Powerful gaming PCs generate a lot of heat. This is due to powerful processors and GPUs offers extensive power necessary to run heavy games at higher frame rates. The resulting heat leads to performance degradation, because, modern CPUs throttle performance in case of excessive heat.
Why Do We Need CPU Coolers
Therefore to keep the CPUs cooler for better performance we computers require some kind of cooling mechanism. Though computers come with built-in CPU coolers are not good enough for gaming PCs especially if you are thinking about overclocking the CPUs for smoother performance.
Types of CPU Coolers
There are two types of CPU coolers available in the market.
Air Coolers: Air coolers consist of a fan and metal heatsink. The metal heat sink is fitted directed on the CPU. The metal heat sink draws heat from the CPU while the fan cools the heat sink. This is a very simple mechanism and you probably already understand how it works. The built-in CPU coolers these days are Air coolers.
If you are looking to buy an Air cooling mechanism for your processor or graphics you should check out Madoffers.co.uk. They sell some amazing PC cooling equipment including different types of RGB fans to not only keep your system cool but also make it look cool.
Water Coolers: Water cooling mechanism is a little complex but I will explain it in detail for you to understand.
Basically, this cooling variant consists of up to five parts. The actual heatsink sits on the processor itself. It absorbs the heat of the CPU and forwards it to the water cycle. An expansion tank ensures that the water level within the cooler remains constant. This is very important in especially in fluctuating temperatures.
A pump ensures the transport of the water to the radiator fitted to the casing wall. Optionally, the radiator is equipped with fans to prevent heat build-up. This is always the case with gaming PCs. This CPU water cooling function is installed by many manufacturers in compact all-in-one (short: AiO) PCs.
Which One Should You Choose, AIr or Water Cooler?
This decision depends on your budget and the kind the kind of cooling you want. Water coolers are usually expensive yet have very few advantages over air cooling. Below we will talk in detail about the advantages of water cooling and its downsides.
Advantages of water cooling
- The biggest selling point is clearly in the cooling performance. A well-directed water cycle absorbs significantly more heat than flowing air. In addition, the heat is transported to the housing wall, which is why the air within the case warms up significantly less. This not only supports the processor, but also the graphics card. This significantly improved cooling performance allows significant overclocking of the CPU and even a slight improvement in the GPU.
- Another advantage is the better air circulation in the case. High-performance air coolers with their large metal bodies significantly disrupt the movement of the air and thus reduce the cooling of the graphics card, Southbridge, Northbridge, and other components. The best CPU water coolers today consist of a small attachment for the base and a radiator on the housing. These are connected by two tubes. The pump and the expansion tank can be accommodated in the processor attachment.
- Another great advantage is less noise. Classic air coolers come with several fans, both on the processor itself and on the housing wall. In contrast, a CPU water cooler transports the heat out of the casing through the radiator. Accordingly, fewer fans are required there. Since the fans are combined with the radiator, they provide better cooling at lower speeds. All this results in significantly less noise.
Disadvantages of Water Cooling
- The biggest advantage of water coolers is its price. Just the high price deters many from this cooling concept. And they are right, if you have no temperature problems, have not much problem with a certain noise level and are not into overclocking, there is no need for water cooling. A conventional air cooler can do a perfect job. You better invest the extra money in some other component.
- Also, there is some basic risk involved with water cooling. Electricity and water do not go along very well. Although All-in-One cooling systems from well-known manufacturers are very safe, the risk still remains.
Important Point Before You Buy a Water CPU Cooler
- The Correct Socket: There are many different processor generations and many use their own sockets. You need to check if the Water CPU cooler you want to purchase can fit the socket of your processor or not. Many water coolers come with multiple assemblies so they can fit on AMD as well as Intel socket.
- Sufficient Space in The Casing: There are different-sized radiators for AiO CPU water cooling systems. The size is based mostly on the number of fitted fans. A CPU water cooler with three fans and a corresponding radiator requires at least three fan places on the housing, directly located next to each other. Ideally, these are either on the back or the top of the case.
Best CPU Water Coolers 2019
Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX 240mm
This CPU water cooler is a technical masterpiece. I have been using it on my PC and it felt like a blessing. Two fans flood the radiator with fresh air. In conjunction with a low-noise pump is a completely solid system which offers excellent performance. The slightly larger radiator requires two adjacent fan slots in the housing.
It rewards every gamer with optimal cooling, even with heavy overclocking. The only down side is the volume of the fans. They are very quiet but still audible at close range, which is the case with most AiO water coolers. Most gamers should not mind that.
Nevertheless, the Corsair Hydro Series H100i GTX 240mm is one of the most popular water coolers on the market, and not without reason. It convinces numerous gamers.
- Very good cooling performance
- Amazing build quality
- Adjustable fan speed
ARCTIC liquid freezer 240
This CPU cooler is reasonably priced yet presents water cooling. The performance is on a par with more expensive models and the quality has been convincing users for a long time. Only the volume is slightly higher, even if the water cooler is quieter than most air coolers. It comes with four fans and still requires only two fan slots in the case.
Each side of the radiator is equipped with two fans. This results in a very good performance, but the cooling unit is therefore very thick. Especially in smaller cases, this can lead to problems. Nevertheless, the ARTIC Liquid Freezer 240 is worth a try, because with it even those who don’t want to spend a fortune on a CPU cooler can experience the benefits of water cooling.
- Very good cooling performance
- Great value for money
- Cooling unit is slightly thick
Enermax Liqmax II 120
Small casings often require water coolers with a compact radiator and only one fan. This is where the Enermax Liqmax II 120 comes in handy. It even fits into many mini-ITX casings.
The installation is a bit fiddly, otherwise buyers get a completely successful overall package here. The small radiator with only one cooler is not designed for absolute enthusiasts in the field of overclocking.
Small steps are possible, but at high temperatures, the fan likes to turn up uncomfortably. If high clock rates are important, you should rather resort to one of the aforementioned models or replace the supplied fan with a quiet and powerful model.
- Excellent price to performance ratio
- Compact construction
- A bit complicated installation process
- Fan speeds up uncomfortably at high temperatures
Okay, so this concludes our guide on the CPU cooling. If you have been using water cooling in your computer please let us know about which cooler you have been using and how did you find its performance. Have a good day.