Buyers Guides CPU Coolers

Best Liquid CPU Coolers Under $200 to Buy in 2024

CPU Coolers are essential to any PC build. Installing a cooler that’s not up to scratch spells trouble for even the most powerful builds. However, finding a cooling solution that offers great performance and is affordable can be challenging. For those sticking to a budget of $200, what are the best liquid CPU coolers to buy at this price point?

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll discuss several liquid-based CPU cooling options and the standout picks we love for under $200. We’ve tested and selected each option based on its performance and value compared to the rest of the market.

Our Top Pick: Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT

MPI_Corsair H100i ELITE CAPELLIX XT

The best liquid CPU cooler under $200 is Corsair’s iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT. This excellent cooler strikes a great balance of performance and aesthetic, offering great thermal capabilities alongside a gorgeous design with plenty of RGB. The H100i Elite Capellix XT is one of the most reliable options on the market under the $200 price point.

$179.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-04-19 10:39:22 ET

The Best Liquid CPU Coolers Under $200

1. Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT

MPI_Corsair H100i ELITE CAPELLIX XT
$179.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-04-19 10:39:22 ET

The Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT is one of the best liquid CPU coolers on the market, striking a balance between cooling performance and gorgeous visuals. This AIO is more than capable of handling the thermal output of modern processors, keeping a lid on temperatures during intense workloads. The 240mm radiator dissipates heat efficiently, while Corsair’s AF Elite fans maintain high airflow, moving heat away as quickly as possible.

The iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT offers a premium feel compared to cheaper market alternatives. RGB is at the forefront of the design rather than an afterthought, and it shows. With the strongest RGB visuals of the options we’ve tested today and the most refined software, the H100i is a safe bet for those looking to upgrade system visuals. The Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT comes standard with additional blockhead covers and a Commander Core RGB controller. The Corsair iCUE software allows for the customisation of RGB lighting patterns and the configuration of fan and pump speeds.

SpecificationsCorsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT
Radiator Size240mm
Radiator Dimensions (LxWxH)277mm x 120mm x 27mm
Number of Fans2 x 120mm
Max Fan Speed2100RPM
Bearing TypeFDB
Max Pump Speed2800RPM
Pump ConnectorPWM
Socket CompatibilityIntel: LGA 1700, LGA 1200, LGA 115X, LGA 2011, LGA 2066
AMD: AM4, AM5, sTR4

The only major caveat of this cooler is its price. The iCUE H100i Elite Capellix XT is not a cheap option versus other alternatives. While this cooler fits our budget of $200, you could spend close to this limit if you pick up the H100i Elite Capellix XT.

Pros

Cons

2. MSI MAG CoreLiquid E360

MPI_MSI MAG CoreLiquid E360 with Box
$135.99 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-04-19 13:36:05 ET

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid E360 is an incredible value option and is one of the few 360mm liquid CPU coolers below $200. This AIO is capable of keeping a lid on thermals during high-wattage workloads. The powerful 3000RPM pump maximises heat dissipation while maintaining a low noise level. This is one of the quieter liquid coolers on the market and was extremely quiet during our benchmarking runs.

In terms of design, the CoreLiquid E360 is a relatively simplistic-looking cooler. The black design across the shroud and the CPU block is consistent but lacks flair or fanciful lighting. However, the three 120mm FDB fans will spin up with additional RGB once powered, along with a small ring around the centre of the CPU blockhead. This blockhead is also rotatable, allowing you to easily correct the orientation once installed.

SpecificationsMSI MAG CoreLiquid E360
Radiator Size360mm
Radiator Dimensions (LxWxH)394mm x 119mm x 27mm
Number of Fans3 x 120mm
Max Fan Speed2300RPM
Bearing TypeFDB
Max Pump Speed3000RPM
Pump ConnectorPWM
Socket SupportIntel: LGA 1700, LGA 1200, LGA 115X
AMD: AM4, AM5, TR4, sTR4

All of the RGB lighting can be fully controlled within the MSI Mystic Light software, and any cooler settings can be configured through the MSI’s Center application. I’d argue the biggest weakness of the CoreLiquid E360 is the customisation software. It isn’t as refined as some competitor applications, where the controls and UI are much more intuitive.

Pros

Cons

3. Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos

MPI_Cooler Master Master Liquid 240 Atmos
$128.63 at Amazon
Last updated: 2024-04-19 10:39:22 ET

Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid 240 Atmos is one of the more interesting liquid coolers on the market. It offers a way to fully customise the look of the CPU blockhead. The standout feature of the 240 Atmos is its support for 3D-printed blockheads, which provides a wide range of different ways to change up the design of the pump without costing a fortune.

On the performance front, the 240 Atmos performs very well with modern CPUs. Our testing showed that it could keep the Core i7-13700K at bay during an all-core workload, which is highly impressive for just a 240mm radiator. The 240 Atmos also maintained low noise levels, which is a definitive strength of this cooler. The RGB software and cooler settings are easy to control with Cooler Master’s MasterCTRL software, providing a way to monitor system temperatures and utilisation. MasterCTRL has seen plenty of refinement over the years and is a simplistic application providing a central hub for all your Cooler Master components.

SpecificationsCooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos
Radiator Size240mm
Radiator Dimensions (LxWxH)277mm x 119mm x 27mm
Number of Fans2 x 120mm
Max Fan Speed2500RPM
Bearing TypeLoop Dynamic
Max Pump Speed3200RPM
Pump ConnectorPWM
Socket SupportIntel: LGA 1700, LGA 1200, LGA 115X
AMD: AM4, AM5

We feel the 240 Atmos’s overall aesthetic is a bit more restrictive, with the radiator and fans offering a bland and simple black finish. This has likely been done to make the 240 Atmos more affordable, but by making this liquid cooler a bit plainer, the design isn’t likely to appeal to everyone.

Pros

Cons

4. Thermaltake TH280 V2

MPI_TH280 V2 Ultra ARGB Sync Snow Edition

The Thermaltake TH280 V2 Ultra is a great choice if you have some clearance to spare in your PC build. It comes in a slightly larger form factor, a 280mm radiator, with two CT140 ARGB fans, which deliver impressive cooling across the board. The V2 version has improved on its predecessor and now comes with a digital pump display capable of showing PC-related data or even just the weather in your local area.

As mentioned, the TH280 V2 comes with two 140mm fans, with maximum RPMs of 1800 per minute, allowing it to keep things cool under load. The CPU block is where the cooler is most impressive, with the pump reaching speeds of up to 3300RPM, and coming with a wide range of mounting support to keep any range of CPU under control.

SpecificationsThermaltake TH280 V2
Radiator Size280mm
Radiator Dimensions (LxWxH)317mm x 139mm x 27mm
Number of Fans2 x 140mm
Max Fan Speed1800RPM
Bearing TypeHydraulic Bearing
Max Pump Speed3300RPM
Pump ConnectorPWM
Socket SupportIntel: LGA 2066/2011-3/2011/1700/1200/1156/1155/1151/1150
AMD: AM5/AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2/FM1

However, if you are looking for a cooler that runs silently or close to silent, this might not be the cooler for you, as it can reach a maximum sound of 34.7dBA. Other options are available that will offer better cooling options, but for the price, this CPU cooler has a lot to offer.

Pros

Cons

How We Tested The Best Liquid CPU Coolers Under $200

In order to determine the best liquid coolers for under $200, we put all of the coolers in this roundup to the test and analysed the results to ensure you are getting the best possible recommendations. We also consider a range of different factors when we recommend liquid coolers. These are:

  • Performance
  • Compatibility
  • Aesthetic
  • Value for Money

Frequently Asked Questions

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Should I Worry About Case Clearance?

If your case isn’t big enough you’ll run into installation problems very quickly, so make sure to check your cooler is supported on the manufacturer’s website.

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What Kind of Cooler Do I Need for Overclocking?

As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend looking at 360mm options, as these coolers are the most efficient and strongest options.

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Are Liquid Coolers Better than Air Coolers?

Generally yes, as they’re able to dissipate heat much quicker. However, there are some air coolers that can beat out liquid options too.

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Harry is GeekaWhat's in-house PC benchmarking expert. With more than 20 of the last GPU releases under his belt, Harry is well placed to evaluate the latest graphics cards from AMD, NVIDIA and Intel. Harry also attends all of the technical briefings surrounding the launch of any new graphics card, and is our in-house GPU reviews writer. Harry is also a passionate PC gamer, with an RTX 3070 Ti and Ryzen 5 chip in his personal gaming rig. He can most commonly be found playing RPGs and FPS titles like COD Warzone 2!