Today’s gaming PCs are finely-tuned machines, maximizing performance and functionality. Who wants to be gaming at max frames per second and have to listen to the constant, loud, airplane-taking-off noise of a standard CPU fan?
All-in-one (AIO) CPU watercoolers are the answer to this problem. These liquid cooling units come with several key advantages over their air-cooling counterparts.
The biggest draw is their near-silent operation. Because they use liquid to cool the CPU, coupled with very low-powered fans, they make hardly any noise.
Watercoolers are also very good at removing heat. They use liquid to cool the CPU instead of a high-powered fan, which makes them more efficient. As a nice bonus, this increased cooling efficiency improves the potential for overclocking your CPU.
Watercoolers take up a lot less room than traditional air coolers. While fan-based coolers can take up a ton of room and be a bit of an eyesore, watercoolers have a very small footprint and leave your PC case less cluttered.
Here are three cheap AIO watercoolers (that are better than air).
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB
This unit is the cheapest on our list at $69.99 (available at NewEgg). Its dual 120mm fans range from 650-2000 RPMs, and noise comes in at 6 dB to 30 dB. Its matte-black style, coupled with RGB lighting on the fans and pump head ensure this unit looks as good as it performs.
Deepcool Captain 240EX RGB
The best-looking unit on our list, this cooler is no slouch when it comes to performance. It lists at $99.99 (available on Amazon). It has dual 120mm fans that range from 500-1800 RPMs, and noise comes in at 17.6 dB to 31.3 dB. This unit is a looker with white fan and cooler casings, and black fans and tubing. This unit also features RGB lighting (on the pump head and two included LED light strips) that can be controlled with either the included hardware controller or via the motherboard. This is a great cooler for anyone wishing to combine awesome style with fantastic performance.
Corsair H100i Pro
If you’re willing to splurge a little, look no further than the Corsair H100i Pro ($109.99 on Amazon). Its dual 120mm fans run at up to 2400 RPM and maintain a consistent noise level of 37 dB or lower. Noise level can be decreased to 0 dB in Zero RPM Mode (used when CPU temps are low). The pump head includes a multicolor RGB LED which can be customized to fit your build. Corsair’s iCue software lets you modify the RGB lighting, water pump speed, and the speed of each fan. In addition, this software allows you to monitor the CPU temperatures and coolant temperatures. If you want the best performance at a budget price, take a look at the Corsair H100i Pro.
So if you’re ready to quiet down your PC case, clean up your cluttered case internals, and make a statement with dynamic RGB lighting, consider any of these budget-priced watercoolers. You won’t be disappointed.
Image credit to Plum Bar, overclockers & B&H