5 Best 120mm AIO Coolers in 2021

(Image credit: NZXT)

As time goes, liquid cooling has gained significant popularity among PC builders. Their popularity relies upon the amazing cooling performance, eye-appealing design, and less space occupation when compared to air coolers. But if you have been in the market for an AIO cooler, you have definitely noticed the wide range of options and sizes. While each size of these AIO coolers is optimized for a certain type of build, our focus today will be about the perfect coolers for midrange gaming PCs, the 120mm AIO coolers.

Here are our recommended 120mm AIO coolers that we believe are worth your money.

1-Enermax AQUAFUSION 120mm ARGB

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Beautiful RGB effects, quiet operation, and amazing cooling performance is the goal of every PC builder when looking for an AIO cooler. However, Enermax wanted to go beyond this in order to satisfy PC enthusiasts. With their AQUAFUSION 120mm, they managed to pack all these features together at a reasonable price tag. Yes, that’s right, you will be able to unleash the power of your CPU without leaving your wallet emptier.

What makes it good?

Featuring a compact yet outstanding design, the AQUAFUSION 120 ARGB is the perfect solution for your hot CPU and compact case. When we paired this outstanding AIO cooler with the Ryzen 7 2700X, we managed to get a temperature between 60-65C while gaming.

Furthermore, the Enermax AQUAFUSION 120 ARGB has got a maximum fan speed of 2000 RPM. Plus, for assisting the system in transferring the heat quickly, a copper base is attached to the water block paired with sleeved tubes to provide the best thermal performance. Besides, the installation process is straightforward, especially if you got experience with AIO coolers.

Another excellent point with the Enermax Aquafusion is their excellent customer service. Therefore, if you decide to purchase this AIO cooler, don’t hesitate to contact them if you are stuck in something or you would like to learn about a specific area.

What could have been better?

During our review for AQUAFUSION 120mm AIO, we found some areas where Enermax should improve. First, the Instructions can be a bit difficult to follow by new PC builders. It would be much better if Enermax includes images so the user could follow the steps easily.

Also, the Aquafusions AIO cooler got a very quiet fan with an RPM up to 2000. However, as the fan push so much air, you will start hearing the air movements once the fan reaches 1000RPM or above, which can be annoying for some people.

Besides, we recommend being extremely careful when installing the water pump. Because if you somehow manage to scratch the top of the water block, it will negatively impact its beauty once the RGB lighting is on.

Pros
  • Eye appealing design
  • Fantastic RGB effects
  • Extremely quiet
  • Amazing cooling performance
Cons
  • The installation can be difficult for new PC builders

Check it Out Here on Amazon.

2-NZXT Kraken M22 AIO Liquid Cooler

NZXT AIO coolers are the real synonym of true beauty. Most of these coolers are on the top of the line for cooling performance while supporting some exclusives features. Therefore, if you feel like it’s time for you to build a unique gaming PC, then the NZXT Kraken M22 will definitely be worth your attention.

What makes it good?

First of all, this AIO cooler comes with a 32mm wide aluminum radiator. It also has a premium quality static pressure fan for better cooling performance to reach up to 2000 RPM. And this is what allows the NZXT Kraken M22 to be a great option for most average PC builds.

When pairing the NZXT Kraken M22 with any midrange CPU, such as the Ryzen 5 3600X, or any similar one, you should expect 60 C as the maximum temperature that your CPU could reach while running at its stock speed.

Furthermore, we can’t deny the fact that one of the most key selling points of the NZXT AIO coolers is the infinity mirror. This exclusive feature will take your PC’s aesthetics a step further by displaying some eye-catching RGB effects. In addition to that, you can customize the RGB colors so you can match the lightings effects with the rest of your PC’s components.

Moreover, the NZXT Kraken M22 feature NZXT Cam software which allows you to have full control over your AIO. In addition to that, this software has received several patches allowing it to have user-friendly software perfect for beginners.

Lastly, and like every reliable AIO cooler, the NZXT Kraken M22 highlights a simple installation process. And therefore, whether you are an advanced or beginner PC builder, you will not face any issues when putting it in place.

What could have been better?

What we really don’t like with this cooler is the price/performance ratio. As we have recently reviewed AIO coolers under $100, we find that the market has a wide range of 240mm AIO coolers priced below $100.

However, if you got a small form factor to build or managed to put your hand on this 120mm AIO cooler during a discount, go ahead. Besides, the fan gets slightly noisy when spinning at 70% or above.

Despite the several firmware updates that the CAM software has received, we believe that it still requires some work in order to satisfy its users.

Pros
  • Infinity Mirror
  • Fantastic cooling performance
  • Sleeved tubes
  • Up to 2000RPM fan speed
Cons
  • CAM software need some improvements
  • Fan get a bit noisy when spinning at high RPM
  • It does fall behind the competition when it comes to price/performance ratio

Check it Out Here on Amazon.

3-EVGA CLC 120 CL11

EVGA is one of the most reliable brands known for its high-quality products. While most of their devices seem to be listed in the premium category, today, we will introduce you to one of their budget-friendly AIO coolers, the EVGA CLC 120 CL11.

Often, the word budget refers to low-quality products. However, this rule doesn’t apply to EVGA AIO coolers. And you are about to discover why.

What makes it good?

Built with a 5th generation Astek pump, the EVGA CLC 120 CL11 is another powerful yet affordable CPU cooler. First of all, the fan equipped with this cooler will help generate an impressive amount of airflow with its 1800RPM along with 58.7 CFM.

Despite its fantastic capability to provide amazing airflow, this AIO cooler managed to sustain a quiet operation even while running under load.

Furthermore, we find out that EVGA CLC 120 CL11 is the perfect solution for those who want to pair a 120mm AIO cooler with a GPU.

It managed to maintain all the GPUs tested under cool temperatures without generated any unwanted noise. Therefore, and thanks to its price/performance ratio, we highly recommend the EVGA CLC 120 CL11 for those who would like to water-cool their GPUs.

Does it mean that this AIO cooler is suitable only for graphics cards? Definitely not. If you are tired from watching your CPU running at a high temperature every time you run a demanding task or while playing your preferred titles, you can easily fix the issue by pairing it with the EVGA CLC 120 CL11. This AIO cooler supports most modern Intel & AMD CPUs, and eventually, you will be able to enjoy your gaming moments without worrying about the temps going crazy.

The only advice we can give for those who would like to purchase the EVGA CLC 120 CL11 is to position the radiator hoses to the bottom in case you decide to install it either on the front or rear of your PC chassis.

What could have been better?

During the installation process of the EVGA CLC 120 CL11, its mounting backplate felt a bit cheap. Don’t understand us wrong. It did the job well. We just noticed that it could have been better.

Pros
  • Fantastic price/performance ratio
  • High cooling capabilities
  • Great option for those who would like to water-cool their GPUs
Cons
  • The cable management can be hard for new PC builders
  • The mounting backplate felt a bit cheap

Check it Out Here on Amazon.

4-Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L

Regardless of how much we want to invest in a CPU cooler, we always want great cooling performance along with stunning aesthetics. While it may sound a bit difficult to have these features without spending a premium price, it’s definitely not impossible.

With the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L, you will improve your gaming rig’s visual and performance while being gentle with your wallet. And if these two tiny sentences have caught your attention, we believe that at the end of this review, you will be impressed.

What makes it good?

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L comes with sleeved cables and beautiful RGB colors on both the water block and the 120mm fan. The fan that comes with this AIO is made by Cooler Master, and it has got rubber on each side of the corners, which reduces vibration significantly. As a result, you can expect to have wonderful cooling performance even under the toughest conditions while remaining noiseless.

Moreover, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L feature improved RGB effects compared to the previous generation. It also includes high-quality thermal paste as well as several types of mounting gear for different sockets. Now to the most important part, which is cooling capabilities.

During our testing, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L has maintained both Ryzen 5 3600 & 3600X at perfect temps. With such amazing cooling performance, gaming all day long shouldn’t be an issue at all. You also got the ability to run your most demanding titles without worrying about temps.

Overall, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L remains a solid option for everyone looking to have great cooling performance at a reasonable price. It also should be one of your primary options in case you have a small form factor build.

What could have been better?

When we tried to position the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L, the tubing felt a bit stiff, which could make the installation process a bit difficult, especially for new PC builders. Besides, in order to avoid any future issues, make sure to check your case’s specifications since the tubings are not very long.

Pros
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Improved RGB effects compared to the previous generation
  • Great cooling performance
  • Managed to maintain midrange gaming CPUs without any issues
Cons
  • Tubings are slightly stiff

Check it Out Here on Amazon.

5-Corsair Hydro Series H60

Nothing has caught your attention above? Don’t worry. We got you covered. The Corsair Hydro Series H60 is an all-rounder 120mm AIO cooler which packs cooling performance, stunning RGB effects, and a fantastic price tag. You guessed right. You will have all the interesting features mentioned above in one single cooler.

What makes it good?

First of all, the Corsair Hydro Series H60 features eye-catching white LED lighting. In fact, the white RGB color did add a luxurious touch to the entire build. Indeed, it won’t affect your PC’s performance, but it did feel good.

The Corsair Hydro Series H60 has a very straightforward installation process. Actually, if you have already built AIO coolers before, we believe that this one will take you a couple of minutes before setting everything in order. But what about new PC builders? Don’t worry. Corsair has provided a very well-detailed installation manual that should provide you with enough information to install the AIO cooler perfectly.

In addition to that, the Corsair Hydro Series H60 comes with a thick radiator as well as a 1700RPM fan speed. The cooler can provide up to 57.2 CFM fan airflow, and eventually, you can count on it when looking to provide a good cooling solution to your CPU.

You may wonder why we have chosen the Corsair Hydro Series H60 over the newest version, the iCUE H60i RGB PRO XT. And the only answer to this question is, it doesn’t worth it. With the Corsair iCUE H60i RGB PRO XT‘s current price, you can get a powerful 240mm AIO cooler and benefit from a high cooling solution and, therefore, more overclocking headroom.

What could have been better?

With the Corsair Hydro Series H60, you will have to pay close attention to two things that we consider downsides. First is the radiator. Unlike what’s advertised, the Corsair Hydro Series H60’s radiator exceeds 120mm, and therefore, make sure that your case got enough space for it so you can avoid any clearance issue, especially if you got a small form factor build.

In addition to that, the Corsair Hydro Series H60‘s included fan got a short wire. So, pay close attention to which place you want to position the radiator in.

Pros
  • Very easy to install
  • Quiet operation
  • Fantastic cooling solution
  • Aesthetically appealing
Cons
  • The included fan got a short wire
  • The radiator may take more space than expected

Check it Out Here on Amazon.

Conclusion:

We hope that we have brought you the cooling solution that you were looking for. While there are several 120mm AIO coolers, we tried to bring you only the one worth your money. Also, if you would like to increase your budget, you can check out our recent guide about the best AIO coolers under $100.

Lastly, if you think that we forgot to mention a cooler worth mentioning above, please let us know in the comment section below.

Besides, if you have enough space in your case, we recommend looking at our review of 280mm AIO coolers. Indeed they are more expensive, but they are also more powerful.

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