NZXT Kraken AIO vs Standard Air Cooler

mmoroski ✭✭
Photogenic Name Dropper First Comment
edited June 2021 in Air and Liquid Cooling

I am finishing gathering all the parts for my first rig, and I know the NZXT Kraken x53 240mm has really caught my attention for the features and the price. I know water cooling has scientifically been shown to be more effective for managing CPU temperature, but I have also heard about some of the risks of using liquid cooling and possible damage it can cause as opposed to the ease of troubleshooting a fan that isn't working. Should I steer clear of an AIO cooler in favor of an air cooler, or would using a radiator based AIO like this Kraken x53 be a nice addition going forward? The price doesn't really matter to me in this case, as my main concern is how much risk am I adding should I choose to go with an AIO.


  • Ian
    Ian admin
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes 5 LOLs

    Greetings, which processor would you be using with this?

  • mmoroski

    @Ian I have a Ryzen 5 5600X

  • TSTDavey
    TSTDavey admin
    First Anniversary Micro Center Staff First Comment 5 Likes
    edited April 2021

    @mmoroski just chiming in. AIO vs air all depends on how you'll use your computer even if its just for gaming.

    The stock Wraith Stealth Cooler for the R5 5600 is not a bad cooler, even for gaming. If you are expecting to do some high end gaming like playing GTA V or Assassin's Creed Odyssey and have your computer ran as a gaming workhorse, than go with an AIO for best performance. An Air cooler would still work.

    If you aren't expecting heavy graphical gaming or having your processor work hard with launching games, loading multiple different websites/browsers, and multiple applications at the same time; then go with the air cooler.

    Air coolers are easier to install than AIO cooler.

    Other MC Forum admins may chime in with other thoughts.

  • mmoroski

    @TSTDavey So this is my first build, which I know you have seen since you gave me some tips on another discussion I made showing my list. As the moment some of the games I wanted to run were Apex Legends and Valorant, but might also try streaming some of it at the same time. Another game I really wanted to run was Horizon Zero Dawn. I know that streaming could add to the load on the computer, but I'm not sure if any of those games being open by themselves would command serious horsepower.

  • TS_EmileC

    @mmoroski Neither of those games are super demanding for PC as their requirements are not high end. It depends on the FPS that you plan to stream as well as your in game settings for both games. Apex is one of those games where you may see sudden frame drops but you can always adjust that in game. You will just need to toy around within the settings to fit your liking.

  • BubbleMax

    I guess I'll give a few cents worth of opinion. I'm rocking right now a 360 AIO EVGA which is soon to be trying to cool a 5800x AMD Ryzen (This is me spurging) which for me its nice cause its nicer view wise and for silence as my PC has less fan revving up and down. (Enough about my PC build and to the topic at hand.)

    Water cooling AIO's are relatively safe when compared to the really fancy custom loops.

    YES at some point in maybe 6 - 9 years maybe a water AIO's parts MAYBE will become questionable. But if you have had one that long logically since you would be way past any hope of RMA or warranty you would probably be considering replacing the AIO hopefully.

    The big pros of a Water cooler are more space convenient, depending on the position can reduce the fan vibrations of the PC. And water aio's do have a slight better thermal dissipation. (Looks and utility)

    Standard air coolers while often cheaper work fine but they are often less appealing and can look bulky if your motherboard is stock full of components. (Going for utility over looks.)

    I will say that AMD CPU's if you are planning to stream and game can get toasty. I'd say go with a 280mm rad aio. Unless you got the case space for a 360mm then maybe think about getting one. It really comes down to the aesthetics with how well aio's are now made.

    This is a open ended opinion not fact XD. And I went kinda balls to the walls with my gaming rig. So if you have a budget you need to follow definitely stick to it. Don't go into debt over a PC rig. 😅

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