Which is the Best AIO Cooler Size? 120 vs 240 vs 280 vs 360

Best AIO Cooler Size

AIO or “All-In-One” coolers are often referred to as high-performance CPU coolers that are designed to mitigate the overall temperature of a processor by properly dissipating heat and keeping the processor safe. The term AIO is used because these types of coolers are comparatively safer, more effective at cooling, and easier to install. These coolers come in a variety of sizes, and in this video, we are going to talk about which size is the best for you. 

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The 120mm variant is allegedly the most commonly used radiator all around the world since it has the perfect size to fit inside almost any case. Also, it is the most affordable radiator type, making it an instant hit for everyone. A single 120mm radiator is more than enough for you if you have a single, non-overclocked CPU and don’t want them to go through the hassle of getting a larger radiator that won’t fit your casing. It usually houses a single fan with different RPMs depending on your chosen manufacturer. These radiators are ideal for compact builds as people these days are more into minimalism.


Now, turning it up a notch, we have the 240mm radiators, which are twice the size of a normal 120mm radiator. 240mm radiators are also very popular to people who have a mid-range pc with a mid-tower casing, as this will give you the ability to use two 140mm fans for optimal cooling. This dual-fan setting makes it the perfect sweet spot for when you want a more efficient cooling solution in a mid-tower casing. Basically, if you got the space and want to delve into the world of overclocking without increasing the clock speed, the 240mm radiator cannot be any more perfect. As it’s the most popular type of radiator, you’re going find it everywhere regardless of the brand. However, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better cooling than the 120mm radiator, as the concept of diminishing returns in sizing is very real in terms of the radiator sizing. Overall, if you don’t mind some extra noise but want to cool your mid-tower pc efficiently, go for the 240mm.


Now on to the big boys of the group, the 360mm radiators. A lot of cases we see nowadays support 360mm radiators on the top AND the front, indicating that it’s moving up on the scale of popularity. The bigger size obviously allows more cooling capability, whereas the more thermal capacity of the actual heat changer allows you to run it at a lower rpm, thus resulting in an overall quieter operation that’s less intrusive while having a lot more air volume simultaneously. Having more air volume means more air going through the heat exchanger, resulting in better cooling, slower heat build-up, and quicker cooldowns while overclocking your pc to the maximum. These radiators can house up to three 120mm fans, thus resulting in quicker cooling, but at the expense of an audibly distinguishable noise that many users might not like.


Other than these common variants, there exist sizes comparatively smaller and larger in terms of radiators. For example, Alphacool NexXxoS ST25 92mm radiator could’ve been considered as the gold standard 10 years ago, whereas the bigger and heavier variants like the enormous NexXxoS XT45 560mm practically elevates your CPU cooling to the next level. At the end of the, it all comes down to your personal preference.

So, all of them bogs down to one simple yet complicated question. Which size of radiator is simply the best?

First of all, you need to make sure your chassis can house your radiator properly since in terms of priority; you need to make sure you get the largest size that will fit into your chassis comfortably.

“If you have a mid-tower casing, going for the 240mm radiator would be the overall best option. And if you have a smaller chassis like a Mini Tower PC Case, go for a 120mm radiator as they have the perfect blend of performance and form factor. And finally, if you have a big boy chassis like a full-tower pc case, you should definitely go for the 360mm radiators to keep all the beefy components cool.”

Samiul Haque

Samiul Haque

Samiul Haque has always been fascinated by sci-fi movies, but more specifically by the hi-tech gadgets and devices that people use in those movies. And as smart home devices became more and more popular, Samiul Haque decided to become a dedicated content creator who uses and reviews everything from smart speakers, smart home appliances to the latest smartphones, smartwatches, etc.