EVGA CLC 280 RGB

EVGA is one of the best vendors of graphics cards and manufactures some top-notch power supplies as well, however, you might not know about its AIO coolers. EVGA designs some of the most powerful AIO coolers in the market and they are priced very decently compared to other brands such as NZXT or CORSAIR.

Here, we are talking about the EVGA CLC 280, which is one of the flagship coolers by the company that uses a 280mm radiator along with two fans. First, let’s talk about the design of the cooler. To be honest, this is one of the aspects where this cooler lacks. The looks of this cooler are not as competitive compared to some other modern RGB coolers. There is RGB lighting present in this cooler as well but not much since only the EVGA logo on the pump is RGB-lit. There is no RGB lighting on the fans whatsoever.

Now, coming to the specifications of this cooler, this cooler is compatible with Intel LGA 2066 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011-v3 / LGA 1200 / LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1366 and AMD AM2 / AM3 / AM4 / FM1 / FM2 / TR4 sockets. This means that you won’t have any compatibility issue with this cooler, even if you upgrade to the ThreadRipper socket in the future from the AM4 socket that the AMD Ryzen 5 5600x uses. The radiator size of this cooler, as mentioned earlier is 280 mm, so make sure that your case has enough clearance for it. 

The cooler uses two large 140 mm fans that are very powerful and EVGA used them in its RTX 2000-series graphics cards as well. These fans are although better than the previously used fans by EVGA, they are somewhat noisier as well, which is why this cooler might not be good for those who are interested in super-quiet operation. The specified noise level for this cooler is 39.5 dB, which is slightly more than other coolers, although you can swap the fans later if you are interested in the high performance of this cooler.

As for the thermal performance of this cooler, EVGA CLC is pretty much at the top. Surely, it is not the best when it comes to looks but you won’t be disappointed in the thermal performance of this cooler whatsoever. In fact, this cooler is better than many 360 mm coolers as well. Many people use CORSAIR fans with this cooler since they provide RGB lighting and in combination with this cooler, you get mind-blowing looks and performance.

Conclusion

EVGA CLC 280 RGB is one of the best coolers available in the market right now and that too at a price that is ridiculously low for the performance it provides. Available at less than a hundred bucks and coming with a long 5-year warranty, you get one of the best AIO coolers in the industry, and even if you want to improve the aesthetics and acoustic performance of the cooler, you can swap the fans with RGB fans from other brands.

Pros
  • Long warranty.
  • High-airflow fans.
  • Powerful performance.
Cons
  • Not the best when it comes to aesthetics.
  • Acoustic performance is not so competitive.

NOCTUA NH-U12S

The next cooler that we have on the list is from a company that is highly praised for its air coolers. NOCTUA is not a company that takes things lightly and it tries its best to maximize the efficiency of its products. The company has a long history of successful products and even in 2021, when a lot of people are opting for AIO coolers, many prefer to buy a NOCTUA cooler instead.

NOCTUA NH-U12S is one of the best budget coolers for AMD Ryzen 5 5600x and the reason for this is that it comes at a very low price and yet provides amazing thermal and acoustic performance. NOCTUA NH-U12S takes a different approach from the mighty NH-D14 or NH-D15 that used to come with a dual-tower form factor. Instead, NH-U12S uses a slim single-tower heat-sink design that is still capable of keeping the temperatures low, especially with the likes of AMD Ryzen 5 5600x.

As for the looks of this cooler, indeed, it might not match most of the gaming rigs but this particular color theme is quite renowned now and a lot of people are now using NOCTUA fans in their rigs as well, as a token of quality. If you are still not satisfied with it, you can buy the CHROMAX.BLACK variant of this cooler as well, that comes with the black color instead of brown.

The compatibility of this cooler is slightly lower than the previous cooler, as it supports Intel LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1200 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2066 and AMD FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / AM4 sockets but you can get the optional LGA 1366 and LGA 775 socket kit free of charge by NOCTUA, which is fantastic. 

As for the RAM clearance, this cooler does not affect the RAM sticks in any way since it is not thick enough to hang over the RAM slots. As a result, you get 100% RAM compatibility with this air cooler. The cooler comes with a SecuFirm2 Mounting Kit and an NT-H1 thermal compound, which is known as one of the best thermal compounds among enthusiasts. As for the configuration, it does come with a Low Noise Adapter (LNA) if you prefer to have low noise, compromising on the thermal performance. 

This air cooler uses five copper heat pipes that are fitted in the copper base and both of these are nickel-plated. The joints are soldered to improve the performance further. This air cooler weighs 755 grams with the fan and 580 grams without the fan. NOCTUA has used an NF-F12 120mm Focused Flow fan in this cooler, which is one of the best fans in the market when it comes to acoustic performance. For this very reason, this cooler has a super-low noise level of around 25 dB. A great thing about this cooler is that despite having a very low price it comes with a long warranty of 6 years. 

Conclusion

NOCTUA NH-U12S is a great choice for budget gamers since it is a lot cheaper than most of the high-end AIO coolers in the market while the performance of this cooler is pretty close. In fact, the acoustic performance of this cooler is better than almost all AIO coolers since it comes with a high-quality 120 mm PWM fan. Moreover, using an air cooler means that you won’t have to take the risk of water damage to the components even though AIO technologies have widely improved over the past couple of years. The looks might not appeal to everyone but if you want high performance at a low price, you don’t need to look any further.

Pros
  • Best acoustic performance.
  • Impressive thermal performance for the price.
  • Long warranty of 6 years.
Cons
  • Thermal performance is lower than AIO coolers.
  • Boring color theme.

CRYORIG H7

CRYORIG is a relatively newer company compared to others and this company was founded by enthusiasts themselves who were looking to maximize the potential of computer components. For this reason, it gained the trust of enthusiasts in the market easily and many people opted to buy CRYORIG coolers since they provided unique looks, innovative technologies, and high performance.

CRYORIG H7 is one of the budget coolers by the company and it is somewhat similar to the NOCTUA NH-U12S. The looks of this cooler are considerably better than the NH-U12S but on the other hand, the performance is slightly lower as well. 

The design of this cooler attracts gamers since it features a white-colored fan with black housing. The Hive Fin System design of the heat-sink also provides unique looks and this is a patented technology by the company that maximizes the airflow through the heat-sink.

The company states that CRYORIG H7 has zero RAM clearance issues and although it is true, this cooler is definitely thicker than the NH-U12S. CRYORIG H7 uses only three 6 mm heat pipes compared to the five heat pipes that NH-U12S uses but thanks to the patented technologies like Hive Fin System, Jet Fin Acceleration, and Turbulence Reduction, the overall performance of this cooler is slightly lower. 

Like the NH-U12S, the cooler uses pure copper heat-pipes and base that are nickel-plated for improved contact and longevity. The Patent Pending X-Bar Quick Mount System allows for easy installation of the cooler, which is a plus point for this cooler.

The compatibility of this air cooler used to be not as good as other coolers and it did not come with an AM4 socket mounting kit natively. You would have to ask the company for the kit and upon giving proof of purchase, you would get it for free. However, as of now, all the CRYORIG H7 coolers come with an AM4 socket mounting kit out of the box. Apart from the AM4 socket, it also supports LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1200 and AMD FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ sockets. This cooler has a noise level of around 25 dB that is the same as that of the NH-U12S.

Conclusion

CRYORIG H7 is a cheap air cooler that you can buy for AMD Ryzen 5 5600x. The acoustic performance of this cooler is on par with the likes of NH-U12S while the thermal performance is more than enough for the likes of AMD Ryzen 5 5600x. You might not be able to overclock the processor beyond 4.0 GHz using this cooler but 0.1 or 0.2 GHz improvement is not worth spending around a hundred bucks.

Pros
  • Much better aesthetics than NH-U12S.
  • Patented technologies result in a supreme acoustic performance.
  • Comes at a very low price.
  • Thermal performance is subpar.
Cons
  • Could have come with more heat pipes.

CORSAIR H150i RGB Pro XT

CORSAIR has gained huge popularity over the past few years when it comes to CPU coolers and its AIO solutions are considered one of the best when talking about aesthetics, acoustic, or thermal performance. 

CORSAIR H150i RGB Pro XT is the latest flagship cooler from the company that tends to provide all the bells and whistles you can expect from an All In One cooler but it comes at a high price as well. The cooler comes with a 360 mm radiator and uses three 120 mm CORSAIR ML series magnetic Levitation PWM fans. 

CORSAIR ML Series fans are hugely praised for their acoustic performance, which is one of the reasons that most enthusiasts buy the cooler from CORSAIR. These fans are not RGB lit, although the pump is RGB-lit by 16-zone RGB lighting. 

The thermal performance of this air cooler is quite similar to the CLC 280 but the acoustic performance is considerably better. That is the only thing that justifies the high price of this cooler. The cooler supports LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011-3 / LGA 2066 / LGA 1366 / LGA 1200 and AMD FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / AM4 / sTR4 / sTRX4 sockets.

Conclusion

CORSAIR H150i RGB PRO XT is a high-end AIO cooler that you can readily buy from the market. Even though the cooler does not come with RGB-lit fans, the customizable RGB lighting on the pump looks fantastic or you can buy the expensive variant Corsair iCUE H150i Elite Capellix that comes with RGB fans. With supreme thermal and acoustic performance, this cooler sits at the top but comes at a high price that is much higher than the likes of CLC 280.

Pros
  • The pump looks amazing with 16-zone RGB lighting.
  • Supreme thermal and acoustic performance.
Cons
  • Much pricier than competitors.
  • No RGB lighting on the fans.

NZXT Kraken X63

NZXT is known for its top-notch aesthetics whether you talk about its coolers, motherboards, cases, or whatever. NZXT Kraken series coolers are well-known among the enthusiast community who are trying to maximize the looks of their rigs by any means. 

NZXT Kraken X63 is the latest iteration in the X6x series of AIO coolers and this series comes with 280 mm radiators. The design of NZXT X63 is just fantastic; especially the pump looks amazing. The RGB rings on the pump give a premium aura to it and even though this cooler does not come with RGB fans, many people buy aftermarket RGB fans to further improve the looks of their rigs. 

Coming to the specifications of this AIO cooler, NZXT X63 comes with two Aer P140 fans that are black in color, and the radiator size, as mentioned earlier, is 280 mm. The fans have an RPM rating of 500 to 1800 RPM, which is slightly lower than that of the CORSAIR H150i PRO XT RGB. The cooler uses Ultra-low Evaporation Rubber with Nylon Braided Sleeve, which not only adds protection to the cooler but also looks better than non-sleeved tubes. 

The thermal performance of this cooler is lower than that of the CORSAIR H150i PRO by a small margin and that is mainly due to the slightly smaller radiator and using one less fan. Most of the 280 mm AIO coolers are noisier than the 360 mm coolers because two fans have to work hard to dissipate the hot air. That is why this air cooler has a maximum noise level of around 38 dB that is slightly lower than that of the CLC 280. 

The cooler supports LGA 1200 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1150 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1366 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011-3 / LGA 2066 and AMD AM4 / sTRX4* / TR4* sockets. Do note that the cooler does not come with a Threadripper bracket.

Conclusion

NZXT X63 is one of the most balanced AIO coolers whether you talk about thermal performance, acoustic performance, or aesthetics. Surely the price is more than what most users would pay for a CPU cooler but if you want a cooler that you can use in the future as well with the upcoming processors, NZXT Kraken X63 holds a mighty value.

Pros
  • The circular pump looks amazing.
  • Keeps a balance between thermals and acoustics.
Cons
  • Comes at a high price.
  • The fans are not RGB-lit.

CORSAIR H80i V2

The next product on our list is also from CORSAIR that is CORSAIR H80i V2. Unlike the previous CORSAIR product, CORSAIR H80i V2 is a 140mm AIO cooler, however, do not confuse this with other 140 mm coolers since this is a very powerful cooler. 

First of all, CORSAIR H80i V2 comes with two fans that are attached on either side of the 140 mm radiator. Moreover, this radiator is much thicker than other 120 mm radiators, as it has a depth of 49 mm. The cooler uses two SP140L fans that are famous for their high static pressure. 

The performance of this cooler is although not as high as that of the CLC 280, NZXT X63, or CORSAIR H150i RGB PRO XT, it is not far away too and lags a couple of degrees behind them. Unfortunately, there is no RGB lighting in this cooler like the H150i RGB PRO XT. 

The cooler supports Intel LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 1200 and AMD AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / AM4 / TR4 sockets (TR4 socket sold separately). Since it supports the TR4 socket as well, you won’t have to worry even if you upgrade to a ThreadRipper.

Conclusion

CORSAIR H80i V2 is one of the best 140 mm AIO coolers in the market right now that comes with two high static pressure fans and uses a very thick radiator for improved performance. If your case doesn't have a lot of space for 280 mm or 360 mm coolers, you can surely buy this 140 mm cooler and its thermal performance is quite close to the 240 mm AIO coolers.

Pros
  • Compact size.
  • Impressive performance for the radiator size.
Cons
  • No RGB lighting.
  • Somewhat expensive.

CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB

CoolerMaster is a company that is known for its budget products and CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Ml240L V2 RGB is one of such products. This is no doubt the most beautiful cooler on the list due to the RGB-lit fans but the pump does not look as good as the NZXT X63. Overall, the design of the cooler feels more attractive than other coolers on the list.

As for the specifications, it uses a 240 mm radiator in combination with two CoolerMaster SickleFlow RGB fans. The thermal performance of this cooler is slightly better than that of the CORSAIR H80i V2 and the noise levels are also better at around 30 dB. The new fans are not only good in looks but are considerably less noisy than the likes of fans EVGA has used in the CLC 280.

As for the compatibility, this AIO cooler supports LGA 1150 / LGA 1151 / LGA 1155 / LGA 1156 / LGA 2011 / LGA 2011-3 / LGA 2066 / LGA 1200 and AMD FM1 / FM2 / FM2+ / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / AM3+ / AM4 sockets. The thing where this cooler lacks is its warranty period and unlike CLC 280 or NZXT, CoolerMaster provides only two-year warranty for MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB.

Conclusion

CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB is a budget cooling solution for those people who want to get a fantastic-looking closed-loop liquid cooler but do not want to spend a lot of money on it and even though it has a small warranty period of two years, its performance and aesthetics are more than enough to compensate for this.

Pros
  • RGB lighting on the fans look jaw-dropping.
  • Great performance for the price.
Cons
  • Only two-year warranty.
  • Pump design could have been better.