Keep Your PC Cool With These Top Liquid Cooling Kits

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Keeping your computer’s temperature down is crucial for performance and longevity. While air cooling gets the job done for basic systems, liquid cooling (also called water cooling) offers superior cooling for high-end builds. If you’re pushing your CPU and GPUs to the max with overclocking, a custom liquid cooling loop will keep temps low and stability high.

But setting up a custom loop can be complicated, requiring research on compatible parts plus lots of tricky installation steps. That’s where pre-filled liquid cooling kits come to the rescue! Liquid cooling kits provide all the parts in one package, allowing you to easily add high-performance liquid cooling to your rig.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about liquid cooling kits. First, we’ll highlight the top 5 kits that provide excellent cooling, quality components, strong value and ease of installation. Next, we’ll go over key factors to consider when selecting the ideal liquid cooling kit for your needs and budget. And finally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about liquid cooling kits.

So whether you’re cooling an overclocked i9 processor or dual RTX graphics cards, read on to find the perfect liquid cooling solution!

Top 5 Pre-Filled Liquid Cooling Kits

When choosing a liquid cooling kit, you’ll want to consider the cooling performance, quality of components, ease of installation and maintenance, aesthetics, and of course the price. Here are our picks for the top kits that excel in these areas:

1. EK-KIT Classic RGB S360

The EK-KIT Classic RGB S360 is a fantastic complete liquid cooling kit from renowned cooling company EK Water Blocks. Inside the box you’ll get everything needed for a high-performance loop including:

  • EK-CoolStream SE 360mm radiator
  • EK-Vardar EVO 120ER RGB fans (3)
  • EK-DDC 3.2 PWM pump and reservoir combo
  • EK-DuraClear transparent tubing
  • Compression fittings
  • Coolant, dyes, and other accessories

This triple 120mm fan radiator kit provides exceptional cooling for both CPUs and GPUs. The included digital PWM controlled pump and reservoir ensures reliable, quiet water flow. You can customize the aesthetic with the RGB fans and fluid colors.

Installation is straightforward with the detailed instructions. The high-quality compression fittings make securing the tubing leak-free. Overall an outstanding kit that’s well worth the investment for top-tier cooling that looks fantastic too.

2. Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i

The Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i is one of the best solutions for a hassle-free liquid cooling setup. Everything needed for a complete custom loop is in the box including:

  • 30mm thick 360mm radiator
  • Three 120mm PWM fans
  • Xylem D5 PWM pump with reservoir
  • iCUE QL120 RGB lighting node
  • Coolant and tubing
  • Mounting hardware and instructions

This kit really excels with the stellar cooling performance. The powerful D5 pump, thick radiator, and high-airflow 120mm fans work together to dissipate heat efficiently. CPU and GPU temperatures are significantly lower compared to air cooling.

While not the most flashy aesthetically, you can customize the look with the RGB lighting node. Installation is straightforward thanks to the detailed guide. With quality components that perform well and last, the XH305i is worth the premium price.

3. NZXT Kraken Z73

If you’re looking for an eye-catching liquid cooler, the NZXT Kraken Z73 is a fantastic choice. It comes with:

  • 360mm aluminum radiator
  • Three 120mm Aer P radiator fans
  • RGB infinity mirror pump with LCD display
  • Adjustable mounting bracket
  • Software control

The highlight is definitely the unique circular pump with the infinity mirror effect and customizable LCD readout. This lets you display images, animations, logos and system stats.

Apart from the stellar aesthetics, the Z73 delivers excellent cooling capacity to handle overclocked processors with ease. The pump and fans are quieter than many other 360mm coolers during normal usage. Installation takes a bit of work but the instructions guide you through perfectly.

Overall the NZXT Kraken Z73 combines beautiful aesthetics, great performance and simple software control for one of the best looking and effective liquid cooling kits.

4. DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm Captain 360EX White

For those seeking a clean, minimalist liquid cooler, the DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm Captain 360EX in white is a stunning choice. The kit contains:

  • 360mm radiator
  • Three 120mm PWM fans
  • Anti-leak technology in tubing
  • Visible flow indicator
  • White pump with lighting
  • Mounting and accessories

The fresh white design gives this kit a sleek, modern look, especially when paired with a white PC case. The 120mm fans feature anti-vibration pads to keep noise levels low. For cooling, the large 360mm radiator delivers excellent performance for CPUs and hot GPUs.

Installing the Captain 360EX is straightforward thanks to the detailed instructions with diagrams. The white braided tubing is free of potential leakage issues. For those wanting potent cooling power with a sophisticated white aesthetic, the DEEPCOOL Captain 360EX hits the mark.

5. Thermaltake Pacific W4 Plus

Last but not least is the Thermaltake Pacific W4 Plus, an affordable and reliable liquid cooling kit. It contains:

  • 120mm radiator and fan
  • D5 pump with acrylic reservoir
  • Chrome compression fittings
  • Tubing and coolant
  • Mounting hardware

While only a 120mm single fan setup, the W4 Plus still provides satisfactory cooling for moderate overclocking. The D5 pump is extremely reliable and quiet. Aesthetically, the kit has a simple, understated look with the chrome accents and black tubing.

One of the main benefits of the W4 Plus is the easy installation. Thermaltake includes everything you need for a straightforward setup. For those seeking an entry-level kit that is frustration-free, provides decent cooling capacity and comes at an affordable price, the Pacific W4 Plus is a great choice.

How to Choose the Right Liquid Cooling Kit

With so many liquid cooling kits available, it can be tricky deciding which one is best for your needs. Here are the most important factors to consider when choosing a kit:

  • Processor being cooled – Determine whether you’ll be cooling an Intel or AMD CPU so the kit’s mounting equipment fits correctly.
  • Radiator size – The radiator size impacts cooling performance. Common sizes are 120mm, 240mm, 280mm and 360mm. Larger is better for high heat CPUs and overclocking. Smaller radiators still offer good cooling for less extreme use.
  • Case compatibility – Measure inside your PC case to ensure adequate mounting room and fan configurations for the radiator size.
  • Aesthetics – Many kits feature RGB lighting, visual pump designs and colored tubing for customizable looks. Choose based on your style preferences.
  • Tubing type – Most kits include standard plastic tubing but some offer sleeved tubing for aesthetics. Ensure the length and diameter fit your case.
  • Pump strength – More powerful pumps allow expansion to bigger loops. But they can be louder. Lower power pumps usually suffice for basic CPU or GPU cooling loops.
  • Installation – Look at reviews and the instruction manual to determine ease of install and quality of hardware. Leak testing is highly recommended.
  • Maintenance – Kits with easy-to-refill reservoirs make maintenance simpler long-term.
  • Budget – You can find kits at various price points. Around $150+ is recommended for quality components and top performance.
  • Reviews – Check impartial reviews on a kit’s cooling capacity, noise levels, ease of use and reliability.
  • Components – Ensure the kit has all parts needed like tubing, coolant, fittings, fans so you don’t need to buy anything extra.
  • Compatibility – Most kits work with both Intel and AMD but some AMD ones need separate mounting hardware.
  • Expandability – If you may expand your loop later, get a more powerful pump and case-ready radiator.

Taking the time to properly evaluate kits based on these factors will help you select the perfect one for your build and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions About Liquid Cooling Kits

How difficult is it to install a liquid cooling kit?

Most quality kits these days are designed for straightforward installation, even for beginners. The instructions will guide you through each step, usually starting with mounting the radiator and fans, then installing the pump and tubing. Leak testing before powering on is highly recommended. It can take 1-3 hours for first timers but gets much faster. Take your time and don’t force anything.

What maintenance is required for liquid cooling?

Maintenance is similar to air cooling – clean dust buildup from radiator fins every 6-12 months. Refill the coolant every 1-2 years. Inspect tubing and fittings for any cracks or leaks. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guide for any specific steps. Proper maintenance keeps the kit running smoothly for years.

Is liquid cooling worth it over air cooling?

Liquid cooling is worth it if you’ll be pushing high heat components hard through overclocking or need a virtually silent PC. For milder uses, quality air coolers can sufficiently handle temps at lower costs. Liquid cooling really shines for reducing noise while taming the heat from top-end Intel or AMD CPUs and multi-GPU setups.

What are the risks with liquid cooling?

The most concerning risk is from potential coolant leaks which can damage hardware. To minimize this, go with trusted brands and carefully follow the installation instructions. Ensure to leak test for at least 24 hours before running power through the system. Modern kits are designed to be leak-free but mistakes can happen.

How long does liquid cooling last?

The pump components in quality kits will easily last 3-5 years or longer. The most common factor limiting lifespan is the tubing which can start seeping fluid after 2-3 years. Replacing tubes and fluid yearly can significantly extend the kit’s usable life. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance tips is key.

Is liquid cooling quieter than air cooling?

At idle or low temps, liquid cooling is often quieter since the fans spin slower and pumps make little noise. But under heavy load with fans maxed out, liquid coolers and smaller rads can get louder than big air coolers. Larger radiators paired with quieter fans can achieve superb cooling with minimal noise.

Can a liquid cooling kit work in any PC case?

You’ll want to double check that your case has room to mount the radiator(s) and fans, keeping in mind hose lengths. Many mid and full towers support liquid cooling but smaller form factors may not. Also ensure your case has compatible fan mounting holes for the radiator size. Careful measurement is key.

Are liquid cooling kits universal for Intel and AMD?

Most liquid coolers these days support installation on both Intel and AMD sockets with the parts included. Some AMD specific kits may require ordering a separate mounting bracket for Intel boards. The kit specs will clarify CPU compatibility.

Keep Your System Chill With Liquid Cooling

Liquid cooling kits provide the cold temps, quiet acoustics, and aesthetic customization that air coolers struggle to match. With powerful CPUs and GPUs continuing to output blistering heatloads, liquid is the route for maxing out overclocks. Plus, who doesn’t love the cyberpunk look of liquid flowing through illuminated tubes and blocks?

We’ve covered the most capable kits that combine superb performance with quality components and easy installation. By determining your budget, cooling needs, case fit and style preferences, you can select the perfect solution to liquid cool your rig. With some patience and care during installation, you’ll be rewarded with a cooled system that runs happily for years. game on!

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