability to overclock your CPU to better figures. And don’t you worry about stability, as this 30mm thick radiator cooling kit can sustain longer periods without a hiccup.

Even long hours of gaming will not let the CPU reach 90-degrees easily. And that’s why you may want to consider the XH305i as your first option.

On top of that, the XH305i is one of the easier water cooling kits to get started! If you’re just getting into water cooling, then I would suggest you give the XH305i a shot. As there are clear and concise instructions, you will certainly have no issues whatsoever.

So, why is the Corsair XH305i worth it?

Yes, the pricing does seem to be in the premium category. And the pump performance could be better.

But as a complete package, the overall performance is unmatched. So, if you value both performance and aesthetics, then going with the XH350i Cooling kit from Corsair is the best choice for either your Intel or AMD gaming rig.

2. Thermaltake Pacific C360

Thermaltake has been around for a long time in the PC gaming industry. Throughout the years, they have shown excellent progression in the gaming market space.

And I have a water cooling kit of their occupying the 2nd spot in our review for the best water cooling kit.

The Pacific 360 water cooling kit from Thermaltake takes a very unconventional approach and allows the user to have more control over the installation process.


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Highlighted Features of Thermaltake Pacific C360:

  • Features 7 pre-defined RGB color profiles along with support for various color schemes.
  • Super-slim copper radiator with 17-fins per inch.
  • The radiator thickness is only 27mm, suitable for compact builds.
  • Excellent leak-proof O-rings offer excellent compression.
  • It comes with both Intel and AMD support brackets.
  • It’s a super easy CPU cooling kit for intermediate users.

Here are the things you get in the box:

  1. Pacific W4 ARGB CPU water block
  2. Pacific PR15-DDC pump/reservoir
  3. Pacific 360-radiator
  4. 3-ARGB fans with controller
  5. 16mm PETG compression fittings
  6. 90-degree adapter (set of 2)
  7. PETG 16mm tubing (set of 8)
  8. T1000 Clear Coolant
  9. Included Accessories (CPU mounts and more)

From an aesthetic point of view, this water cooling kit is one of the best in the business. The clear CPU block illuminates the RGB lighting like a charm. And the tubing helps resonate that lighting in excellent fashion.

As for the performance, it’s right on par with other top brands. There’s no leaking to report whatsoever as the fittings wrap around nicely. And the 27mm radiator design allows sets into super tight PC cases.

So, if you’re thinking of building a small form-factor gaming PC, then this can be a decent choice for you.

Furthermore, the thermal performance is decent as well. It can sustain long gaming and productivity session and keep the CPU temps in the 65-70 degree range (depends on a load of course!). As a whole, you will find the thermal performance to be satisfactory.

The only major issue may be the screw lengths. Otherwise, it’s got all the necessary tools you need to get into CPU liquid cooling. From what I’ve seen so far, I can promise that you’ll be happy with what you’re getting for your cash.

Do check it out if you’re interested.

3. CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Maker 240

CoolerMaster is a well-known brand in the gaming PC peripherals space. Their industry-leading keyboard designs are often 1st choices for gamers and enthusiasts alike.


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Highlighted Features of CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Maker 240:

  • Exceptional in-house flow balancing cooling kit design.
  • The copper fins distribution allows for top-notch heat dissipation.
  • Pink coolant is non-corrosive and offers stable temperatures.
  • 3-phase fan design keeps the decibel levels low.
  • 100% CNC-designed water block offers excellent heat transfer.
  • G-¼ fittings are reliable and don’t leak at all.
  • The overall installation process is satisfactorily easy.

But before that, here’s what the package includes:

  1. 240mm radiator with mounting brackets (Intel/AMD)
  2. 2-fans (120mm) with a maximum rated speed of 2000 rpm
  3. 6-compression fittings
  4. 1.2-meter tubing
  5. 100ml pink coolant
  6. Fan and RGB splitter

From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem much right. And that’s true. Because the MasterLiquid Maker doesn’t just go for its performance.

It’s more about performing better!

And that’s what the MasterLiquid does well. As a matter of fact, it does so while keeping the cost reasonable.

In terms of aesthetics, you will find this liquid cooler kit to be tasteful. The pink coolant will complement white gaming builds as a whole. And if you match the RGB color profiles, then it just looks stunning!

And the heat removal capacity of this CPU cooling kit is decent as well. While sustaining heavy loads, you will not find the CPU to reach 90-degrees easily. And that’s because of the careful design execution of the radiator and CPU block.

So overall, the performance is top-notch. And the aesthetics aren’t bad either.

Although the installation process is easy, the manual doesn’t really help that much. So beginners won’t really find it very useful. But if you’re an intermediate user, then you’ll find the installation process satisfactory.

And that’s really the only major flaw. From a performance standpoint, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an Intel or an AMD user. In both cases, the performance is on par with other high-end choices.

4. EKWB EK-Quantum Power P240

Can you tell us why EK Water Blocks is such a big deal in the custom water cooling market?

Well, there are a couple of reasons. But the main reason is that EK solely focuses its efforts on the Water Cooling of PC components. And they have been doing extensive research in how to achieve better component cooling.


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Highlighted Features of EK-Quantum Power P240:

  • It’s a highly customizable liquid cooling kit suitable for both Intel and AMD systems.
  • It’s a 240mm dual-design, offers more than acceptable cooling efficiency.
  • Nickel-Plexi water block offers adequate heat dissipation capacity.
  • Top-notch RGB lighting aesthetics.
  • The cooling kit comes with all the necessary parts to get started.
  • A highly suitable liquid cooler kit for small form factor builds.

With the cooling kit package, you’re getting:

  1. EK-Velocity plexi+nickel water block
  2. Coolstream PE 240mm triple radiator
  3. EK-Varder EVO 120mm DRGB fans (2-piece set)
  4. EK Quantum Kinetic pump/reservoir
  5. 2-meter DuraClear tubing
  6. EK-CryoFuel clear coolant
  7. EK torque compression and angled fittings
  8. Mounting brackets
  9. Others

If you take a close look at the cooler and CPU water block, you’ll see that the craftsmanship is extraordinary. Careful metal crafting is one of the prime reasons for this CPU cooler to reach temps greater than 85-degrees. And that’s under heavy sustained loads.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the EKWB P240 makes the cut as well. It will blend in with either a black or white PC build. And the RGB lighting feels subtle, yet extravagant. It all binds together and gives a tasteful experience.

Now, let’s talk about buying the EKWB P240. Is it really worth it? Will it offer decent performance with your Intel/AMD CPU?

The pricing of this EK-Quantum Water Cooling kit is on the high side. Still, the performance is more than enough to justify it. As a matter of fact, there are many top-of-the-line CPU water coolers that can’t deliver this level of performance for the price.

That is why I can whole-heartedly endorse this to the enthusiast-class of PC users. You won’t regret it!

5. Corsair Hydro X Series XH303i

The Corsair Hydro XH303i is like the smaller sibling to the XH303i. Although there’s not a ton of difference between the two, there are some changes to the XH305i. As it is like the updated XH303i, it is only natural that it will offer better performance.

But the XH303i isn’t too shabby itself. As a matter of fact, it offers performance levels close to the XH305i.


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Highlighted Features of Corsair Hydro XH303i:

  • Features Customizable RGB blocks and fans with proper iCUE support.
  • Premium CPU block design allows excellent heat dissipation.
  • Excellent support for both Intel and AMD platforms.
  • Loop creation is super easy thanks to the included parts and tubing.
  • Superior CPU block quality; doesn’t corrode easily.
  • Leaks aren’t a problem with the XH303i!

Here are the components of this hardline cooling kit:

  1. Corsair XC7 RGB CPU block
  2. XR5 360-radiator
  3. Corsair XD3 pump/reservoir
  4. XL5 clear coolant
  5. 8x 14mm hardline fittings
  6. 2x angled adapters
  7. 250mm filling bottle
  8. 3x Corsair SP 120 RGB fans
  9. Cosair iCUE Commander PRO+RGB Hub

The Corsair iCUE software offers an excellent user experience when it comes to PC RGB lighting. In terms of functionality, you will find no better option than this. And it’s one o the reasons why the XH303i is such a popular CPU cooling kit.

Because of the superior build quality of the blocks and fin distribution of the radiator, the heat dissipation performance is simply top-notch. As always, with Corsair water cooling kits, it’s very rare to see CPUs reach 90-degrees, even at heavy sustained loads.

Also, (and it is a noteworthy feature) the XH303i is super easy to use. The instructions that come in the box are well documented. So, whether you’re an expert or a novice, you should have no problems getting started.

Keep in mind that the Corsair iCUE software still needs some optimization for seamless use (the software is resource hungry!). But that’s just a single snag against an array of excellent features.

From both a performance and aesthetic standpoint, it’s one of the very few options out there that’s going to satisfy you. Otherwise, why would I put this in the review for the best water cooling kit of 2021?

6. Thermaltake Pacific M240 D5

As long as high-quality cooling kits are on your wishlist, you will like the Pacific M240 water cooling kit from Thermaltake.

One of the key features of this kit is that it has excellent construction. And that’s hard to beat given the price point of the M240 D5 cooling kit.


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Highlighted Features of Thermaltake Pacific M240 D5:

  • 15mm-fin for excellent heat dissipation.
  • Copper base along with nickel plating for precision heat draining.
  • High-quality pump/reservoir materials offer excellent performance.
  • Excellent RGB controls offer decent aesthetics.
  • The static pressure fans allow for proper heat extraction from your rig.

This water cooling kit comes with:

  1. Pacific W3 CPU water block
  2. Pacific PR-15 D5 pump reservoir
  3. Pacific R240 Radiator
  4. C-pro chrome fittings (set of 6)
  5. 90-degree chrome adapter (set of 2)
  6. Thermeltake Riing 12-RGB LED fans (set of 3)
  7. 16mm PETG tube (pack of 4)
  8. Other accessories

The highlighted features may not paint the complete picture.

But from a user standpoint, I can say that it’s a solid performer. Thanks to the decent quality materials, this cooling kit is capable of keeping temps down on high-end Intel and AMD CPUs. And you can get decent overclocking numbers with this cooling kit.

In terms of aesthetics, the RGB performance is acceptable as well. It’s not anything too extravagant, but it can offer adequate illumination. As a whole, you will come to appreciate it.

High-quality materials, excellent controls, and decent RGB performance: all of these features offer a more-than-acceptable performance as a whole. But the finishing of the water cooling kit isn’t up to the mark.

Still, (like all the previous cooling kits) the cooling performance is to our liking. For this reason, the M240 water cooling kit has a spot in our review for the best water cooling kit.

7. Bewinner Water Cooling Kit for PC

Many of you may not even know this brand. But the Bewinner PC water cooling kit is a suitable option for novices who want to get started with PC water cooling.

Although it’s not the best cooling kit on the market, it’s a clear choice for new enthusiasts in general.


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Highlighted Features of Bewinner Water Cooling Kit:

  • A budget-oriented water cooling kit for entry-level enthusiasts.
  • Excellent thermal dissipation performance.
  • There’s support for both Intel and AMD platforms.
  • The 240mm rad comes with an 18-pipe aluminum design.
  • There’s no possibility of any leaking.
  • The helix design adds aesthetic value to the overall design.

These are the things you’ll find with this CPU liquid cooling kit:

  1. 240mm heatsink (black)
  2. Green LED fans (set of 2)
  3. CPU liquid cooling block
  4. Water pump
  5. Cylindrical reservoir (+spiral belt)
  6. 50cm PETG green tube (6-piece pack)
  7. Dual-touch fitting (6-piece pack)

From a performance perspective, I can positively say that it’s a decent cooling kit. The temps will never reach the dangerous threshold (upper 90’s). And it can sustain heavy loads for a decent amount of time. So, you can get away with some overclocking.

As for the lighting, well, it gets the job. The parts are mostly green, so getting the aesthetics right may be an issue. But if you’re just looking for performance, then this kit will get the job done for you. Just make sure to keep your expectations low!

Yes, it’s a budget cooling kit. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking a look at. The parts may feel cheap. And the CPU block does need additional pressure to sit on the motherboard.

But if you consider the pricing, then you should be able to look past the shortcomings. As a matter of fact, once you look at the cooling performance, you’ll see why it’s listed as one of the best liquid cooling kits for 2021.

So, I will leave you with a choice. As an entry-level user, why would you not go for the Bewinner water cooling kit?

I hope you have some good reasoning for it!

Final Thoughts

Finding the best water cooling kit among so many potent choices is tough. As a matter of fact, you may find yourself in a tough spot when choosing the right CPU liquid cooling option for yourself.

But I can assure you of one thing. All of these liquid cooling kits are in our list for a reason. Sure, they are not perfect. But they will allow you to get better performance out of your Intel or AMD processor.

So, you can be certain that you will get your money’s worth whichever option you choose.


Best CPU Coolers 2021: AIO and Air Coolers

Best Closed-Loop Liquid CPU Coolers You Can Buy Today

1. CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB

Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler


Thickness: 1.1” (2.3" w/fans)

Width: 4.8" (120.7mm)

Depth: 15.5" (393.7mm)

Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, 775, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+)

Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+Excellent cooling ability+Sleek design and aesthetics+Lower price than other 360 AIOs

Reasons to avoid

-Cable / controller management could be better

When it comes to keeping overclocked CPU load temperatures in check, Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML360R RGB is the new chilling champ. As the 360 variant of our previously reviewed MasterLiquid ML240R RGB, the newly available MasterLiquid ML360R adds 33 percent more radiator surface area for even more cooling prowess. The result? It cools even better than the mighty NZXT Kraken X72.

Power users, gamers, system builders and overclockers in the market for a new large CPU cooler should take note. The Cooler Master ML360R RGB is our current 360 AIO thermal performance leader. And while $160 isn’t exactly cheap, there are plenty of competing products that cost more while delivering less-impressive performance.

Read: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB review

2. Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360

Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler Alternative


Dimensions: 400 x 124 x 30/2mm

Pump Height: 2.25 inches / 57.2mm

Weight: 69.6 oz / 19748g

Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 3647, AMD AM4,TR4, sTRX4, sWRX8

Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+Threadripper cooling performance+G1/4 watercooling direct compatible+Dripless disconnects for simple expansion using Alphacool components

Reasons to avoid

-Could be quieter-Lacks software controls

The Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 features a full-cover CPU block sizable enough to fully cover Threadripper’s ample surface area, although it supports mainstream sockets like AM4 as well. There’s also a powerful, fast-flowing pump with built-in reservoir and an all-copper radiator, allowing the Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 to morph into a custom cooling loop, one piece at a time.

Priced around $217, it's more costly than some other solutions, but does provide hands-down the absolute best cooling potential. And power users building high-end AMD Threadripper or Intel HEDT desktop workstation or gaming systems will have higher budgets, with a different focus than those looking for a more frugal desktop gaming or mainstream PC build.

Considering the cost associated with most of the CPUs and motherboards alone supported by the Eisbaer Pro Aurora, system builders in this realm of performance usually draw from a unique set of criteria, which a frequent aim for ‘the best at any price.' And that, quite simply, is what the Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 exemplifies. Whether you intend to run it as is, or expand into a custom cooling loop, you won't be let down by this versatile piece of cooling kit.

Read: Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 review 

3. Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280

Best 280mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler


Thickness: 1.5" (2.75" w/fans)

Width: 5.5" (139.7mm)

Depth: 12.5" (317.5mm)

Fans: (2) 140 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 115x; AMD AM4

Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+Great cooling performance+Unique pump and auxiliary fan design+Low operational noise levels+Attractive price

Reasons to avoid

-Boxed unit ships with pump and fans managed by single PWM splitter-Lack of RGB lighting (for those looking for the option)

While our thermal measurements indicate that it's integrated voltage regulator fan is little more than a gimmick, great CPU temperatures at ultra-low noise levels prove the Liquid Freezer II 280 far-more-valuable than its far-costlier rivals.

Read: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 AIO review

4. Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT

Best 240mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler


Thickness: 1.0" (2.13" w/fans)

Width: 4.75" (120.7mm)

Depth: 10.9" (277mm)

Fans: (2) 120 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR(X)4

Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to buy

+High-performing 240mm AIO cooling+iCUE software suite allows for customized cooler and lighting control+Priced well for premium performance

Reasons to avoid

-Noisy fans at 100% speed-Awkward, small screws used to secure fans to radiator-RGB lighting is pump-only

The Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT takes over where the H100i Pro left off by providing enthusiast levels of thermal load management from a 240mm AIO and making use of Corsair’s iCUE software suite for RGB lighting control, fan curve configuration and pump performance settings.  Paring the capability of the cooler with a set of user-friendly software tools provides a great deal of value for system builders of any technical proficiency, in real time. 

Read: Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT review

Best 240mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler Alternate: Deepcool Gamer Storm Captain 240 Pro

The Gamer Storm Captain 240 Pro makes up for in low noise what it lacks in cooling power compared to Corsair's H100i Pro, to the point that the Captain 240 Pro has a significantly better cooling-to-noise ratio.  We favor it for anyone who needs virtual silence at 50% fan speed, where most users in most environments won't hear it. Even those able to push a CPU hard enough to require 100% fan speed will find its hushed murmur less than half as noisy as the H100i Pro.

5. NZXT Kraken M22

Best 120mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler


Thickness: 1.1" (2.25" w/fans)

Width: 4.75" (120.7mm)

Depth: 6.15" (156.1mm)

Fans: (1) 120 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+)

Warranty: 6 years

Reasons to buy

+Great cooling for a compact AIO+Handsome, sleek design+CAM software is attractive &+intuitive

Reasons to avoid

-$99.99 price is higher than other 120mm AIO solutions-RGB controls only apply to CPU block face-CAM software sends data to NZXT cloud services

The NZXT Kraken M22 is an incredibly compact, high-performance liquid cooler that delivers sleek styling and vibrant RGB lighting options, while offering support for current AMD and Intel processor sockets. Specifically, if you're building a small home-theater PC or a compact gaming build, the Kraken M22 offers surprising cooling potential in a condensed cooling package.

Just don't try to strap one to your Threadripper system. The demanding thermals and massive surface of those high-end CPUs aren't supported by this cooler.

Read: NZXT Kraken M22 review

6. Enermax Liqtech 360 OC TR4

Best AMD Threadripper


Thickness: 1.125" (2.25" w/fans)

Width: 4.75" (120.65mm)

Depth: 15.50" (393.7mm)

Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm

Socket Support: AMD TR4, SP3

Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+Excellent cooling performance+Aggressive pricing+Easy installation+Full coverage of Threadripper CPUs

Reasons to avoid

-No software UI for real-time management-No RGB or LED lighting on fans (might be a plus, for some)

In the Liqtech 360 TR4 OC, Enermax has graced the Threadripper world with a cooler that covers these large enthusiast processors in full, providing performance similar to custom liquid cooling with the easy installation and moderate cost of an AIO cooler. Enermax also keeps costs down by avoiding RGB lighting and the relevant software integrations. The lack of lighting might turn away some buyers who prefer millions of colors and a software UI. However, Threadripper fans seeking excellent cooling performance, and who wish to set up some simple fan-cooling curves, will find just that in the Liqtech 360 TR4 OC.

Read: Enermax Liqtech 360 OC TR4 review

7. Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240 CPU Digital RGB

Best Reconfigurable Closed-Loop Cooler


Thickness: 2.25” (57.2mm)

Width: 4.88” (124mm)

Depth: 10.75” (273mm)

Fans: (2) 120 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR4, C32, G34

Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+Quick disconnects for no-spill expansion+Solid thermal performance+Built with DC-LT pump and copper radiator water cooling components

Reasons to avoid

-Tubing length could be longer to allow for more diverse installations-Pump has coolant top-up port, but coolant must be purchased separately

Alphacool's Eisbaer is a factory-filled hybrid design, featuring a closed-loop-style pump and CPU cold plate with open-loop style fittings that including an anti-leak, in-line quick connector. Alphacool offers wide range of factory-filled companion parts, from additional radiators to GPU blocks, to suite nearly any expansion need. It's perfect for buyers who lack the time to assemble, purge, and leak test their own scratch-built component systems, as well as those who have more cash than self-confidence.

Read:Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240 CPU Digital RGB review

8. Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45

Best Custom Cooling Kit


Thickness: 1.8” (45mm)

Width: 5.75” (146mm)

Depth: 18.5” (470mm)

Fans: (3) 140 x 25mm

Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, 775, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR4

Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+Great cooling performance+Professional-grade components+Very good value for a full watercooling kit

Reasons to avoid

-Pricey compared to AIO alternatives

With an enormous 3x 140mm radiator, this kit allows for enough thermal expansion of the loop to include a graphics card waterblock (or even two), if desired. By using industry standard G1/4 threaded fittings for all components, the cooling loop almost begs you to add more components to the party. A radiator of this size and potential allows for this kind of load because of the quality design and engineering that went into building it. A pump of this pedigree pushes coolant like few others are capable. Quality-milled components and attention to detail are seen on each and every piece within the kit.

For anyone looking for a complete, high-quality watercooling kit in a single box, this Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45 kit is an excellent choice for those with room in their chassis for the monstrous 3x 140mm radiator and large pump/reservoir combo.

Read: Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45 Review

MORE: Best Air CPU Cooling

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler

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Matt began piling up computer experience as a child with his Mattel Aquarius. He built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last decade covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper and Digital Trends. When not writing about tech, he’s often walking—through the streets of New York, over the sheep-dotted hills of Scotland, or just at his treadmill desk at home in front of the 50-inch 4K HDR TV that serves as his PC monitor.
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Best Liquid CPU Coolers 2021: Silent and Reliable AIO Liquid Coolers

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 iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT

Best Liquid CPU Cooler

Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT
Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT

Corsair knows how to keep your processor cool, and the Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT is the AIO liquid cooler to do it. This 240mm setup is ready to handle some serious heat, so it’s no surprise that it comes with socket support for the latest AMD and Intel processors, including AMD’s Threadripper processors.

The Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT pulls heat away from your processor with a copper cold plate and pumps that into a 240mm radiator fitted with two Corsair ML Series 120mm fans. When temps are low, the fans can sit idle for silent operation, but when things heat up, they can kick into gear to push air through at up to 75CFM each while sticking to just 37dBA. The pump also can lend some style to your setup with 16 RGB LEDs on the pump head, and you can address each individually. Managing the AIO cooler is also simple. You can control fan and pump speeds from within Corsair’s iCUE software right on your PC, and monitor CPU temperature to make sure your settings are giving you optimal performance.

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2. Lian Li Galahad

Best Budget Liquid CPU Cooler

Lian Li Galahad

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

Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2
Deepcool Captain 240 Pro V2

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

NZXT Kraken X53

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 CLC 280mm

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 LCD

Best 360mm Liquid CPU Cooler

Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD
Corsair iCUE H150i Elite LCD

Take your cooling and your cool-factor to the next level with the Corsair iCue H150i Elite LCD. This liquid CPU cooler provides a 360mm radiator to handle the hottest CPUs, so get ready to start overclocking. The kit includes Corsair ML RGB Elite fans to pump air through the radiator at high speeds when needed or at low volume levels when less critical. The fans’ RGB lighting is just a start for getting your system to look extra stylish, and Corsair includes a convenient control hub to manage them with less of a mess of cables.

The water pump is where the Corsair iCue H150i Elite LCD really raises the bar. The pump includes a 2.1-inch IPS LCD display on top. That display features an 8-bit color depth for millions of color options, and it can display visual effects, GIFs, and memes smoothly at 30fps. The display can also provide handy system performance data, like your CPU temperature.

7. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion

Best RGB Liquid CPU Cooler

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion

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

Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora

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

NZXT Kraken Z63

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

ekwb EK-AIO 240 D-RGB

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.

Kevin Lee is IGN's Hardware and Roundups Editor. Follow him on Twitter @baggingspam

The ALL WHITE Custom Water Cooled RGB Gaming PC Build!

Best CPU coolers in 2021

The best CPU cooler is the chip chiller that will do the job you ask of it, with the minimum of fuss. And by fuss we generally mean noise and/or the throttling of your high-end PC components because the cooler is not quite up to the job. That doesn't automatically mean an all-in-one (AIO) liquid CPU cooler is your only option; there are some fantastic air coolers that are just as capable and as quiet.

There's plenty of space for both in the market, and we're listing plenty of each when it comes to the top CPU coolers for your gaming rig. We've tested every one of the coolers on this page ourselves, cribbing the top picks from our best AIO cooler for CPUs and best CPU air cooler guides.

Air coolers are still just about the most common of the two chilling methods. A metal heat sink pulls heat away from the CPU then blows it away with a fan. But you absolutely need to consider your CPU socket type, RAM, case dimensions, and the current airflow inside your machine with air coolers. 

The other, more luxurious option is a liquid cooler, usually of the AIO (all-in-one) variety. Liquid cooling is often a more efficient choice and can lead to some flashy-looking components with wild RGB lighting options and even OLED screens. If you're feeling exceptionally courageous, you could also create a complete custom water cooling loop, which can include GPU as well as CPU cooling. Still, that way lies tube-bending and a whole lot of installation effort—not recommended for first-time PC builders. 

Each of the coolers below was put through rigorous testing on our PC Gamer test rigs so we can tell you which ones offer the most optimum CPU cooling for your dollars under different workloads. If you're looking for other ways to help increase your system's cooling performance, you can check out our guide to the best PC fans.  

Water cooling

Best AIO cooler for CPU

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1. EK-AIO Basic 240

A step up from even the best air coolers


Socket support: Intel LGA: 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AMD AM4 compatible

Scale: 240mm

Full radiator dimensions: 275mm x 120mm x 27mm

Fan speeds: 550-2200 RPM

Noise level: Up to 33.5 dB(A)

Reasons to buy

+Cooling performance nips at the heels of 360mm coolers+Good value for money+No RGB

Reasons to avoid

-If cooler aesthetics bother you at all, it is rather plain-looking

In the world of liquid cooling, EK is a name that needs little introduction. The EK Basic series focuses on value for money and performance. Plus, it doesn’t feature any RGB at all. If this appeals to you then the EK AIO Basic 240 is well worth a look. Its absence sure helps to keep the pricing down too.

The EK Basic 240 really stands out thanks to its build quality. It just feels hefty and well built. The included EK- Vardar fans are very good and have a wide operating speed range. It’s good to have some high-speed headroom on tap if you need it. Most of the time it stays essentially silent.

What really impresses us is the cooling performance on offer. We find it goes very close to 360mm levels of cooling capability, It does get noisy if you try to push an overclocked Rocket Lake CPU, but then pretty much every other cooler does too.

The EK-AIO basic 240 is perfect for builds with a stealthy focus or closed case builds where lighting doesn’t matter. With its build quality and high performance, it's a cooler that you can surely set and forget, out of sight, out of mind and out of earshot.

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2. Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2

Awesome bang for buck 240mm liquid cooling


Socket support: Intel LGA20XX, LGA1366, LGA1200, 115X, AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, FM2, FM1

Scale: 240mm

Full radiator dimensions: 280mm x 120mm x 27mm

Fan speeds: 500-1800 RPM

Noise level: Up to 30dB(A)

Reasons to buy

+Terrific value+Good cooling ability+Effectively silent at idle

Reasons to avoid

-Can get loud under significant CPU load

Deepcool is well known for its capable AIOs at affordable prices, and the Gammaxx L240 V2 is one of the cheaper 240mm coolers on the market. That makes it a great option for users looking to step up from air cooling into the world of AIO cooling.

The Gammaxx 240mm features basic RGB lighting on the pump head and fans. There’s a more expensive ARGB version should you really want it. Deepcool likes to talk about its ‘Anti leak technology’ which seeks to maintain an optimal pressure balance inside the loop. Which certainly can’t hurt.

The Gammaxx 240 is capable of cooling most processors, too, though like many of the chip chillers on this list it draws the line at AMD's Threadripper beasts. But it keeps the rest running with remarkably low noise levels, which is one of the main reasons we recommend it. 

At idle the L240 is effectively silent. As you’d expect, you will start to see an increase in temperatures and noise levels with high TDP processors, especially when overclocking. Our 5800X CPU with PBO enabled is about the maximum we’d consider appropriate for a 240mm cooler. Under load, the fans can and do ramp up quite a bit.

If you’re after a 240mm AIO that’s inexpensive and quiet under less demanding loads, then the Deepcool Gammaxx L240 is a great choice. Sure, it’s noise levels can get high if you push it hard, but at this price it comes highly recommended.

Best mid-tower case | Best RAM for gaming | Best SSD for gaming  
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3. Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2

Liquid cooling at air cooling prices


Socket support: Intel LGA 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2066, AMD AM4, AM3 & AM2

Scale: 120mm

Full radiator dimensions: 157mm x 120mm x 27mm

Fan speeds: Up to 1700 RPM

Noise level: Up to 28.3 dB(A)

Reasons to buy

+Good performance for its small radiator size+Generally quiet operation+Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

-Would struggle with super high-end CPUs

The Corsair H60 has been around for some time. Over the years it's seen its tubing, fan, pump and mounting upgraded. The 120mm AIO form factor won’t suit everyone, but those who require a compact cooler to suit something like a small volume ITX build will find it can perform as well as a decent mid-range air cooler. Notably, it lacks RGB, though there is some white lighting around the head.

The H60 V2 is well suited to processors under about the 95w level. Sure, it will be beaten out by a decent tower cooler or AIO with a larger radiator, but their dimensions often rule them out of SFF builds. Heat is the enemy of an SFF system, so the H60’s ability to eject hot air outside the case will benefit the whole system. Corsair includes its SP PWM fan, which operates at speeds of between 600 RPM (at which level it really is silent) up to 1700 RPM. It becomes clearly audible at that point.

The Corsair H60 V2 is perfect for a compact system. It's affordable and should outperform most low-profile air coolers and doing so without having to resort to unreasonable noise levels. It won't suit a high core count or overclocked processor, but then you shouldn’t expect it to. With the right partnering components, it’s an easy recommendation.

Air cooling

Best CPU air coolers

1. Deepcool AS500 Plus

A fantastic all round cooler that won't empty your wallet


Socket support: Intel 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 2011, 2066, AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, FM2 & FM1 compatible

Fans: 2x 140 mm PWM

Fan speeds: 500-1200 RPM

Dimensions (L x W x H): 140 mm x 102 mm x 164 mm

Noise level: Max 31.5 dB(A)

Reasons to buy

+Great value+Low noise levels+Efficient cooling+Build Quality

Reasons to avoid

-Not built for high-end overclocked CPUs

The Deepcool AS500 received worthy attention when it was released, but the AS500 Plus with its additional fan elevates it to the point where it can compete with any single tower cooler on the market. At the same time, it undercuts competitors in price. There aren't many dual fan ARGB supporting coolers at this price. Even if you spent double the money on a premium single tower cooler, your cooling performance won't be a lot better.

Its cooling ability belies its compact dimensions. Only more expensive dual tower coolers beat it, and even then, not by a whole lot. Its dual fan design no doubt helps. It’s also surprisingly quiet. Even when pushed hard the cooler doesn’t get excessively loud. Cooling and low noise levels are welcome, then add to that great build quality and subtle ARGB good looks and there’s nothing to complain about. It even comes with its own ARGB controller, and there’s a white version too if you like.

The Deepcool AS500 Plus punches above its weight (and price). It cools very well, it stays quiet, it's got great build quality, a subtle ARGB splash with its own controller and on top of all that. And, finally, it is great value relative to many dual fan single tower coolers. Short of stressing it with a heavily overclocked high-end processor, the AS500 Plus ticks all the boxes. Highly recommended. 

2. Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2

An affordable and effective cooler that really can be quiet


Socket support: Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1200, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AMD AM3 & AM4 compatible

Fans: 1x Pure Wings 2 120mm

Fan speeds: Up to 1500 RPM

Dimensions (L x W x H): 87 mm x 121 mm x 155 mm

Noise level: Max 26.8 dB(A)

Reasons to buy

+Very quiet operation+Great price+Good build quality

Reasons to avoid

-Super basic looks-150W TDP is a touch optimistic

If the brand name didn’t already give it away, the Be Quiet Pure Rock 2 really is quiet! It’s a single tower cooler equipped with the company's highly regarded Pure Wings 2 PWM fan which carries a low 26.8 dB(A) noise rating. That means it's very quiet indeed. It feels really solid too, an indicator of good build quality and it comes in at a low price.

We wouldn’t describe the Pure Rock 2 as the most beautiful cooler on the market. But if you do have a windowed case, you could consider the black version which is certainly more attractive than the plain aluminium finish of the base version. The Pure Rock 2 is primarily designed to cool - unseen and unheard. It's rated to cool CPUs with a 150W TDP. 

Though perhaps this is a touch optimistic, but that’s down to the CPU manufacturers and their 'real' TDPs. An Intel Core i5 11600K or AMD Ryzen 7 5800X won't present a problem for the Pure Rock 2.

For anything other than high-end CPUs, the Pure Rock 2 will keep your chip cool and quiet. If you're not interested in bling and want something that's a step up from bundled coolers, the Pure Rock 2 is a fantastic choice. It will cool out of sight, mind, and earshot.

3. Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black

You'll be hard pressed to find a better performing air cooler than the Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black


Socket support: Intel LGA 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AMD AM4, AM3, AM2, FM2 & FM1 compatible

Fans: 2x NF-A15 HS-PWM

Fan speeds: 300-1500 RPM

Dimensions (L x W x H): 161 mm x 150 mm x 165 mm

Noise level: Max 24.6 dB(A)

Reasons to buy

+Awesome cooling performance+Quiet under typical loads+Solid build quality+All black good looks

Reasons to avoid

-BIG-Louder than you might expect under load

The Noctua NH-D15 Chromax Black is considered by many to be the best air cooler on the market. We love it too, and it's an easy inclusion on our list of recommended coolers. It performs brilliantly, it's got excellent fans that are a welcome black colour instead of that rather unsightly beige and maroon (sorry, Jacob), its build quality is fantastic and Noctua's packaging, accessories and documentation are second to none. 

Really, only 360mm AIO coolers outperform it. If you want an air cooler that can handle any consumer CPU on the market, you might find one to match the Noctua flagship, but you won’t find anything that truly beats it.

Under normal operation the NH-D15 can be considered truly silent. When pushed hard it becomes louder than you might expect, such as you might get when hammering out an AVX load, but we don’t mind having some optional cooling headroom when you need it. Even a 5GHz+ Core i9 11900K will result in quiet running while gaming. 

So why isn't it number one on our list? Its expense, and the perhaps sheer size, are the only things that count against it. Notably, Noctua has a long tradition of adding support for new sockets. An investment in a NH-D15 Chromax Black means you'll have a top shelf cooler that will last you for many years.

Passive cooling

The best passive CPU cooler

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1. Noctua NH-P1

Shiny, powerful, and silent


Type: Passive air cooling

Compatibility: Intel LGA 1200, 115x, 2011/2066; AMD AM2-AM4

Fan speed: NA

Noise volume: Silent

Dimensions: 158 x 154 x 152 mm

Weight: 1800 g

Reasons to buy

+Completely silent+Compatible with high-end CPUs+Plenty cool enough for gaming workloads

Reasons to avoid

-Large-Requires a case with good airflow

Silicon dreams

These are the current best CPUs for gaming to build your rig around.

The Noctua NH-P1 is certainly a niche CPU cooler, but it's also an exciting one in that it shakes up what a completely silent chip chiller is capable of. Previously, if you wanted a passive cooler you would either have to pair it with an underpowered processor, or you would have to seriously limit the clock speed of your chip.

The Noctua NH-P1, however, is capable of coping with relatively high-end CPUs, and running them at, or very close to, their standard performance. Essentially, this is a passive cooler that can actually keep a decent gaming processor powered up. We've tested the NH-P1 on our Core i7 10700K open test bench—which has no fans, and therefore completely unoptimised airflow—and while it may throttle on seriously CPU intensive benchmarks, it absolutely flew on our standard gaming tests.

That chip is slightly over Noctua's own recommendations for the NH-P1, but you can check out its compatibility centre to see whether your CPU will be supported by this chonky chip chiller.

And yes, it is big. The RAM clearance is fine, as Noctua has engineered it to sweep away from dual-channel DIMM slots, but it's still going to take up a whole lot of space in your chassis. If you want to get the most out of it, you're also going to need some decent airflow in your case, too. Unless you're going for a completely fanless vibe, that is.

The Noctua NH-P1 is well-designed, impressively powerful passive cooler that could well keep your gaming PC quiet. Though it's not going to do anything for that noisy graphics card, I'm afraid.

Read our full Noctua NH-P1 review.

Best CPU cooler FAQ

How do you test CPU coolers?

Like most components, choosing the right CPU cooler depends on several variables, including performance requirements, case compatibility, budget restrictions, and aesthetics. To find the best CPU coolers, we test performance using Prime95 and a mixture of modern PC games for extensive stress testing. Our top selections were made based on thermal performance, noise, value, and overall feature sets.

How do I choose the CPU cooler that's right for me?

If you aren't sure whether you need an air cooler or a liquid cooler, it comes down to budget and compatibility. Until AMD released its Wraith coolers (and then took them away again), we'd never recommend a stock cooler to any PC gamer. Still, those on tight budgets now don't necessarily need to consider an aftermarket air cooler. If you have a little more spending room, liquid coolers can offer a whole lot more—from advanced RGB lighting to intelligent software control.

Some of you may be wary about putting liquid near your expensive components, but rest assured all of the coolers recommended in this guide are backed with excellent warranties that will cover you in the event of a manufacturer failure—a colossal leakage is an infrequent occurrence, anyways.

Is liquid cooling quieter than air cooling?

In general, an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler will be quieter than an air cooler mounted directly on top of the processor itself. That's because the fans attached to the cooling radiator are generally larger and can therefore spin slower than an air cooler. The water pump is often well insulated, so there isn't much noise from them either.

But there are large air coolers with big heatsinks and large fans that can compete well with the noise generation of an AIO liquid cooler. The quietest of all would be an entirely passive cooler, one with no moving parts whatsoever. However, those can't always cope with the most hot and heavy CPUs.

Do I need liquid cooling if I don't overclock my CPU?

Liquid cooling can undoubtedly give your processor the thermal headroom it needs to run comfortably overclocked, but there are other reasons you might want to have an AIO in your system. The vainest is the aesthetic—not having a huge hulking heatsink clogging up your chassis when there's a Perspex peephole to show off your components is often desirable.

That can also play into having a smaller chassis entirely. Liquid coolers can often give you the thermal performance to run a high-spec CPU in a small chassis where you'd only otherwise be able to fit a weaker, small form factor air cooler.

How does liquid cooling work anyway?

The coolant passes through a closed-loop via a plate that's attached to your CPU, and in combination with the attached radiator and fan, it cools the CPU. It's simple and a hundred times easier to install than an entire water-cooling loop.


Liquid kit cooling pc best

Tired of buying separate parts for water cooling your gaming PC? How about buying a whole cooling kit to save some extra cash?

In a Hurry? Check out my #1 Recommended Water Cooling Kit.


A water-cooling kit comes with everything you need to set your PC water-cooling loop up, reducing the effort to buy separate parts.

In this post, I am also going to review some of the coolest water cooling kits for overclocking a gaming PC.

Best Custom Water Cooling Kit Reviewed

A water-cooling kit is a must if you want to get all water cooling components at a reasonable budget.

As a gaming PC enthusiast, I have researched using over twenty water-cooling kits and found that a few are worth spending the money.

Also check out the Best Water Cooling Pump Reservoir Combo.

And so, in this post, I have reviewed the best cooling kits depending on the size of the radiator, size of the reservoir, type of tubing, and also that is a bang for the buck.

Here are the best water cooling kits:

1. Thermaltake Pacific M360 Plus

Thermaltake Pacific M360 Plus is the best budget-friendly cooling kit you can ever get.


Check Today's Price of Thermaltake Pacific M360 Plus ➜➜

This cooling kit comes with-

  • A W4 Plus CPU RGB Water Block
  • PR22 D5 Plus 300 mL Reservoir-Pump Combo
  • RL360 Plus 360mm Radiator
  • 4 PETG Hard Tubes
  • Riing Plus 12 LED RGB Fans, AI Voice Controller
  • C Pro G ¼ Compression Fittings, G ¼ 90 Degree Adapter
  • Mounting Brackets
  • C 1000 Pure Clear Coolant (Water cooling Liquid), Thermal Paste

The Thermaltake Pacific M360 kit is an efficient liquid cooling kit compatible with all water-cooled gaming systems. This kit is mainly compatible with Intel LGA 2066/2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150/775,AMD AM4/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2 (CPU Socket).

The Pacific W4 CPU RGB Water Block is manufactured with a full copper base, anti-corrosive nickel plating with no-tools installation, and heat transfer and cooling performance.

The kit also has a 300 mL Reservoir and a pump that can sustain a pressure head of 99 PSI and can discharge fluid up to 1135 L/hr. This reservoir-pump combo is the best for proper water cooling circulation and capacity.

The RGB illuminated 360 mm Radiator has a high-density fin design made of anti-corrosive materials. Its power to accommodate high airflow and high air pressure provides superior cooling performance to all components. You can turn the RGB lights on and off with the AI Voice controller synchronizing it with the Hello TT app.

In this kit, you will also get the 500mm long V-Tubler PETG hard Tube that runs exactly to the user’s heart content. You will also get compression fittings and some 90-degree adapters as well for easier tube routing.

Not but the least, The Thermaltake Pacific M360 cooling kit gives you a pure Clear Coolant. You will have much coolant as leftovers.

So, overall, this kit is exactly the best cooling kit every user wants. This kit is efficient, zero noise kit, and also bang for the buck. You will get everything you need in this kit.

Also check out the best water cooling pumps.


EKWB EK-KIT P280 is designed for users who seek the best performing, quality built, and also efficient liquid cooling solutions.

The best part about this kit is that:

You don’t have to stress about finding the correct tube size or correct fittings. This Ek Kit 280 has everything you need.

EKWB EK-KIT P280 is compatible with the following CPU sockets: Intel LGA-1150/1151/1155/1156, Intel LGA-2011(-3), Intel LGA-2066, AMD Socket AM4.


Check Today's Price of EKWB EK-KIT P280 ➜➜

This kit comes with a:

  • Universal CPU water block
  • A pump-reservoir combo
  • A Radiator
  • Enough Soft tubing
  • And, Compression Fittings

The Ek-280 Cooling kit is a solid kit when it comes to water cooling your PC. The great fact is that the parts are all RGB. Not only are the fans RGB, but also the CPU block and the Reservoir itself.

Well, the only dropdown of this kit is that there is no GPU block and no mounting brackets. As GPU is easier to upgrade and I personally upgrade my GPU constantly for hardcore gaming, I had to buy a separate GPU block in order to water cool the entire system.

However, I think it’s not a bad deal after all. Because cooling the CPU is more important for overclocking.

EKWB EK-KIT P280 is a high-end liquid cooling loop that is fully expandable and upgradable. Adding a GPU water block or a second radiator down the loop is easy and possible at any time.

This kit is especially known for best thermal performance and durability. Besides, this kit brings silence to the environment. The Pump and RGB fans are PWM controlled.

3. Corsair Hydro X Series

If you are a hardcore gamer and want a water-cooling kit for maximum overclocking then, the Corsair Hydro X series should be your first choice.

You can make your PC a stunning masterpiece with this complete premium Hydro X Series RGB hardline custom cooling kit.

This kit contains 10 items:

  • RGB Illuminated XC7 CPU Water Block
  • RGB GPU Water Block
  • RGB illuminated XD5 Reservoir-Pump Combo
  • XL5 Performance coolant
  • Hard Tubes
  • Radiator
  • QL120 RGB cooling fans
  • 90-degree rotatory adapter
  • Corsair Hydro X Series Xf Compression 10/13mm (3/8″/ 1/2″) ID/OD Fittings
  • Saw, bending mandrel, and tube holder.


Check Today's Price of Corsair Hydro X Series ➜➜

The Xc7’s CPU Water Block is nickel-plated copper cold plate and more than 70 highly efficient micro cooling fins draw heat away from your CPU lowering the temperature. This monoblock has 16 individually addressable RGB LED’s that delivers a 360 degree stunning customizable RGB lighting effects when combined with Commander Pro or Corsair Lighting Node PRO.

You can also add a powerful Corsair iCUE software to instantly Sync RGB lightings across all your Corsair RGB products. The monoblock is easy to install on Intel LGA 1200 and AMD AM4 sockets.

The automated software will control your fan and pump speeds to their lowest possible noise level!!!

One exceptional thing about this kit is that:

This kit provides a GPU block. Not all water cooling kits provide a GPU block which makes this kit a pure exception.

The XG7 RGB GPU Water Block includes a full-length aluminum backplate to completely cover your graphics card’s PCB and protect sensitive components. Its 16 RGB LED”s integrated directly into the GPU Block provides a vibrant customizable RGB lighting when combined with Corsair Lighting Node Pro.

You will also get to create stunning loops with the XT Hardline Tubing which is easily bendable and cuttable.

A high-performance XD5 PWM pump to deliver the perfect flow balance for your cooling loop. The 330mL Reservoir puts up your custom cooling systems coolant on display. The Reservoir has a stunning angular design and also has an integrated fillport that makes filling, flushing, and topping-off coolant easy.

The Reservoir-pump combo has a rubberized mounting system that reduces pump vibrations making your cooling loop seen, not heard.

So, overall for maximum overclocking, Corsair hydro X series cooling kit is the best.

Here’s our recommended best coolant for water cooling pc.


If you want a very easy installation cooling kit within budget then, Ek RGB 240 kit is the best.

This kit is the ultimate fully RGB customizable liquid cooling kit that has socket compatibility for Intel LGA-1150/1151/1155/1156/2011(-3)/2066, AMD AM4.

One thing that is very much useful for this kit is that majority of the components are pre-assembled.

This kit comes with:

  • An RGB reservoir-pump combo
  • RGB fans
  • RGB CPU Water Block
  • Soft tubing
  • Compression Fittings

This water cooling kit is very much satisfactory and mainly aimed at demanding players. The components and the material types will surely meet up your expectations.


Check Today's Price of EKWB EK-KIT RGB 240 ➜➜

The only drawbacks are there is no GPU water block and the size of the reservoir is less than the Ek X360 kit. So, you have to add one.

If you think that you cannot afford the Ek 360 series, you can buy this kit. It’s both efficient and well thermally balanced. You won’t have any problems to build your water cooling system using this kit. Connect the components with RGB software to turn lights on and off.

The Ek 240 is a bang for the buck for low budget holders.

5. Thermaltake Pacific CL360

Thermaltake Pacific CL360 is an efficient premium quality cooling kit whose components can be controlled by TT RGB Plus software, Razer Chroma, and also Alexa’s voice service.

The kit contains a combo of:

  • Riing RGB Radiator fans
  • ARGB CPU Water Block
  • D5 300 mL Reservoir-Pump Combo
  • CL360 Radiator 360mm
  • T1000 Pure Clear Coolant
  • C Pro OD Compressions
  • V-Tubler PETG Tubes
  • ARGB LED Controller
  • 90 Degree Adapter
  • Mounting Brackets
  • COMPATIBILITY: Intel LGA 2066/2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150/775, AMD AM4/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2

This cooling kit contains all the components you need to complete a water cooling loop.


Check Today's Price of Thermaltake Pacific CL360 ➜➜

You can experience synchronized gaming and RGB lighting effects on cooling systems and gaming gear.

The best features included in this cooling kit is:

You can control fan speed and lights easily with one click, tap, or voice command by pairing with Alexa, Razer Chroma, and TT RGB Plus Software.

You can also fit all modern CPU sockets with a universal mounting mechanism. A 300 mL Reservoir with a D5 combo is the best you can get in this cooling kit.

You can give a second thought about buying this kit after you surf through Thermaltake pacific M360 Plus.

There was enough tubing (soft or hard choice depends on your own) and coolant in the kit to fill the entire loop with some to spare. The only dropdown to this kit is there is no GPU water block.

I think that this cooling kit is the second-best for water cooling your gaming PC.

Water Cooling Kit Buyer’s Guide

A good water-cooling kit is needed for water cooling your gaming PC.

You need to consider certain aspects before buying a water cooling kit.

And I am going to discuss those factors in this Water Cooling kit buyer’s guide.

The water cooling kit is not cheap and so it would be a wise choice to buy the best one which is budget best and also worth the money.

80-90% of the times most kit doesn’t provide you with all the cooling components.

That’s why you need to buy the best kit which will provide you all for your gaming PC.

So, here are things you should consider before buying a water cooling kit:


The cooling kits are more of a fancy product. That’s why they are high-priced.

If you have enough budget, I prefer buying the Thermaltake pacific M360 plus.

Trust me. This kit is worth every single penny.

However, if you are low on budget, then you can buy the EKWB EK-KIT RGB 240 Watercooling Kit.

Cooling Component Availability

Not all kits give you exactly everything. Even the best liquid cooling kits lack a few components.

In this case, you have no choice but to add those cooling components to finish the entire loop.

Thermaltake Pacific M360 plus and Thermaltake Pacific CL360 are the best because it provides you with almost everything you need except the GPU water block.

Size of Radiator And Size of Reservoir

Sizes of reservoir and radiators matter to your build. If the size of the reservoir or the radiator doesn’t match your demands then, you can always add an extra.

In this case, I prefer using the Thermaltake M360 Plus. trust me, It’s worth the take.


Question: Is Liquid Cooling better than air cooling?

Answer: Yes, Liquid cooling is better than air cooling. Your PC won’t overheat and will be free from dust if you use a water-cooling loop.

Question: Which liquid cooling kit is the best within low budget?

Answer: Within a low budget, Ek kit 240 is the best and most efficient. But, you won’t get all the materials within a low range.

Final Thoughts

Water cooling is a dream for many gamers. Why not? It looks cool anyway.

But the cooling kit should always be a good bargain.

All of the enlisted products in this post will be a favorable deal for you.

Though I would still say:

Thermaltake M360 Plus is more of a luxury.

Thermaltake's New All In One Custom Watercooling Kit!

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