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Best 120mm AIO CPU Cooler for 2022

Best 120mm AIO CoolersIf you’re looking for an affordable liquid cooling solution, in this guide, we’ve reviewed five of the best 120mm AIO coolers to help you find the right option for your system.

We’ve covered the best 360mm AIOs, 280mm AIOs, and 240mm AIOs and today, we’re taking a look at the 120mm AIO market. Unlike the large coolers, 120mm AIOs don’t really provide that much more cooling performance than high-end air CPU coolers. However, they do still provide more cooling performance than stock coolers and they bring better aesthetics to the table, too. And, they also work well in small form factor builds as well.

So, if you’re looking to build a budget gaming PC or a mini gaming PC and you’re looking for an affordable 120mm AIO cooler to go in it, this guide will help you find a solid option. We’ve made selections for our favorite 120mm AIO overall, a runner-up selection, the top 120mm AIO with an RGB fan, a white 120mm AIO, and the cheapest 120mm AIO currently available.

A Quick Look at the Best 120mm AIO CPU Coolers

NAME SPECS RATING
TOP PICK
NZXT Kraken M22

NZXT Kraken M22

  • 21-36 dBA
  • AMD or Intel
  • 2000 RPM
  • 6 yr. War.
8.8/10

Check Price

Read Review »

RUNNER-UP
Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

Corsair iCUE H60

  • ~28 dBA
  • AMD or Intel
  • 1700 RPM
  • 5 yr. War.
8.8/10

Check Price

Read Review »

RGB FAN
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB V2

MasterLiquid ML120L

  • 8-27 dBA
  • AMD or Intel
  • 1800 RPM
  • 2 yr. War.
8.8/10

Check Price

Read Review »

WHITE
DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 120EX WHITE CPU Liquid Cooler

DEEPCOOL CAPTAIN 120EX

  • 18-31 dBA
  • AMD or Intel
  • 1800 RPM
  • 2 yr. War.
8.7/10

Check Price

Read Review »

BUDGET
EVGA CLC 120mm All-In-One CPU Liquid Cooler

EVGA CLC 120

  • ~32 dBA
  • Intel Only
  • 1800 RPM
  • 5 yr. War.
8.6/10

Check Price

Read Review »

*To read our overview on the 120mm AIO coolers above, click the “Read Review »” link.

1. NZXT Kraken M22

The top 120mm AIO cooler

NZXT Kraken M22
  • 21-36 dBA Fan Noise
  • Works w/AMD or Intel
  • 2000 RPM Fan Speed
  • 6-year Warranty

Our Rating: 8.8/10

Check Price on Amazon

While we have chosen a Corsair iCUE cooler for our top 360mm, 280mm, and 240mm AIOs, in the 120mm we like the NZXT Kraken M22 a bit better. Its Aer P fan can hit a higher max speed than the fan on the Corsair H60. The M22 also operates a bit more quietly than the H60 and it comes with a longer six-year warranty (versus five-years for the H60.)

The M22 is compatible with both AMD and Intel processors, it comes with RGB lighting on the pump head, and it will work perfectly in a mini-ITX gaming PC build.

Overall, if you’re looking for a high-performing 120mm liquid cooler to pair with your processor, the NZXT Kraken M22 is one of your best options.

2. Corsair H60

Another solid 120mm AIO option

Corsair Hydro Series H60 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler
  • ~28 dBA Fan Noise
  • Works w/AMD or Intel
  • 1700 RPM Fan Speed
  • 5-year Warranty

Our Rating: 8.8/10

Check Price on Amazon

Corsair’s H60 is another solid 120mm AIO worth considering. It comes in at the same price as the Kraken M22 and, for the most part, it will deliver similar cooling performance.

The H60s fan can’t hit quite as high of max speeds as the Kraken M22, though (2000 RPM for the M22 and 1700 for the H60.) The Kraken M22 also comes with a slightly longer six-year warranty, versus the H60s five-year warranty. Although, both of those are impressively long warranty periods and, in the grand scheme of things, most builders would have upgraded their coolers within that timeframe anyways.

The other potential downside of the Corsair H60 is its black and white design. While it doesn’t look bad by any means, its aesthetics may not mesh well with certain builds. On the other hand, the Kraken M22’s all-black design offers a neutral color scheme that will go together better with a wider range of styles and color schemes. Ultimately, both 120mm coolers are excellent options for the price they come in at and the performance they offer. But, at the same price point, we’d opt for the Kraken M22 over the Corsair H60.

3. Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L

Best 120mm AIO w/RGB fan

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB V2
  • 8-27 dBA Fan Noise
  • Works w/AMD or Intel
  • 1800 RPM Fan Speed
  • 2-year Warranty

Our Rating: 8.8/10

Check Price on Amazon

If you’re looking for a small 120mm AIO cooler as well as some RGB lighting to add to your build, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L might be your best bet. In fact, the MasterLiquid ML120L might be the best option on this list considering what you get versus what you pay.

At just a little over ~$60, it is the second cheapest 120mm AIO cooler on this list. And, you still get an RGB-lit fan, an RGB-lit pump head, and a fan that can hit max speeds of up to 1800 RPM. The MasterLiquid ML120L is fairly quiet, too, with fan noise levels ranging from 8-27 dBA.

It may not quite match the performance of the NZXT Kraken M22, but the difference probably won’t be noticeable. So, if you want to save a little bit of money and get some more RGB lights into your build, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L is probably the best 120mm AIO for you.

4. DEEPCOOL CAPTAIN 120EX

The best white 120mm AIO cooler

DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 120EX WHITE CPU Liquid Cooler
  • 18-31 dBA Fan Noise
  • Works w/AMD or Intel
  • 1800 RPM Fan Speed
  • 2-year Warranty

Our Rating: 8.7/10

Check Price on Amazon

If you’re building inside of a white PC case and you want a white 120mm AIO to pair with it, you might want to consider DEEPCOOL’s CAPTAIN 120EX. It does have some black mixed into the aesthetics (on the fan blade and the pump hose), but it is one of the only 120mm AIOs that offers a mostly white design.

In terms of performance, it will offer cooling on par with the other options on this list. Its fans can hit a max speed of 1800 RPM and it operates within a noise level range of between 18-31 dBA. Unfortunately, though, there isn’t any RGB lighting on this AIO.

But, again, if you’re looking for a white-themed AIO to pair with your white PC build, then the CAPTAIN 120EX is probably your best option.

5. EVGA CLC 120

The most affordable 120mm AIO

EVGA CLC 120mm All-In-One CPU Liquid Cooler
  • ~32 dBA Fan Noise
  • Works w/ Intel CPUs
  • 1800 RPM Fan Speed
  • 5-year Warranty

Our Rating: 8.6/10

Check Price on Amazon

For those of you that need a small AIO cooler, but you don’t have a huge budget to get one, the EVGA CLC 120 is the cheapest 120mm AIO currently available. At just a little over ~$55 it is incredibly affordable and can easily be worked into an budget PC build (check out our $800 gaming PC build.)

At such a low price, though, you shouldn’t expect top-tier cooling. In fact, you could probably get better cooling from a similarly-priced air cooler. However, if you want the more minimalistic design of an AIO cooler, this will do the trick.

It should also be pointed out that the EVGA CLC 120 is only compatible with Intel processors. So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly 120mm AIO cooler for an AMD processor, you’ll want to check out some of the other options listed above.

What is the Best 120mm AIO Cooler?

Right now, the best 120mm AIO cooler is the NZXT Kraken M22 or the Corsair iCUE H60. Although, if you’re working with a smaller budget, the EVG CLC 120 is an excellent budget 120mm AIO cooler.

While 120mm AIOs aren’t going to bring extreme performance to the table, they will offer decent cooling performance for a somewhat affordable price. And, for many, the aesthetics of AIO coolers make them a popular option.

In this guide, we chose five different 120mm AIO coolers across a range of categories and pricepoints to help you find the right option for your needs. So, if you’re in the market for a new budget-friendly CPU cooler, check out our recommendations above.

Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building computers and writing about building computers for a long time. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

5 thoughts on “Best 120mm AIO CPU Cooler for 2022”

  1. Is there a reason you left out the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 120? I like the brand and would have liked to have seen it compared with these models.

    Reply

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