The best compact CPU water coolers – Review 2023

  1. NZXT Kraken X73 RGB AIO water cooler
  2. Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE liquid CPU cooler with LCD
  3. NZXT Kraken X63 RGB AIO water cooler
  4. ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 all-in-one CPU water cooler
  5. Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Elite AiO water cooler
  6. Enermax Liqmax III 240mm ARGB

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.

Good 280 mm water cooling systems may be 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 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 do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?

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 on 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, and 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.
The following manufacturers offer suitable Socket 1700 conversion kits for some of their CPU water cooling systems: Enermax, be quiet, Arctic,

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Hello, I'm the author and creator of I've got over 12 years of expertise in the field. In my time, I've tested and looked over hundreds of graphics cards to build custom PCs. I am confident that my experience and experience will assist you to pick the best card that matches your requirements and budget.

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