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Cougar Aqua 240 Review: Affordable Performance

Cougar’s Aqua 240 stalks its prey atop our performance 240 AIO charts.

Cougar Aqua 240
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

The Cougar Aqua 240 stands up well against the best 240mm AIOs we’ve tested, while boasting a budget-friendly $85 price and RGB accent lighting. Just know you’ll need to rely on your motherboard for fan and pump controls.

For

  • Excellent thermal performance
  • RGB pump face and standalone lighting controls
  • Supports majority of AMD and Intel CPU sockets (except TR4)

Against

  • Fans are loud at 100%
  • Lack of software control for pump speed or fan curves (PWM only)

Cougar Gaming has steadily added to its catalog and repertoire over the last decade plus, by providing chassis, power supplies, gaming peripherals, system fans and liquid cooling AIOs.  Their Aqua series of AIOs is touted as a high-performance line of liquid cooling solutions with RGB-accented pumps pushing coolant while the radiators are paired with Vortex Omega fans to move air and dissipate heat.  

Specifications

Thickness1.125" / 28.6mm

(2.25" / 57.15mm w/ fans)
Width4.75" / 120.65 mm
Depth274 mm
Pump Height0
Speed ControllerBIOS (fans only)
Cooling Fans(2) 120 x 25mm
Connectors(2) 4-Pin PWM,

(1) 3-Pin RGB (w/splitter), (1) SATA
Weight37.3 oz / 1058g
Intel Sockets2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x,775
AMD SocketsCougar Aqua 240
Warranty2 years
Web Price$85

Features

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Cougar sends its Aqua 240 out into the world well-equipped to cover nearly all current-gen Intel and AMD CPUs, save for Threadripper models.  A syringe of thermal compound is included, alongside mounting components and brackets.  A handheld remote is provided and works by default to control lighting on the pump, or users can opt to integrate lighting with their other RGB-managed devices by means of the 5v pigtail.

Support of the Aqua 240 is covered by Cougar’s 2 year warranty on liquid coolers.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The top of the CPU pump module hosts an opaque white face with RGB lighting accents.  The pump itself is SATA powered and rated at 3200 RPM, although there is not a tach or PWM header to manage speed (or measure speed). This defaults the pump to operating at 100% at all times. That’s not really an issue, although some users do value the ability to run their AIO pump from a performance curve.  

The RGB pigtail for external lighting control also originates from the CPU pump module, and although the pump face is the only illumination piece on the Aqua 240, the cable does include a splitter if you wish to plug in other RGB devices from here as well.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The coldplate of the Aqua 240 offers a semi-polished copper base, which should adequately provide full coverage of all CPUs supported.  The interchangeable mounting brackets slide into place via a groove near the base of the pump module and snap over tabs within the channel itself . This makes simple work of changing between necessary hardware for your specific socket application.

A pair of swivel 90-degree fittings easily pivot to allow for multiple mounting orientations, and the rubber coolant tubing is sleeved with black nylon braid.  

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Cougar ships the Aqua 240 with a pair of its 120mm Vortex WB fans, which are rated up to 2000 RPM (+/- 10%).  The fans ship with rubberized mounting pads for noise isolation when paired with the 240mm aluminum radiator.  They are managed via 4-Pin PWN and are devoid of RGB lighting, making cable management during installation a bit simpler overall. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Installation of the Cougar Aqua 240 follows common cadence to most other AIO installs, with mounting posts and the backplate providing a location for tension screws to snug the cooling block against the CPU IHS.  Tubing length on the Aqua 240 is an ample 16”/406mm, allowing for easier installation in either top- or front-mount setups.  As we mentioned previously, using non-RGB fans simplifies cable management by process of elimination and the lessens excessive wiring spaghetti. 

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