Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling In 2021 – Which Is Better?

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Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling

Building a PC is a fun hobby to have, and with a lot of choices and healthy competition, users have a lot to choose from within a decent budget (thanks AMD). Going to a couple of years back, the choices were limited when a person is in the market looking to build a PC.

Now, the tables have turned after AMD’s Ryzen comeback, there are so many options and different kinds of computers you can build, but there are only two ways for cooling the CPU. You can either cool your precious CPU with air or with liquid.

Air coolers are preferred by casual gamers and enthusiasts prefer liquid cooling for their systems. Theoretically speaking, liquid cooling sounds better as liquids can transfer multiple heat folds better than air cooling.

However, that is not the entire story. Both of these cooling solutions are highly effective when implemented correctly. Each of them is better than the other in different circumstances, which makes selecting your desired cooling solution hard.

There are several factors to keep in mind before making a choice. With the help of this article, you will know exactly which cooling solution is perfect after understanding the whole liquid cooling vs. air cooling debate.

This guide is not only performance-focused, but I have also kept the aesthetics in mind as most of the medium to high budget systems are enclosed in a gorgeous casing, and nobody will want a cooler that will ruin the aesthetics of your computer.


Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling


Several factors would decide the winner of air vs liquid cooling for your rig. Some of the crucial factors include price, size, sound, temperature regulation, and aesthetics of the CPU cooler.

Choosing the best cooler for your rig depends on how you plan to use your system, the workloads, and the performance of the cooler. Let us discuss liquid cooling vs air cooling, their pros and cons, performance differences, and their applications in detail.

More comparisons:


What Is Liquid cooling?


Liquid cooling is also known as water cooling, is one of the coolest-looking cooling solutions for CPUs. Liquid coolers come into two different categories: an All-in-One (AIO) cooler and the second one is custom cooling loops.

The fundamental working behind both of these coolers is the same. A liquid block is attached to the CPU. The coolant passes from the CPU to the radiator and back to the CPU. It is like blood flow inside the human body.

image of AIO liquid cooler

The idea behind liquid cooling is that instead of using air as a coolant, the mechanism uses basic water or specialized coolant excellent for head transmission. Liquid cooling tends to be expensive than air cooling and adds more to the aesthetics of the build.

There are tons and tons of liquid coolers that you will find in the market, and the majority of them will be All-in-One liquid coolers. The custom-made liquid coolers are fairly expensive to build and maintain.

You will find custom-built liquid coolers for high-end and powerhouse computers. Most people will opt for AIO coolers for their builds. So we will be discussing AIO liquid coolers.


How Does Liquid Cooling Work?


I have given the basic overview of the liquid cooling system above, but that is not the complete story. If you are looking for a CPU cooler for your system, it is crucial to know their application in-depth.

The CPU ISH is connected with the metallic base plate of the cooler. The IHS is connected with the baseplate with a layer of thermal paste. The paste allows better heat transfer between the IHS and baseplate surfaces.

Infographic of How Liquid Cooling Work

The baseplate is a part of a round or square block containing water or a special chemical coolant. The water block is connected with two different pipes; one has the hot coolant, and the other has coolant.

These pipes are attached to a radiator with fans, exposed to fresh air. The hot liquid progresses from the CPU ISH to the radiator.

The radiator then exposes the hot liquid to air, which helps it cool. The cooled liquid from the radiator then re-enters the liquid block attached to the CPU. It is one complete cycle.

The cycles then continue until the system shuts down. Custom-made, liquid coolers work on this same principle. Custom liquid coolers contain custom loops attached to a huge cylinder filled with coolant.

Unlike AIO coolers, the custom-built liquid coolers also cool other system components like GPU, for instance.

The Pros

There are several advantages of using a liquid cooler in your system over an air cooler. The first and the biggest advantage of having a liquid cooler is that it runs quietly. Users will not have to worry about running fans constantly, as in air cooling.

Liquid coolers are generally found in high-end systems. Liquid coolers tend to be the perfect choice for most people as it adds so much more value to the looks of the system.

Since liquids are better conductors of heat, they are easily the optimal choice for better head conduction than any air cooler. This better liquid conduction allows gamers to overclock their CPU too much higher clock speeds, which is impossible with an air cooler.

An extended AIO can also be used to cool other crucial components of your system, like a graphic card. If you are an avid gamer, you know how critical GPU temperatures are, compared to CPU temperatures.

The Cons

There are not many cons to liquid coolers. The one major issues which can be disastrous if it happens is if the liquid from the cooling system managed to leak and went to a crucial part of the computer, let us say the GPU, it can severely permanently damage the component, and it might even stop working.

In some scenarios, the AIO coolers get beaten by high-end air coolers in both temperatures and performance. You might wonder how?

I will discuss this in detail later in the article. Another disadvantage of using the AIO coolers is that they are expensive than air coolers.

And the users get a little better performance which makes air coolers better in price to performance factor. AIO coolers can also be tedious to install if you do not have enough room in your system for the radiator or the pipes.

Lastly, they are harder to maintain. If proper maintenance is not ensured, the risk of liquid leakage increases, which you do not want in any condition.


What Is Air Cooling?


Air coolers are the second viable option to choose for CPU cooling. They are not as effective as liquid coolers, but a high-end air cooler is something you should look out for. Air cooling is cheaper, easy to install, and needs little to no maintenance than liquid coolers.

In air cooling, the air is used as a medium to cool with a massive heatsink attached with a single fan or two fans or sometimes even three fans.

image of air cpu cooler

Some high-end coolers can even go toe to toe with the liquid coolers, though it cannot best them in terms of efficiency and performance.

Like there are two different types of liquid coolers, air coolers also come in two variants: one with fans and one without fans called a passive cooler.

The passive air coolers rely highly on specially built heatsinks that redistribute heat without using a cooler. However, these are not commonly used in gaming computers.

If you are on a tight budget or are not expecting to use your computer for high-performance tasks, air coolers are a viable option. Air coolers tend to be noisy in a silent environment, but if your concern is not noise, there are some worthy air coolers which you might want to check out.


How Does Air Cooling Work?


The basic idea behind air cooling is somewhat the same as liquid cooling. Instead, a massive heatsink and fans are used instead of the water block, pipes, and radiator in AIO coolers. The heatsink of the air coolers is attached with a metallic baseplate connected with the CPUs IHS.

The IHS and baseplate contain a thermal paste that allows better heat conduction between the CPU and the baseplate. The metal used in the baseplate varies and impacts the heat conduction. The two commonly used metals used for air coolers are copper and aluminum.

image of how air cpu coolers work

Air coolers with copper baseplates and heat pipes tend to be expensive than coolers with aluminum base plates and heat pipes. The heat from the baseplate is transferred to the heat pipes.

These pipes then transfer the energy in heat form to thin metallic fins. The fins are then cooled by a huge fan (sometimes two fans) attached to the heatsink.

The effectiveness of the fans is determined by the heatsink size, quality, and the number of fans attached to the heatsink, material of heat pipes, and baseplate. Usually, the bigger the heatsink is, the better it will perform.

But not every desktop computer has enough space for these gigantic air coolers due to small form factor PCs. Air coolers also offer a higher price per dollar performance than liquid coolers due to their lower prices.

The Pros

Air coolers are a single piece of hardware that you need to install on your motherboard. Installing an air cooler is way easier than installing an AIO or custom-built liquid cooler. Air coolers are way affordable than entry-level liquid coolers.

They are very efficient, if not as efficient as liquid coolers. Some high-end air coolers can go toe to toe with liquid coolers without being extra noisy. Unlike using any liquid cooler, there is little to no risk in using air coolers because there is no water or coolant involved.

Lastly, these coolers do not require maintenance of any sort except for cleaning them from time to time from dust.

The Cons

When talking about air coolers, one of the prominent cons that comes to mind is noise. If you are gaming in a super quiet environment, these coolers can annoy you due to one, two, or sometimes three fans running at their highest RPM.

Air coolers are often bulky and take lots of space in the system. If you have a smaller form factor PC, installing an air cooler might be impossible.

Air coolers can only be paired with CPUs. Unlike AIO or custom-built liquid coolers, you cannot use them for other peripherals like GPU, for instance.

That was the basic introduction of coolers that are available for CPU cooling. It is time to discuss which of these cooling methods will be suitable for your computer. Without wasting any time, let us get to the comparisons of these cooling methods.


Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling: For Overclocking


Overclocking is one of the biggest and most crucial factors that are going to decide which CPU cooler you should be getting.

If your system is not put under high stress or you are not looking for overclocking just to get the maximum performance out of your system, air cooling is the better option.

It will save you some money, and you can even play highly demanding video games with maxed-out graphics without having to worry about anything. An air cooler with two fans is highly likely to be the best option than single or triple fan variants.

air cooler vs aio Overclocking

Overclocking is the most commonly used process between people who want to squeeze as much power and performance out of their hardware. Overclocking makes the hardware run above the base clock speeds.

Due to high voltage usage, CPUs tend to get hot. If you frequently overclock your CPU, liquid coolers are the superior choice here without thinking much. If not too careful, overclocking can damage the computer’s hardware which a user with medium or high-end computers would not want.

Judging from the test results performed by experts, CPUs tend to reach a stable temperature after a few solid minutes, while in air cooling, the CPU reaches a stable temperature in less than two minutes, which is not ideal.

However, in high-end games, the CPU can go above base clocks without reaching concerning temperatures. Technology is advancing rapidly, and with the latest high-end CPU coolers by Noctua, NZXT outperforms some liquid coolers in the market.

Image of Cooler Master CPU Cooler in PC
@Geekawhat

Now, when talking about extreme overclocking speeds like 4.5GHz and above, air coolers do not stand a chance against liquid cooling.

Higher-end systems that deliver high performance, quick rendering, graphics, and higher clock speeds, an air cooler might not be efficient solutions.

If you are serious about overclocking and do not want to be concerned with heat issues, liquid coolers should be your choice. Moreover, the air coolers are not necessarily poor conductors of heat and push the heat away from the CPU.

It can cause the hot air to raise the overall temperature of the system unless the PC casing has a decent ventilation system. Getting an air cooler might not be a wise choice.


Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling: Noise & Efficiency


Except for performance, the second other concern of gamers, either casuals or enthusiasts, is the noise and efficiency of these coolers. How well these two available cooling solutions can distribute heat efficiently.

Air and liquid coolers both feature fans. The air cooler has two fans on average. In an AIO cooler, three fans are paired with the radiators.

Liquid can distribute heat easily and takes time to get hot, which means it will take time until the CPU reaches a stable high temperature, as it performs resource-intensive tasks like video rendering, streaming, playing graphic-intensive video games, etc.

air cooler vs aio for Noise And Efficiency

The hot liquid when reaches the radiators the fans do not need to run at a monstrous RPM speed to cool of liquid, which ensures lower noise, though, they can still generate noise but not as intensive as noise generated by air coolers.

Liquid coolers generally tend to make less noise than air coolers significantly; when we go to the past, technologies are advancing, and now the competition between air vs liquid coolers in terms of noise is narrowed multiple folds.

A sealed loop cooling mechanism is a simple solution for dissipating heat levels generated by the CPU die, this causes users with liquid coolers to pump up the clock speeds to the maximum, and still, the temps will not reach dangerous levels.

Higher clock speeds in computing mean the CPU can crunch data more quickly. If you are an avid gamer, it tries to keep up with the data sent from the GPU to the CPU, which results in a performance boost.

This is not just related to gaming. Any resource-intensive task takes advantage of higher clocks due to the amazing efficiency of liquid coolers. Now which coolers are best for noise. It depends on what kind of workload that your CPU is going to face.

Image of EK Custom Loop Gaming PC

Closed-loop AIO coolers purchased from the market surprisingly generated more noise than air coolers. Liquid coolers have a pump built in them that regulates the liquid from the CPU block to the regulator.

These pumps are noisy, and you might better off with an air cooler if noise is your biggest concern.

If the workload is lower, then the air cooler is probably better and might not even have to run the fans at maximum RPM to cool down the CPU. Modern tech and exceptional engineering have allowed air coolers to be efficient while also being not too loud.


Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling: Which Performs Best?


If we are talking about simple AIO liquid coolers from the market vs air coolers, air coolers tend to perform well than AIO coolers which might surprise a lot of people. As I have mentioned earlier, the time to reach a stable temperature is longer for AIOs than for air coolers.

This means you can increase the clock speeds of your CPU and expect them to sit at a moderated temperature for as long as you may run a recourse-intensive task that can heat the CPU.

Which Performs Best liquid cooler or air cooler

One of the myths that people tend to believe is AIO coolers are multiple times better than air coolers as they can decrease temperatures to double digits.

This is a correct story a couple of years back. Technology has been advanced a lot, and the temperature difference between two coolers is not that big.

The performance margin between these two coolers has reduced a lot. You can even overclock your CPU and pair it with an air cooler, and the temps will still not increase above 70 degrees. The temps on an AIO cooler might not cross 65 degrees with a fully overclocked CPU.

This makes the debate confusing, as now selecting the coolers for your rig is more confusing now that air coolers are also a viable option. However, a decent high-end AIO can still outperform the air cooler by a decent margin.

Let us talk about gaming a bit because I am pretty sure the majority of the people that are looking for cooling solutions for their computers are interested in the gaming performance of these coolers.

I have personally used air coolers my whole life. I am not a competitive gamer and ran even graphic intensive games with maximum graphic settings.

image of a pc build with corsair air cooler

I have not seen a big spike in CPU temperatures, the maximum my CPU went was 70 degrees, and the air cooler that I have been using it just a mid-range CPU cooler by Corsair. Whether you are getting air or a liquid cooler for your system, it is way better than using a stock cooler.

If you are a content creator who streams or a video editor, or your work is high system resource-intensive, liquid coolers are by far the better choice.

If you are a casual gamer and your system will not be running 24/7, and the CPU will not work at the higher clock speeds, an air cooler will be a better purchase in that scenario.


Liquid Cooling vs Air Cooling: Aesthetics & Cost


I am not a big fan of RGB, so I cannot speak for every PC gamer that is looking to get a cooler of their CPUs. Some people prefer aesthetics and are willing to pay as much as possible as long as it is efficient and has the looks to increase the beauty of their systems.

For me, aesthetics and cost are the least concerned topics, and I would want the best performance out of my CPU cooler. If you are a person who is looking for a CPU cooler that does its job at reducing temperatures of CPU die and look flashy, AIO coolers are the winners, no competitions.

Some high-end air coolers, with excellent performance and efficiency, have the ugliest looks, and they can singly handily ruin the aesthetics of your systems. If the system casing has glass panels, nobody would want an ugly CPU cooler to ruin the looks, right?

AIO coolers are a work of art. Any entry-level AIO can be costly than a high-end air cooler, but they are the most beautiful piece of hardware that will not only add more to aesthetics but it will increase the overall efficiency of the system multiple times.

Do not get me wrong, there are several gorgeous-looking air coolers available in the markets which are as attractive as any AIO cooler. However, you will not get the same performance out of them as you will get from AIO coolers.

If cost is not a bothering issue for you, there are so many options available for closed-loop liquid coolers that you can choose from. It will add several features alongside the aesthetics of your system.

An air cooler might be attractive, but it will take a lot of space of your system, and if you have a small form factor system, it makes more sense to opt-in for a liquid cooler. Casings like mine, where instead of glass panels, it is covered wholly by metal, an ugly-looking air cooler will do that trick.


Liquid Cooling Vs Air Cooling: Limitations & Safety


Air coolers have on big advantage over AIOs except for cost and efficiency is they are extremely safe to use than any AIO coolers.

We are in 2021, and technology has rapidly increased and improved. AIO coolers also have improved from time to time, and the common issues like leakage, noise have gradually minimized.

But the probability of liquid leakage in AIOs is never zero. If it does leak, the chances of the leakage damaging your systems are so high.

Aesthetics and Cost of liquid cooler vs air cooler

Most of the time, the pipes containing the coolant would be directly on the top of the GPU. Any drop from the leakage can get inside the GPU, which can cause permanent damage to the system.

In air coolers, this problem does not exist as there is not liquid used in the first place. Due to this sole reason, air coolers require maintenance and air coolers do not. One of the enormous and most ignored issues in the debate of air cooling vs liquid cooling is a failure and its detection.

If an air cooler fails, it is easier to detect as the fans will not spin alongside the fancy lights. You can detect this issue relatively quickly and take proper action in time.

AIOs, on the other hand, when fails, you will not be able to tell until you will monitor the temperatures of your components.

But again, past the era of liquid coolers that had leakage problems, the problem is still there, but with the latest technology and engineering wonders, you will very unlikely face AIO leakage in your system if it is installed properly and carefully.

AIO is tricky to install than air coolers. If they are not installed correctly, the pipes might leak and cause damage to the CPU, let alone any other components of your computer. You can install air coolers with ease and straight out of the box.


What About The (AIO) Self-Contained Liquid Cooling?


Liquid coolers have two different categories, one is All-in-One self-contained liquid cooling, and the other one is custom-built liquid coolers.

The latter is not common and due to their costs and installation. AIO coolers are the most common and are the focus of this article for liquid cooling.

showing how custom loop vs aio looks like

AIO coolers are a pretty decent choice for cooling solutions, and they are not even that expensive compared to a custom-built liquid cooling loop. If you travel frequently, you will most unlikely experience motherboard bending or breaking issues if you decide to install an AIO.

The motherboard bending or breaking problem is not common but occurs with beefy air coolers, adding more to liquid cooling advantage.

AIOs, on the other hand, barely takes any space in the casing, are completely sealed and preassembled. AIO coolers are quite cheaper than any custom-built liquid coolers, plus it reaps many of the advantages of a high-end custom loop liquid cooler.

There are several sufficient AIO coolers available in the market by prominent cooling solutions providers like NZXT, Corsair, Coolermaster, and so on. Unless the pipes are bending or the joints are loose, AIOs are pretty reliable liquid coolers that you can get your hands on.

One thing about AIO to keep in mind, you may call it a con, the water or coolant inside the AIO cannot be replaced or changed until the lifespan of AIO finishes which is around 5-7 years.

The Pros

AIO coolers are packed with several pros with little to no cons. They are preassembled and completely sealed with coolant or water. Performance-wise they are almost on par with the closed-loop or custom-built liquid coolers, which are expensive than AIOs.

Since the pipes are already sealed, you will not have to worry about the maintenance of any kind. Aesthetics and looks-wise, to be very honest, AIOs are not less work of art than any custom-built closed-loop liquid coolers, if not better.

AIOs are pretty silent and generate barely audible noise from the radiator fans because of liquid’s ability to absorb and distribute heat better than air coolers. These are easy to install in PCs of any form factors due to the small water block installed on CPU IHS.

The Cons

With the price you pay for AIO coolers, you can get a more efficient air cooler. Air coolers have better performance per dollar than AIO coolers.

AIOs also tend to be silent, but with higher workloads, they can get pretty noisy than air coolers with a similar or higher price.

You are forever stuck with the coolant inside the AIO coolers with no way to replace the liquid until the life of the cooler hardware finishes. Custom-built coolers, on the other hand, offer the choice to replace the coolant any day of the week.

Unlike custom-build closed-loop coolers, you cannot cool other components of your system when installing an AIO cooler.


AIO Liquid Coolers Vs. Custom Liquid Cooling


After concluding the air vs liquid cooling debate, people are more inclined to choose either an AIO or custom-built liquid cooling system.

The question arises, both are liquid coolers; which one is better in terms of temps, performance, efficiency, price to performance ratio, aesthetics, safety, and more?

AIO Liquid Coolers Vs Custom Liquid Cooling

On the paper, a custom-built closed-loop cooling system is better in most ways compared to AIOs. However, there is more to the complete story. AIOs are cheaper than custom liquid coolers. One component of a decent custom liquid cooler costs more than a full AIO.

AIO coolers take advantage of many features of custom liquid coolers like aesthetics, efficiency, and more. First, let us discuss the ease of installation between these two liquid coolers.

Custom coolers are hard to install and built, and if you are not sure what you are doing, it may cause failure. AIO can be treated as a single component and are relatively easier to install. Performance-wise, AIO cannot compete with custom coolers.

The latter has the best performance out of all sorts of coolers available in the markets. They are more efficient than AIOs, but due to their costs, they offer a worse dollar-to-performance ratio than AIOs.

Both of these coolers have looks and aesthetics, better than any air cooler, but closed-loop coolers take the looks of the PC to another level.

It is a beautiful work of art and looks stunning in a glass panel casing like Lian-Li, Cougar, and other aesthetically pleasing casing manufacturers.

If you are on a limited budget and cost is a concern of yours, but you still want liquid cooling in your system, AIO is the superior choice. You can even get an air cooler and expect similar performance and efficiency in productive work.

If you are going to get cooler just to play games on maximum resolution, we have a winner, and that is the AIO cooler, but if you want your CPU to handle high-end gaming or any high system resource-intensive task, you should get a custom closed-loop liquid cooler.


Air Cooling Vs. Liquid Cooling? Which One Is Better


It is time to decide the winner of the air vs liquid cooling discussion. I am not going to tell you which one is better than the other, you will decide on your own. However, I will be helping you in deciding which cooling solution is better for your system.

Does your system have powerful hardware?

Unless your system has powerful hardware, a high-end CPU paired with a high-end GPU, and you are looking for the best cooling solution for your system and cost is not a concern of yours, liquid coolers are the better choice in this case.

You might even opt-in for the custom-built cooler. Sure it will be twice or thrice as costly as a mid-ranged AIO or air cooler, but these coolers cannot provide the same efficiency and lower temperatures as a custom looped water/liquid cooler.

Also, if you want to game with high clock speeds without getting bothered by high temperatures, liquid coolers will be your best friends.

Do you want a cooling solution without hurting the aesthetics of your system?

Your beloved CPU needs a cooling solution, and you do not want to ruin the lovely aesthetics of your system. Getting a liquid cooler is a wise choice. If you are on a tight budget and cannot afford custom liquid coolers, get an AIO liquid cooler. They are cheap, efficient. God, they are gorgeous.

Is cost is a concern of yours?

Do you want a cooling solution for your CPU without having to spend a fortune? Yes, you can get an air cooler with affordable price and brilliant efficiency, even when you decide to overclock your CPU to get that extra sweet performance out of your hardware.

Do you want the utmost safety of your system?

You can find countless articles on the internet when you search for air vs liquid cooling comparisons. In the cons of liquid coolers, leakage is the riskiest cons that you will find in almost every article, using an AIO or custom-built liquid coolers.

In such cases, you can get a high-end air cooler, and the efficiency and performance of air coolers built with impressive engineering wonders, you will get surprised. Telling you from personal experience.

So, who is the overall winner of the whole discussion?

There is no winner of the discussion. These cooling solutions are designed for various kinds of systems and people on different budgets, looking best performance, aesthetics, safety, budget coolers, and so on.

Depending on what type of workload your system is going to process, the choice will vary.


Final Verdict:

Selecting the correct component for your needs while building a brand new system is one of the hardest things that a PC owner goes through. One of the components which most people have trouble in selecting is whether to get an air cooler or a liquid cooler for their rigs.

In theory and on paper, liquid coolers are easily the better choices, but that is only true for certain situations.

Some situations make air cooler a better choice for CPU cooling due to advancements in technology, and companies have improved their engineering to build the best coolers for your CPU.

Air cooling vs liquid cooling is one of the most discussed topics when you decide to build a PC due to several factors impacting the decision directly or indirectly.

If you are a casual gamer who does not squeeze the maximum performance out of their systems by overclocking, you might want to get an air cooler.

If you’re an enthusiastic gamer or a content creator or video editor, and so on, a powerful system is a must. The powerful the hardware gets, the better the cooling system it will require. For that, liquid coolers are the better choice and will get the job done.

People with different form factor systems might not be able to fit a humongous air cooler inside the casing; they can get an AIO cooler that does not costs a fortune and can fit inside a PC with various form factors.

In short, there is no clear winner of the air cooling vs liquid cooling debate. It all depends on what are the needs of the person are.

So before you head over to the market to purchase a cooling solution, make sure to do your homework and decide which category of CPU coolers will be the best for your system.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Is liquid cooling better than air cooling?

Depends on the situation, if you are asking which cooler can keep the CPU’s temperature at bay while it processes resource-intensive tasks, a liquid cooler is a clear winner.

Liquid coolers have overall better efficiency, performance, lower noise levels than any air cooler available in the market.

#2 – What are the disadvantages of a liquid cooling system?

One of the biggest disadvantages of using a liquid cooling system is how much maintenance liquid coolers require. If liquid coolers’ maintenance is not ensured from time to time, the risk of leakage increases, and it can potentially harm the CPU without you realizing it.

The damage dealt by liquid coolers is often diagnosed when it is too late. Other disadvantages include their beefy price tag. Liquid coolers are very expensive.

#3 – Is liquid cooling effective?

Yes, liquid cooling is by far the best cooling solution for CPUs, but these days, some high-end air coolers are an even better choice than some liquid coolers due to excellent engineering and the type of material used for cold plate and heat pipes embedded in the heat sink.

Overall, AIO and custom build liquid cooling will always have an edge over air cooler efficiency-wise.

#4 – Do you have to refill liquid cooling?

In AIOs, the pipes and the water block are preassembled and sealed, which prevents their purchasers from refilling the liquid. However, in custom build liquid coolers, the user can change or refill coolant any day of the week.

#5 – Will liquid cooling leak?

When liquid coolers made their entry into the market, one of the concerning problems that their owners faced was liquid leakage, which could potentially damage the expensive PC hardware quickly.

Now, due to advancements in the design and technology of liquid coolers, unless you deliberately bend the pipes, the chances of leakers are closer to zero, but the probability is always there.

Due to this sole reason, liquid cooling requires extra maintenance than air or AIO coolers.

#6 – What liquid is used in liquid cooling?

Some liquid coolers use water as a cooling agent, while deionized water, glycol + water solutions are the most commonly used liquids in liquid coolers. AIO coolers often have water as a cooling agent, while high-end coolers have the solutions mentioned above.

#7 – Can you cool a PC with antifreeze?

Yes, you can use antifreeze as a coolant to cool your CPU. If you are willing to use it as your coolant, a mixture of 80-85% of distilled water and antifreeze will do the job.

One of the few advantages of using antifreeze in your custom loop cooler is its anticorrosive and biocidal properties.

#8 – What needs more cooling, CPU or GPU?

GPU is the crucial component if you are going to do gaming or video editing on your system. Cooling GPU should be your highest priority.

However, if your work includes running apps requiring intensive usage of CPU, cooling the CPU should be of higher priority in such cases.

#9 – Does i9 9900K need liquid cooling?

Intel’s Core i9 9900K is a high-end CPU built for CPU-intensive tasks and overclocking. If you are serious about using your CPU at overclocked speeds, it will require a liquid cooler or custom cooler, to be precise.

If you are not going to overclock your Core i9-9900K, then a decent air cooler will suffice.

#10 – Does water cooling increase FPS?

Yes, water cooling increases FPS. Using a water cooler allows the CPU to reach a stable high temperature in some time. Since it can transfer heat better than air, the CPU can run at a much higher clock speed.

Higher clock speeds of CPU allow the CPU to keep up with the data processed and sent by the graphic card to display on the monitor, which means an increase in FPS.

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