All in One watercoolers are more popular than ever. But how do they perform under high temperatures? We testet nine All in One watercoolers in detail.
Introduction: Water or Air?
The topic named processor coolers is often a tricky one. On the one hand the processor cooler is an important part of the PC, on the other hand it doesn’t have to cost too much. Our air cooler test proved this. More and more people are using All in One water coolers in their computers instead of the air cooler. This should keep the temperatures on a low level on the one hand and on the other hand also contribute to the style of the whole PC.
As for cooling capacity, AiO water coolers are not always better. For example, large air coolers usually perform even better. When it comes to noise, AiO water coolers are usually the better option. In terms of design, in most cases they also have an advantage. But which AiO should you choose? We tested nine All in One watercoolers with 240 mm radiator size and above to find out.
The test as a video
Overview: Our testsamples
As test samples for our test we selected nine different coolers from Aerocool, be quiet!, Cooler Master, Corsair, Enermax, NZXT, Raijintek and Thermaltake. We only tested coolers with radiators over 240mm in size, as they are usually the better ratio between performance and noise.
AeroCool Project 7 P7-L240
The AeroCool Project 7 P7-L240 is the Taiwanese manufacturer’s first water cooler. It comes with a 240 mm radiator and two 120 mm fans. These are equipped with RGB LEDs, which can be controlled with an additional controller or the mainboard via a 4-pin adapter. The pump is colored with a controllable LED effect too, which fits well to the transparent design. The cooling circuit can also be refilled via an inlet in the pump. The P7-L240 is available for 100 euros.
be quiet! Silent Loop 360
The be quiet! Silent Loop 360 is the largest AiO in our test. It has a 360 mm radiator and three 120 mm Pure Wings 2 fans. be quiet! gives all Silent Loop models a simple appearance and very quiet operation. The water cooler is designed in black all the way through. The tubes are covered with a spiral spring for protection. The coolant can be refilled via a filling opening on the pump as well. be quiet! charges around 139 euros for the premium cooler.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB is definitely worth a look, especially for RGB lovers. The AiO comes with a 240 mm radiator and two 120 mm fans. These have transparent fan blades and addressable RGB lighting. This can be controlled either via the mainboard features or an included, handy controller at the push of a button or via software. The pump also offers the same RGB lighting and an illuminated Cooler Master logo. The MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB is available for around 110 Euros.
Corsair H115i Pro RGB
The Corsair H115i Pro RGB is the latest release from the manufacturer. With a 280 mm radiator, it offers more cooling surface than the smaller AiOs. In addition, there are two 140 mm ML series fans. These should be very quiet especially under high loads. Corsair adds RGB lighting only on the pump. The lighting and performance of the pump can be controlled via a USB 2.0 connection via Corsair Link. The H115i Pro RGB costs about 128 Euros or 140 US Dollars.
Enermax Liqfusion 240 RGB
The Enermax Liqfusion 240 RGB is another water cooler from Enermax. It comes with a 240 mm radiator and two 120 mm fans. These are equipped with remarkable RGB rings, which can be controlled and addressed via the mainboard. The cooling head is also equipped with an addressable RGB ring. Inside a wheel turns in the water stream. For the control there is a included controller and the possibility to control via the mainboard. What is special about the AiO is that the pump is not located in the cooling head, instead underneath the radiator on the tubes. The Liqfusion 240 RGB can also be refilled via a filling port on the cooling head. Enermax supplies a small bottle of coolant and a cable to bridge the power supply unit and operate the pump. Enermax charges for the Liqfusion 240 RGB a good 95 Euros.
Enermax Liqmax II 240
The Enermax Liqmax II 240 is the performance version of the manufacturer. It also comes with a 240 mm radiator and two 120 mm fans. However, there is no RGB lighting here. Only the pump head has an integrated white LED illumination of the logo and a ring. The fan blades are ribbed and can be set to three different levels in addition to PWM controllability. The Liqxmax 240 is with 74 Euros the cheapest cooler in our test.
NZXT Kraken X52
The Kraken series from NZXT is one of the most popular series in our community. The NZXT Kraken X52 is no exception. It comes with a 240 mm radiator and two black 120 mm AER fans. The special thing about it is the reflecting pump head. Without lighting, it is a smooth mirror surface. Inside there are downward reaching RGB rings and an illuminated NZXT logo. Everything is controlled via a USB 2.0 interface. The pump head also has an integrated fan hub, allowing both the lighting and the fan curve to be controlled with NZXT’s CAM software. The premium product costs as well. About 137 Euros have to be paid for the Kraken X52.
Raijintek Orcus 240
The Raijintek Orcus 240 is a new addition from the Taiwanese manufacturer. It is designed primarily for a very quiet operation, but also for a good style. The AiO has a 240 mm radiator and two 120 mm fans with addressable RGB LEDs. Raijintek also includes a controller with remote control. The AiO is identical in construction to the Enermax Liqfusion 240 RGB and has a similar cooling head as well as the pump on the tubes. There is also a small water wheel which rotates during operation and a controllable RGB interior lighting. This cooler can also be refilled via a port on the cooling head. Raijintek also includes the coolant directly, but doesn’t include the cables to bridge the power supply. The Raijitek Orcus 240 is available for a good 100 Euros.
Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition
The Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition is the ultimate premium model of the manufacturer. It comes with 280 mm radiator and two 140 mm fans. These are RGB controllable and addressable. Thermaltake also includes a suitable controller. Over a USB 2.0 connection the controller can be operated also with Thermaltakes TT RGB plus software and a Smartphone App. This allows fan curves and lighting to be set very precisely. The Floe Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition is the most expensive cooler in our test with a price of 160 Euros.
Compared to the air coolers, the installation of the water cooler is almost effortless. All of the AiOs we tested use a backplate to which the cooling head is screwed. Sometimes other frames have to be attached to the cooling head. We fixed the radiator on the upper side using a pull-out plate and pushed it back in again. Due to the comfortable construction of the Dark Base 700 the wiring is also very simple.
On the other hand, the USB cables were sometimes a bit annoying when they had to be attached to the pump head. For example, the cables of the NZXT Kraken X52 and the Corsair H115i Pro RGB are somewhat difficult to install. However, with a little bit of intuition you can do it. In some cases the head was also a bit difficult to mount on the CPU due to the tightness in the tubes, but we managed to mount each cooler in less than 5 minutes. Every cooling head is compatible to our Crucial Ballistix Elite-Sticks without any problems. No RAM slots are blocked.
To determine the performance of each cooler, we built each of them into our test setup and tested it individually. In order to have space for all coolers, they are housed in our be quiet! Dark Base 700. All coolers need to cool our Intel Core i7-7700K. Everything is built on a MSI Z270 Gaming M7. Our complete test system:
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7700K|
|Mainboard||MSI Z270 Gaming M7|
|RAM||Crucial Ballistix Elite 3000 MHz 32 GB|
|GPU||KFA2 GTX 1070 ti EX|
|SSD||WD Black 500 GB|
|PSU||be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1000 Watt|
|Case||be quiet! Dark Base 700|
|Fans||2x 140 mm in the front|
1x 120mm in the rear
Fans: be quiet! Silent Wings 3
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
Test settings and environment
We tested in a rather special setting. Since it was high summer at the time of our temperature test, the ambient temperature was a good 28 degrees Celsius. We kept this temperature for all coolers with a variation of 0.5 degrees Celsius in both directions. The Dark Base 700 was fully closed in every test. Two 140 mm fans are installed in the front, one 120 mm fan in the back. The fans are Silent Wings 3 fans from be quiet! The case fans ran constantly at 40 percent. The radoators were each mounted in the top of the case. With the exception of the Thermaltake AiO, the fans of the radiators were controlled via the PWM control of the mainboard and ran at 20 percent speed from 30 degrees Celsius. The speed increased continuously up to 70 degrees Celsius, from then on the fans of the cooler ran at 100 percent speed. The paste supplied with the cooler was used as the heat conducting paste.
As a performance test, we used Prime95. 20 minutes blend tests heated up our i7-7700K which needs to be cooled. Our coolers had to take twice a 20-minute blend test. We let the processor run once at standard clockspeeds up to 4.5 GHz in automatic mode and once overclocked to fixed 4.8 GHz and 1.28 Volt. In order not to corrupt the result, we started the temperature measurement only after a warm-up period of two minutes in the blend test. In addition, we measured the temperature values on IDLE at standard clock and overclocked after 10 minutes.
To measure the temperature we used the programs RealTemp and HWMonitor. RealTemp displays the average value, the current temperature and the maximum and minimum values, HWMonitor only the current temperature as well as maximum and minimum values directly on the package and the individual cores. Both programs can be reset to provide a correct measurement.
Overview of all temperatures
In the first table we have noted the complete measurement results of all coolers in both standard and OC mode. Both the maximum and minimum values of each test as well as the average values are noted in the complete results. However, these are by far not as relevant as the average value. It should be noted that Prime95 can vary in the blend test. The temperature limit of our processor is 100 degrees Celsius, then the processor starts with Thermal Throtteling. Almost no cooler has managed to keep single processor cores below 100 degrees Celsius in the overclocked state. However, the maximum value in the blend test is by far not of concern. The average values can be found in a separate table, which can also be filtered.
|Cooler||Temp. IDLE||Temp. Prime95||Temp. IDLE 4,8 GHz||Temp. Prime95 4,8 GHz|
|AeroCool P7 Pro 240||Ø 34°C||Ø 73°C||Ø 35°C||Ø 89°C|
|be quiet! Silent Loop 360||Ø 33°C||Ø 69°C||Ø 34°C||Ø 84°C|
|Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 RGB||Ø 34°C||Ø 68°C||Ø 35°C||Ø 85°C|
|Corsair H115i Pro RGB||Ø 35°C||Ø 72°C||Ø 35°C||Ø 86°C|
|Enermax Liqfusion 240 RGB||Ø 33°C||Ø 69°C||Ø 33°C||Ø 84°C|
|Enermax Liqmax 2 240||Ø 35°C||Ø 72°C||Ø 35°C||Ø 85°C|
|NZXT Kraken X52||Ø 34°C||Ø 68°C||Ø 36°C||Ø 82°C|
|Raijintek Orcus 240||Ø 35°C||Ø 72°C||Ø 37°C||Ø 90°C|
|Thermaltake Floe Riing 280||Ø 33°C||Ø 70°C||Ø 38°C||Ø 80°C|
Temperatures on standard clockspeeds
On default clockspeeds, the processor temperatures vary between 68 and 73 degrees Celsius in blend test. The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB and the NZXT Kraken X52 together take the crown with 68 degrees Celsius. Directly behind them follow the be quiet! Silent Loop 360 and the Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB with 69 degrees Celsius each. One degree worse is the Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 with 70 degrees Celsius. The Enermax Liqmax II, the Corsair H115i Pro RGB and the Raijintek Orcus 240 achieve the same result with 72 degrees Celsius each. The lowest performer is the AeroCool Project 7 P7 L240 with 73 degrees Celsius.
In IDLE the AiOs are so close to each other that there are no differences worth mentioning. They all reach a temperature between 33 and 35 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures on overclocked mode
The results become more interesting in overclocked mode. In this mode we clocked our i7-7700K to 4.8 GHz at 1.28 Volt to create much more heat. The best result is now at 80 degrees Celsius. This time the victory goes to the Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition. With 82 and 84 degrees Celsius the NZXT Kraken X52 and the be quiet! Silent Loop 360 follow in second and third place. The be quiet! cooling is on the same level with the Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB, which also reaches 84 degrees Celsius. This is followed by the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB and the Enermax Liqmax II 240 with 85 degrees Celsius each. The Corsair H115i Pro RGB is one degree warmer and reaches 86 degrees Celsius. The AeroCool Project 7 P7 L240 with 89 degrees Celsius and the Raijintek Orcus 240 with 90 degrees Celsius are slightly further behind.
In IDLE, the temperatures vary a lot more this time. The Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB reaches the same value of 33 degrees Celsius as without overclocking. Strangely enough, the worst value is achieved by the Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition with 38 degrees Celsius.
The noise level plays an important role when buying a cooler. In case of water coolers, noise is mainly generated by two factors. On the one hand, the pump makes noise, especially if it is not vented. On the other hand, the main noise is of course generated by the fans. The manufacturers have to do a little balancing act between good performance and silent operation, which not everyone is able to do.
Especially Corsair and Raijintek can be mentioned here. The H115i Pro RGB is not really hearable, even under full load. We’ve checked several times if the fans actually run at full power. Also the fans of the Raijintek Orcus are hard to recognize from the case fans under load. The two manufacturers have trimmed their AiOs for quiet operation, which is also reflected in the temperatures.
The Silent Loop 360 from be quiet! once again gives the name credit. However, it is louder than the H115i Pro RGB and the Raijintek Orcus. The installed Pure Wings 2 fans are also significantly louder than the Silent Wings 3 from the same manufacturer. So it would be a good upgrade if Silent Wings 3 fans were already included as standard with the Silent Loop 360.
The fans of the Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB are clearly heard on full load, but definitely within acceptable limits. The fans of the AeroCool Project 7 P7 L240 and the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB are about the same level. With the Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition the fans are also hearable at full power, but not distracting. A special candidate is the NZXT Kraken X52. Up to about 80 percent the two fans are almost not noticeable. However, above that the volume rises very abruptly. The AER fans are still not really disturbing. But the noise remains. The fans of the Enermax Liqmax II 240 are also loud. These can also be clearly heard at lower speeds. At 100 percent, the noise is already very heavy and distracting.
Conclusion and recommendations
All of our tested AiO coolers scored quite similar in our test. We therefore hardly make any concrete recommendations. It depends above all on what you value most.
For those who prefer a very quiet operation, the Corsair H115i Pro RGB is the right choice. In addition to a simple design, the AiO sometimes delivers the quietest fans. The cooling performance is fine, but reduced a bit for the quiet operation. For 128 Euros you get a solid total package. For those who like it even simpler, the be quiet! Silent Loop 360 is the right choice. With three fans and a 360 mm radiator, the cooling performance is very good, while the AiO remains quiet. It is available for 139 Euros.
We were especially surprised by the affordable Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB. For 95 Euro it offers a very good cooling performance and the design also doesn’t miss out thanks to addressable RGB-LEDs at the fans as well as at the pump head. It is not whisper-quiet, but within acceptable limits. Those who prefer it quiet but don’t want to do without the RGB lighting should go for the Raijintek Orcus 240 for a good 100 Euros. Its cooling performance is lower than that of the other AiOs, but very quiet. Both AiOs also come with a refill kit, but it’s a pity that Raijintek doesn’t put a cable set in the packaging to bridge the power supply unit.
Also worth a recommendation is the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB. It delivers the best results in standard mode and can also keep the processor overclocked at decent temperatures. The addressable RGB lighting puts the finishing touches to the whole cooler. For 110 Euro you’re not doing anything wrong here.
The NZXT Kraken X52 and the Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition are the absolute premium coolers. The Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 already draws attention to this with its name’s tongue-twister, but also delivers the best value of 80 degrees Celsius in the overclocked test. The complex RGB lighting with its own controller, control software and even an app are important features in terms of style and really beautiful to look at. With 160 Euros it is the most expensive, but can be worth its money. The Thermaltake AiO is closely followed by the NZXT Kraken X52 in the overclocked test. At 82 degrees Celsius, it delivers the second-best result and even the best on a standard clock. The eye-catching yet discreet design with an RGB mirror on the cooling head of the AiO is also a reason for many to buy that we can absolutely understand. NZXT combines good cooling performance with a stylish design. The price of 137 Euros is definitely worth it.
We do not recommend the Enermax Liqmax II 240 and the AeroCool Project 7 P7-L240. The Liqmax II is the cheapest AiO in the test with 75 Euro, but gets disturbingly loud under high load. The results are okay, but the few Euros more for the brother LiqFusion 240 RGB are well invested. In our eyes, the AeroCool P7-L240 only makes sense if it is purchased together with an AeroCool Project 7 case. The required RGB controller is already included there. For 100 Euro it is as expensive as a LiqFusion 240 RGB.
After our extensive All in One water cooler test, we also have some awards to present. We award special achievements in four different categories.
The PC Builder’s Club Style Award goes to:
- Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240R ARGB
- Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB
- NZXT Kraken X52
- Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition
The PC Builder’s Club Performance Award goes to:
- Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R ARGB
- NZXT Kraken X52
- Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition
The PC Builder’s Club Best Value Award goes to:
- Enermax LiqFusion 240 RGB
- Raijintek Orcus 240
The PC Builder’s Club Excellence Award goes to:
- Corsair H115i Pro RGB
- NZXT Kraken X52
- Thermaltake Floe Riing 280 RGB TT Premium Edition
As a little bonus for our community we raffle some of our test samples. You can find all further information here!