Best Water Cooling Kit in 2023
If you’re looking for the best water cooling kit for your PC, we’ve got you covered right here.
In this article, we’ll be providing you with all of the information around water cooling kit. We’ll show the best water cooling kit around so you can secure the top selection for your high-performance PC.
Products at a Glance
How we picked
We all know that PC builds are pretty complex with a bunch of different components that need to be handled extremely carefully and all slotted in the right place. There’s also a bunch of additions and tweaks that improve the performance of your rig with one of these being the introduction of a water cooling kit.
The traditional cooling method is air cooling via fans but for those builds that will be under intense stress pumping out that heat, a more robust cooling method is required. Now don’t fret, everyone knows that water and electronics don’t mix but water cooling kits are fully sealed and certainly shouldn’t be leaking into your probably expensive machine.
There are a surprising number of water cooling kits available on the market and with it being a more technical component, it’s a little tricky to separate the best water cooling kits from the rest. So, for how we picked out these stellar selections, we looked at features like durability, water cooling power, and aesthetics in which we think separate the cream from the crop and provide you with the best overall experience. We also focused on ones which fitted easily into a variety of cases.
Best Water Cooling Kit in 2023
- Number of radiator sizes
- Premium tubing
- Plenty of RGB lighting
- Remote control
- Maybe too much lighting for some
First up on this list of best water cooling kits is the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R. We’re going to get into the specs of this kit. Let’s start with the fact that you can pick from a number of different sizes. There’s 120mm, 240mm, and 360mm. No matter how many components you want to be cooling, you can select the right one for you. We’ll mainly be talking about the 240mm variant here but most. However, not all of the features are shared between models so don’t worry about that.
Now, let’s look at those specs and features. The tubing showcases black, durable sleeves over the inner FEP tubing. This in itself is flexible, high-quality, and of a premium nature. This ensures there’ll be no damage with no leaks having the chance to occur. The pump boasts a dual-chamber that maximizes efficiency by isolating heated coolant. This puts less of a strain on the kit overall while still providing stellar cooling. Finally, the fans. They’re clearly large and offer that Cooler Master quality we all know and love. This maximizes your build’s air intake and combines with the water cooling to keep your components icy cold. These fans are compatible with your favorite CPUs whether you sit on the side of Intel or AMD.
We can’t leave the MasterLiquid ML240R without talking about the aesthetics. Obviously, it’s clear to see that it looks fantastic. There’s strong, vibrant RGB lighting that’ll surely slot right into your top-tier build. The lighting is featured on both the fans and pump. This is certainly welcomed as other manufactures usually either implement this on one or the other. You can customize this RGB lighting too with the included controller and splitter.
- ASUS quality
- New cooling plate tech
- RGB is a little lackluster
Coming in as our runner-up in the best water cooling kits is the ASUS’ ROG STRIX range – the LC 240. Again, this is the 240mm kit which will be the choice for most. However, if you have less room or simply don’t need this size, there’s also a 120mm option for you.
The whole kit offers up extremely optimized cooling performance. The latest manufacturing tech is built into its cooling-plate, featuring micro-channels that provide more thermal dissipation area for processor heat. This innovative feature reduces thermal resistance for more efficient performance and cooler temps. Moreover, the fan design is second to none generating 81CFM/5.0mm H2O for superior cooling efficiency.
The aesthetics of the LC 240 mainly offer a stealth black look. The traditional ROG STRIX logo accents come in to play as you would expect. There’s no RGB lighting on the fans themselves. This is a little disappointing for those wanting to add more illumination to their PC. However the pump has a lit logo allowing for a little flair. It also has AURA Sync built-in enabling you to fully match up your other lighting if you have some already.
- RGB lighting on fans and pump
- Excellent heat dissipation
- Not a well known brand
A brand that you may not have heard of unless you’re built water-cooled machines before is Lian-Li. However, just because it’s not one of the most popular names out there doesn’t mean their products are inferior. Their ARGB CPU water cooling kit which offers up some serious water cooling power at a very respectable price point.
The radiator itself utilizes 14 rows of aluminum tubes. This allows a maximum amount of liquid to pass through and transfer the heat out of the system efficiently. Moreover, thanks to the high-density fin folds between the aluminum tubes, the surface area providing heat dissipation is significantly increased. These two aspects combine to bring you icy cold cooling for your system.
The aesthetics of the Galahad are second to none, boasting RGB throughout the water cooling kit. Lighting is placed on both the pump and the fans providing you with full illumination for your build. The colors are extremely vivid and will certainly give you that ‘gamer’ feel if that’s what you’re aiming for.
- Very quiet
- Good mounting
- RGB limited to the pump
We all know that Corsair produces some of the best gaming peripherals around but what about their water cooling kits? Well, they can’t be too shabby as one makes our best water cooling kit list. The model in question here is the Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO. It boasts some top tier cooling with aesthetics to boot.
If you want the largest selection, you’re looking at a trio of PWN Magnetic Levitation 120 mm fans mounted on a chunky 360 mm radiator. Operational noise levels don’t go over 25 dB even under heavy loads, including modest overclocking. Plus CPU temperatures are kept well in check. This makes the Corsair Hydro H150i Pro one of the quietest liquid coolers out there.
One other excellent feature is the ease of installation thanks to Corsair’s modular, tool-free mounting bracket. However, the radiator’s size necessitates a large chassis and appropriate mounting real estate, so check dimensions before purchasing.
There are of course RGB elements incorporated into this water cooling kit. However, this is limited to the pump rather than being included on the fans. This might be disappointing to some. Nevertheless, subtle lighting may be a welcome addition to those wanting a less garish custom build.
How to choose the best water cooling kit
When it comes to picking the best water cooling kit for you, there are some important considerations to factor in. Here’s what you need to know before going ahead with your selection.
PC case space
PC components and cases themselves are getting smaller and smaller. Many consumers are opting for smaller builds that still pack in high-performance tech. However, this does is limit the amount of room available for cooling – in this case, the full water cooling kit.
Before you put water cooling into your machine, you should see if there’s enough room in your rig. Luckily, the best water coolers come in different sizes such as 360mm or 240mm. As a rule, we’d recommend that you use a full tower case to ensure you’ll be able to install it.
We’ve just spoken about the PC case size and how the size of your water cooling kit can be impacted. Let’s delve a little deeper, and take a look at why you need to consider the size of the radiator.
Essentially, the bigger the radiator and reservoir combo, the more cooling power the kit has. But if you don’t have the components to cool, a 360mm kit for example could be wasteful. What most water-cooled builds go for is a 120mm radiator per component you want to cool. For example, if you have a CPU and one GPU, you’ll need a 240mm election to cover both.
Is a water cooling kit worth it?
In short, yes, if you want to play games at maximum settings and plan on pushing your PC. Typically speaking, the harder you push your PC, the more heat builds up. Liquid cooling is hence a great option for most people. Options range from budget to more high-end, so you can choose what price bracket you’re after
What are the downsides of water cooling your PC?
Setup can be complicated and can require more maintenance. However, if you’re a PC enthusiast the tricky installation process is all part of the charm! You’ll also have to ensure there is sufficient compatibility with other parts of your PC, including the motherboard.
In our opinion, the best water cooling kit that money can buy has to be the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R. This cooling solution will keep your high-performance PC icy cool even under the most intense stress. Essential if you’re going to be pushing it to the max for hours on end. It’s also the water cooling kit that has stellar RGB lighting throughout. Definitely handy to illuminate your build even further – perfect for you gaming fanatics!