There are a lot of different components that go into a gaming PC setup. One of the coolest things about PC gaming is that you can choose from a number of customizable factors to come to the setup that works best for your gaming needs. No need to settle for something that has essentially come right out of the box.
When it comes to keeping your processor cooler, there are two options to choose from: air cooling and liquid cooling. If you have a high-end gaming setup, you could benefit from a liquid cooling setup. It has a better overall performance not to mention the fact that it offers the visual aesthetics that are so popular these days. But if you are building on a budget or aren’t running to the highest of standards, air cooling may be a better fit for your budget.
When Liquid Cooling is Worth it
At the end of the day, it is entirely up to you whether you opt to go with a liquid cooling setup. There are recommendations but those are just guidelines. The great thing about a gaming PC is that it can be customized to whatever standards you choose.
Generally speaking, you would only want a liquid cooling option for more high-end setups. They tend to perform far better, offering dual fans that keep processors of any size and quality sufficiently cooled even through extended use.
There is also the aesthetic quality of liquid cooling. Most of them come with some form of LED lighting, which has become immensely popular in recent years (though it doesn’t impact the performance quality in anyway).
When Liquid Cooling is Not Worth It
While most of us would like to operate on an unlimited budget and purchase only the best on the market, that just is not the reality for most people. There are budgets to be adhered to, which means finding components that will serve while also keeping you on budget.
Unless you are comfortable spending a lot of money on a cooling system, you probably want to go with a cheaper option. Most people are not operating high-end gaming setups, which doesn’t require a liquid cooling option.
Of course, if you can afford it and are comfortable with the price, there is nothing stopping you from making the investment in a liquid cooling option.
The Pros of Liquid Cooling
There are plenty of things to like about the option of liquid cooling. Knowing the various benefits (and the downsides) is important before making the choice for liquid cooling. Here are a few of the biggest benefits of liquid cooling for your PC gaming setup.
The Best Aesthetics
While it doesn’t directly impact performance, there is something to be said about the aesthetics of a gaming setup. More and more of them are including lights because it just makes a gaming setup look infinitely cooler.
Liquid cooling systems generally come with some RGB lights that can play off of the liquid in their system. What results is a cooler looking computer than you have ever seen before. If the aesthetics are worth it to you, then the higher price will be, too.
Not only that, it is simply the best way to customize your PC. There are plenty of setups out there where you are basically buying components and just plugging them in. But with liquid cooling, you can make your PC look like a one-of-a-kind setup.
Because liquid cooling systems come with multiple fans, they can handle high-performance processors of just about any size or make. Because of this, those who consider themselves to be high-performance gamers can get the most out of their gaming experience.
You don’t have to worry about your processors lagging or becoming overheated because the multiple fans are more than up to the tasks. It means that there are less clearance issues for your RAM, too. That ultimately means a smoother gaming experience with less lagging and potential issues.
Free Up Motherboard Space
For those who really love to customize their setup, having a liquid cooling system means freeing up space on your motherboard. When you have free space on your motherboard, it means having greater customization ability. You can’t overlook the ability to make tweaks as you see fit.
The Cons of Liquid Cooling
While there are more than a few benefits to a liquid cooling system, there are definitely downsides to be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at the cons of having a liquid cooling system.
The biggest issue with liquid cooling is that it is quite expensive to implement. Because most gamers are on a budget, shelling out money for a liquid cooling system can feel like a lot.
There are tons of options out there for air cooling systems that can hold up for a fraction of the price. If you are less serious about your gaming, then it may be more prudent to pursue an option that won’t break your budget.
For the most part, air cooling systems are quite a bit quieter than their liquid counterparts. Depending on how you feel about sound, it may or may not be a big deal.
But the simple fact is that going with a liquid cooling system means having to contend with more noise. Though the right headphones can mitigate that concern, it is still something that liquid cooling systems have to contend with.
Risk of Leak
There is always a risk at play when it comes to liquid cooling systems. Whenever water is anywhere near your computer, a leak can wind up doing a lot of damage. With air cooling systems, there is never that risk.
You have to be certain that your setup is done the right way or you run the risk of water leaking out and damaging your very expensive system.
The Best Liquid Cooling Options
Have a high-end gaming setup and think that you want to go with a liquid cooling option? It helps to know what is out there and what you are choosing from. It can become all too easy to get lost in the different options when finding the best fit for your machine is the point.
Here are five different liquid cooling options that could benefit most machines out there and provide you with a quality cooling option for your gaming setup.
1.) EK-AIO Basic 240
If you are looking for a clear step up from air cooling systems, this is a great place to start. EK is one of the most well-known names in the liquid cooling industry and they put a focus on performance as well as value and bang for the buck.
With a steady build quality, you will have a cooling option that will hold up for a long time to come. Even better, it is virtually silent, meaning that you won’t have to hear it to know that it is doing its job well.
2.) Deepcool Gammaxx L240 V2
Looking for a superior deal out of your cooling system? Then the Deepcool is right up there among the best options. It does a more than effective job cooling just about any processor that you can throw at it.
When it comes to sound, there are essentially two scenarios. When it is idol, it is basically silent. But under a significant CPU load, it can get quite loud. That may or may not impact your gaming experience for the negative depending on how sensitive you are to sound.
3.) Corsair Hydro Series H60 V2
This is one of the best value options out there. It is smaller than some of the competition but don’t let that fool you. It has the capacity to handle most of the processors out there easily, ensuring optimal temperatures.
The problem is that, when it comes to the more high-end processors on the market, it may not be able to hold up. Still, if you are looking for a fairly affordable option that will tackle most of your cooling needs, you could do far worse than this.
4.) Corsair iCUE H100i RGB Pro XT
Corsair is one of the most trusted names in cooling and for good reason. It does an effective job of pulling heat away from your processor thanks to pumps and a copper cold plate that route into a dual-fan-equipped radiator.
Even better, you can control fan and pump speeds from the software which is easily installed right onto your PC. That means you can control the settings to ensure optimal performance.
5.) Lian Li Galahad
Among the best budget coolers out there, the Lian Li Galahad may be the best. It offers dual 120mm fans at an affordable price. You can feel comfortable and confident in its cooling abilities without having to break the bank to do so.
Even better, it has a cool RGB lighting. While the lighting itself doesn’t necessarily do much for the cooling, it can give your PC that customized, high-end look that so many value. While the water pumps through the housing, it can become part of the light show, giving your PC a one-of-a-kind aesthetic that so many value in their gaming setups.