Hey there! This might sound off-topic, but hear us out. Now, we all know the stereotype associated with gamers. It’s widely assumed that gamers don’t take well to defeat or lag and tend to heat up (pun intended) frequently while gaming. Thereby leading to all the broken monitors, keyboards, mice, and raging gamer memes.
While meditation or anger management classes might help with this issue, there’s another temperature issue that needs your attention. The issue is overheating PCs while gaming. Aha, are things making sense now? The fear and pet peeve of every gamer; an overheated and destroyed PC.
When you push your PC to its limits while using it to perform intensive tasks such as gaming or rendering large video files, it’s likely to overheat. This happens because the cooling system you have isn’t working as it should or it isn’t enough to cool down your PC. Sometimes the fan that comes with the PC just isn’t sufficient to get the job done.
Overheating is one of the worst things that could happen for the overall health of your PC. Not only does it slow it down and hamper its performance, but it can also damage the internal components of your PC and lessen its overall lifespan. Overheating can also fry the parts inside your PC and in turn, you could lose your data. In some cases, it can cause irreparable damage and destroy the PC completely.
There are a few ways to prevent your PC from overheating, like working in a cooler room, regularly cleaning out dust from the PCs vents, and making sure that it gets proper ventilation.
While these methods do work and provide some relief, the best solution is to just get a custom water cooling system for your PC. Getting a water cooling system is a guaranteed solution to your PC overheating issues. Which is why we’ve made this list of the 7 best custom water cooling kits that you can buy in 2023.
This article will inform you about water cooling, how it helps and will also give you a collection of the top custom water cooling kits to choose from. So stroll on ahead and find out how to keep your PC (and as a result yourself) cool with a custom water cooling kit!
In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks when it comes to the best custom water cooling kits in 2023!
What Are The Benefits of Having Water Cooling?
Okay to make things clear, let’s go over why exactly you need a cooling system for your PC. Poor ventilation, dust, overclocking and poor heat transferring lead to overheating in PCs. This overheating is harmful as it can permanently damage or destroy your PC, causing you to lose your data and a lot of money. Even if it won’t immediately destroy a modern PC, overheating can still decrease its lifespan and battery life drastically.
Now that you know why you need to keep your PC cool, let’s look at how you can do it. Apart from the easy fixes mentioned earlier in the article, the main ways to cool a PC are through dedicated cooling systems. These systems are primarily divided into two categories, Air cooling, and water cooling.
The first system we look at is also the most common type of system that comes with nearly every PC or laptop. Air cooling, as the name suggests, tries to cool the PC with air. Air cooling systems use the ambient air around a PC to push hot air out of the CPU. Sort of like an exhaust fan. Air cooling systems cause that faint (sometimes loud) hum you hear from your PC whenever you use it.
These systems respond to heat from the PC by turning on the fan and attempting to cool the PC. Air cooling systems do work, as long as a lot of heat isn’t generated or the temperature of the room isn’t already very hot. The problem with air cooling systems arises when both of these conditions aren’t met. While the fan in an air cooling system sucks out and disperses the hot air from the CPU, it does so while expelling the hot air right into the case or around the case.
This still raises the overall temperature and might be harmful if there is a lot of heat. These cooling systems are best suited to regular PCs for everyday tasks rather than high-intensity gaming PCs that are at a higher risk of overheating.
Next, we’ll take a look at water or liquid cooling systems that solve most of the problems of an air-cooled PC. Don’t worry water cooling doesn’t mean splashing some cold water on your PC whenever it gets hot. It’s actually a very complex and efficient yet simple way to cool a hot PC easily.
The way a water cooling system in a PC works is very similar to how it works in a car. Water cooling essentially works in a loop. Water goes overheat, collects it, then travels through a radiator to dissipate that heat, then starts the process all over again.
To go into a little detail, there are three main components in a water or liquid cooling system: the pump, the radiator, and the water block. The water is pumped through the system by the pump, this pump then goes to the water block. The water block is directly connected to the heat-generating CPU. The heat from the CPU goes from the CPU to the relatively cooler water block (as heat travels from higher to lower temperatures).
Now when the water travels through the water block, the heat which is now situated in the water block gets transferred to the water. The water then takes this heat and goes into the radiator. The job of the radiator is to radiate the heat from the water to air and exhaust it out of the system. While a fan is useful here, it can work without one too. In this way, the cycle gets repeated over and over again.
Moving on, after getting to know about both methods of cooling and how they work, it’s pretty obvious that water cooling is a more effective and efficient form of cooling. If you still need some convincing, let’s look at some benefits that a water cooling system gets you:
1. Way Less Noise
Like we said while explaining how they work, water cooling systems don’t depend on a fan in order to cool the CPU. They use water to transfer heat away from the CPU. Even if they use a fan, it rotates at a lower speed to just circulate the air and keep things moving. This means that water cooling systems are much quieter when compared to air cooling systems.
2. High Level of Effectiveness for High-Performance PCs
Water has a higher level of thermal conductivity than air, so it is ultimately better at transferring heat away from the CPU or GPU. It is also better at maintaining a consistent level of cooling than air cooling systems, allowing your PCs to function at a cool, stable temperature.
3. Water Cooling Systems are Compact
Instead of having huge noisy fans take up precious PC real estate, you can opt for a compact water cooling system. While cooling high-performance PCs, air cooling systems require lots of fans. In comparison, due to the lesser amount of fans and smaller components, water cooling kits take up way less space than an air cooling kit.
If you go for the option of a custom water cooling kit, you have the freedom to choose which parts need more attention for cooling. You can individually cool the CPU, GPU, hard drives, etc, and cool them efficiently while taking up less space.
Are Custom Water Cooling Kits Still Worth It?
Custom water cooling kits provide a whole plethora of benefits over air cooling systems. However, there is one caveat to water cooling systems. They tend to be more expensive than traditional air cooling systems. Largely owing to the complexity of their setup and the higher number of components involved, you can expect to pay a premium for a custom water cooling kit. This of course leads to another question, are these custom water cooling kits worth it?
The answer to this question is entirely subjective and depends on how much you need a proper cooling system. If your PC uses are limited to web browsing, streaming content, or sending and receiving emails, then we’d say no, you don’t really need a custom water cooling kit. Now apart from these everyday tasks, if your needs include high octane gaming, high-quality video or photo editing, 3D rendering, then yes, having a custom water cooling kit would really benefit you even if it comes at a higher price.
Along with getting the benefits that we mentioned in the last segments, you also get some extra ones. For example, if you live in a warmer, more humid climate, then water cooling performs much better than air cooling. Then, there’s also the fact that water cooling systems just look really cool and futuristic and can be customized to fit any design or look.
The 7 Best Custom Water Cooling Kits
Below we have a list of the best custom water cooling kits on the market. You can choose from any one of these kits and be assured that you have purchased a worthy product.
1. Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i Hardline Water Cooling Kit – Best Overall
To kick off our list, we have the Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i Hardline Water Cooling Kit, which is our choice for the best overall water cooling kit that you can buy right now. Coming from the Corsair brand, it is a premium custom water cooling kit made with high-quality materials.
- QL120 RGB Cooling Fans
- XC7 RGB CPU water block
- XD5 RGB pump or reservoir
- Compatible with Intel LGA 1200 and AMD AM4 sockets
- XT Hardline Tubing and XF Hardline Fittings
- Dynamic RGB lighting
Why is this the best custom water cooling kit in 2023?
The Corsair Hydro X Series XH305i Hardline Water Cooling Kit provides a host of features and elements that make it our top pick for a custom water cooling kit in 2023. Firstly, it certainly looks like the part of the best custom water cooling kit thanks to its customizable dynamic RGB lighting and sleek design.
Second, the quality of materials used in this cooling kit is supreme and the build quality is also pretty impressive. It comes with automated software control to keep fan speed noise at a minimum and the option to use its Corsair iCUE software to gain complete control over the system. In addition, this cooling system also comes with some handy tools such as a hacksaw, silicone rod, tube reamer, sawing clamp, and tube bending mandrel. These features and factors have put this Corsair product at the top of our list.
2. Thermaltake Ddc Res/Pump 5V Motherboard Sync Copper Radiator Soft Tube Water Cooling Kit – Runner Up
Second on our list, we have the Thermaltake Pacific C360 Soft Tube water cooling kit. Unlike the first place kit, this one features soft tubes for more bendability. The tubes are more than enough to suffice even a large-sized setup.
Additionally, you get a 2-year warranty with this purchase. The kit comes with digital and analog RGB lighting that can use lighting schemes from ASUS aura Sync Gigabyte RGB FUSION MSI Mystic Light Sync and ASROCK polychrome Sync, making it a perfect partner for these systems.
- T1000 pure Clear Coolant
- Slim 27 mm thick copper radiator
- Analog/Digital RGB Lighting
- 200ml long reservoir
- Water Block with copper base and anti-corrosive nickel plating
3. DIY 240mm Computer Water Cooling Kit – Budget Pick
Moving on, we have the DIY 240mm Water Cooling Kit, which as the name suggests, is a water cooling kit that you can install on your own without the help of a professional. It combines a fantastic product with an affordable price.
- 240mm heat sink
- 18 Pipe Aluminum Heat Exchanger Radiator
- Universal Water Cooling Block
- Dual LED fans
- 160mm High Capacity Cylindrical Water Reservoir
The other Thermaltake product on our list is their Pacific M240 Water Cooling Kit. This is a hard tube style water cooling kit that comes with a PETG Hard Tube bending kit, some concentrate dye, a temperature sensor, PETG hard tubes, C1000 Pure Clear Coolant, an LED fitting kit, adapter fittings, and a water block designed for Nvidia’s GTX 1080/1070 series of GPUs.
- Aluminum alloy R240 Radiator
- 3 120mm RGB radiator fans
- C-Pro Compression Fitting
- PR15-D5 Reservoir-Pump Combo
- W3 Water Block with a copper base and nickel plating
The next product on our list is the Bewinneer 240mm Water Cooling Kit. This is a strong product that carries out a green color scheme throughout its design. It’s a dual-platform water kit with support for both Intel and AMD Processors.
- Red Copper Based Water Cooling Block
- 240mm black heat sink
- PETG 50cm green hard tube
- Sine Wave Quiet Recycling Water Pump
- 18 waterways
The penultimate product on our list is the Zopsc DIY water cooler. This is an integrated water cooling kit with flexible tubing. It provides the same high quality you’d expect from a name brand, but without the name-brand price tag.
- Flexible, transparent 12mm hose
- Dual LED fans
- 240mm heat sink
- Copper Base Universal CPU/GPU Blocks
- Cylindrical Water Reservoir
Finally, we have the last product on this list, which is the water Cooling Kit sold by Wendry. This is an integrated water cooling kit with hard tubes featuring an easy-to-install design.
- SC600 Water Pump
- Max 1200 rpm speed cooling fans
- Aluminum-based water cooling block
- PMMA + Aluminum Anode based water reservoir with adjustable plastic buckle
How to Choose the Best Custom Water Cooling Kit in 2023?
Now that you’ve gone through our list of the 7 best custom water cooling kits in 2023, you might be a little confused as to which one is best for you. No need to worry, we’re right here to clear it up with this simple buying guide.
Let’s keep this short and easy to follow. You’re better off with having a copper-based radiator rather than an aluminum one for higher efficiency in cooling. Next, if maneuverability is important for you, go for a flexible tube water cooling system over a hard tubed one. Additionally, make sure the water blocks in the kits are compatible with your CPU and/or GPU.
If you’re new to installing cooling, make sure you get a kit that is easy to install and maintain. The fans of your cooling kit need to be high-powered, yet quite quiet to maintain the major pros of a water cooling system, which is its silence and efficiency.
In conclusion, a proper water cooling setup is a highly beneficial addition to your PC build. They don’t just provide functional improvements, but also look cool while doing it. There is a wide array of amazing custom water cooling systems in this list, with one for every budget and use case. We hope you learned a bit about custom water cooling kits from this article and it helped you with making your decision!