All-in-one liquid coolers with 240mm radiators are among the most popular of their kind. They fit inside the vast majority of cases and are markedly better than most if not all air coolers out today. They’re more expensive than your high-end Noctua or Scythe. Still, the added efficiency makes the best 240mm AIO far more likely to tackle the hottest processors.
Getting an AIO has been the enthusiast’s choice thus far. However, 12th-gen CPUs and their increased heat output will aid in cementing liquid cooling as the new norm for many.
Our Best 240mm AIO Picks at a Glance
Choices abound since the 240mm liquid cooler category attracts so many users. Why waste time comparing prices and charts when we’ve already done the work for you? Take a look at our curated selection and give your mid-range CPU some well-deserved breathing room.
- Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix – The best 240mm liquid cooler
- ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 – Punching far above its weight class
- EK 240mm AIO D-RGB – Capable cooling meets beautiful RGB
- NZXT Kraken X53 – A stealthy mid-range option
- MSI MAG CORELIQUID 240R – For RGB enthusiasts on a budget
- Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2 – The new & improved savings champ
Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix
Fan RPM: 400-1,600| Fan CFM: 47.3| Tube length: 380mm | Has RGB: Yes
The RGB Pro XT version of the H100i was already a top performer, but it was boring! In true Corsair fashion, its successor isn’t an improvement as much as visual candy squared. Its looks have received the Capellix treatment, but the change in pump head & fans didn’t impact its chilly disposition. There’s no doubt that such a well-rounded cooler deserves to be our best 240mm AIO, even if you’ll have to pay extra for it.
Corsair already had a solid design on hand, so changes are there to enhance the RGB experience. The pump head now has a swappable top plate, allowing you to ditch the closed-off version for one that showcases the array of addressable Capellix lights even more. They’re small, visibly brighter than ordinary LEDs, and consume a minimum power amount.
The fans have fully embraced RGB too. They’re transparent ML 120 units engineered for silent operation and have a cubic feet per minute rate of 47. That’s lackluster on paper, but two of them stir up enough of a breeze to efficiently eject air out through the aluminum radiator. You can adjust the smallest details concerning their and the CPU block’s lighting through iCUE. That’s where you’ll also find several fan speed presets, including one that turns the fans off entirely while the CPU temp is low enough.
Cool & Bright
Installing the H100i isn’t complicated. Its cable management is more straightforward than most since the accompanying Commander Core doubles as a hub for the fans’ ARGB and PWM headers. You can use it to power & coordinate up to six Corsair fans.
The H100i wouldn’t occupy our top spot were it not an efficient cooler for most AMD and Intel CPUs. Its acoustics are middling unless you turn the fans off completely. However, the decrease in CPU temperature, whether you’re overclocking or not, is considerable.
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240
Fan RPM: 200-1,800| Fan CFM: 55.6| Tube length: 450mm | Has RGB: No
- Exceptional performance at a rock-bottom price
- VRM fan adds extra utility
- Easy, clutter-free install
- Questionable aesthetics
Arctic’s second attempt at AIO cooling is so good that we aren’t afraid of comparing it with the likes of Noctua’s NH-D15 in terms of impact. A bold statement, but one that the Liquid Freezer II backs up with a host of innovations and efficiency that boggles the mind once you take a look at the price tag. The H100i barely snagged the best 240mm title from it. However, Arctic’s model is more accessible and sure to find itself at the core of many builds.
Nothing about this AIO is ordinary, not even the radiator. Its thickness clocks in at 10mm more than usual, with corresponding changes in fin density. That’s not a problem since Arctic employs two of its iconic P12 fans for unimpeded and efficient airflow.
The pump head is even more intriguing. The design is divisive since adding another tiny fan makes the part resemble a spaceship. There’s no RGB either. These are small concessions for a feature that cools down the motherboard VRM and can even help bring your GPU’s temps down. Air blows out in three directions, so how you mount the CPU block has a tangible effect on the surroundings.
Taking Its Own Road to Greatness
None of our picks are hard to install. Still, the Arctic Freezer II is the best 240mm liquid cooler for newbies as much of the prep work is already done. The fans come secured to the radiator. Their power cables travel safely along the flexible tubing into the head unit. A single PWM cable handles all the power requirements from there, meaning plugging it in and securing the pump head is all it takes.
The Liquid freezer II is among the cheapest AIOs we recommend. That doesn’t stop it from being among the most capable, however. It’s consistently at or near the top whether you’re testing sound levels or thermal efficiency.
EK 240mm AIO D-RGB
Fan RPM: 550-2,200| Fan CFM: 66| Tube length: 350mm | Has RGB: Yes
- Among the best-performing of its kind
- Excellent build quality
- Tasteful RGB implementation
- Separate controller required to access advanced features
Enthusiasts who’re into custom water loops will be familiar with EK and its range of high-quality offerings. The company also sells effective ready-made solutions, like the cooler that made it into our top three. It’s the best 240mm AIO if RGB is your jam, not to mention among the sturdiest and most effective models on the list.
Solidity is the first thing you’ll notice about this AIO. The pump head is particularly massive, sporting an acrylic square top that acts as a light diffuser for the addressable RGBs inside. That brings us to our only gripe with this cooler – RGB control. Software like Polychrome and RGB Fusion works as intended. However, you don’t get subtle fan curve & color adjustment unless you purchase a separate controller unit. Nothing some motherboard tweaking can’t fix, but still.
An EK-cellent Choice
The nondescript radiator houses two fans that draw air out potently despite being optimized to glow with untold colors. Their RPM range is wide, and the CFM is decent, if not remarkable. However, each fan has a static pressure approaching 3mmH2O that helps them work as intended even inside weird cases not built with airflow in mind.
Props to EK for designing a 240mm liquid cooler whose focus on aesthetics doesn’t penalize performance. It’s as capable as the H100i and more than a match for any mid-range CPU. The fans get pretty loud to achieve this, but even minor fan curve adjustments can do a lot to curb the noise.
NZXT Kraken X53
Fan RPM: 500-2,000| Fan CFM: 77.3| Tube length: 400mm | Has RGB: Yes
Kraken is NZXT’s long-standing line of AIOs. Its latest 240mm entry is the one to look out for if you want an excellent balance of price, aesthetics, and cooling prowess. There’s just enough RGB on it to make for exciting visuals without impeding performance. Moreover, the unit is built well & straightforward to set up.
A lot of engineering know-how went into creating the X53’s seemingly mundane pump head. On the one hand, it houses a large reflective array responsible for the unique infinity mirror effect. On the other, its connections and swivel fittings are close to each other without tangling. Lastly, the block comes with a preinstalled bracket that fits Intel CPUs up to Rocket Lake. Switching to AMD is a breeze, though.
There’s not much to report on the radiator other than its standard density and large embossed NZXT logo. The fans are another matter. You get a pair of Aer P 120mm models that don’t look like much but put out respectable pressure at a not too aggressive 2,000 RPM. They don’t create clutter either since the splitter that powers the fans plugs into the pump head.
Keeping Temperatures Under Wraps
Turning the X53 on engages the wonderful mirror sheen and lets you experiment with millions of infinite lights. You may do this through your motherboard and its lighting software or by installing CAM if you don’t mind the bloat.
Performance-wise, the X53 is where you’d expect a 240mm liquid cooler just north of three digits to be. It can hold its own against larger rivals and regularly ends up in the middle of the pack. Sticking only to 240mm alternative sees it climb into the top third. We’ve heard louder AIOs, but results in the upper 30dB range at load aren’t good enough to win awards.
MSI MAG CORELIQUID 240R
Fan RPM: 500-2,000| Fan CFM: 78.7 | Tube length: 400mm | Has RGB: Yes
- Adequate performance at reasonable price
- Pump placement doesn’t impact efficiency
- Beautified lighting natively compatible with Mystic Light
- Radiator may be hard to screw in
MSI produces a plethora of high-quality hardware, but AIOs weren’t on the list until recently. The MAG CORELIQUID 240R is s newcomer built for gamers who equally value efficiency, price, and aesthetics. It has an unorthodox pump design and gives EK’s model a run for its money RGB-wise.
While build quality remains high, the contrast in weight between this and the D-RGB is noticeable. That’s because it is distributed more towards the radiator and the pump it houses. This approach seems counterintuitive since the pump blocks off a fair fin chunk. However, the two 78 CFM fans make this a non-issue.
Unsurprisingly, the CPU block is lighter than most and easy to manipulate into place. It’s topped with a rotating cap that lights up with MSI’s dragon logo. Coupled with the matte fans, this produces a great-looking lighting effect free from flickering. No separate programs are there to adjust it, but Mystic Light or any other comparable mobo software works well enough.
Attractive, Effective, Affordable
This might be the best 240mm AIO for AMD users since installing it on the platform is a breeze. You’ll have to use an included bracket for LGA 1200 or order another if you have a new Alder Lake CPU, though. Whatever team you’re on, prepare for some serious screw twisting as the ones connecting the radiator to your case are short.
MSI’s AIO behaves similarly to the X53 in terms of thermal efficiency and acoustics. It’s a bit above average for a 240mm liquid cooler, which is already good since the two-digit price places it towards the budget end. Don’t expect it to match the Liquid Freezer II’s cooling power, but relatively quiet operation is a selling point.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2
Fan RPM: 650-1,800| Fan CFM: 62| Tube length: 300mm| Has RGB: Yes
The original MasterLiquid ML240L RGB didn’t make much of a splash because of its mediocre stats and uninspired lighting. Cooler Master returned to the drawing board and introduced a host of improvements to the second version without raising the price. That leaves you with the best 240mm AIO you can get at an entry-level price.
Users unfamiliar with the first cooler will only see a puck-shaped pump head with the Cooler Master logo tethered to a standard radiator. The pump has had the biggest redesign, however, which resulted in an increase in volume & longer impeller blades to maintain water flow. The size increase reduces the pump’s operating speed and helps the entire PC run more quietly.
Enhancements continue with the radiator and fans. The former’s density is unchanged, but it has larger tube connections that facilitate better flow. The old fans were duds. Now you get SickleFlow fans with a slight improvement to static pressure and a decent CFM of 62. More importantly, they’re not as loud as the fans they’re replacing yet look better when you engage the RGB.
Setting this AIO up doesn’t take long if you let your motherboard handle illumination control. Users whose motherboards lack RGB headers have to undergo an extra step, though. The AIO ships with a simple controller that connects to the fans’ power & ARGB headers on one end and the PSU through MOLEX on the other.
Unlike the Liquid Freezer II, this AIO is firmly in line with its affordable price tag. This means it trails the other models on the list by several degrees and is best used for something like a 5600x or 11600K. That being said, the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB V2 won’t have trouble keeping said processors at comfortable temperatures even if you overclock.