Games

8 Best 280mm AIO CPU Coolers of 2021 – Top Mid-sized Liquid Coolers Reviewed |

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

The previous generation was a good 8 to 10 years ago, and the average CPU is a lot slower today. To help boost performance and efficiency, many people have replaced their stock CPU coolers with a bigger and more powerful liquid CPU cooler. The new coolers have a much higher performance and efficiency, and they can come in smaller cooler sizes, which not only allows them to fit into smaller PC cases, but also saves space in your case.

It has been awhile since we last reviewed a new AIO CPU cooler. The last time we did a roundup of AIOs was back in May of 2018. Since then, a few new AIOs have been released while others have been discontinued, while a couple others have been replaced with a new product. We take a look at the 8 best AIO CPU coolers of 2021!

These days, 280mm AIO CPU coolers are more popular than ever, and that’s because they’re the best compromise between size and performance. With small 240mm AIO coolers, you can get heat-pipe based cooling, but at the cost of performance, since the heat-pipe is prone to clogging up with dust and debris. On the other hand, 360mm AIO coolers are too large to fit into small cases, and while 240mm AIO coolers are fast enough, they also allow your CPU to produce too much heat, causing it to run at higher temperatures. The good news is that 280mm AIO coolers are in between, with great performance, but they are still small enough to fit into

Please note that I receive money on qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate. I also collaborate with other affiliates and may be paid if you click on the links below. Details may be found here.

Today, we’ll take a deeper look at the top eight 280mm AIO CPU Coolers for 2021.

Liquid cooling is rapidly gaining popularity as a PC cooling technique. It’s more efficient than air cooling, allowing PC designers to go larger in search of greater power.

Many of the performance advantages of bespoke cooling systems are available with 280mm All-in-one (AIO) coolers, and they are more than capable of cooling high-end, overclocked CPUs. If you’re searching for the finest cooler in this size category for your requirements, here is where you’ll find it. 

Roundup of the Best 280mm AIO CPU Coolers in 2021

The table below provides a brief overview of our top picks for the best 280mm AIO CPU coolers presently on the market. Simply click on’review>>’ in the appropriate row to read the entire review.

       

1. ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II (280 litres) “Excellent” 

1629678298_153_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

“Best premium cooler” NZXT Kraken Z63

8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

“Best all-around” Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix

1629678300_553_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

“Highest-rated cooler” Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT

1629678300_383_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

5. “Latest release” DeepCool Castle 280EX

1629678301_587_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

“Most popular option” NZXT Kraken X63

1629678301_300_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

7. “Best RGB Cooler” Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition

1629678302_907_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

“Editor’s choice” Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 Mirror

1629678302_897_8-Best-280mm-AIO-CPU-Coolers-of-2021-%E2%80%93-Top

   

 


1. ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280

Dimensions of the radiator: 317 x 138 x 38mm / 12.5 x 5.4 x 1.5” | Dimensions of the fans: 140 x 140 x 27mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.1” | Fan Speed: 200 – 1700 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: Up to 24 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Exceptional performance
  • Exceptionally quiet
  • High-quality and long-lasting construction
  • Excellent value for money

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Only a two-year warranty is offered.
  • No RGB

Our score is 9.9 out of ten.

Unlike many other AIO coolers, the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 foregoes RGB LEDs in favor of raw cooling performance and noise reduction. The Liquid Freezer II is the best-performing AIO cooler and ranks first in its class because to ARCTIC’s commitment in performance.

For others, the absence of RGB is a drawback, particularly for those who want to color match the rest of their builds. That does not, however, make the Liquid Freezer II 280 an unappealing cooler. It’s finished in matte black and has metallic detailing on the hoses, giving it a utilitarian look that sets it apart from other coolers on the market.

This cooler’s compatibility is a little more restricted than the others on the list. The Liquid Freezer II doesn’t support as many AMD sockets as previous models, only supporting the AMD AM4. Most Intel sockets, including the 115X, square ILM 2011-3, and square ILM 2066, are easily compatible. The Liquid Freezer II’s sole technical flaw is its lack of compatibility for AMD users.

On the plus side, The Freezer II is built with high-quality and durable components, ensuring that this cooler will endure a long time. To avoid kinking and leaking, the copper cooling plate is machined smooth, and the hoses are strengthened and coated. The pump head is extremely sturdy, and it even has a tiny cooling fan, which testifies to the performance goals of this AIO cooler.

It has amazing cooling capabilities. The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 is the top performing cooler in its class, according to a test on an Intel I7 running at 4.2 GHz. It will keep your CPU very cold.

Under stress, the cooler cooled the test PC to 56°C, which was marginally colder than the Cougar Helor 360. It achieves this remarkable cooling performance while being reasonably quiet, with a noise level of 25.7 dBa, which is 8 dBa lower than the Cougar and nearly 10 dBa lower than comparable coolers in its class.

In other testing, the Liquid Freezer II outperformed competitors such as the DeepCool Castle 280EX, another 280mm cooler renowned for its high performance. There definitely aren’t any better 280mm AIO coolers out there when it comes to cooling and noise dampening.

While some PC builders may be put off by the absence of RGB LEDs, if performance is your top priority, this is the cooler for you. The ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 outperforms almost every other 280mm AIO cooler on the market. What’s even better? It is considerably less expensive than you would think.

Visit Amazon for more information.


 


NZXT Kraken Z63, No. 2

Radiator: 315 x 143 x 30mm / 12.4 x 5.6 x 1.2” | Fans: 140 x 140 x 26mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: 500 – 1800 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: 21 – 38dBA | Warranty: 6 years

NZXT Kraken Z63REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Excellent cooling capacity
  • Construction of high grade
  • CAM allows for maximum customisation.
  • Warranty period: 6 years

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

Our score is 9.8 out of ten.

The NZXT Kraken Z63 has a similar unique pump head to the Kraken X-series, but it takes it to the next level.

Kraken’s AIO coolers are among the most attractive on the market. Their mirror-topped coolers are very eye-catching and have garnered a lot of positive feedback. Kraken sets the bar even higher with the Z63, which has a 2.6-inch LED panel on top of the pump head.

This screen may show real-time temperature readings or be set to show a picture of your choice. While there isn’t any RGB to speak of, the LED screen’s customizing capabilities are unrivaled.

NZXT’s inbuilt CAM software can control the LED screen as well as the rest of the cooler. With CAM, you’ll be able to manage almost everything about the cooler, including fan and pump speeds, as well as save cooling profiles. It’s the most comprehensive software suite that comes with an AIO cooler.

The remainder of the cooler’s components are equally attractive and well-constructed. For additional protection, the hoses are sleeved in nylon and seem sleeker and more elegant than standard rubber hoses. NZXT also claims that the hoses have “ultra-low evaporation,” indicating that they’re serious about their product’s quality. The radiator is also 30mm thick and comes with a dual-channel design for better water flow.

In keeping with other AIO coolers, the Kraken Z63’s installation is similarly easy and straightforward. The main consideration for installation is the stiffness of the hose fittings, which will not readily bend or rotate. Otherwise, the Z63 should be easy to install for builders of all skill levels.

The NZXT Kraken Z63 supports a wide range of contemporary processors, including Intel LGA 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, and 2066, as well as AMD AM4, TR4, and STRX4.

The Z63 is a beast in terms of performance. While it doesn’t have the same raw cooling power as the Liquid Freezer II, it’s close behind. The NZXT Kraken Z63 cooled an Intel I9 operating at 3.6 GHz to 6.1°C above ambient at idle and 27.6°C under load in a test. In the stress test, the ARCTIC barely edged out the Kraken by 1.2°. The Kraken actually outperformed the ARCTIC when the clock speed was raised to 4.9 GHz, with a 7.6°C difference in temperature above ambient at idle and 55.6°C under load.

It’s obvious that the NZXT Kraken Z63 is a stunning cooler with outstanding performance. The LED pump head is considerably more costly than comparable alternatives, but the added value it provides is well worth the additional cost.

This cooler is unquestionably one of the finest available. It’s not a cheap choice, and it’s targeted at the enthusiast audience who can afford to spend money on their construction. If you have the cash, this cooler’s distinctive appearance and excellent performance make it well worth your money. Due to its exorbitant price, it just misses out on the #1 position on the list.

Visit Amazon for more information.


 


You may also be interested in: Best Water Cooling PC Cases

3. iCUE H115i Elite Capellix from Corsair

Radiator: 322 x 137 x 27mm / 12.7 x 5.4 x 1.1” | Fans: 140 x 140 x 25mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: Up to 2000 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: 10 – 36 dBA | Warranty: 5 years

Corsair iCUE H115i Elite CapellixREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Best-in-class performance
  • Both the pump and the fans have RGB lighting.
  • Warranty period: 5 years
  • iCue software is built-in.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Premium cost
  • Under load, it becomes noisier.

Our score is 9.7 out of ten.

Corsair has long been an industry leader in AIO coolers, with stunning designs and high performance. The Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix is a strong addition in the Corsair brand that adds stunning RGB technology to their highly-decorated Platinum series.

The Elite Capellix has an amazing quantity of RGB, giving it a bright and contemporary appearance. On the pump and fans, there are 33 LEDs. While this design may not be for everyone, it is undeniably stunning when housed inside a tower.

Corsair’s iCue software is also included with the H115i Elite Capellix, giving you complete control over the cooler. You’ll be able to adjust the fan and pump speeds, as well as monitor interior temperatures, using iCue. The software is a fantastic addition that significantly raises the cooler’s value.

If you’re using a contemporary computer, you’ll be OK in terms of compatibility. Intel 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, and 2066 sockets are compatible with the Elite Capellix. It works with AMD’s AM4, AM3, AM2, sTRX4, and sTR4 processors.

The H115i works well in terms of cooling. It cooled the PC to 8°C over ambient at idle and 31°C over ambient under load in one test on an Intel I9 running at 3.8 GHz. The Elite Capellix continued to operate well when the clock speed was raised to 4.5 GHz, cooling the system to 8°C above ambient at idle and 55°C under load.

It outperformed the Kraken X62 and its Corsair counterpart, the H115 RGB Pro XT, in our test. The Elite Capellix dominated the competition and produced the best cooling figures in every test iteration, despite the fact that all of these coolers were within 5°C of one another.

The Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix’s sound dampening is relatively mediocre, despite its excellent performance. Its fans get very noisy when under a lot of load. You may, however, turn off the fans at idle for near-silent operation.

The Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix is an excellent cooler in general. It can easily keep any high-end CPU cool while also looking great in your case. Yes, it is expensive, but it is well worth the money.

Visit Amazon for more information.


 


4. Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT (Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT)

Radiator: 322 x 137 x 27mm / 12.7 x 5.4 x 1.1” | Fans: 140 x 140 x 25mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: Up to 2000 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: 10-36 dBA | Warranty: 5 years

Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XTREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • High-quality cooling
  • Exceedingly high construction quality
  • iCue software is included.
  • Warranty period: 5 years

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Under load, it becomes noisier.
  • Price increase

Our score is 9.6 out of ten.

The Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT is the latest addition to Corsair’s long and illustrious series of AIO coolers. The iCUE H115i Elite Capellix and this cooler have a lot in common, however there are some significant variances.

While the Elite Capellix has RGB throughout, the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT has it just on the pump head. While this is a minor drawback for someone seeking for a colorful, enthusiast-focused design, accepting the less showy fans will save you some money. You may always use RGB-compatible fans in lieu of the standard ones.

Corsair’s iCue software is also used in the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT. You may use the software to manage the fan and pump speeds, RGB light configuration, and receive a real-time temperature reading for this AIO. Its addition is a pleasant sight, since iCue is one of the finest cooler management programs available.

The H115i’s build quality is exceptional. Its hoses are sleeved in nylon, which not only looks nice but also extends the life of the hoses. The compact radiator, which is just 27mm thick, is one of this AIO’s standout features.

Most AIO radiators are about 30mm in diameter, however Corsair gets away with such a compact design by loading the radiator with an astounding 20 fins per square inch, which is much more than a standard radiator. This cooler, as well as the features and innovations it contains, demonstrates Corsair’s dedication to excellence.

This Corsair AIO CPU cooler is compatible with almost every contemporary socket. It works with Intel’s 1200, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, and 2066 processors. It will also work with AMD’s AM4, AM3, AM2, sTRX4, and sTR4 processors.

The H115i RGB Pro XT is a good running companion, even if it isn’t the greatest in its class in terms of performance. In a test on an Intel I9 9900K, the Corsair managed to keep the system at 35°C idle and 72°C under load. At idle, the Corsair AIO was within 3°C of the class-leading Arctic Liquid Freezer II, while under load, it was within 1°C of the Arctic Liquid Freezer II.

When it comes to cooling, the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT isn’t exactly at the top of the list; that honor still goes to the Arctic, but it will definitely serve you well. Getting within a few degrees of the class leader is remarkable, since in the long run, a few degrees mean relatively little.

Overall, the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT is a fantastic deal. It has excellent cooling capabilities, attractive looks, and a very robust construction. This cooler has a lot to offer, thanks to the user-friendly iCue software and a 5-year guarantee.

Visit Amazon for more information.


 


Also see: The Best 240mm AIO Coolers

5. 280EX DeepCool Castle

322 x 138 x 27mm / 12.7 x 5.4 x 1.1” | Fans Dimensions: 140 x 140 x 25mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: 400 – 1600 RPM +/-10% (PWM) | Noise Volume: Up to 40 dBA | Warranty: 3 years

DeepCool Castle 280EXREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • High-quality cooling
  • Under higher weights, it’s quiet.
  • Reasonable cost
  • Installation is simple.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

Our score is 9.5 out of ten.

DeepCool’s newest 280mm product, the DeepCool Castle 280EX, continues the company’s foray into the AIO cooler industry.

The DeepCool Castle 280EX will look fantastic in your tower thanks to its on-trend RGB pump head. It also has elaborate patterns on its fan blades, but no RGB lighting on the fans themselves. The remainder of the AIO, like most other coolers, is coated glossy black. It isn’t groundbreaking in terms of design, but it does have a high-quality feel about it.

This cooler works with almost every contemporary socket, including the Intel 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1151, 1150, 1155, and 1366. On the AMD side, the Castle 280EX will work with the AMD TRX4, TR4, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, and FM1 processors. This cooler is a popular option since it supports the whole AMD CPU line.

The DeepCool Castle 280EX should be easy to set up. You’ll need a screwdriver to secure the pump, but other than that, there shouldn’t be any issues. You will have no trouble installing this cooler, even if you are a beginner builder.

The DeepCool Castle 280EX has outstanding build quality. Its 140mm fans include a rubber casing for noise reduction, and its thin, aluminum radiator has additional skived fins for better cooling efficiency. In your hand, all of the components feel solid, suggesting the AIO cooler’s high quality.

The DeepCool Castle 280EX proved to be a competent fighting partner in terms of performance, but it fell just short of topping the rankings. The Castle 280EX maintained the PC at 34°C at idle in a test using an Intel I9 at base clock. The temperature of the computer reached 73°C when it was overloaded.

The DeepCool Castle 280EX maintained temperatures at a safe 81°C when the I9 was pushed to 5 GHz. The DeepCool lagged the best-in-class ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280 by approximately 2°C in every test. This shows that the DeepCool Castle 280EX is a high-performance cooler capable of competing with the best.

The Castle 280EX is as remarkable acoustically. It’s somewhat outperformed by the ARCTIC, but it’s one of the quietest 280mm AIO coolers on the market. The rubber fan housing undoubtedly contributes to the low noise levels.

Overall, the DeepCool Castle 280EX is a fantastic cooler for the money. It has some of the finest cooling capabilities in its class, and it remains quiet and inconspicuous even while under high load. The DeepCool Castle 280EX is a fantastic option if you’re searching for a high-quality AIO cooler at a reasonable price.

Visit Amazon for more information.


 


NZXT Kraken X63 (No. 6)

Radiator: 315 x 143 x 30mm / 12.4 x 5.6 x 1.2” | Fans: 140 x 140 x 26mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: 500 – 1800 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: 21 – 38 dBA | Warranty: 6 years

NZXT Kraken X63REASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Stunning aesthetics
  • Excellent cooling capacity
  • Warranty period: 6 years
  • CAM software that is easy to use
  • Installing it is a breeze.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Premium cost
  • Others in its class outperformed it.

Our score is 9.4 out of ten.

The X63 has the same beautiful infinity mirror design on its pump head as the rest of Kraken’s X-series. This cooler is no exception. These are some of the finest and most unique-looking coolers on the market today.

This cooler, which also has RGB lights, is absolutely beautiful. It’s one of the most attractive AIO coolers on the market. Unfortunately, there are no RGB lights on the 140mm fans. If you want the complete RGB experience, you’ll have to spend a little more money and switch to RGB fans.

Kraken’s CAM software allows you to customize the RGB lights as well as manage the pump and fan speeds. Without having to fiddle with the BIOS, you’ll have access to every configuration and customization option. CAM is one of the most well-designed and user-friendly AIO cooler programs available.

Another plus for this Kraken cooler is its ease of installation. You can install this AIO without using any tools, and you can even refer to the actual instructions that comes with it. The Kraken X63 is designed for flexibility, including mounting brackets for Intel and AMD computers, as well as a rotating pump block. You’ll have no trouble installing this cooler if your tower can handle its 280mm radiator.

The Kraken X63 continues the tradition of flexibility by being compatible with all of the most popular CPUs. Intel LGA 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, and 2066 sockets, as well as AMD AM4, TR4, and STRX4 sockets, are all supported. The Threadripper brackets, on the other hand, are not included with the cooler.

While the Kraken X63 has a lot to offer, its performance pales in comparison to comparable high-end 280mm AIO coolers. In a test on an Intel I9, it was slightly outperformed by the Corsair iCUE H115i Elite Capellix, but it still managed to cool the system to 10°C above ambient at idle and 36°C under load.

The X63 cooled the PC to 9°C above ambient at idle and 60°C under load when the Intel was overclocked to 4.5 GHz. Even if they aren’t the top in class, they are still remarkable statistics.

The primary feature of the Kraken X63 is its amazing infinity mirror pump head. This cooler is the one for you if you like the design. You’ll receive assistance for customization through the bundled CAM software in an easy-to-install package, in addition to the stunning look.

While its cooling performance isn’t the greatest, it’s still a powerful system that can manage overclocked computers. This is one of the most aesthetically stunning AIO coolers on the market in 2021, much like its Z63 cousin, so it’s a fantastic option if you want to stand out.

Visit Amazon for more information.


 


7. Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition 7. Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition

Fans Dimensions: 140 x 140 x 25mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: 500 – 1400 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: 19.8 – 27.2 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium EditionREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Excellent cooling capacity
  • The most effective RGB implementation
  • There is a lot of room for personalization.
  • Installation is simple.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Only a two-year warranty is offered.
  • Price increase

Our score is 9.3 out of ten.

The Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition is ideal for those who want a complete RGB experience. On the pump head and both fans, it has bright addressable RGB LEDs.

This is a lovely-looking 280mm cooler aimed at the enthusiast audience who will enjoy the RGB lights. Its RGB implementation is among the finest on the market, and the Riing Plus software that comes with the cooler allows for complete customization.

Riing Plus also allows you to adjust the fan and pump speeds in addition to altering the light colors. A companion app for IOS and Android is now available, allowing you to manage anything from your phone.

The customizing software, on the other hand, is not particularly user-friendly. Changing cooling profiles requires a complete system restart, thus switching profiles on the fly is out of the question. The app also only controls the lights, not the fan or pump speed, so its use is limited.

This cooler is almost similar to the Floe Dual Riing RGB 240 TT, which is somewhat smaller. As a result, it provides a comparable degree of cooling performance. The 240mm cooler was one of the best in its class, even taking on the Kraken X62, thus the 280mm Floe Riing’s slightly bigger radiator enables it to offer even greater performance. It will provide enough cooling for overclocked PCs.

Another feature that this cooler has in common with its 240mm counterpart is its ease of installation. It’s easy to install and bolt the cooler into place, as it is with most AIO coolers. However, due to the reduced length of its hoses, some minor installation problems may arise, making certain orientations within your tower unfeasible.

The Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition has no significant competitors when it comes to compatibility. It works with Intel’s LGA 2066, 2011-3, 2011, 1366, 1200, 1156, 1155, 1151, and 1150 processors, as well as AMD’s TR4, AM4, FM2, FM1, AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, and AM2 processors.

If you’re looking for a 280mm cooler with as much RGB as possible, the Thermaltake Floe Dual Riing RGB 280 TT Premium Edition is a great option. It provides dependable performance while also providing the complete RGB package on its pump head and fans. Despite the poor customizing software, there’s a lot to like about this cooler.

Visit Amazon for more information.



Mirror, Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280

Radiator: 318 x 140 x 27mm / 10.9 x 4.7 x 1.1” | Fans: 140 x 140 x 25mm / 5.5 x 5.5 x 1” | Fan Speed: 650 – 1400 RPM (PWM) | Noise Volume: 10 – 27 dBA | Warranty: 2 years

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 MirrorREASONS TO PURCHASE

  • Beautiful aesthetics
  • Excellent cooling capacity
  • Under load, it remains silent.

REASONS TO STAY AWAY

  • Only a two-year warranty is offered.
  • In terms of performance, it’s not the greatest.

We give it a 9.2 out of 10 rating.

While Kraken has long been known for their mirrored pump heads, Cooler Master joins the fight with the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 Mirror.

Pump heads with infinity mirrors are always stunning. They enhance the appearance of any tower, particularly when they’re coated in RGB LEDs, as this cooler is. It’s not a full RGB setup since the fans don’t have any RGB lights, but it’s still a beautiful design.

The Cooler Master components are of excellent quality. The copper pump head, in particular, feels solid in your hands. Thermal paste application is made easy thanks to the grooves in the pump head’s front plate. Its hoses are also sleeved in nylon, which is much more attractive than rubber and provides protection, extending their lifespan.

While the MasterLiquid ML280 Mirror isn’t difficult to set up, it isn’t as easy as other AIO coolers. The fan bracket has thumb screws for easy installation, however owing to the tiny size of the screws, installing the pump head clips is a more difficult task. You’ll almost certainly need a screwdriver; unlike some other coolers, this one can’t claim about toolless installation.

It supports nearly every major socket type and is compatible with a broad variety of sockets. The Intel 2066, 2011-v3, 2011, 1200, 1151, 1150, 1155, and 1156 are all included. The AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, and FM1 are among AMD’s supported processors. Support for the AMD TR4 and STRX4 is noticeably missing.

The ML280 Mirror seems to be in the center of the pack in terms of cooling performance. The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 Mirror cooled an Intel I7 overclocked to 5 GHz to 26°C over ambient at idle and 65°C over ambient under load in a test.

This test doesn’t portray the Cooler Master in the best light, but it’s a competent performer that can handle nearly any cooling task. A few 280mm coolers exceeded it, but the sheer cooling performance statistics don’t do this AIO cooler credit on their own.

This cooler truly excels when it comes to acoustic performance. It only produces 36.4 dBa at idle and 40.2 dBa when loaded. Given the size of the fans, it was one of the quietest coolers we tested.

While the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML280 Mirror isn’t the most durable cooler on the market, its infinity mirror pump head and RGB implementation make it one of the most attractive.

It’s also a quiet performer, with some of the class’s finest acoustic metrics. This is the cooler to choose if you want your AIO to be visible but not heard. Given its reduced price point, it’s also a steal. While there are superior cooling options available, the ML280 Mirror provides the same mirror-top pump head as the Krakens at a lower cost.

Visit Amazon for more information.


Best 120mm AIO Coolers (Related Reading)

For the past few years, the 290mm-class of CPU coolers have been the go-to for PC builders. Why? Because the size of the radiator is the only thing that limits performance on most mainstream gaming systems. The AIO market, on the other hand, is for all intents and purposes the same as the AIO market for all other components, where the choice of AIO between CPU coolers is largely based on the size of the radiator. A 280mm CPU cooler is the new standard for most AIO CPU coolers, and the reason for the rise in popularity is the increased size of the radiator.. Read more about best 360mm aio and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best AIO cooler 2021?

The best AIO cooler for the year 2021 is the Corsair Hydro H60.

What is the best AIO liquid cooler?

The best AIO liquid cooler is the Cooler Master Liquid 240.

What is the most reliable AIO cooler?

The most reliable AIO cooler is the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.