Best AIO Coolers 2022

Best AIO Coolers 2022
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Whether you’re after higher sustained clock speeds or you just a system that remains quiet under load (or why not both) there are a few key things to consider when choosing the best AIO cooler (all-in-one) for your new build or an upgrade. AIO coolers are far more convenient and affordable than custom liquid cooling loops, and they can generally deliver lower CPU temperatures with less fan noise than air coolers–although that’s not always the case.

You’ll need to make sure there’s room to install an AIO cooler in your case as well, preferably in the top or rear, exhausting your CPU heat out of the case. AIO coolers typically come in three sizes, defined by the dimensions of the radiator and the fans the radiator is designed to fit: 120 (one 120mm fan), 240 (two 120mm fans), or 360mm (three 120mm fans). There are some 140 and 280mm AIO coolers kicking around, but they are far less common and typically older models. As you might suspect, the larger the radiator, generally, the greater the cooling potential, although things like radiator thickness, materials, and fan performance factor into cooling capability as well. 

If you aren’t running a flagship CPU with lots of cores and 5GHz-plus speeds and you don’t plan on overclocking, a 120mm AIO, which you can usually mount in the rear exhaust fan area of your PC case, should suffice. That said, Intel's 12th Gen Alder Lake CPUs are generally more demanding on coolers. And it looks like 13th Gen and AMD's Ryzen 7000 won't reverse that trend. If you want better temperatures and slower-spinning fans, a good 240mm AIO cooler is a better choice, but will generally be harder to install and won’t fit in as many cases. Generally a 360mm AIO is your best bet for high-end, overclocked CPUs, to make sure your processor stays reasonably cool while running above its specced speed. But of course, those larger coolers fit in even fewer cases. Be sure to check your system or PC case manual to make sure your AIO cooler of choice will fit before buying.

If money isn't a major concern and silent operation and low temperatures are important to you, you may want to consider a custom cooling loop. For more on how these tend to perform (and how good they look), check out our Blue Shift build feature. Just know that custom loops are always much more expensive than all other typical cooling alternatives, exponentially more complicated to assemble and install, and they can make future component upgrades much more complicated--especially if you add your GPU into the cooling loop.

Also don't forget to consider thermal paste or another thermal interface material (TIM) to use with your AIO cooler. Most coolers will come with some kind of paste, either in a small syringe or pre-applied to the metal cold plate. But to make sure you're getting the most efficient thermal transfer between your CPU and cooler plate, check out the many products we thoroughly tested to find the best thermal paste for your CPU

Black Friday AIO Cooler Deals

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

 Black Friday deals season is here, and that means you’ll see a lot of great deals on AIO coolers. We’re tracking all the savings on our Best Black Friday Tech and PC Hardware Deals page, but this is our favorite deal so far:  

Cooler Master ML280 Mirror ARGB Close-Loop CPU Cooler: now $59 at Amazon (opens in new tab)

Cooler Master ML280 Mirror ARGB Close-Loop CPU Cooler: now $59 at Amazon (opens in new tab) (was $79)
The Cooler Master ML280 Mirror ARGB Close-Loop CPU cooler has a 280mm radiator, a dual-chamber pump, and an infinite mirror ARGB design for extra-pretty lighting effects.

11/3/2022 update: We've tested some interesting cooling products in recent weeks, including Thermalright's Contact Frame, designed to correct and protect against the established issue of CPU bending on LGA1700 platforms, and Arctic's solidly performing and reasonably priced Liquid Freezer II 240 AIO. But at the moment we have hunkered down testing coolers with Intel's latest flagship, the Core i9-13900K. So stay tuned for a slew of new reviews as we find out what coolers are best for Raptor Lake.

Best AIO Coolers You Can Buy Today

Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB
Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler

Specifications

Thickness: 1.1” (2.3" w/fans)
Width: 4.8" (120.7mm)
Depth: 15.5" (393.7mm)
Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, 775, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+)
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent cooling ability
+
Sleek design and aesthetics
+
Lower price than other 360 AIOs

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable / controller management could be better

When it comes to keeping overclocked CPU load temperatures in check, Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML360R RGB is the new chilling champ. As the 360 variant of our previously reviewed MasterLiquid ML240R RGB, the newly available MasterLiquid ML360R adds 33 percent more radiator surface area for even more cooling prowess. The result? It cools even better than the mighty NZXT Kraken X72.

Power users, gamers, system builders and overclockers in the market for a new large CPU cooler should take note. The Cooler Master ML360R RGB is our current 360 AIO thermal performance leader. And while $160 isn’t exactly cheap, there are plenty of competing products that cost more while delivering less-impressive performance.

Read: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB review


Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler Alternative: Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler Alternative

Specifications

Dimensions: 400 x 124 x 30/2mm
Pump Height: 2.25 inches / 57.2mm
Weight: 69.6 oz / 19748g
Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 3647, AMD AM4,TR4, sTRX4, sWRX8
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Threadripper cooling performance
+
G1/4 watercooling direct compatible
+
Dripless disconnects for simple expansion using Alphacool components

Reasons to avoid

-
Could be quieter
-
Lacks software controls

The Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 features a full-cover CPU block sizable enough to fully cover Threadripper’s ample surface area, although it supports mainstream sockets like AM4 as well. There’s also a powerful, fast-flowing pump with built-in reservoir and an all-copper radiator, allowing the Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 to morph into a custom cooling loop, one piece at a time.

Priced around $217, it's more costly than some other solutions, but does provide hands-down the absolute best cooling potential. And power users building high-end AMD Threadripper or Intel HEDT desktop workstation or gaming systems will have higher budgets, with a different focus than those looking for a more frugal desktop gaming or mainstream PC build.

Considering the cost associated with most of the CPUs and motherboards alone supported by the Eisbaer Pro Aurora, system builders in this realm of performance usually draw from a unique set of criteria, which a frequent aim for ‘the best at any price.' And that, quite simply, is what the Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 exemplifies. Whether you intend to run it as is, or expand into a custom cooling loop, you won't be let down by this versatile piece of cooling kit.

Read: Alphacool Eisbaer Pro Aurora 360 review 


Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler With a Display: MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360 (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best 360mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler With a Display

Specifications

Thickness: 1.125" / 28.6mm
Width: 4.75" / 120mm
Depth: 15.5" / 393.7mm
Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 115x, 1200, 1700, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+), FM1, FM2(+) AM4,TR4, sTRX4, SP3
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Top-notch cooling performance
+
Brilliant, customizable LCD display
+
Useful software suite

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

MSI's MEG CoreLiquid S360 delivers top-notch cooling performance, quiet(er) cooling fans and an excellent implementation of a simple-to-use MSI Center UI and a brilliant display above your CPU to deliver system performance stats, or even your favorite photo or animated GIF. At $280, it’s definitely a premium cooler, but MSI backs up that price with some real performance clout.

For those without concern for the high price, looking for excellent cooling and endless customization options via the display, the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S36 is worthy of serious consideration. Its toughest competition may come from Corsair's H150i Elite, although we haven't had a chance to test that cooler yet.

Read: MSI MEG CoreLiquid S360 review


Best 280mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 (Image credit: Arctic)
Best 280mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler

Specifications

Thickness: 1.5" (2.75" w/fans)
Width: 5.5" (139.7mm)
Depth: 12.5" (317.5mm)
Fans: (2) 140 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 1700, 1200, 115X, 2011-3*, 2066* *Square ILM; AMD AM4, AM5
Warranty: 6 years

Reasons to buy

+
Great cooling performance
+
Unique pump and auxiliary fan design
+
Low operational noise levels
+
Attractive price

Reasons to avoid

-
Boxed unit ships with pump and fans managed by single PWM splitter
-
Lack of RGB lighting (for those looking for the option)

While our thermal measurements indicate that it's integrated voltage regulator fan is little more than a gimmick, great CPU temperatures at ultra-low noise levels prove the Liquid Freezer II 280 far-more-valuable than its far-costlier rivals.

Read: Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 AIO review


Best 240mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler: Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT  (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best 240mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler

Specifications

Thickness: 1.0" (2.13" w/fans)
Width: 4.75" (120.7mm)
Depth: 10.9" (277mm)
Fans: (2) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR(X)4
Warranty: 5 years

Reasons to buy

+
High-performing 240mm AIO cooling
+
iCUE software suite allows for customized cooler and lighting control
+
Priced well for premium performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Noisy fans at 100% speed
-
Awkward, small screws used to secure fans to radiator
-
RGB lighting is pump-only

The Corsair H100i RGB PRO XT takes over where the H100i Pro left off by providing enthusiast levels of thermal load management from a 240mm AIO and making use of Corsair’s iCUE software suite for RGB lighting control, fan curve configuration and pump performance settings.  Paring the capability of the cooler with a set of user-friendly software tools provides a great deal of value for system builders of any technical proficiency, in real time. 

Read: Corsair H100i RGB Pro XT review

Best 240mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler Alternate:
Deepcool Gamer Storm Captain 240 Pro

The Gamer Storm Captain 240 Pro makes up for in low noise what it lacks in cooling power compared to Corsair's H100i Pro, to the point that the Captain 240 Pro has a significantly better cooling-to-noise ratio.  We favor it for anyone who needs virtual silence at 50% fan speed, where most users in most environments won't hear it. Even those able to push a CPU hard enough to require 100% fan speed will find its hushed murmur less than half as noisy as the H100i Pro.


(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler Alternate

Specifications

Thickness: 2 mm
Width: 120 mm
Depth: 282 mm
Fans: (2) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011 x, 115x, 1200, 1700; AMD AM4, AM5, sTRX4, xTR4
Warranty: 3 years

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance,capable of cooling 230W+ with Alder Lake
+
User Customizable Face Plate
+
Unique fan connection system

Reasons to avoid

-
No software for lighting & fan controls

With Alder Lake’s increased cooling demands, many coolers that performed well on older platforms literally take the extra heat. But in our testing with Intel's Core i9-12900K, DeepCool’s LS520 delivered incredible cooling performance for its compact package. It handled our Alder Lake CPU without power limits in most situations. While it lacks software for its RGB lighting and fans, at just $109 its value is currently unbeatable.

Read: DeepCool LS520 review 


Best 120mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler: NZXT Kraken M22
Best 120mm Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler

Specifications

Thickness: 1.1" (2.25" w/fans)
Width: 4.75" (120.7mm)
Depth: 6.15" (156.1mm)
Fans: (1) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+)
Warranty: 6 years

Reasons to buy

+
Great cooling for a compact AIO
+
Handsome, sleek design
+
CAM software is attractive &
+
intuitive

Reasons to avoid

-
$99.99 price is higher than other 120mm AIO solutions
-
RGB controls only apply to CPU block face
-
CAM software sends data to NZXT cloud services

The NZXT Kraken M22 is an incredibly compact, high-performance liquid cooler that delivers sleek styling and vibrant RGB lighting options, while offering support for current AMD and Intel processor sockets. Specifically, if you're building a small home-theater PC or a compact gaming build, the Kraken M22 offers surprising cooling potential in a condensed cooling package.

Just don't try to strap one to your Threadripper system. The demanding thermals and massive surface of those high-end CPUs aren't supported by this cooler.

Read: NZXT Kraken M22 review


Best AMD Threadripper: Enermax Liqtech 360 OC TR4
Best AMD Threadripper

Specifications

Thickness: 1.125" (2.25" w/fans)
Width: 4.75" (120.65mm)
Depth: 15.50" (393.7mm)
Fans: (3) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: AMD TR4, SP3
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent cooling performance
+
Aggressive pricing
+
Easy installation
+
Full coverage of Threadripper CPUs

Reasons to avoid

-
No software UI for real-time management
-
No RGB or LED lighting on fans (might be a plus, for some)

In the Liqtech 360 TR4 OC, Enermax has graced the Threadripper world with a cooler that covers these large enthusiast processors in full, providing performance similar to custom liquid cooling with the easy installation and moderate cost of an AIO cooler. Enermax also keeps costs down by avoiding RGB lighting and the relevant software integrations. The lack of lighting might turn away some buyers who prefer millions of colors and a software UI. However, Threadripper fans seeking excellent cooling performance, and who wish to set up some simple fan-cooling curves, will find just that in the Liqtech 360 TR4 OC.

Read: Enermax Liqtech 360 OC TR4 review


Best Reconfigurable Closed-Loop Cooler: Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240 CPU Digital RGB (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
Best Reconfigurable Closed-Loop Cooler

Specifications

Thickness: 2.25” (57.2mm)
Width: 4.88” (124mm)
Depth: 10.75” (273mm)
Fans: (2) 120 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR4, C32, G34
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Quick disconnects for no-spill expansion
+
Solid thermal performance
+
Built with DC-LT pump and copper radiator water cooling components

Reasons to avoid

-
Tubing length could be longer to allow for more diverse installations
-
Pump has coolant top-up port, but coolant must be purchased separately

Alphacool's Eisbaer is a factory-filled hybrid design, featuring a closed-loop-style pump and CPU cold plate with open-loop style fittings that including an anti-leak, in-line quick connector. Alphacool offers wide range of factory-filled companion parts, from additional radiators to GPU blocks, to suite nearly any expansion need. It's perfect for buyers who lack the time to assemble, purge, and leak test their own scratch-built component systems, as well as those who have more cash than self-confidence.

Read: Alphacool Eisbaer Aurora 240 CPU Digital RGB review


Best Custom Cooling Kit: Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45
Best Custom Cooling Kit

Specifications

Thickness: 1.8” (45mm)
Width: 5.75” (146mm)
Depth: 18.5” (470mm)
Fans: (3) 140 x 25mm
Socket Support: Intel 2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, 775, AMD AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+), TR4
Warranty: 2 years

Reasons to buy

+
Great cooling performance
+
Professional-grade components
+
Very good value for a full watercooling kit

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey compared to AIO alternatives

With an enormous 3x 140mm radiator, this kit allows for enough thermal expansion of the loop to include a graphics card waterblock (or even two), if desired. By using industry standard G1/4 threaded fittings for all components, the cooling loop almost begs you to add more components to the party. A radiator of this size and potential allows for this kind of load because of the quality design and engineering that went into building it. A pump of this pedigree pushes coolant like few others are capable. Quality-milled components and attention to detail are seen on each and every piece within the kit.

For anyone looking for a complete, high-quality watercooling kit in a single box, this Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45 kit is an excellent choice for those with room in their chassis for the monstrous 3x 140mm radiator and large pump/reservoir combo.

Read: Alphacool Eissturm Hurricane Copper 45 Review


Other AIO Coolers We Tested:

We test dozens of PC coolers a year and while many AIOs offer pretty lights and slick software and some bring quiet fans or solid cooling performance, not all the coolers we test can make the best list. Below are some of the recent AIO coolers we’ve tested that didn’t quite make the cut. It’s possible that one of these may still be a worthwhile option for you, just know that the better options for most people are in the list of Best AIO Coolers above.

9/19/2022: Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL240 Flux

Cooler Master's 240mm PL240 Flux may have been released before the launch of Alder Lake, but it managed to tame the Core i9-12900K at up to 200W, while running quietly compared to other coolers. It couldn't quite handle the 12900K when power limits are removed, but many coolers can't. 

The primary downside of this cooler is the price. It’s much more expensive than similar competing coolers, some of which perform better. But its thin radiator makes Cooler Master’s PL240 Flux ideal for small cases, so long as there is mounting space for the radiator and two 120mm fans.  

Read: Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL240 Flux review

9/10/2022: Corsair H100i Elite

Corsair's 240mm H100i Elite stands out for its extremely silent performance and its robust software controls (via iCue). It handled our Core i9-12900K at up to 200W in our testing, but was one of the many coolers that couldn't keep up with the CPU when power limits were removed. It's not the strongest in terms of cooling capabilities and is best paired with a mid-range CPU if you're going to attempt overclocking. Also, its fan speeds are tied to coolant temp by default, rather than CPU temperature, which seems odd.

Read: Corsair H100i Elite review


Saving on the Best CPU Coolers

Whether you're shopping for one of the products that made our best CPU coolers list or one that didn't, you may find some savings by checking out our list of Newegg promo codes or Corsair coupon codes.

MORE: Best Air CPU Cooling (opens in new tab)

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler (opens in new tab)

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.

  • thestryker
    Artic changed their warranty to 6 years for all of their AIOs and I believe it was retroactive.
    Reply
  • The Historical Fidelity
    Where’s the EK series of AIOs and custom kits? Gamers Nexus named the EK aio’s as having the highest cold plate uniformity, flatness, and mounting pressure which plays a big role in cooling performance.
    Reply
  • elforeign
    Might be a tall ask, but can we get some graphs for the different coolers performance?
    Reply
  • elforeign
    For instance, I see the old Corsair H110i GT and the current H115 PRO 280mm series at the top of the pack for cooling performance on other websites such as guru3d when they do a roundup of coolers. But that one is not even mentioned here. It's also not as expensive as some other offers on here, especially since it goes on sale often.
    Reply
  • alfema
    Mine may have been bad luck, in 2016 I bought a PC with a Kraken X31 for my i7-6700K, in December 2021 NZXT changed it to the M22 model because the pump started making noise.

    A few weeks ago the processor began to heat up more than usual, the pump began to make noise, only when the PC was turned on.

    I changed the PWM cables to other connectors on the motherboard, changed the thermal paste, moved the pump to try to remove the air bubbles, the radiator in a vertical position does not make noise, but it still does not cool well, I am waiting for what tell me NZXT, but I'm afraid it will be time to change dissipation.
    Reply