6 of the Top Recommended Custom Water Cooling Kits For PC in 2022– For Every Budget!

Top Recommended Custom Water Cooling Kits For PC

Water cooling used to be a must-have for an enthusiast PC gaming machine – powerful processors used to produce enough heat to heat a whole house. When overclocking and pushing the system to its limits, liquid-cooling systems relieved the strain on older and less efficient air coolers. Although times have evolved and processors are now more energy-efficient, water cooling remains a viable option.

Although air coolers are far better at eliminating heat these days, water coolers can still keep the temperature under control and so open up a whole new world of customization. Consider lights, one-of-a-kind parts, greater room for further case changes, and more.

There’s also something to be said for cooling devices with a liquid. When a stable water cooling solution is established, it’s a risk that pays out handsomely in the shape of accomplishment. However, the dangers are real, and leaks can happen. It’s possible that mixing liquid and electronics will result in a disaster.

The biggest disadvantage of water cooling — at least in custom systems — is that it may be somewhat costly. Consider the difference between a $40 fan air cooler and a $500 water cooling system that includes a radiator, pump, pipes, and CPU and GPU connectors. However, sealed closed-loop water cooling kits are now available, lowering the cost and lowering the risk of problems. I’ll go over the fundamentals of both alternatives.

Today, we’ll take a deeper look at the six greatest custom water cooling kits now on the market, as well as those that will be available in 2021 and 2022.

For many people, installing a bespoke-loop water cooling system on a gaming machine is the pinnacle of custom PCs. Water cooling has been practiced for a long time, but it’s always fascinating to hook up your gaming setup with a new custom loop.

This article will help you choose the best water cooling system for your needs, whether it’s your first custom kit or you’ve been in the game for a while.

Best Overall: EK-Quantum Power Kit D-RGB P360

Pros
  • High-Quality Components
  • Excellent Cooling Performance
  • Attractive aesthetics, Bright RGB lighting
Cons
  • Bit pricey for some

Quantum Power by EKWB is one of the best kits available. It boasts superior quality, stunning aesthetics, and, most importantly, outstanding performance. That is, however, to be expected from a product with such a high price tag.

The EK-Quantum Power kit is quite remarkable, with a nickel-plated plexiglass CPU water block and a big copper radiator. This kit is also incredibly adaptable, as it works with Asus AURA, GIGABYTE RGB Fusion, MSI Mystic Light, and ASRock Polychrome Sync, whereas many other water-cooling kits only operate with certain software.

The EK-Velocity water block is made of some of the purest copper available and has been nickel-plated and polished to a mirror finish. This provides it with excellent thermal conductivity and contact with the CPU, allowing heat to be quickly transmitted from your CPU to your cooling system.

This radiator is large, black, and performs a good job of dissipating heat from your system, much like the others. This radiator is a little bit, even for a 360mm, with a double stack of copper fins for maximum surface area. While there may be some clearance concerns in more crammed cases, the greater beefiness simply equals better performance, so it’s a trade-off.

EKWB designed the EK-Vardar EVO 120ER D-RGB fans with silence in mind. These fans have been designed specifically for use with high-density fin radiators. They have high static pressure and controllable RGB lighting, so they’ll efficiently push air into your radiator while looking fantastic.

It’s always nice to see a solid pump and reservoir combination, and the EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 200 D5 delivers. Made of high-quality acrylic and equipped with brackets and anti-vibration mounts, it can be installed nearly anywhere in your case. The ARGBs are installed in the base and illuminate your cooling system from underneath. Furthermore, at full speed, the EK-Quantum Kinetic TBE 200 D5 operates almost silently, never interfering with your work or play.

The EK-DuraClear soft tubing is flexible and easy to cut and snake through your machine thanks to its two-meter length. Because it’s translucent, you’ll be able to use any coolant dye you choose. There are even a few on EKWB for you to choose from.

The quality of each component is what really jumps out about this kit. It’s all quality, from the slick brass fittings to the high-performance pump/res combo. However, tremendous premium-ability comes at a high price. This kit is pricey, but the performance, design, and craftsmanship are excellent and well worth the money. The EK-Quantum Power kit is a good alternative if you’re intending to outfit your machine with a water cooling kit.

Specifications:

  • Radiator Dimensions: 400 x 130 x 38mm
  • CPU Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA-1200, 115x, 2011(-3), 2066 / AMD AM4
  • Port Thread: G1/4
  •  Lighting: Digital RGB
  • Warranty: 2-year limited international warranty

2. KWB EK-KIT P240

Pros
  • High-Quality Components
  • Fair price
  • Excellent fans – silent and high-performing
Cons
  • No distilled water included, must be purchased separately

EKWB has put together a terrific kit that eliminates the guessing that comes with buying these items separately. Soft tubing is included in this kit, which, in my perspective, does not have the same pristine appearance as hardline but instead gives your setup an organic appearance.

Additionally, this kit includes a 240mm radiator that fits a broad range of systems, particularly mini-ATX cases where mounting a 360mm fan would be difficult, if not impossible

The EK-Supremacy EVO water block has gone through several versions to achieve optimal performance. Although both the Original EK Supremacy and the EK-Supremacy EVO water blocks are acrylic with a copper backing, the EVO features a more sophisticated interior construction.

The base’s machined copper channels are identical to the original, but the mechanism that propels water through the jet plate has been improved to ensure even water distribution across the plate and hence the machined channels. This leads to greater water flow via the heatsink channels, resulting in a more efficient system.

The EK-CoolStream PE 240 Radiator is a high-density, dual-fin 240mm radiator by EK. Because of its low-profile design, this radiator will be simple to install in most circumstances without interfering with other components. Its high-density aluminum dual-fin design provides outstanding cooling characteristics, ensuring that your CPU remains cool even while under heavy load.

Every kit requires fans, and the two EK-Vardar F3-120 fans supplied are standard High-static pressure radiator fans with no frills. They’re made for radiators and prioritize silence over aesthetics. The fans are well-made and quiet on the radiator, and they perform an excellent job overall.

The EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 PWM pump and reservoir pair were included by EKWB. Even when running at full power, the pump is exceptionally quiet and provides plenty of water flow to keep your CPU cool. The EK-XRES 140 Revo D5 has fewer complaints regarding leaking and premature death in customer reviews than many other pumps included in kits. That’s a positive sign that this pump/res combo is of good quality and will last a long time.

EKWB’s EK-KIT P240 bespoke water cooling kit is nearly flawless. Everything is of great quality and simple to put together. The main disadvantage is that EKWB does not offer distilled water, but they do include a coolant concentrate that can be mixed in with a bottle of distilled water that can be obtained practically anyplace. This coolant concentrate has antibacterial qualities and improves thermal conductivity in your water.

Finally, the EKWB EK-KIT P240 is one of the greatest custom cooling kits on the market, and it’s well worth the money. This kit is ideal for beginners just getting into water cooling, thanks to its top-of-the-line components and simple-to-install configuration.

Specifications:

  • Radiator Dimensions: 280 x 130 x 38mm
  • CPU Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA-1200, 115x, 2011(-3), 2066 / AMD AM4
  • Port Thread: G1/4
  • Lighting: None
  •  Warranty: 2-year limited international warranty

3. Corsair Hydro X Series iCUE XH303i RGB

Pros
  • Intriguing design
  • Great cooling performance for overclocking
  • Expandability – a graphics card water block is sold separately however
Cons
  • Proprietary fan and RGB connections (must use included controller)

The iCUE XH303i RGB custom water cooling kit includes a low-profile pump/res combo, which is uncommon in ready-to-build kits. It stands out not only because of the pump and reservoir, but also because of the ARGB LEDs in the fans, water block, and reservoir, which light up your rig and can be customized to meet your aesthetic.

First and foremost, the XC7 water block is fantastic. It looks cleaner than many other water blocks you’ve seen, thanks to its angled corners and beveling. The XC7 has 16 addressable RGB LEDs that work in combination with the rest of your construction utilizing the iCUE software, in addition to its sleek aesthetic. This water block is sturdy in build, performance, and aesthetics, and it fits most Intel and AMD sockets.

Moving on, the XR5 360mm Radiator is only 30mm thick, which allows it to fit into small places, which is useful for compact buildings. Furthermore, the fins are dense but not so dense as to hinder airflow, allowing heat to be dispersed swiftly while the fans run quietly.

It’s refreshing to see a kit with such an unusual pump/reservoir combination. The XD3 reservoir has a low profile and can be installed in practically any place. The reservoir holds 150mL of coolant, while the pump delivers 800L/ph and may accommodate an additional GPU water block if desired.

The two bundled SP 120 RGB PRO fans are dual-purpose and may be used as both a case fan and a radiator fan, despite not being designed expressly for radiators. These fans, which have eight RGB LEDs surrounding the hub, will offer a splash of color and assist hide the already hidden radiator.

When putting this kit together, Corsair thought about expansion, so they included two more compression fittings, two 90° angle adapters, and extra tubing. So the water block is all you need to keep your GPU cool. Regrettably, that is available for purchase individually.

The iCUE XH303i, like all of these kits, does not include a heat gun. However, it does include a bending kit and cutting tools. This is wonderful because you’ll be able to bend your tubes in lovely clean curves and not have to worry about leaks because you cut them with whatever you had on hand.

Specifications:

  • Radiator Dimensions: 396 x 120 x 30mm
  • CPU Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA-115x, 1200 / AMD AM4
  • Port Thread: G1/4” BSPP
  •  Lighting: RGB
  •  Warranty: 2 years

4. Corsair Hydro X Series iCUE XH305i RGB

Pros
  • Great performance, even for high-end overclocking
  • Bright RGB lighting
  • Low profile radiator, less issues with clearance
Cons
  • Slightly expensive

The Corsair Hydro X Series iCUE XH305i has everything you’ll need to create your own bespoke loop. This item features a 360mm radiator and is compatible with larger cases that have three exhaust fans.

Corsair’s XH305i was developed in partnership with a number of other well-known companies, including Mayhem for the cooling system and BitsPower for the connectors. Corsair was serious about assembling the bits and pieces you’ll need for a great kit, as evidenced by this.

The XH305i Custom Cooling Kit includes the following items, which are all individually packaged and ready to assemble.

It’s worth noting that while this kit comes with a bending jig and everything you’ll need to cut the tubing, it doesn’t come with a heat gun. A heat gun is required to sufficiently warm the tubing so that it bends.

The radiator is 30mm thick and built of copper with medium density fins, making it extremely efficient at both heat dissipation and noise reduction. There are two mounting holes on each side of the radiator, as well as an inlet and exit port for your tubes.

Because the hard-line tubes are constructed of acrylic, you’ll need to assemble them with the accompanying bending and cutting jig and saw.

To avoid having to buy extra tubing because you cut it too short, remember to measure twice and cut once.

All of the fittings are simple and made of metal. Simply fit the locking ring over the tube, insert it into its intended location, and tighten it. If this is your first time, watch these instructional films for more information.

The Commander Pro RGB Controller is required to use the RGB CPU water block and three QL120 RGB 120mm fans offered by Corsair. All of the cords are Corsair-exclusive and must be utilized with the iCUE software. All of this means you won’t be able to connect them to your motherboard or use any third-party software to operate them.

Surprising outcomes emerged from the testing. Despite its low profile, the XR5 Radiator performs as well as its beefier counterparts in terms of temperatures while producing less noise.

With everything taken into account, the Corsair Hydro X Series iCUE XH305i will make a stunning statement in your setup while still providing excellent performance at an affordable price. It has excellent Amazon reviews, however, several users have reported about rusted radiators or dead on arrival (Dead on Arrival). However, when it comes to building computers, this isn’t always the case. Corsair has a strong return and exchange policy, so if there are any problems, they will do everything they can to resolve them.

Corsair also provides a three-year warranty on the block, pump, and radiator, as well as a two-year warranty on the coolant, tubing, and fittings.

This water cooling kit is ideal if you already own a variety of Corsair products and want to completely deck out your rig in Corsair without breaking the bank.

Specifications:

  • Radiator Dimensions: 396 x 120 x 30mm
  • CPU Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA-115x, 1200 / AMD AM4
  • Port Thread: G1/4” BSPP
  • Lighting: RGB
  • Warranty: 2 years

5. Thermaltake Pacific CL360 Max D5

Pros
  • Quiet and high-performing fans
  • Every component features RGB lighting
  • Very quiet overall
Cons
  • No bending kit and Reports of a bad pump/reservoir

Thermaltake has been in the cooling industry for over 20 years and is known for its high-quality cooling components. With such a high level of recognition in the industry, you can be sure that this kit will be put together with the best Thermaltake has to offer.

The Pacific CL360 Max Kit includes practically everything you’ll need to build your own water cooling system from the ground up. You’ll need a heat gun and a bending kit, which Thermaltake offers but doesn’t include.

The Pacific CL360 Max, on the other hand, is a good overall choice. It works well and is completely RGB-enabled, with support for Thermaltake’s RGB PLUS software, Razer Chroma, and Amazon Alexa.

One of the excellent features of this kit is that it includes a copper radiator to complement your copper CPU water block. Copper’s thermal conductivity is twice that of aluminum, which means no galvanic corrosion and superior thermal performance than aluminum.

Furthermore, Thermaltake clearly considered galvanic corrosion, which is surprising because many firms will mix metals as long as they are close on the galvanic chart. This does not rule out the possibility of galvanization. It simply implies that it occurs at a much slower rate than if the metals were closer together on the chart. This is a bad habit to get into if you want to live a long time.

The RGB Pacific W5 CPU water block comes with a copper heatsink that connects to your CPU and is made of high-temperature-resistant plastic. Thermaltake also supplies a tube of thermal paste to help you connect the block to your CPU.

Your block and CPU will not have an adequate surface area in touch if this is not done, and heat will not be efficiently transferred into your water loop. Your computer will overheat and shut down as a result of this. So make sure you use it and remove any protective stickers or plastic off the heatsink.

Many times, we’ve seen individuals complain about excessive temperatures only to realize that they failed to remove the plastic backing from their heatsinks.

Without a reservoir or a pump, any water cooling equipment would be useless. The Pacific PR22-D5 Plus is the result of combining the two. This is common of pre-assembled kits, such as the Pacific CL360 Max, because it not only makes assembly easier but also decreases the risk of leaks by having fewer tubes and connections than a system with a separate pump and reservoir.

This unit holds 300ml of coolant and comes with an RGB cap to match the rest of the RGB in the kit as well as anything else you could have placed in your PC. Important note: There are numerous complaints about the pump dying after a short period of time in the reviews of this kit on Amazon and other eCommerce sites. As a result, preserve all receipts and warranty information on hand in case you need them.

The Pacific CL360 Plus radiator is made of copper and has a high fin density, which makes it ideal for cooling your computer. Aside from that, it has an RGB strip that faces out of your case when installed. It’s a little overdone in my opinion, but RGB!

Thermaltake supplies three 120mm Riing Duo RGB fans to complement the 360mm radiator. The Riing Duos are high-static pressure radiator fans with two 18 LED rings that make them highly bright. They were created primarily for water cooling. Better better, each LED is addressable and can be customized to fit any theme.

Finally, this set includes eight 500mm PETG tubes with a 16mm outside diameter. These must be bent to your exact proportions, and it’s odd that Thermaltake didn’t include a bending kit, so pick one up while you’re at it.

The Thermaltake Pacific CL360 Max D5 Hard Line Kit is a good alternative in general. This kit will make you want to stare at your lovely machine all day with its vivid RGB LEDs and overall superb cooling capability. Just keep an eye on the pump. There have been numerous instances of it leaking and/or dying too soon.

Overall, this is a good water cooling system for the money. If you don’t want to change the pump leaking or dying early, one of the Corsair or EKWB kits is a better option.

Specifications:

  • Radiator Dimensions: 403 x 129 x 64mm
  • CPU Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA 2066/2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150/775, AMD AM4/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Port Thread: G1/4
  • Lighting: RGB
  • Warranty: 2 years

6. Thermaltake Pacific M240 D5

Pros
  • Great fans overall (only part of the kit that has RGB lighting)
  • Value for money
  • Budget-Friendly
Cons
  • No cutting tool included with the product

Thermaltake has done it once more. With the Thermaltake Pacific M240 D5 Hard Tube Water Cooling Kit, you may have the cooling power of a custom loop without the hassle of planning and researching everything separately. This kit will lower your temperatures and increase the envy of your buddies when they see your battle station, thanks to high-quality materials and vivid RGB LED fans.

It comes with everything you need to make a personalized loop except a heat gun (which most people don’t have anyhow) and a bending kit. Thermaltake once more? Really? We’re aware that you sell one. Why don’t you include it in your starter kits?

You provide the bending silicone insert but not the jig. If you ask me, that’s just lousy form. If you’re new to bending stiff tubes and want crisp clean 90° angles, a bending kit is a good investment.

The Pacific W3 starts with the water block, which is simple yet lovely. It is constructed of clear acrylic and has no RGB, so you can see the coolant running through it. You can expect maximum performance and contact with your CPU thanks to a machined copper base that has been polished to a mirror sheen.

With kits like these, combined water reservoirs and pumps are typical. The Pacific M240 D5 kit includes a Pacific PR15-D5 pump and reservoir pair with a maximum flow rate of 1135L/hr, allowing it to run numerous components and radiators at the same time. Despite the fact that this pump appears to be quite capable, several individuals have noticed leakage and the pump dying prematurely.

Radiators are essential for dissipating heat from your system. The Pacific R 240mm aluminum radiator is included in this kit. Due to galvanic corrosion, mixing metals in your water cooling loop is usually not a good idea.

While copper and aluminum have similar galvanic properties, it’s unfortunate that Thermaltake would provide you with a copper water block and an aluminum radiator. This won’t cause problems straight away, but it could become a problem after a few years of use. You should clean this kit carefully on a regular basis to prevent corrosion and sediment build-up.

Specifications:

  • Radiator Dimensions: 273 x 120.7 x 39.9 mm
  • CPU Socket Compatibility: Intel LGA 2066/2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150/775, AMD AM4/FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
  • Port Thread: G1/4
  •  Lighting: RGB
  • Warranty: 2 years

Which is Better: Custom Loop or AIO?

An AIO comes with everything you need to get started straight away. There is no need for assembling. Simply connect it to your CPU or GPU, and depending on which one you buy, turn it on and go.

Place your radiator, reservoir, and pump, bend and/or cut your tubes, mount your cooling blocks, attach your tubes, and fill the reservoir with a custom loop. Then, while not letting your reservoir run out of coolant, carefully pulse the pump to fill your tubes and water blocks.

After that, you must leak test and burp your reservoir for many days to remove all of the air bubbles.

The bubbles harm the pump’s impeller and reduce the system’s efficiency because water absorbs heat far better than air.

All of that seems a little excessive for what an AIO can do, right? Yes, but an AIO will never look as attractive like a properly constructed custom loop. These days, custom water cooling is all about aesthetics.

An AIO can be utilized practically anyplace a custom loop can be used, and they perform admirably. So it all boils down to whether you want a fully customized PC or just the cooler temperatures that water cooling may provide. In either case, if you do it correctly, you’ll get a greater performance while still looking nice.

There is a significant pricing difference between custom-loops and AIOs. A custom-loop kit can cost hundreds of dollars, whereas an AIO can cost as little as $100. A custom-loop water cooling kit isn’t for you if you’re on a budget but still want water cooling. If you want to go that route, there are lots of inexpensive AIOs from respectable manufacturers.

Water Cooling Kit Buyer’s Guide

For water cooling your gaming PC, you’ll need a good water-cooling system. Before purchasing a water cooling kit, you need to think about a few things. In this Water Cooling Kit Buyer’s Guide, I’ll go through those considerations. Water cooling kits aren’t cheap, so it’s a good idea to pick the best one that fits your budget and is also worth the money. Most kits don’t include all of the cooling components 80-90 percent of the time. That is why you must choose the greatest kit that will supply you with everything you require for your gaming PC. So, here are some things to think about before purchasing a water cooling kit:

Budget

Cooling kits are more of a high-end item. That is why they are so expensive. If you have sufficient funds, I recommend purchasing the Thermaltake Pacific M360 plus. Have faith in me. This package is well worth the money. If you’re on a tight budget, the EKWB EK-KIT RGB 240 Watercooling Kit is a good option.

Cooling Component Availability

Not all kits include everything you need. A few components are missing from even the greatest liquid cooling setups. You have no choice but to add those cooling components to complete the loop in this scenario.

The Thermaltake Pacific M360 plus and Thermaltake Pacific CL360 are the best because they include practically everything you need, with the exception of the GPU water block.

Size of Radiator And Size of Reservoir

The size of your reservoir and radiators is important for your build. You can always add an extra reservoir or radiator if the size of the reservoir or radiator does not meet your needs.

In this scenario, the Thermaltake M360 Plus is my preferred choice. It’s worth it, believe me.