Cooling solutions have been a vital component of a gaming rig for the past decade, and now more and more people are paying attention to it. Most of the processors these days allow overclocking, which raises heat dissipation, which is why aftermarket coolers are a thing. The all-in-one cooling solutions have received special treatment compared to air coolers due to their pleasing aesthetics, and most enthusiasts prefer buying an AIO cooler instead of a bulky air cooler.
Some years ago, NZXT, CORSAIR, and COOLER MASTER were the only companies that manufactured AIO coolers. Still, as of now, there are lots of high-end companies that are trying to provide uniquely designed AIO coolers. Most of the modern AIO coolers come with RGB lighting and greatly enhance the overall appeal of the gaming rig. In this article, we will be looking at some of the best AIO coolers ever designed.
Quick Buying Tips!
Buying an AIO cooler can be a daunting task, and that is why we have come up with a buying guide that will help you buy a suitable AIO cooler for your gaming rig.
Radiator Size: The most crucial factor of an AIO cooler is the radiator size. The larger the size of the radiator will be, the better the cooling will be. The most common radiator sizes are 120 mm, 140 mm, 240 mm, 280 mm, and 360 mm. The 120 and 140 mm radiators are usually used in budget AIO coolers, while most high-end coolers use either 280 mm or 360 mm radiators.
Fan Performance: It might not seem like this, but fans of a cooling solution play a significant role in its operation. The latest technologies associated with fans allow them to perform with lesser noise and modern fans have higher airflow and static air pressure.
Reliability: Liquid cooling solutions can turn into disasters very quickly, and that is why many people are afraid of using them in their systems. However, modern technologies have increased the reliability of the AIO coolers, and they now come with various sealing technologies, etc.
Best AIO Coolers Reviews
CORSAIR designs some of the best AIO coolers globally and has a long history of doing so. CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT is the mainstream AIO cooler by the company that is available at a mediocre price. It is a 240mm AIO cooler, i.e., it is not the largest AIO cooler by the company, but still, its performance is quite close to 360mm AIO coolers.
CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT cooler, as the name indicates, has RGB lighting on the pump. The lighting can be customized through the CORSAIR iCue software application and is known to be one of the best applications for RGB customization. The CORSAIR logo at the center is RGB-lit as well.
The company has used its latest Magnetic Levitation series fans in this cooler. These ML series fans are great for high static air pressure, and the noise levels are around 37 dB during operation. The fans do not have RGB lighting on them, which you can find in the Elite Capellix series cooler by the company. The cooler has Zero RPM mode as well, which makes it go completely silent when the thermals are under control.
As for the compatibility of this AIO cooler, it supports Intel LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1366 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011 3 / LGA 2066 and AMD AM2 / AM3 / AM4 / FM1 / FM2 sockets.
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora seems to be a great alternative to the CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT when you want to focus more on the looks of your rig than the raw performance. This company is, although not as much famous as the likes of CORSAIR, you don’t need to worry about the reliability of its AIO cooling solutions.
Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora is a 240 mm AIO cooler that comes with RGB lighting on the pump and the fans. In fact, the fans have aRGB lighting on them, which looks way more incredible than the ML series fans by CORSAIR. The company has used TPV hoses and fittings from the Enterprise Solution series, which is why you don’t need to worry about the risks involved with leaks, etc.
The pump of this liquid cooler is not as well designed as the CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT, but that is the only con that can be considered against the CORSAIR cooler. The performance of this cooler is slightly lower than the CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT, but if you are not into extreme overclocking, this should not be much of an issue. The fans have an RPM range of 800 to 2000 RPM and have a static air pressure of 2.0 mm H2O.
The cooler supports Intel LGA 775 / LGA 1056 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011-3 / LGA 2066 and AMD AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM4 sockets.
DEEPCOOL is becoming a major company that designs liquid cooling solutions. Its Captain and Castle series RGB coolers gained a lot of popularity due to unique looks, and today we are looking at DEEPCOOL Captain 240 PRO V2. It is also a 240 mm AIO cooler, but it looks better than both of the previous coolers due to its better RGB lighting.
First of all, there is RGB lighting on the cooler fans, and since they have a milky color, the illumination shines on them very nicely. Other than that, the design of the pump of this cooler is unique. There is a thick U-shaped steel pipe coming out of the pump, which gives it a complex look, while the RGB lighting is present at the top of the pump and its sides.
Deepcool’s exclusive Anti-leak Technology allows it to be much better than most other AIO coolers in the market, giving it a better reliability score than other coolers. The performance of this cooler is similar to the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora, lying slightly below the CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT. The fans of this cooler have an RPM range of 500 to 1800, while the static air pressure of fans is 2.42 mm H2O.
The cooler supports Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1200 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1366 and AMD TR4 / AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 sockets.
NZXT is a company that focuses a lot on aesthetics, and that is why most streamers prefer buying their products. NZXT Kraken X53 is a budget cooler by the company that is available at a lower price than the CORSAIR H100i PRO XT, yet having better looks.
There are two variants of this cooler, where one of them is fitted with RGB fans while the one we are discussing here does not come with RGB fans. The non-RGB cooler still offers RGB lighting on the pump. The circular pump has beautiful RGB rings in it, providing a fantastic view to the user. Apart from that, the NZXT logo at the center is RGB-lit as well.
The cooler uses Aer P 120mm fans, and these fans are less powerful than the CORSAIR ML series fans, which is why the performance of this cooler is lower than that of the CORSAIR H100i PRO XT or even the Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora. The fans have an RPM range of 500 - 2,000, similar to other fans on the list, while its static air pressure is around 2.93 mm H2O.
The compatibility of this AIO cooler is much lower than other coolers, and it supports Intel LGA 1200 / LGA 115X / LGA 1366 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011-3 / LGA 2066 and AMD AM4 / sTRX4 / TR4 sockets; essential to note here that the Thread Ripper brackets are not included in the purchase.
CORSAIR H150i Elite Capellix is the flagship cooler by the company that tries to provide the best of everything. You get terrific performance, stunning aesthetics, and high durability with this cooler.
The cooler is available in both white and black colors, and both variants come with aRGB fans. The RGB lighting shines nicely on the fans, while there is RGB lighting on the pump as well. The company has used a 360 mm radiator in this cooler, so its performance is among the best AIO coolers in the world.
The cooler uses three CORSAIR ML series RGB fans, and the lighting on these fans can be customized through the software application. The fans have an RPM range of 400 to 2400 RPM and support zero RPM mode as well, where the fans completely stop when the thermals are low. The fans have a static air pressure of 4.2 mmH2O, which is much higher than previous air coolers.
The cooler supports Intel LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1366 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011 3 / LGA 2066 and AMD AM2 / AM3 / AM4 / FM1 / FM2 / sTR4 / sTRX4 sockets.
LIAN LI is an emerging brand in the computer industry, and its products are well-known for top-notch quality, whether you talk about performance or looks. Its cases are considered the best in the industry, and now it seems like the company will soon be leading the CPU cooler industry as well.
LIAN LI Galahad is a powerful AIO cooler that has multiple variants. First of all, you can buy it with either a 240 mm radiator or a 360 mm radiator. Moreover, it comes in two colors, white and black, both of which look absolutely fantastic. The pump is black/white at the lower area and silver at the upper area, giving it a premium look. There is RGB lighting inside the pump, just like the DEEPCOOL Castle series coolers of NZXT coolers.
The fans of this cooler are pretty similar to the DEEPCOOL AIO coolers, providing excellent aRGB lighting. The cooler supports ASUS AuraSync, MSI MysticLight, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, and ASROCK POLYCHROME Sync, making it a versatile product. The fans have a static air pressure of 2.6 mm H2O while the RPM range is 800 to 1900.
The cooler supports Intel LGA 115X / LGA 1366 / LGA 775 / LGA 1200 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2066 and AMD AM4 sockets. It means that you won’t be able to use this cooler with AMD systems with sockets other than AM4 sockets.
COOLER MASTER is a big company that has designed dozens of powerful CPU coolers in the past. Recently, COOLER MASTER released the ML240P Mirage cooler, the company’s flagship 240 mm AIO cooler with high-end fans and pleasing RGB lighting.
The design of this cooler is quite similar to the DEEPCOOL CASTLE 240 mm, having a circular pump with ring-like RGB lighting in it. The fans have aRGB lighting on them that can be fully customized through the software. The cooler uses 2 x MASTERFAN SF120R ARGB fans, which are particularly well-known for low noise, having a noise level of around 27 dB. The static air pressure of the fans is not too shabby as well, at 2.1 mm H2O. The RPM range of fans is 650-2000, roughly the same as that of other coolers.
The compatibility of this cooler is better than most AIO coolers, as it supports Intel LGA 2066, 2011-v3, 1366, 1156, 1155, 1151, 1150, 775 — AMD TR4, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1 sockets.
EVGA is a big company that is famous for its high-quality power supplies and graphics card variants. The company designs AIO coolers as well, and we are discussing the EVGA CLC 280, which is a unique cooler on the list. It is targeted towards enthusiasts who are not willing to sacrifice performance for aesthetics. That is why the looks of this cooler are the worst on the list, but when it comes to performance, you won’t see any AIO cooler better than this one.
The design of this cooler is pretty dull. The fans are plain black, and so is the pump, with slight RGB lighting on it. The fans have a high RPM range of up to 2200 RPM, which is one of the reasons for the high performance of this cooler. The high RPM leads to higher noise as well, making it the noisiest cooler on the list. The fans have a high static air pressure of 4.2 mm H2O, which is the same as that of the CORSAIR ML RGB fans.
The cooler supports Intel LGA 2066, LGA 2011-v3, LGA 1366, LGA 1156, LGA 1155, LGA 1151, LGA 1150, and AMD AM2, AM3, AM4, FM1, FM2, TR4 sockets.
No matter how robust your processor or motherboard is, if your cooler cannot handle the heat, you will not be getting optimal performance. Since AIO coolers are considered better than air coolers, we have summed up some of the best AIO coolers that you can buy in 2021.
For those interested in buying good-looking AIO coolers but can’t spend a lot, DEEPCOOL Captain 240 PRO V2 and NZXT Kraken X53 are excellent products for them. Upping the game a little bit, you can go for COOLER MASTER ML240P Mirage or LIAN LI Galahad if you want high performance as well. CORSAIR H100i RGB PRO XT and EVGA CLC 280 are performance-oriented AIO coolers where you don’t get RGB lighting on the fans, while the CORSAIR H150i Elite Capellix tries to provide the best of everything but comes at a higher price than other coolers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are AIO coolers better than air coolers in cooling?
It is not necessarily true that an AIO cooler outperforms an air cooler, especially a dual-tower air cooler. However, most high-end AIO coolers perform better than high-end air coolers and are better suited for overclocking.
Are AIO coolers less noisy than air coolers?
Although it seems like AIO coolers would be less noisy than air coolers, this is not true all the time. AIO coolers have many fans attached to their radiators, and the pump of the AIO cooler also makes noise, which is why the noise levels of AIO coolers sometimes surpass that of high-end air coolers.
What is the primary advantage of an AIO cooler compared to an air cooler?
The most significant advantage of an AIO cooler is that the pump has a tiny footprint and the motherboard does not stay hidden behind it, which is why the whole setup looks way better. The average performance of an AIO cooler is considerably better than an average air cooler as well.