To non-gamers, a liquid cooler probably sounds like a place to keep beers and sodas. In the world of PC gaming though, a liquid CPU cooler is something entirely different. When building a gaming PC, making sure there are enough fans and creating proper airflow is crucial. Air fans will do the trick for many people, but more advanced builds require more advanced cooling technology. That’s where liquid coolers come in.
As the name suggests, they consist of a liquid coolant that regulates your computer’s temperature. One major benefit of a liquid cooler is that it’s a lot quieter. Gone are the days when powering up your PC sounded like an airplane taking off. Another benefit of liquid cooling is that it’s a lot more efficient; it’s more powerful, uses less energy, and in many cases takes up less space.
Now, the drawbacks. A liquid cooler is considerably more expensive. You also have to make sure you choose your liquid cooler wisely. The risk of an air fan malfunctioning is that your computer overheats; the risk of a liquid cooler malfunctioning is coolant leaking into your system. Fortunately, we’ve made it easy with these three picks for a liquid cooler.
1. NZXT Kraken All-In-One RGB CPU Liquid Cooler
In terms of design, NZXT is hard to beat. Their liquid cooler features sleek RGB lighting, and it comes with software to monitor performance. Reinforced tubing protects the cooler and your other equipment.
Pros: Sleek design, good temperature control, easy installation.
Cons: Some users found the CAM software clunky and hard to use.
2. Corsair HYDRO Series Liquid CPU Cooler,
Corsair’s included software allows you to adjust the colors of the lighting and precisely control the temperature. When cooling isn’t needed, the fans can be shut off, allowing for quiet operation.
Pros: The unit runs quietly and is effective at cooling.
Cons: Fairly large, so may not fit all builds.
3. Aigo Liquid CPU Cooler
Liquid cooler’s are usually expensive, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Many reviewers found this Aigo Liquid Cooler to be an effective and affordable option.
Pros: Effective cooling, runs quietly.
Cons: Some users found the instructions difficult to follow.