Best 280mm AIO Coolers for Gaming & Work PC in 2020

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If you are thinking of buying a closed-loop liquid CPU cooler that provides great cooling performance and is not too bulky either, then a 280mm AIO liquid CPU cooler offers the right balance between performance and size. It is not too big and intrusive like 360mm AIOs and provides better performance than most of the 240mm AIOs. You can also say that a 280mm AIO is the sweet spot for AIO liquid CPU coolers. Some of the 280mm AIOs are as good as the 360mm AIOs in terms of performance and they can easily handle top-end processors from Intel or AMD.

A 280mm AIO comes with a 280mm Radiator (~312mm in reality), two 140mm fans, and a CPU water block that houses the pump too (in most of the AIOs). The radiator is generally made of aluminum, but some high-performance 280mm AIOs may come with fully copper radiators for better heat dissipation. The cooling performance of 280mm AIOs can be compared to that of 360mm ones, and top of the line, 280mm AIOs can even outperform mainstream 360mm AIOs. Moreover, some of the 280mm AIOs run quieter than 360mm ones because they have only two fans, and the bigger 140mm fans can provide the same or higher airflow at lower RPMs. When it comes to compatibility, then most of the modern-day mid-tower or larger computer cases can accommodate a 280mm AIO, particularly on the front side.

Best 280mm AIO CPU Coolers

Below are the best 280mm AIO coolers that you can get for cooling down your high-end Intel or AMD processor.

EVGA CLC 280 Liquid CPU Cooler

[Great Performance, Cheaper than Competition]

EVGA CLC 280 is one of the best 280mm AIO coolers for high-end processors. I think it is the only 280mm AIO that can handle Core i9-9900K, running at 5GHz on all cores perfectly fine. This 280mm AIO CPU Cooler beats almost all the 280mm AIOs and some of the best mainstream 360mm AIOs. The Liquid CPU Cooler comes with an aluminum radiator and compact CPU water block with a full copper base. The water block is slim, and the EVGA logo on it is illuminated by RGB LED. The RGB lighting is controlled using the EVGA Flow Control Software by which you can also adjust the fan/pump speed, set profiles, and even monitor the temperature and speed of the fans and the pump. However, the software is a little buggy and may annoy you sometime.

EVGA-CLC-280mm-All-In-One-RGB-LED-CPU-Liquid-Cooler-Copy

The AIO comes with sleeved tubes for added protection and has excellent build quality. The two 140mm fans in this AIO spins at a speed of 600 – 2200 RPM and generates a very good airflow and static pressure for increased cooling performance. However, they are on the louder side at higher RPMs, which can be an issue for users who prefer silent builds. These 140mm fans work as exhaust fans on the radiator, which means they pull cold air into the radiator rather than pushing it. The CPU cooler supports the majority of the modern-day CPU sockets from Intel and AMD that also include AM4 and TR4 Sockets. The cooler is quite easy to install and comes with all necessary brackets, mounting kit and screws. Overall, high performance and affordable 280mm AIO that can efficiently cool down your flagship high TDP processor and also lets you overclock it to a decent extent.

EVGA CLC 280 Liquid CPU Cooler Specifications
CPU Socket Supported Intel LGA2066/2011/2011-v3/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366 and AMD AM2/AM3/AM4/FM1/FM2/TR4
Radiator Size 280mm
Fan Size 140mm x 2
Fan Speed 600 – 2200 RPM
Fan Airflow 113.50 CFM
Fan Static Pressure 4.20mm H2O
Fan Noise Level 16 – 39.5 dBA
Features Copper Cold Plate, Fully controllable RGB LED, Sleeved Tubes, EVGA Flow Control Software

Buy EVGA CLC 280 Liquid CPU Cooler

NZXT Kraken X63

[Stylish Looks, RGB Lighting, Solid Build Quality]

If you are looking for a 280mm AIO that has both looks and performance in one package, then it is the NZXT Kraken X63. It is the refresh of the NZXT Kraken X62 and comes with bigger and better RGB LEDs, while other features and specifications remain almost the same. NZXT Kraken X63 comes with an aluminum radiator and two NZXT Aer P140 fans having fluid dynamic bearing and the fans spin at a speed of 500 – 1800 RPM. These fans generate a good amount of airflow and static pressure but are on the louder side. The CPU water block comes with a full copper base and has a bigger RGB LED ring that looks amazing. The RGB lighting and effects can be customized using the NZXT CAM software, which is also used to adjust pump speed and monitor the temperature. The software is not trouble-free, and it also consumes a bit more resources than the others.

NZXT-Kraken-X63-280mm-AIO

The 280mm AIO supports most of the modern-day Intel and AMD Sockets and is pretty easy to install. The build quality is solid, and it also got nylon mesh sleeved tubes for extra protection. The NZXT logo on the water block is rotatable, and you can adjust it for proper orientation for your build. The performance of this CPU Cooler is pretty good, and you can easily run your high-end Core i7 and Ryzen 7 processor on it with some amount of overclocking. So, if you are looking for a stylish and good performing 280mm AIO, then it is the very best.  

NZXT Kraken X63 Specifications
CPU Socket Supported Intel LGA 1151, 1150, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066 and AMD Socket AM4, sTRX4*, TR4*(*Threadripper bracket not included)
Radiator Size 280mm
Fan Size 140mm x 2
Fan Speed 500 – 1800 RPM
Fan Airflow 98.17 CFM
Fan Static Pressure 2.71 mm H2O
Fan Noise Level 21 – 38 dBA
Features RGB LED Lighting, Copper Cold Plate, Sleeved Tubes, NZXT CAM Software support

Buy NZXT Kraken X63 AIO Cooler

Corsair H115i PRO RGB

[Silent, Zero RPM Mode, Great Looks, Good Performance]

If you are looking for a 280mm Liquid CPU Cooler that looks good, is silent, and offers good cooling performance, then it is the Corsair Hydro Series H115i PRO RGB. The AIO comes with an aluminum radiator, and a CPU block with copper cold plate and RGB LED on the top. The cooler comes with two low-noise 140mm ML Series magnetic levitation PWM fans that have a maximum speed of 1200 RPM. The fans are very quiet, even at full speed, and have a maximum noise level rating of 20.4 dBA. These are not the most powerful fans, but they do a pretty good job of cooling down the radiator. The AIO has got sleeved tubes for protection against any damage.

Corsair-Hydro-Series-H115i-PRO-RGB-280mm-Liquid-CPU-Cooler

The AIO supports Corsair iCUE software that allows you to adjust RGB lighting, individual fan speeds, and pump speed while monitoring CPU and coolant temperatures. Activating the Zero RPM mode on this AIO stops the fans from spinning until a certain threshold temperature limit is reached (for coolant), which is about 40 degrees Celsius. The CPU cooler supports almost all the current Intel and AMD Sockets, including the AM4 and TR4 (purchased separately). The installation is on the easier side is almost tool-free. The cooling performance of this 280mm AIO is comparable to Corsair H150i Pro RGB, which is 360mm AIO with a bigger radiator and faster fans. Overall, a classy looking 280mm AIO that is super quiet, reasonably priced and can easily handle a top-end Core i7 or Ryzen 7 processor with a moderate amount of overclocking.

Corsair H115i PRO RGB Specifications
CPU Socket Supported Intel 1150/1151/1155/1156/2011/2066 and AMD AM3/AM2/AM4/TR4
Radiator Size 280mm
Fan Size 140mm x 2
Fan Speed 1200 RPM
Fan Airflow 55.4 CFM
Fan Static Pressure 1.27mm H2O
Fan Noise Level 20.4 dBA
Features RGB LED Lighting, Copper Cold Plate, Sleeved Tubes, Zero RPM Mode, Corsair iCUE Software support

Buy Corsair H115i PRO RGB

Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM

[Fancy RGB Lighting, Zero RPM Mode, Good Performance]

If you are looking for a fancy 280mm AIO with lots of RGB LED lighting, then the best you can get is the Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM. You can say that it is an extra RGB version of the Corsair H115i PRO RGB but with faster fans. The AIO comes with an aluminum radiator, and the RGB CPU block has a fully copper base for better heat transfer from the processor IHS. It comes with two 140mm ML PRO Series RGB magnetic levitation PWM fans that spin at 400 – 2000 RPM and generates high airflow of 97 CFM and quite high static pressure of 3.0 mm H2O. The fans are on the louder side at full speed and have got a maximum noise level rating of 37 dBA. The cooler comes with sleeved tubes for better endurance.

Corsair-Hydro-Series-H115i-RGB-PLATINUM-280mm-Liquid-CPU-Cooler

The CORSAIR iCUE software allows you to control and synchronize RGB lighting with all iCUE compatible devices, monitor CPU and coolant temperatures and adjust fan and pump speeds. The Zero RPM mode on this AIO stops the fans from spinning at low temperatures (for coolant), and when the coolant temperature increases and crosses a specific threshold value (40 °C), they start spinning automatically to keep the temperature in check. The cooling performance of this AIO is almost equivalent to the Corsair H115i PRO RGB and Corsair H150i PRO RGB Liquid CPU coolers. It supports all the latest Intel and AMD Sockets and is quite easy to install. The RGB lighting and effects on this AIO looks amazing and it is best for someone building a fancy gaming PC with all RGB components. I am using this AIO for my Ryzen 7 2700X build, and it is working pretty good.

Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM Specifications
CPU Socket Supported Intel 1150/1151/1155/1156/2011/2066 and AMD AM3/AM2/AM4/TR4
Radiator Size 280mm
Fan Size 140mm x 2
Fan Speed 2000 RPM
Fan Airflow 97 CFM
Fan Static Pressure 3.0 mm H2O
Fan Noise Level 37 dBA
Features RGB LED Lighting, Copper Cold Plate, Sleeved Tubes, Zero RPM Mode, Corsair iCUE Software support

Buy Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM

See also:

Final Words

So, if you are looking for a 280mm AIO for your gaming or workstation rig, then the above-mentioned closed-loop coolers (CLC) will not let you down. They deliver high performance, and some of them do come with pretty fancy RGB lighting. These AIOs are also great for moderate overclocking and can easily handle a top-end flagship processor, both from Intel or AMD. If you have any queries, then you can ask them in the comment section below.

7 Comments

  1. dave April 25, 2020
    • Akshat Verma April 25, 2020
      • dave April 28, 2020
      • Akshat Verma April 28, 2020
  2. Sumith June 10, 2020
    • Akshat Verma June 10, 2020
      • Sumith June 10, 2020

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