Best Liquid CPU Coolers of 2020 – Complete Round-up

If your CPU suffers from overheating, you should definitely consider investing in a liquid CPU cooler. There’s nothing worse than an overheated and underperforming computer, especially if you’re in the middle of a very important task, or gaming with your friends. In this article, you’ll find the complete round-up of the best liquid CPU coolers. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Liquid CPU Coolers

PRODUCTDETAILS
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DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX

  • Anti-leak technology embedded inside
  • The fins are 25% more skived for better heat absorption
  • 3 tuned TF120 S fans included
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NZXT Kraken X62 280mm

  • Infinity mirror design with multiple lights
  • CAM allows you to manage the cooler’s performance
  • Aer P radiator fans are designed for durability and silent operation
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Cooler Master MasterLiquid LC240E

  • Best for the money
  • RGB controller included to customize colors and light effects
  • Dual pump with 120mm fans
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Corsair Hydro Series H100i PRO

  • Multicolor RGB lighting, with 75 CFM airflow
  • Magnetic Levitation to deliver incredible airflow and static pressure
  • Best CPU liquid cooler for i7 8700k
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Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240P Mirage Addressable

  • Dual chamber with dual addressable RGB fans for push and pull airflow
  • Best 120mm CPU liquid cooler
  • 1-3 addressable TGB splitter cable for several ARGB fans
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What is a Liquid CPU Cooler?

Liquid coolers are radiators that are designed for the cooling of the processor embedded in your computer. This radiator has a system where the heat sink is used to pass through liquid and cool off the processor. The liquid is used to absorb all the hot air from the processor, and then it moves outside the case, transferring the heat outside. The cooler liquid then moves back into the system to repeat the process again. It is a more efficient way of keeping your systems cool and ensuring the computer’s longevity and performance as the processor operates on higher speeds. 

How Does a Liquid CPU Cooler Work?

The liquid that is used inside these radiators is usually made of water and ethanol glycol. The reason why this solution is used instead of pure water is to prevent the liquid from freezing, inhibit any bacterial growth, and also prevent galvanic corrosion inside the tubes. There should be no debris inside; otherwise, the tubes get clogged. 

The ‘cold plate’ is a solid piece of copper that is attached to the CPU from one side, and several micro-fins from the other, for the liquid to flow through. A gasket holds this plate in place, and underneath that is another cover for the pump unit. Below these two are the Channel and Peller, which allows the flow of liquid from one tube rusted by the impeller through the copper micro-fins and outside the other tube. The compeller has a magnetic ring around it and is held in place by a plastic rod that allows it to spin freely when the motor is powered. 

How to Choose a Liquid CPU Cooler

Now that you have a detailed overview of how a liquid CPU cooler works, let’s dive into the features that should be examined before choosing a new liquid CPU cooler. 

Silence

If you are looking for a cooler that performs quietly and lowers the CPU’s temperatures without making any noise, you should go for a high-end AIO 280mm or 360mm radiator. This can instantly cool up your CPU and performs better than any of the air-coolers in the market. 

Computer Specs

The cooler’s radiator size is the biggest factor that needs to be considered. Since AIO coolers come in a lot of different sizes, you need to find the one that suits your CPU, and that can accommodate the radiator well inside the CPU. 

Aesthetics

Some of the users want a sleek and minimal design of the cooler, one that doesn’t look or seem too bulky. Others prefer the high-end bulkiness of the cooler. It usually depends on the preference, but this is also one of the factors that should be considered before getting a liquid cooler. However, bulky ones can have issues with clearance, so it’s important that you check to see if the cooler is meddling with the hardware of your CPU or not. 

Quick Take - Best Liquid CPU Coolers

Before we go any further, here are the best liquid CPU coolers:

1. DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX
2. NZXT Kraken X62 280mm
3. Cooler Master MasterLiquid LC240E

Review of the Best Liquid CPU Coolers

Now that you’ve read over the basics of what you need to know before purchasing a liquid CPU cooler, let’s go over all the best ones available in the market:

Best Overall:
 DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX

DEEPCOOL Castle 360EX, Addressable RGB...

PROS

  • Anti-leak system makes it safe to use
  • This is very easy to install in an AMD system
  • Comes with a host of amazing features at a great value
  • Logo is adjustable and swappable, and can also be customized according to your liking
  • Performance of this liquid CPU cooler is one of the most impressive ones in the market

CONS

  • At 1800 RPM, there is some noise
  • Instructions may not be clear for some
  • For push and pull configuration, you will need more than the 12 included screws

What Recent Buyers Report

The users loved the performance of this liquid cooler and were impressed by the aesthetics of the radiator as well. It is easy to install, and the material is of high-quality, which is why its performance is so stellar. The RGB controller is also very easy to use and comes with a different array of colors and lights.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The technology used in this radiator is phenomenal, and the cooler is equipped with an anti-leak system that makes it safe to use and improves the overall performance of the radiator. It also has a flow route that is optimized to minimize noise and energy loss, and the skived fans allow for better heat absorption.

​Who Will Use This Most

This is an amazing liquid cooler intended for heavy usage. If you are an avid gamer who loves playing games with heavy graphics, then this is the one for you. It makes the CPU last longer and looks aesthetically pleasing as well. Moreover, it is a great cooler to have if you are looking for a beautiful and colorful cooler.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for a cooler that looks amazing and has incredible performance, then this is the one you need. With its impeccable features and high-quality build, it is guaranteed to make your CPU last longer and your computer experience much better.

NZXT Kraken X62 280mm - RL-KRX62-02 -...

PROS

  • Fit and the finishing of this cooler is also great
  • The aesthetics of this cooler are truly beautiful
  • Comes with an infinity mirror for a dynamic lighting experience
  • Quality of the materials that this cooler is designed with is stunning
  • Built with multiple features for enhanced performance and durability

CONS

  • Leakage may occur
  • Can be noisy depending on stock fans
  • CAM software may have to be updated regularly

What Recent Buyers Report

The installation of this liquid cooler is really easy, and its performance is really impressive. It is easy to mount, even if you are not much of a tech expert, and has a foolproof design. Moreover, it performs in a constant flow without any spikes or drops and is almost inaudible in the silent mode.

Why it Stands Out to Us

If you’re looking for an impressive liquid cooler that doesn’t cost a lot but looks and performs great, then this cooler will definitely not let you down. It features a pump that is quieter and more efficient in terms of cooling and performance, and the CAM software allows for easy and sophisticated controlling.

Who Will Use This Most

One of the best parts about this cooler is that it supports both the AMD and Intel processors, so it can be utilized by a wide range of CPUs. It is an all-in-one liquid cooler built with high-quality materials and can be used for hardcore gaming, extensive usage, and the most intense heavy graphic games or video streaming.

Bottom Line

This is a liquid cooler that comes with a 6-year warranty, amazing aesthetics, and incredible performance. It’s designed for durability and extensive usage and is made with CAM software to manage controls and customize to your preference. If you’re looking for a cooler with great features and an amazing price, you’ll love this one.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid LC240E RGB...

PROS

  • Reliable performance and amazing specs
  • Easy to install, and works on both AMD and Intel processors
  • Quiet performance ensured with the dual dissipation pump
  • The design is stunning, and the aesthetics are visually appealing
  • Low resistance 240mm radiator to maximize cooling surface area

CONS

  • Leakage issues may occur
  • Installation guide needs improvement
  • The mounting bracket does not stay put with the cooler

​What Recent Buyers Report

This is an excellent liquid cooler for the CPU, as it has all the high-end features without the hefty price tag. The design is first-class, and the materials used are of very high-quality. The performance of this cooler is undoubtedly up there and competes with expensive coolers, and the overall design and operation are impeccable.

​Why it Stands Out to Us

With the small price tag and the array of different features, this is one of the most impressive liquid coolers that you can find in the market. It has a silent operation, dual dissipation pump for efficient flow, and beautiful aesthetics that come with an RGB controller to customize the lights and effects.

​Who Will Use This Most

This high-quality liquid cooler is designed for extensive usage and heavy performance. If you’re a hardcore gamer who is looking for a cheaper version of the liquid cooler without compromising on the quality, you will love this model. It provides great value for the money and does the job without breaking the bank.

Bottom Line

This liquid cooler is designed for maximum efficiency and reliability for the consumer. It is easy to install and setup and comes with FEP tubing that gives a premium look to the entire cooler. Moreover, it comes with a wired RGB controller and splitter, so what more do you want from a cooler that is priced so low? This is indeed excellent value for the money, and its performance will not disappoint you.

Best CPU Liquid Cooler for i7 8700k:
 Corsair Hydro Series H100i PRO 

Corsair Hydro Series H100i PRO RGB AIO...

PROS

  • The RGB LED is temperature-controlled
  • Compatible with most of the CPU sockets
  • Comes with up to 4 120mm fans in push and pull modes
  • Equipped with a desktop-user interface that allows for easy control and customization
  • The zero RPM cooling allows fans to stop completely at lower temperatures for noise reduction

CONS

  • Instruction manual isn’t very useful
  •  The noise at high speed is really loud
  • Might not give enough RGB lighting effects for some users

​What Recent Buyers Report

Corsair is one of the most trustworthy brands when it comes to devices such as liquid coolers as it has been in the industry for ten years now. This liquid cooler is nothing short of amazing as it is reliable and performs incredibly. The features are really unique and the operation is impeccable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

One of the reasons why this cooler is so popular is because it is powered by magnetic levitation, and has a unique performing capability. The PWM fans deliver excellent airflow and static pressure at low noise levels and can run between 400-2400 RPM, delivering superb cooling to your CPU.

Who Will Use This Most

If you have an i7 8700k processor, then this is the best liquid cooler for you in the market. It stops overclocking and allows you to game smoothly and perform other heavy-duty tasks on the computer with ease. The core temperature of the processor remains cool even under heavy load, which makes this an excellent find for this Intel processor.

Bottom Line


If you’re on the hunt for a reliable and dependable liquid cooler for your i7 8700k processor, then this is the one you should get. Its unique features and phenomenal performance will leave you surprised, and you will not be disappointed with the operation of this liquid cooler.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120R...

PROS

  • Comes with a threadripper support
  • The cooler master’s controller hub is included
  • Performance of this liquid cooler is impeccable
  • Noise output is quite low, and it is quiet and seamless
  • Sleeved FEP tubing for durability and longevity of the cooler

CONS

  • RGB lighting may not be for everyone
  • Thermal performance is quite average
  • The instructions on the box are unclear and vague

​What Recent Buyers Report

For many users, this is one of the best coolers that they could find in the market. It installs quite easily and has many different RGB lighting that can be controlled with a color controller. It looks really beautiful, and has impeccable performance as well, which makes it a popular fan favorite.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This is an all-in-one liquid cooler that comes with many impressive features that work together to create a stellar performance. The addressable RGB LEDs come with fully customizable colors that can be controlled with the remote included. The FEP tubes are also factory-sealed for a premium outlook.

Who Will Use This Most

Because of its sturdy master fan air balance, this liquid cooler can be used for almost any heavy-duty usage. If you are an avid gamer or indulge in gaming with heavy graphics, then you will be thoroughly impressed with this liquid cooler. It is built with high-quality materials that require low maintenance.

Bottom Line

If you’re on the hunt for the best 120mm liquid cooler for your CPU, then this is the one that you should get. The PPS glass fiber construction of the tubes allows it to remain unaffected from moisture and can withstand oxidization and corrosion, making this one of the best liquid coolers in the market.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

There are several aspects that you need to keep in mind before purchasing a liquid cooler. Here are a few of the important ones that you should consider:

Quality

The quality and construction of the liquid cooler are really important as they determine the performance and the durability of the cooler. If you buy a cooler that is constructed with cheap materials, it will not be able to withstand the heavy load of the CPU.

Space

You have to make sure that your table has enough space to install a liquid cooler. If you get a bulky cooler and do not have adequate space for it, it can get damaged easily, and will not work as efficiently as it would on the desktop. Radiators need open fan slots, and the reservoirs also require space in the case too. 

Need

If you’re a hardcore gamer who wants the best use out of your CPU’s graphics card, you need the best cooling system, which means that a DIY cooling system would be better for you. If you want to keep your overclocking processor cold and benefit from minimized noise, then get a sealed liquid cooler to overcome these flaws. 

How to Install a Liquid CPU Cooler

Now that you’ve learned almost everything that you need to know about a liquid CPU cooler, let’s go over the instructions on how to actually install one at home. You can also watch the link of the video for a visual manual:

1. You will need to ensure that you have the radiator, the thumbscrews, fan screws, radiator screws, and the support screws before you start. You will also need the backplate and a screwdriver.

2. Remove the front and the back panels of the case of your CPU. Then, grab the radiator and fan and the set of long extended screws. The push method will be utilized here.

3. Secure the fan in place with the included four screws, and make sure it’s adjusted in a way that the lead wires shouldn’t be in an odd position

4. Take the fastener corresponding to the socket type. It is a squared red pattern for Intel, and rectangle for AMD. Latch it to the base of the water cooler. It should lock after some rotation. 

5. Take the corresponding backplate and secure it from behind your motherboard. 

6. Grab the support screws with equal lengths and secure in the forepins. 

7. Apply the thermal paste on the base of the water block.

8. Mount the radiator and secure it to the PC’s chassis, preferably at the front or the back. 

9. Once the radiator and the fan are secured, grab the opposite end of the AIO cooler, the water block, and align the fastener with the support screws. 

10. Slide the block on top of the CPU through the supports, and while holding the block in place, use the larger thumb screws to sandwich the entire assembly together. Do this in a cross pattern without using a screwdriver. 

11. Double-check that your pipes are routed appropriately and ensure that no cable leads are wrapped up in circuit components or fans. 

12. Grab the shortest cable lead and plug it into the CPU fan header on the motherboard. The longer cable is for USB support. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article was able to help you decide which liquid CPU cooler is best for you and suits your needs. These kinds of devices need a lot of research and thorough checking, which is why this article was designed to eliminate some of the doubts and give you some clarity. So, good luck shopping!

People Also Ask

If you still have a few ambiguities in mind that need to be cleared out, you can read this portion and get answers on the doubts that you have. Just go over these frequently asked questions to gain some insight on the functionality of the liquid coolers for your CPU:

Can Liquid Cooling Leak?

You can encounter pump failure when you purchase a liquid cooler for your CPU, which can lead to some level of leakage. If you are overclocking heavily, then liquid cooling is the best option for your motherboard; otherwise, regular air coolers are fine. Hence, yes, liquid cooling can leak. 

Do Liquid Cooling Systems Require Maintenance?

Yes, liquid cooling systems do require maintenance. It usually depends on the quality of the cooler you purchase; however, you have to go through the hassle of replacing the card and periodically top-off fluid levels. You also need to check pipes for any debris so that it doesn’t get clogged. 

How Often Should You Change Liquid Cooling PC?

This depends largely on the type of tubing the cooler has. However, with the modern coolants with innovative technologies, the fluid should remain active in the pipes for about a year. This largely depends on the material; otherwise, you should get it checked regularly for any debris or clogs.