Best 120mm AIO CPU Coolers

The 5 Best 120mm AIO CPU Coolers 2020 – Buyers Guide

Modern PCs can get very hot, especially if you are rendering or gaming for a long time. The stock cooling that comes with processors is more than enough for most cases, but the real problem shows in the long-term. Electronics and heat are part of the parcel. Take any electronics, and you will see it generates some heat as it uses electricity to power the device.

The same is the case for processors. To solve it, you can get a third-party CPU air cooler or step up the cooling using 120 mm AIO (All In One). An AIO CPU cooler is a liquid cooler that combines the radiators, water block, pump, fittings, fans, and tubes and offers a complete package to the user. That’s why it is known as AIO.

The catch is that they are expensive and can pose some risk to your PC due to liquid usage. But, in most cases, you are safe. Most of the AIO cooler manufacturer takes risks in consideration before releasing their product and in most cases. However, if something goes wrong, i.e., liquid spills, then most manufacturers cover that type of warranty where you are paid for the damaged goods. However, the path to get back the damages can be a long and not so pleasant one.

Anyway, in this guide, we will be listing the seven best 120mm AIO coolers that you can buy with your hard-earned money!

AIO cooler can be used as a standalone cooler for your entire PC, or you can also use it if you want your PC cooler water setup. In any case, 120mm AIO cooling for CPU provides the cooling performance. As we already know, the liquid is a good conductor of heat, and that’s why AIO liquid can be a good bet for good cooling performance.

But, before we list the best 120mm AIO cooler, we will go through the list of things that you should know before getting the AIO cooler for your PC.

120mm AIO Cooler: Things to look for best cooling

Check Clearance and Mounting

Great! You decided to get a 120mm AIO cooler. Before you get one, you need to make a check if you have the right clearance for it. You also need to know if the 120mm AIO supports the vertical or horizontal installation. This is important as it let you configure your airflow accordingly. If the 120mm AIO supports vertical mounting, then the air intake needs to be from the front. In horizontal mounting, the airflow can be either intake or outtake, based on your PC case.

Compatibility and Budget

You also need to make sure that your PC case and the processor on which you are using is compatible with the AIO you are going to buy.

RGB on Cooler

The RGB craze has been sweeping the industry for the past few years. You can find RGB on almost every type of hardware. The AIO is no different. It is nice to have RGB, but it is also nicer to have the option to turn it off. As a consumer, our taste changes over time, and one day you may not want to turn on the bling. In that case, having the option is helpful. Generally, a good 120 mm AIOs have the opportunity to turn them off.

Also, if you are an RGB fan, then you need to check how well it is implemented and if there is any form of the sync support for the RGB systems.

Is AIO cooler for you?

I know if you are reading this, you probably need one. However, AIO cooler comes with their risks like liquid spillage. The risks might not be worth it if you use a basic system with no such requirement for liquid cooling. What I meant to say is that a decent air cooler can also provide you the same value, and you do not have to worry about any liquid spillage to your system and potentially to damage it. However, the chance of it happening is almost nil, so there is not that much of a risk. In short, you should be wary of the risk before jumping on an AIO cooler, rather than regretting it later.

The longevity of the Cooler

We have liquid in the cooler, and is it allowing your CPU to be cooled passively. Also, it has a pump that is continuously working to pump liquid in and out. So, realistically speaking, a cooler can last anywhere between five to seven years. That’s not bad considering that it can last two of your builds providing value for an extended period. Most manufacturers rate their AIO cooler for 70000 hours, which means running the AIO cooler for eight years!

5 Best 120mm AIO CPU Coolers

Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

What You Get

Corsair Hydro Series H60 is a perfect entry-level 120 mm AIO that you can use in your build. It offers a sleek LED illuminated pump head for the extra aesthetic and performs well in the cooling department.

It gives the user control of how he wants to use it. This means that the CPU cooler lets you control the fan speed between 600 RPM to 1700 RPM. If you are listening to music or doing light tasks, you can set it to low RPM for the right balance between the cooling and noise. When it comes to noise, it is not that loud at 28.3 dBA.

Overall, the component’s quality is good, with the importance given to the radiator. The radiator is high density and is capable of dissipating heat nicely.

What I liked

  • Clean design
  • Easy to install
  • Supports modern CPU sockets

What I Disliked

  • No RGB, only pump head is LED illuminated
  • Not effective cooling if running intensive applications for long periods

Key features

  • Socket compatibility: AM4, LGA 1151, and LGA 2066 CPUs
  • Fan Speed: 600 RPM to 1700 RPM
  • Noise level: 28.3 dBA
  • RGB: Pump head is LED illuminated
  • Radiator: High density
  • Product dimensions: 14.17 x 6.29 x 4.72 inches

NZXT Kraken M22 120mm

What You Get

NZXT is a top-tier company when it comes to offering excellent AIOs. Their NZXT Kraken M22 is a budget AIO solution that is perfect for budget builds.

When it comes to RGB, it offers a dynamic lightning experience which can add an extra personality to your build. In terms of performance, it does well and gives you the minimum cooling required to run it for a more extended period of intense use. Moreover, you can use CAM software with it to control the fan speed and reduce the noise level. Generally, the noise level range from 21-38 dBA.

The radiator is also right and has access to high-quality fans, which can work silently as well.

What I liked

  • Six years of warranty
  • Excellent design
  • Comes with advanced lightning modes

What I Disliked

  • Nothing!

Key features

  • Socket compatibility: 1151, 1150, 1156, 1155, 2011, 2011-3, 2066
  • Fan Speed: 2700 to 3300 RPM
  • Noise level: 21-38 dBA
  • RGB: Yes on the pump
  • Block Dimensions: 65 x 65 x 48 mm
  • Radiator: 152 x 120 x 32 mm

EVGA CLC 120mm All-In-One CPU Liquid Cooler

What You Get

EVGA is another trusted brand when it comes to computer parts. Their graphics card units are excellent, and they follow the same quality in the AIO quality. This one is a non-RGB version, but you can also go fo an RGB version if you want.

Installing it is easy, and you will also appreciate its wiring of the tubes as it looks clean. Just like other AIOs, this one also uses a cooper base for displacement.

The design is also clean and will go nicely in any build. In terms of noise, it makes 20.0 decibels. The airflow is around 58.87 CFM, which is pretty good.

What I liked

  • 5-year warranty
  • Reliable build
  • Nicely priced
  • Noise levels are excellent

What I Disliked

  • Less warranty compared to others

Key features

  • Socket compatibility: Supports AM4 and Intel modern sockets
  • Fan Speed: 500 – 2400 RPM
  • Noise level: 20 decibels
  • RGB: Both non-RGB and RGB models available
  • Dimensions: 9.17 x 7.4 x 5.99 inches

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C 120mm

What You Get

Thermaltake Water 3.0 Performer C 120 mm is a decent 120 mm AIO that can provide you the necessary cooling for your modern processor. It utilizes copper plates for connecting the pump with the CPU. It is of high quality and can pump out heat to the radiator and then outside the case.

As it is a 120 mm AIO, it utilizes a 120 mm aluminum radiator. The one thing that you will notice if you get the Thermaltake one is that it is a low profile design. That means that the pump above the CPU is a straightforward design and will look amazing in a small case. However, the one thing that you should before getting it is that it only offers a 3-year warranty compared to five or six years provided by other best 120 mm AIO manufacturers.

The socket support for the AIO includes all the latest Intel and AMD sockets, including LGA 2011-3/ 2066/ 2011/ 1366, 1156, 1151, 1150, 1151. You also get support for AMD AM4, TR4, FM2, FM1, AM3+, AM2+, and others

What I liked

  • Low pump design
  • Good radiator
  • Support high-performance water block

What I Disliked

  • 3-year warranty! I hope they consider
  • Pump noise can sometimes be too much

Key features

  • Socket compatibility: All latest AM4 and Intel Sockets
  • Fan Speed: not mentioned
  • Noise level: not mentioned
  • RGB: No
  • Item Dimensions: 9.20 x 7.30 x 5.60

Asus ROG RYUO 120 RGB AIO

What You Get

If you are an RGB fan like me, you need to check out the ASUS ROG RYUO 120 RGB AIO. It is an excellent cooler for CPU. ASUS has its own Aura Sync RGB solution, and the AIO supports Aura sync. So, if you are using ASUS components that support Aura sync, then you can club the 120 mm AIO with your system.

Apart from that, you will find the aesthetic appealing in non-aura sync compatible with computers as well. The AIO pump is available in all three radiators’ sizes, including 240 mm and 360 mm.

You can also control the fan speed with the Fan Xpert. This means that you can control the fan speed to reduce noise if you feel overwhelmed by the default noise. The airflow of the AIO fan is 80.95 CFM. The default noise level of the AIO is slightly higher at 37.6. decibels. To ensure that you have full control, it offers 12 tuned static pressure and airflow.

One more thing that makes the ASUS ROG RYUO excellent is the availability of the 1.77″ OLED panel, a full-color OLED. You can use it to display personalized logos or even system stats.

What I liked

  • 12 tuned static pressure
  • Excellent base plate
  • 1.77 inch full-color OLED panel
  • Compliment ROG motherboards
  • The tubing is sleeved and reinforced for better durability and performance

What I disliked

  • High price point

Key features

  • Socket compatibility: All modern Intel and AMD sockets
  • Fan Speed: 80.95 CFM
  • Noise level: 37.6 decibels
  • RGB: Yes
  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 0.98 x 4,72 inches

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

There can be many questions still looming around you. To help you clear it out, let’s check some of the frequently asked questions(FAQs) when it comes to buying 120 mm AIO coolers.

Q: What is the best 120m solution for CPU cooling?

A: It depends. If you are looking for all bell and whistles, I would recommend getting the ASUS ROG RYUO.

Q: Are 120mm AIO worth it?

A: Yes! AIO coolers are always better than air coolers (until and unless you are using top-tier air CPU cooler). Also, 120 mm AIO is a good option if you want to go to the liquid AIO route.

Q: What is the best AIO?

A: It is hard to pinpoint the best AIO cooler. AIO coolers are still evolving with each release, and look out for reviews every time you want to buy one. So, check out our coverage of 120mm, 240mm, and 360mm radiators to understand which one is best in their respective category.

Q: What is the best 240 mm AIO?

A: There are many best 240 mm AIO coolers out there. We suggest checking out our best 240 mm AIO cooler list to learn more about it.

Q: is 120mm liquid cooling enough?

A: It depends on your use requirement. With 120 mm liquid cooling, you are not going to get the best results, but it will help you keep the CPU temps in check and not worry about it. If you are into overclocking or use your CPU in stress mode for a very long period, then it is best to look out of the 240 mm or 360 mm AIO coolers.

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