The debate about liquid and air coolers is something that keeps on happening all the time. However, over time we have realized that it is very hard to determine which one is better because in one way or another both have their own set of benefits that they are known for providing. Still, it does not change the fact that we are always getting something new and something improved, therefore, finding the right product is extremely important for a lot of people, to begin with.
With that said, if you have been wondering “is liquid cooling worth it?”, you will not be the only one. However, finding the right answer can be often difficult because everyone brings their own perception and use case. Therefore, we are here to answer the ever so popular question about whether or not liquid cooling is something that you can use.
How is Liquid Cooling Worth It?
Most of the time, when people are looking to invest some money in cooling their CPU, they normally have an upper budget limit which is something that is always better to do because it saves you from spending all your savings on something that is not going to be there for you for a very long time.
However, when you are talking about liquid cooling, there are different options. If you go for all-in-one liquid coolers or closed-loop liquid coolers, you are not going to be able to spend all your money on cooling alone because these coolers don’t cost a ridiculous amount of money. As a matter of fact, you can actually go ahead and get liquid coolers starting from $100 or below in case you are looking at something more affordable.
However, if you want to go for custom water cooling, which is also known as open-loop liquid cooling, then you are looking to spend a lot of money and in all honesty, that is a situation in which you realize that sky is the limit and the more you spend, the better it gets.
There are some obvious benefits to getting liquid cooling and I am going to explain them to you in detail. So, let’s not waste time and get into detail.
Benefits of Liquid Cooling
Benefits are something that most people look into when getting liquid cooling and I am going to explain these to you in detail.
1. Improved Thermal Performance
Thermal performance is one thing that one cannot really live without. No matter what people say about liquid cooling, if the thermal performance is not good enough, it is not something that one needs to be looking into. Over the past couple of years, we have seen some promising air coolers that delivered performance better than most liquid coolers. However, at the same time, we are now seeing liquid coolers that are delivering top of the line performance across the board.
If you are running a CPU that generates a lot of heat and you want it to cool down, getting a good liquid cooler is the way to go.
2. Limitless Customization
Another thing that I love about liquid cooling is the fact that you have the ability to add limitless customization. Sure, I do understand that there are users who are not really concerned with how their system looks during the cooling but honestly, after spending some time, I have come to realize that the looks do matter when you are talking about your PC.
So, if you do want better aesthetics and a lot of customization offerings, then water cooling is the way to go.
3. No Clearance Issues
One of the biggest issues that people face with air coolers is that there is a thing called clearance issues and if you are not sure what that means, it basically means that it will be almost impossible for you to actually install the cooler without the cooler interfering with the RAM. That is one of the reasons why low profile RAM kits exist in the market, and while it might not sound like that big of a pain, clearance issues can be annoying, to say the least.
Thankfully, if you are looking to go for a liquid cooler, there are going to be no clearance issues for the RAM kits that you are using. You could use something as exuberant as G.Skill and Corsair RAMs and you still would not run into any issues. Needless to say, it is the right way to go.
Downsides of Liquid Cooling
Now that we are done looking at the benefits, there are a couple of downsides that I believe should be highlighted since it will only help the consumers make the right decision without them buying something that simply is not good enough. I do understand the concerns and conflicts that some people might have and that is why I have mentioned the downsides below.
The first thing that I am going to mention is that there is risk associated with liquid cooling. More so with custom loops than with AIOs and the risk is of maintenance. Now, I can confidently tell you that the cases of leaking are not as common but the risk is still there. Therefore, you should always keep this in mind before going forward.
2. Maintenance Can be Tricky
Moving further, another thing that you must understand is that maintenance is something that can be tricky when it comes to liquid coolers. Now this does not apply to all-in-one liquid coolers since they have everything that you need already installed and ready to go.
However, with custom loops, you are going to have to take care of the maintenance process and that includes making sure that there are no leaks in the future and also making sure that the liquid you are using is running perfectly fine without any corrosion.
Rest assured, this can be a pain to deal with for those who are not looking to go the extra mile but if that is not a problem, then you are all sorted with liquid cooling.
3. Can be Expensive
Moving forward, you also need to know that when you are looking at liquid cooling, you are more than likely to spend more money than you would on an air cooler. However, it is also important to know that the more money is usually spent if you are deciding to go with a custom loop. If you are not going with a custom loop, then you can actually buy an affordable AIO liquid cooler and you would be good to go in no time.
These benefits and downsides should make it easier for everyone to understand that liquid cooling is actually worth it even if there is an extra cost associated with it.
I fully understand that a lot of times, finding the right cooling solution for your computer can be difficult. However, liquid cooling has come a long way to a point that you no longer have to worry about getting something that is not going to help you. If you do not have the budget for actually going for a custom liquid cooling build, that is more than okay because in most cases, that is not going to be a necessity as you would be okay with an AIO.
However, if you do want to spend extra and build a custom loop, I am still certain you would not run into any issues because building custom loops has become a lot easier than it used to be with a lot of guides and tutorials readily available.
With that said, if “is liquid cooling worth it” still ringing in your ears then to put it simply, I would say that it is 100% worth the money and there is very little risk involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have been gaming for almost 24 years with extensive knowledge of all platforms and the gaming industry, in general. With interests in literature, art, gaming, and PC hardware.