If you‘re looking for an effective way to keep your CPU cool, you might want to consider investing in a compact CPU water cooler. These compact coolers are ideal for small form factor PCs, and they provide great cooling performance without taking up too much space.
All-in-One water cooling for CPUs – How to find the right one!
They are maintenance-free, look nice, and usually cool the CPU better than the most powerful air coolers: compact CPU water coolers are always very popular.
If you want to offer the processor the best possible cooling and do not want to assemble a custom water cooling system yourself, an all-in-one water cooling system is the best choice. All you have to do is screw the fans to the radiator and these to the housing, attach the CPU cooler to the mainboard, and connect the necessary cables, no topping up the coolant, no mounting expansion tanks, or laying and attaching hoses are necessary.
With an all-in-one water cooling system, you buy everything you need for operation in one package. Depending on the model, even with RGB fans and/or a customizable display. In terms of price, these compact water cooling solutions start at around 50 euros and can quickly – depending on the equipment and radiator size – cost several hundred euros.
The most common sizes here are radiators with 240 or 280 millimeters, which refers to fan sizes. Two 120mm fans can be mounted on 240mm radiators and two 140mm fans on 280mm radiators. Even larger and correspondingly more powerful are 360 and 420 radiators, which each support three fans with 120 mm or 140 mm.
Here you should not only consider the number of fans but also the fan size. Due to the larger diameter, 140 mm fans have a higher air flow than the 120 mm models at the same speed and are in most cases quieter. It is possible that good 280 mm water cooling systems are more powerful and quieter than cheap 360 mm compact water cooling systems.
Now you could say that it is best to install the largest possible radiator size right away, but the whole thing must also fit into the existing housing. Very few PC cases offer space for a 420 mm radiator – significantly more support than 360 mm radiators. 280 or 240 mm all-in-one water cooling systems are most commonly supported by PC cases.
But not only whether the desired water cooling fits into the existing housing is an important criterion before the purchase. The position in the housing can also be decisive. We recommend always installing the AiO water cooling system in the front of the case, as this is the only way the fans can blow fresh air onto the heated radiator and the water inside it, and also contribute to good airflow in the case.
AiO water cooling is often installed in the cover, which means that the fans then have to use the warm air from the PC to “cool” the radiator, which is ultimately suboptimal in terms of cooling the CPU.
Water cooling with radiators smaller than 280 mm cannot be found in our purchase recommendations, because on the one hand, the surcharge of 280 mm to 240 mm is usually very small, and smaller water cooling is correspondingly louder in most cases in order to be able to achieve reasonably good cooling performance.
AiO water cooling with only one fan is generally not recommended at all, since good air coolers already cool better and quieter. The HardwareSchotte editorial team has compiled the best all-in-one water cooling systems for you, clearly listed with all the important features and the current best price.
What should I look out for when buying?
In addition to the maximum supported radiator size of the PC case, the positioning of the water cooling also plays an important role. Water cooling in the front is more effective than the one at the top of the case. In addition, 140 mm fans ensure more throughput and at the same time quieter operation than the variants with 120 mm fans.
Furthermore, when mounted in the lid, the mainboard can be covered by the AiO water cooling, or even worse, the mainboard can block the assembly. Also practical, but usually also more expensive are solutions with software control, such as NZXT or Corsair.
Which CPU water cooling fits the Intel Socket 1700?
Most all-in-one water cooling systems from NZXT, some from Arctic, Corsair, MSI, be quiet!, Alpenföhn and Enermax are compatible with the new Intel socket thanks to an optionally available Socket 1700 conversion kit.
How do I get such a conversion kit for the Intel Socket 1700?
With a few exceptions, the conversion kits are not yet included with the water cooling systems and must therefore be ordered from the manufacturers. ZXT, and SilentiumPC
How loud or quiet are such AiO water cooling systems?
There is no general answer to this. Inexpensive water cooling systems are often not easy to control or cannot be controlled at all. This means that they either always run at maximum or depending on the CPU temperature and are therefore correspondingly loud.
In many cases, higher-quality all-in-one water coolers have an integrated fan control, which, depending on the setting, can make the cooling very quiet. Special solutions with their own software, such as CAM from NZXT or iCUE from Corsair, are very convenient but are more likely to be found in the high-priced segment.
Can I just replace the fans with water cooling?
In most cases, this is not a problem as long as the fan sizes correspond to those of the original. But you should make sure that the minimum requirements in terms of fan speed and throughput are not undercut. Good cooling performance would then no longer be guaranteed.
Why is there no 120mm AiO water cooling here?
In most cases, all-in-one water cooling with only one fan cools worse than high-quality air coolers and is even louder. Accordingly, we cannot make any recommendations for such small water cooling systems, and in this case, we recommend an air-cooled CPU cooler.
Do you have to refill the cooling water in an AiO water cooling system?
In most cases, refilling is not even possible because there is no corresponding opening for it. However, a few models offer the possibility to refill cooling water. Basically, all AiO models gradually lose cooling water through evaporation and minimal openings.
If an AiO water cooling system starts to gurgle, for this reason, you should slowly start looking for a successor. Not the all-in-one water cooling you want for CPUs? All CPU compact water cooling in a price comparison