Liquid coolers used to be considered exotic system additions that you would only option to use if you were totally 1337. They were also quite expensive and the initial market was small, relegated only to power users and hard-core gamers.

Now, hybrid (all-in-one; AIO) systems that combine liquid CPU heat exchange with fan-driven heat venting at radiators are all the rage and are quite affordable. With prices under $200 and as low as $65 (Yes, that’s right! No typo.), using an AIO in a custom build is now becoming a standard component, not an optional consideration.

Comparison Table of the Best AIO Cooling System

PRODUCTFEATURESLATEST PRICE
1. Asus ROG RYUO 120 Asus ROG RYUO 120 RGB AIO Liquid CPU Cooler 120mm Radiator (120mm 4-Pin PWM Fan) with Livedash OLED Panel and Fanxpert CONTROLS
  • Sleeved rubber tubing (38 cm)
  • Aluminum pump cover and radiator
  • Copper CPU heat exchange plate
  • Addressable RGB bling (6 modes)
  • OLED display (fan speed, CPU voltage, CPU clock rate, CPU temperature, water temperature)
Check Price
2. Corsair Hydro Series H55 CORSAIR HYDRO SERIES H55 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, 120mm Radiator, 120mm Fan
  • Rubber tubing, pre-filled (10 mm wide)
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Copper base plate
  • Includes 3-pin fan controller connector
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3. Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C 120mm AIO Liquid Cooling System CPU Cooler CLW0222-B
  • Low-profile pump design
  • Copper baseplate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Pre-filled tubing
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4. NZXT Kraken M22 CPU Liquid Cooler NZXT Kraken M22 120mm - RL-KRM22-01 - AIO RGB CPU Liquid Cooler - CAM-Powered - Infinity Mirror Design - Reinforced Extended Tubing - Aer P120mm PWM Radiator Fan (Included)
  • Copper exchange plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • CAM regulation
  • Addressable RGBs
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5. Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, 120mm Radiator, 120mm SP Series PWM Fan
  • Thick, pre-filled tubing
  • Copper exchange plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Low-profile pump
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6. Enermax Aquafusion 120 ARGB Enermax Aquafusion 120 Addressable RGB All-in-One CPU Liquid Cooler Intel/AMD 115x/2066 AM4 Ready AIO ARGB LED Cooling w/ SquA RGB PWM Fan; ELC-AQF120-SQA
  • Compact design is great for small boards, like the ITX
  • Copper heat exchanger
  • Unique water block design
  • Great lighting effects
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7. EVGA CLC 120 mm CL11 Liquid Cooler EVGA CLC 120mm All-In-One CPU Liquid Cooler, 1x 120mm Fan, Intel, 5 YR Warranty, 400-HY-CL11-V1
  • 6008 MHz clock speed
  • 64-bit memory bus
  • 2048 GB DDR5 video memory
  • Two ports available
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8. Arctic Liquid Freezer II 120 mm ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 120 - Multi Compatible All-in-One CPU AIO Water Cooler, Compatible with Intel & AMD, Efficient PWM Controlled Pump, Fan Speed: 200-1800 RPM (Controlled via PWM) - Black
  • Quiet pump
  • VRM fan
  • Thicker than usual radiator
  • Braided sleeve tubing, pre-filled
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9. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB Close-Loop CPU Liquid Cooler, 120mm Radiator, Dual Chamber RGB Pump, Dual MF120R RGB Fans, RGB Lighting for AMD Ryzen/Intel LGA1200/1151
  • Copper cold plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • PWM controllable
  • RGB programmable
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10. Corsair Hydro Series H80i Extreme Performance v2 Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler, 120mm Thick Radiator, Dual 120mm SP Series PWM Fans, Advanced RGB Lighting and Fan Software Control, Black
  • Thick pre-filled cloth-sleeved tubes
  • Copper cold plate and aluminum radiator
  • Dual fans with PWM control
  • Water pump with mini-USB for Corsair Link cable (pump and fan control)
Check Price

Our Best AIO Cooling System Reviews and Comparisons

1. Asus ROG RYUO 120

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Product Highlights

The ROG Ryuo 120 by Asus has an aluminum pump cover for durability and additional heat exchange, in addition to using a copper CPU plate for thermal efficiency. The ROG Ryuo 120 also features an OLED display panel on top of the water pump, which we assume can only be viewed if you use a windowed computer case.

The OLED displays several important CPU and temperature parameters in a cyclical manner to verify any optimization efforts from overclocking to keep the CPU within healthy operational parameters. The RGB lighting included is also a bit of fun for those windowed cases to provide some spectral entertainment value.

Features

  • Sleeved rubber tubing (38 cm)
  • Aluminum pump cover and radiator
  • Copper CPU heat exchange plate
  • Addressable RGB bling (6 modes)
  • OLED display (fan speed, CPU voltage, CPU clock rate, CPU temperature, water temperature)

What We Like About Asus ROG RYUO 120

The ROG Ryuo 120 fan puts out a healthy 81 CFM, which is higher than the average for single-fan AIO systems. Static fan pressure is also higher than average at 5.00 mmH2O.

The copper CPU plate and all-aluminum radiator are also very nice features for efficient heat exchange. Sleeved rubber tubing is included for durability and leak-proofing.

A great addition to the control system is the PWM (pulse-width modulation) function that adjusts airflow and pumps speed to CPU demand.

What We Don’t Like About Asus ROG RYUO 120

We really could not find any downsides to the ROG Ryuo 120, as there are no negative reports if the system is properly installed. Considering the price (which is the highest on our list), you get a lot for the investment and will suffer no damaging heating effects from overclocking your CPU.

PROS

  • Pump is quiet
  • Heat exchange area is oversized
  • Radiator is efficient
  • LEDs can be synchronized for some bling fun

CONS

  • None (quality control is great)

2. Corsair Hydro Series H55

Product Highlights

The Hydro Series H55 by Corsair is a very efficient heat exchange system and incredibly easy to install (all you need is a screwdriver). It is also a rather small system, so it is ideal for small system cases.

The H55 is liquid pre-filled, so there is no mess with which to contend and also features a 3-pin connector to interface with fan controllers. It’s almost idiot-proof.

The pump, which is efficient but small and has a low profile, has a copper plate on the contact side for good heat transfer. The top of the copper plate (hidden) features fins for better heat exchange and is based on an Asetek design.

The radiator is all-aluminum.

Features

  • Rubber tubing, pre-filled (10 mm wide)
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Copper base plate
  • Includes 3-pin fan controller connector

What We Like About Corsair Hydro Series H55

Fan airflow on the H55 is a respectable 57 CFM at 1700 rpm and generates a static pressure of 1.9 mmH2O. The H55 performs similarly to premium air coolers with standard-clocked chips and was able to keep an overclocked Intel Core i7-3930K happy at a nice 60°C operating temperature.

What We Don’t Like About Corsair Hydro Series H55

No negatives here other than no RGB bling or OLED display, as the H55 can compete directly performance-wise with premium, high-end air cooler systems for a fraction of the price. Build quality is excellent.

PROS

  • Low-profile pump design
  • Quiet (unless under overclocked CPU load)
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable

CONS

  • No RGB bling
  • No OLED

3. Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C

Product Highlights

The Water 3.0 Performer C by Thermaltake is an effective AIO cooler that resembles the H55 above in many aspects, but for about 2/3 the price. It is another Asetek-designed pump system, which is the basis for its similarities.

Where the two devices differ, however, is in the other components. Fan speeds of the Water 3.0 Performer C can reach to 2000 rpm in a PWM-managed system producing a maximum of 99 CFM (81 normally), however, static pressure was not disclosed by the manufacturer and we could find no data on it

The cooling system includes a low noise cable (LNC) that works with the PWM system to limit fan speeds to the 800-1200 rpm range. The Water 3.0 Performer C comes with an aluminum radiator and liquid pre-filled rubber tubes.

Features

  • Low-profile pump design
  • Copper baseplate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Pre-filled tubing

What We Like About Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C

The fin stack of the radiator is very dense, with 13 flow channels and excellent heat exchange. The proof is in the pudding, so we reviewed performance data for the Water 3.0 Performer C.

The test setup consisted of a Core i7-6850K on an Asus Rampage V Edition 10 motherboard with an Asus GTX 750 Ti GPU. Under overclocking conditions during load, temperatures averaged 71°C.

Under load using stock CPU settings (not overclocked) during Battlefield 1 play, temperatures maxed out at a cool 64°C.

What We Don’t Like About Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C

Installation is odd as is usual for Asetek designs, requiring the user to affix a backplate to the water pump before mounting to the CPU. The pre-drilled holes on the backplate are designed for older sockets and necessitate mounting a metal adapter to fit it to standard LGA 1151 sockets.

PROS

  • Thermally effective
  • Small profile
  • Metal components (copper, aluminum)
  • Tubing is pre-filled for no mess in setup

CONS

  • Some adapter assembly required for common LGA 1151 sockets

4. NZXT Kraken M22 CPU Liquid Cooler

Product Highlights

The Kraken M22 by NZXT is a well-made AIO cooler built to the same quality standards as their higher-level Kraken X series of coolers. Where the M22 differs is in a lack of built-in fan control or liquid flow monitoring connectors.

The M22 instead uses a PWM control system for the fan or can interface with custom NZXT fan controllers such as the GRID+ v3. The pump is quiet and drives a larger fluid volume that their previous designs.

The Aer P radiator fan is also somewhat quiet with fluid dynamic bearings and a chamfered intake, however, these design features are meant to offset the need for higher fan speeds to achieve adequate cooling due to the centrally-placed water pump in the radiator and reduced radiator volume.

Features

  • Copper exchange plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • CAM regulation
  • Addressable RGBs

What We Like About NZXT Kraken M22 CPU Liquid Cooler

Noise levels produced by the M22 fan are low (21-38 dB). CAM control is available for the fan to ensure quick response to changes in system operating temperatures. The M22 was previously marketed at a much higher price, causing many users to avoid it, but is now in the sub-$100 range and comparable with competing devices.

The test setup consisted of a Core i7-5930K on an EVGA X99 Classified motherboard with a GTX 980 Ti GPU. Under load conditions, the M22 maintained a CPU temperature of 54.2°C and under an imposed 1500 rpm limit, temperatures were steady at 69°C. Noise under load was average for coolers at 45.9 dB at 2050 rpm.

What We Don’t Like About NZXT Kraken M22 CPU Liquid Cooler

Some users feel the M22 does not offer performance advantages over air coolers. The design of the M22 is made by Apaltek and is thought by many reviewers to be an attempt by NZXT to circumvent Asetek design patents since the design is an Asetek-styled device in all respects except for the oddly-placed water pump in the center of the radiator. This design choice reduces the overall fin stack volume for heat exchange, requiring the fan to routinely operate at higher rpm to achieve proper heat exchange.

PROS

  • Flow-efficient fan housing
  • CAM control
  • Bling

CONS

  • CAM control issues

5. Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO

Product Highlights

The Hydro Series H60 by Corsair is a great AIO CPU cooler that provides excellent cooling performance at a much lower price than other, similar performing liquid or air coolers. The Hydro series of coolers were the first AIO coolers on the market and have enjoyed a long development time of over a decade to produce fine quality products.

These features include oversized tubing for durability, copper heat exchange cold plate with microfins for efficient heat exchange and a low-profile pump which means that the H60 will fit nearly any case design.

Features

  • Thick, pre-filled tubing
  • Copper exchange plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Low-profile pump

What We Like About Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO

Under load conditions, the fan can reach speeds on 1700 rpm, but is still relatively quiet at just over 30 dB. The H60 uses a PWM system for control of fan and pump speeds.

Airflow is rated at 54 CFM maximum with a static pressure of 2.4 mmH2O.

What We Don’t Like About Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO

Under load, the fan can be noisy.

PROS

  • Unique fan design
  • Great build quality
  • Heat exchange is efficient
  • Low coolant loss issues

CONS

  • Can be noisy

6. Enermax Aquafusion 120 ARGB

Product Highlights

The Aquafusion 120 ARGB by Enermax features a unique dual-chamber design for its water block that has the effect of isolating the pump from direct contact with emitted CPU heat. The result of this design choice is that the Aquafusion 120 ARGB should have a longer lifespan than other AIO coolers.

Also unique to the design is their Shunt-Channel Technology on the heat exchange plate and a Central Coolant Inlet assembly in the water block to direct coolant to CPU areas with the highest temperatures first. The result is a more efficient cooling system that reduces the chance of momentary heat surges during high load conditions.

Features

  • Compact design is great for small boards, like the ITX
  • Copper heat exchanger
  • Unique water block design
  • Great lighting effects

What We Like About Enermax Aquafusion 120 ARGB

We liked the advanced design features of the Aquafusion 120 ARGB that offer better-directed coolant flow and more stable CPU temperatures. The fan can produce almost 80 CFM of airflow and static pressure of 3.6 mmH2O.

A fun bonus is the addressable RGB headers which can be synchronized to other motherboard devices with illumination. To test this little gem, a gaming setup with an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X on an ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX-TB3 motherboard was used with a Radeon RX 5500XT 8G OC GPU.

Stress tested under load at 1080p with ultra settings and turbo clock speeds (4.4 GHz), the CPU reached 83°C, which we felt was a little on the high end but still within acceptable parameters.

What We Don’t Like About Enermax Aquafusion 120 ARGB

We felt that the Aquafusion 120 ARGB ran a bit too hot

PROS

  • Dual-chamber water head
  • Copper cold plate
  • Thick tubing
  • RGB bling

CONS

  • Can run a little hot

7. EVGA CLC 120 mm CL11 Liquid Cooler

Product Highlights

The CLC 120 mm CL11 AIO from EVGA is a custom loop configurator (CLC) cooler. A CLC device allows for design of custom loops in the cooling system (there are useful databases online, such as ekwb.com, that will assist in configuration).

Using a CLC system requires the user to consider the case design, motherboard, GPU, and RAM stick types to create a proper loop to optimize cooling for the intended use of the system. As it comes from the factory, the custom configuration is not necessary if you do not want to play with that and the CL11 will work just great as is.

Airflow is about 59 CFM and static pressure of 4 mmH2O with low noise levels of 20 dB. The pump head has a mini-USB port for a controller cable or users can control the system via the 4-pin cable connectors.

Features

  • Copper cold plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • Quiet, Teflon nano-bearing fan
  • CLC capability

What We Like About EVGA CLC 120 mm CL11 Liquid Cooler

This is a great, ready-to-go AIO cooler straight out of the box and does an excellent job of cooling overclocked CPUs. The CLC option is great for people who want to go the extra mile in their build customizations. By the way, it comes with a 6-year warranty, so it is built to last.

A test rig was set up using a Core i7-7700K on an Asus ROG Maximus Core motherboard with an EVGA GTX 1090 Ti SC2 ICX GPU. At 1080p with ultra graphics settings and a standard CPU clock speed of 4.5 GHz, the CPU maintained a temperature of 63°C under load and in overclocked mode to 4.9 GHz, a temperature of 85°C.

What We Don’t Like About EVGA CLC 120 mm CL11 Liquid Cooler

The flow control software provided by EVGA is difficult to configure for some users.

PROS

  • Copper heat exchanger
  • Nearly noiseless fan
  • CLC customization optional

CONS

  • Flow control software is hard to use

8. Arctic Liquid Freezer II 120 mm

Product Highlights

The Liquid Freezer II by the Arctic uses an in-house-designed water pump with a copper cold plate and is compatible with most motherboard CPU sockets. It employs a PWM control system for pump and fan speed and also features a motherboard VRM fan for improved performance and power efficiency.

The result is a claim by Artic that their design is far mor efficient than anything on the market, consuming less power and operating more quietly than their competition. Compact and efficient, it won the European Hardware Award this year, so that must mean something.

The water pump was a focus of Arctic design, with attention paid to impeller geometry to maximize flow and minimize vibration (and noise). The pump head also has its own 40 mm fan to assist with cooling before coolant is sent to the radiator.

The aluminum radiator is a high fin density and is a 38 mm-thick design, wider than your typical radiator. Fan static pressure is 2.2 mmH2O generating 56 CFM of flow rate and uses very quiet fluid dynamic bearings.

Features

  • Quiet pump
  • VRM fan
  • Thicker than usual radiator
  • Braided sleeve tubing, pre-filled

What We Like About Arctic Liquid Freezer II 120 mm

This is a novel design for an AIO cooling system in a market dominated by Asetek designs. The impellers in the pump head are extra quiet and the system only generates 41.2 dB under overclocked load.

The addition of a VRM fan on the pump head does have noticeable effects on the regional cooling of the motherboard. One study with infrared imaging documented dropping motherboard temperatures under load from nearly 81°C to 45°C with the 40 mm fan running.

A test setup with the Liquid Freezer II using a Core i9-9900K clocked at 3.6 GHz on a Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master motherboard with a Patriot Viper GPU kept the CPU at an amazing 26.2°C (that’s room temperature!). Under overclocking conditions at 4.9 GHz, the temperature was maintained, again, at an amazing 57.3°C.

With those numbers, you’d swear the machine was just off and taking a nap.

What We Don’t Like About Arctic Liquid Freezer II 120 mm

There really is nothing negative we can say about the Liquid Freezer II. With the VRM fan (why has nobody tried that before??) as such a unique feature, we feel that this sets a new standard for what consumers will regard as a normal AIO design.

Oh, yeah. There is no RGB bling on the cooler.

PROS

  • Outstanding temperature control
  • Quiet, quiet, and quiet
  • VRM fan, big bonus and unique feature

CONS

  • No RGB bling options

9. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L

Product Highlights

The MasterLiquid LC120L RGB by CoolerMaster is a very affordable and very effective AIO that is has some nice features like RGB bling, so it’s not bargain-basement tech despite the price (which is about half of the price of market segment contenders).

The pump head design is compatible with most Intel and AMD sockets, but is not stock equipped with mountings (follow the directions, pick the right ones from the box for your motherboard).

Airflow at maximum is 67 CFM and fans have a static pressure of 2.34 mmH2O. Fans can be mounted on either side of the radiator for push or pull ventilation.

Features

  • Copper cold plate
  • Aluminum radiator
  • PWM controllable
  • RGB programmable

What We Like About Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L

Using a test setup with a Core i7-5930K with a clock speed of 4.2 GHz, the ML120L did a respectable job of CPU cooling, maintaining a temperature of 64°C.

Test results with a Core i7-6700K on an Asus Z170 ROG Maximus VIII Hero motherboard with an MSI GeForce GTX 1060 6G OC on overclocking maintained CPU temperature at 79°C versus 61°C under load in stock configuration.

What We Don’t Like About Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L

The ML120L has a somewhat noisy fan under load, reaching 39 dB at 2000 rpm. Also, installation can present problems as the mounting hardware lacks the right screws for some case designs.

Oh, yeah. There is no RGB bling on the cooler.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Compact for a 120 mm AIO
  • RGB programmability

CONS

  • Not meant for high overclocking
  • Installation materials could use more and greater variety of mounting screws

10. Corsair Hydro Series H80i Extreme Performance v2

Product Highlights

All of the AIO systems reviewed here are 120 mm fan systems, ideal for regular cases as well as compact designs. There are, however, a whole slough of two-, three-, and even four-fan designs with excellent heat exchange efficiencies.

We saved the Hydro Series H80i Extreme Performance v2 by Corsair to last since it technically is a two-fan system with a total fan area of 240 mm connected to an Asetek-designed water pump. We say “technically” because the H80i has a 120 mm footprint since the fans are stacked and now laid out laterally.

What this means is double the fan surface area of a 120 mm setup, but the space usage of a 120 mm AIO system, albeit a fat one. The double fan design makes the radiator of the H80i a bit thicker than your typical 120 mm, but can still be accommodated in small case designs.

Churning out an airflow of nearly 71 CFM and static pressure of 4.65 mmH2O, the H80i is able to accomplish this with a relatively quiet 38 dB noise level. This easily keeps pace with larger, broader, multi-fan coolers while maintaining a tidy 120 mm footprint.

Features

  • Thick pre-filled cloth-sleeved tubes
  • Copper cold plate and aluminum radiator
  • Dual fans with PWM control
  • Water pump with mini-USB for Corsair Link cable (pump and fan control)

What We Like About Corsair Hydro Series H80i Extreme Performance v2

We anticipated that the strikingly different design of the H80i would likely produce outstanding results and we were not disappointed. An additional feature of the H80i is that it can be used with only one fan if necessary, to squeeze into a tight build (we tested it with both here).

A test setup was performed with a Core i7-4770K on an Asus Sabertooth Z87 motherboard with a HIS HD7950 IceQ GPU. Stock temp at idle for the system was a nice, cool 46°C.

Overclocked at 1080p and ultra graphics settings kept the CPU at an amazing 67°C in performance mode and 68.5°C in fan “quiet” mode. We feel these results attest strongly to a competent design for excellent thermal stability.

What We Don’t Like About Corsair Hydro Series H80i Extreme Performance v2

We would like to put at least something here for balance, but there is nothing negative we could find about the H80i. It is a pricey device, basically, double what you pay for most 120 mm AIOs, but you get two fans and it does a lot in a small space.

PROS

  • Compact design
  • Low profile pump
  • Two fans
  • Big tubing for better flow

CONS

  • More expensive than most 120 mm AIOs (but it’s really a 240 mm)

Final Verdict

We would go with the Liquid Freezer II by Arctic. It is affordable, innovative, and very effective.

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