All-In-One: Compact Water Cooler At A Glance – Guide

For many people, having a water cooler in their home is essential. Not only does it provide a refreshing source of hydration, but it can also be a great conversation piece. But traditional water coolers can be bulky and take up a lot of space. Thankfully, there is now an alternative: the allinone compact water cooler.

In this article, we will discuss how does a compact water cooler works.

How does a compact water cooler work?

Compact water coolers have been very popular for some time. The reason often given is that this type of cooler is much better in terms of heat dissipation and volume. But this is only partly true. But let’s start with the construction of such compact water coolers.

Basically, these coolers are nothing more than normal water coolers in a self-contained system. Compared to large water cooling systems, which are assembled piece by piece from radiators, expansion tanks, hoses, pumps, CPU and GPU coolers, connectors, and coolant, these components are already firmly assembled.

The pump is located directly above the CPU cooler, which is usually made of copper. The hoses are firmly connected to the pump and radiator and the coolant is already in the cooling system, so there is no need to fill it up – and there is no risk of spilling anything.

The manufacturers of such coolers also advertise that no further maintenance of the water cooler is necessary. The functional principle of the all-in-one water cooler is very simple. The CPU contact surface, which is mostly made of copper, conducts the heat through many small passages inside the CPU cooler so that a large area of the cooling liquid envelops the inner copper passages, which transport the heat away directly.

The pump ensures that the heated liquid is transported to the radiator and at the same time freshly cooled cooling liquid comes back from the radiator to the CPU cooler. In the radiator, the water runs through the many fins and is cooled there by one or more fans.

Since fans are not dispensed with here, as with air coolers, it can also get quite loud depending on the number of revolutions of the fans.

in many cases, the background noise is even higher than with high-quality air coolers. But don’t panic, most fans can be easily controlled, so you can reduce the volume to a comfortable level – even if you lose a little cooling performance. The assembly is similar to air coolers.

Some CPU water coolers can be attached to the mainboard using push pins (Intel system) or backplates. The radiator, together with the fan, is placed in the tower at appropriate locations, e.g. instead of a case fan. Before buying, you should definitely check whether and if so which radiator sizes are supported by the PC case.

AiO water cooling makes sense, especially for current high-end CPUs such as the Intel Core i9-12900K or the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, since these CPUs automatic cally clock up depending on the cooling performance or can keep the turbo clock longer with better cooling.

For our overview, we have divided the compact water cooling systems according to the size of the existing radiator. We present you with some well-rated alternatives for water coolers with 120 mm, 140 mm, 240 mm, and 280/360 mm radiators.

The following manufacturers currently offer a Socket 1700 upgrade kit for certain AiO water coolers: Arctic, Corsair, Enermax, MSI, NZXT

120mm radiator:

We start with the Cooler MasterLiquid Lite 120, which has been our most popular compact water cooler in price comparisons for a long time. Except for the not-really-quiet fan, the MasterLiquid Lite 120 receives consistently good reviews. And at a price of just over 40 euros, it is also one of the cheapest of its kind. Enermax relies on an RGB fan for the Liqmax III 120.

Here the pump shines in RGB lighting. If you want to call the colorful, small compact water cooler your own, you can get it for around 50 euros. Last but not least, there is the 120 mm water cooler TUF Gaming LC 120 ARGB from Asus, which is no longer that cheap with a purchase price of around 90 euros.

In return, you get a water cooler that is comparatively quiet and shines in the desired color. Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120 Best offer of:52.99€incl. Shipping 6 other prices and providers Enermax Liqmax III 120 (ELC-LMT120-HF) Best offer from: 39.99 € incl.

Shipping 18 more prices and providers ASUS TUF GAMING LC 120 ARGB AiO water cooling (90RC00H1-M0UAY0) Best offer from:88.92€incl. Shipping 26 more prices and providers Can’t find the right CPU water cooler with a 120 mm radiator? Here you will find all the coolers we have listed in 120/140 mm format

240mm radiator:

A radiator with a length of 240 millimeters has space for two 120 mm fans next to each other. Such compact water coolers no longer fit so easily into any housing. Due to the larger cooling surface in the radiator and the two fans, such a water cooler cools better than its smaller relatives.

Depending on the model, these are not very expensive much more expensive. The NZXT Kraken X53 starts at a purchase price of just over 140 euros and is therefore one of the more expensive but also strongest models. The purchase of the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite RGB is a bit more expensive.

For just over 100 euros, however, you get a very potent compact water cooler whose fans and lighting can be conveniently controlled via software. With the Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB, Arctic shows that AiO water cooling does not have to be expensive. NZXT Kraken X53 AIO water cooler with RGB AM4-Ready (RL-KRX53-01) Best offer from:134.65€incl.

Shipping 15 other prices and providers Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Elite (CW-9060058-WW) Best offer from: 140.55 € incl. Shipping 23 other prices and providers ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB (ACFRE00093A) Best offer from: 104.37 € incl.

Shipping 12 other prices and providers Can’t find the right CPU water cooler with a 240 mm radiator? Here you will find all the coolers we have listed in 240 mm format

280mm radiator:

Some cases even offer space for larger radiators with a length of 280 mm (2 x 140 mm). The selection of such large-sized compact water coolers is very clear with currently seven products. First of all, we want to introduce you to a completely new model among the really big ones: the NZXT Kraken X63 RGB for 170 euros.

This AiO water cooling has two quiet 140 mm ARGB fans and an illuminated pump. With a purchase price of around 170 euros, the iCUE H115i RGB from Corsair is in the same price segment and without RGB fans.

The compact water cooler is equipped with a 280 mm radiator and consequently, two 140 mm fans, can be conveniently controlled via software and is comparatively quiet in operation, simple, and elegant.

Arctic has one with the Liquid Freezer II 280 AiO extremely inexpensive water cooler in the portfolio. The 280 mm radiator comes with two quiet 140 mm fans. In terms of value for money, this water cooling system is one of the best on the market. NZXT Kraken X63 RGB AIO Water Cooler (RL-KRX63-R1) Best offer from:169,90€incl.

Shipping 22 more prices and providers Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Elite AiO water cooler (CW-9060059-WW) Best offer from:157.32€incl.

Shipping 21 more prices and providers ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 All-in-One CPU water cooler Best offer from:106.76€incl. Shipping 13 more prices and providers Can’t find the right CPU water cooler with a 280 mm radiator? Here you will find all the coolers we have listed in 280 mm format

360mm radiator:

If you want to use the maximum length with compact water cooling, you should use a model with a 360 mm radiator. Three 120 mm fans ensure the necessary fresh air supply. But before you buy it, be sure to check whether the case offers enough space.

Our first recommendation is the Alphacool Eisbaer LT360, which not only convinces in terms of size but is also attractively priced. If it can be really colorful, then you are well advised with the NZXT Kraken X73 RGB. The AiO offers many different lighting modes, and great optics at a price of just under 170 euros. Last but not least, the Corsair iCue H150i is another recommendation from our side.

Here you get the highest quality paired with convenient functions, maximum socket compatibility, and a beautiful look. Although you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket for this, you will be rewarded with one of the best 360 mm compact water cooling.

Alphacool Eisbaer LT360 CPU black Best offer from: 119.99€incl. Shipping 5 more prices and providers NZXT Kraken X73 RGB AIO water cooler (RL-KRX73-R1) Best offer from: 218.99 € incl. shipping 7 more prices and providers Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CPU liquid cooler with LCD display (CW-9060062-WW) Best offer of:304.99€incl.

Shipping 9 other prices and providers Can’t find the right CPU water cooler with a 360 mm radiator? Here you will find all the coolers we have listed in 360 mm format


The first step when buying a compact water cooling system should always be to look at the specifications of the PC case to clarify which radiator sizes are supported. In principle, the currently available water coolers should be mountable on all common bases, but a look at the manufacturer’s information can’t hurt here either.

So once the radiator size and socket have been determined, it is time to select the product. We have divided our recommendations for all-in-one water cooling into four different categories. We have also linked a meaningful test for each product, in which the exact details of the water cooling can be found.

We hope that our overview has helped you and that your CPU and you keep a cool head. Do you have questions about compact water coolers? Then write to us!

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