The best AIO cooler will stop your CPU from overheating during intense gaming sessions while keeping the inside of your PC looking spacious and clean. Custom water cooling might look even slicker, and air coolers can be cheaper, but a top AIO cooler is a great way to keep your CPU cool.
They’re an optional upgrade for most people, but AIO coolers can make the best gaming PC even better – particularly if you’ve learned how to overclock your CPU. A good AIO cooler lets you overclock to crank out more performance with less risk of melting your CPU to a crisp.
You might think liquids shouldn’t mix with electronics, yet an effective pump and radiator combo will move heat away from that CPU faster than you can say ‘thermal throttling’. We’ve put the best AIO coolers to the test, from top liquid CPU cooler brands like NZXT, CoolerMaster, MSI, and Corsair, so you’ve nothing to worry about when it comes to the safety of your rig.
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What we look for in an AIO cooler
When looking for products to populate our AIO cooler list, we take into account a few different factors. Size is one of the main factors, but you’ll need to make sure that you know what space you have available in your case beforehand. A larger fan is better at regulating your air flow which is why you should maximize the space you can use for the cooler. Next up is how many fans it has. This can sometimes be determined by size, but most coolers utilize two or three fans and you always want more for better airflow control.
Something we also consider is how easy they are to install, and what additional features you’re getting above and beyond just the cooling. If we have two coolers that are identical, but one offers an onboard thermostat, we would choose this one provided that the price is fair.
Are AIO coolers better than air coolers?
Both AIO and air coolers have their advantages. For sustained workloads, AIO coolers are the best product for the job. This means if you’re expecting your PC to always be under some sort of strain, this is the option for you.
Air coolers are better at handling burst workloads, meaning that if you only expect to be pushing your CPU at irregular intervals, an air cooler can manage better during these peaks.
How long does a 360mm AIO cooler last?
If you get yourself a 360mm AIO cooler, you can expect it to last for a bare minimum of five years and that would be considered a relatively short life. Most likely, you’ll get a good ten years out of it.
Do AIOs lose water over time?
Yes, unfortunately so. This is a long and slow process though and the water is lost through permeation, rather than leakage, so you don’t need to worry about the loss of water harming your other components.
Do AIO coolers need maintenance?
Only minimal. They’ll attract dust over time which should be cleaned off, but an AIO is a sealed unit, so you don’t need to worry about internal maintenance.
For more ways to upgrade your gaming setup, you can check out the best wireless gaming headsets to ensure you’re getting the best audio possible. To round out the wireless revolution, you can also check out our list of the best wireless mechanical keyboards, so you’ll never be able to blame a misplay on your equipment again.