How To Install Liquid Cooling (AIO CPU Cooler). Where to plug in aio fans

In some cases, the connectors of the newest cables will also fit older series than those mentioned, but the pin arrangement is now different than on older power supplies. Connecting such a mismatched cable is likely to trip the power supply short circuit protection (SCP), preventing the power supply from generating an output voltage.

How to connect Internal System Cables

As with power cords, it may sometimes be necessary to adjust or reconnect some internal connections to troubleshoot or add new hardware. Some of these connections may include, but are not limited to: internal USB 2.0 and USB 3.0, front panel audio (sometimes called HD Audio), RGB cables, fan connectors (3 and 4 pins), front LED connectors, chassis speaker, and Thunderbolt connector. Connecting each of them is quite simple; the hardest part may be to reach them, as the case may be.

Since most fans have bearings, they eventually break down and start making noise. This is especially true of the best fans, as gravity increases the load on the bearings. If you suspect that one of your fans may be going downhill, please call our support team so they can assist with problem determination. The fan connectors are available in 3-pin or 4-pin configurations. Most motherboards have 4-pin connectors that can be used with either 3-pin or 4-pin, although some boards only have 3-pin connectors, although this is very rare. When looking at the header on the board, you will see on one side a vertical piece of plastic that is slightly offset in the center. This tells you how to connect the fan connector. There are two ridges on the fan joint that are flush with the plastic guide on the head.It can still be improperly connected if you force it, so be careful.

“H_AMP” or M.2_FAN “. They are designed to power different types of fans than regular case fans, and using them can make fans louder, even after changing fan profiles in the BIOS. Whenever possible, use fan headers that are labeled “SYS_FAN” or “CHA_FAN.”

Front Panel Audio

The audio connector on the front panel allows the built-in audio system to use the top (or front, as applicable) jack for headphones and microphone.

Note: NX and Small Block cases do not have them, so this guide won’t apply to them.

The front audio cable is very long as its pins are usually in the lower left corner of the motherboard. The pins themselves are arranged in two rows, on top of each other, and may be labeled “AAFP” or “HD Audio”. On most boards, the bottom row has 5 pins and the top row has 4 pins with a gap between them. Some arrays can reverse this, so always double-check it. Now if you look at the Front Audio connector you can see holes that fit perfectly with these pins. Pay special attention to one dowel hole that is filled in; that you have to line up with the empty space in the high heels. After determining the correct connection method, carefully press the connector into the contacts. Make sure you don’t bend it or angle it too much as the pins can be bent quite easily.

If the radiator is leaking, you will lose coolant. While this is not a direct problem with a large loop with a large reservoir, AIO devices do not have a reservoir and therefore a leak from the radiator is an issue. If the fittings are leaking, you have a geyser. Water is great for cooling, but only when it is contained. Water and powered motherboard do not mix well.

What Is An AIO Cooler?

The AIO cooler is the same as any other cooler in terms of functionality, it removes heat from the CPU. As with air coolers, there is a large selection of different AIO cooling options. Since we will be focusing on closed-loop AIO cooling systems, there is no need to talk about custom loops, but they essentially cool the CPU in a similar way and come in a variety of sizes to suit different cases and needs.

The process begins similar to air cooling – on the base plate. The base plate is connected to the IHS (Integrated Heat Spreader) of the processor, of course by means of a thermal paste layer. The base is essentially the bottom of the pump and is filled with a coolant that removes heat from the transfer between the two surfaces.

The coolant (the liquid) inside the AIO absorbs the heat generated by the CPU and circulates it through a loop to the cooler. Once the heat reaches the radiator, it works again similar to air coolers, exposing the heat to outside air, which is often assisted by several fans to help dissipate. The coolant then returns to the CPU block to repeat the process.

What usually Comes Included With An AIO Cooler?

(Everything above is one unit)

xpg levante 240

What Size AIO Cooler Should You Choose?

Once installed, the AIO coolers look less bulky, but you’ll need some space for the cooler. Air coolers usually take up space directly above the CPU, and in some cases can cause bulk issues with some RAM models. Liquid coolers, however, have relatively low-profile pumps in comparison, and most PC enclosures will fit throughout the closed loop with no problem.

Let’s take a look at the different sizes of AIO coolers on the market:

Various sizes of AIO coolers

The graphic above is intended to approximate what the sizes may mean / look like. The sizes generally correlate with the individual fan sizes which increase from 120/140mm per fan. When making sure the AIO device fits in your case, you’ll want to check the case specifications in your manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Manufacturers replace the radiator brackets at the front, top, rear, and in some cases, the sides.

You don’t really need to worry about pump clearance, but there may be a few rare examples with smaller housings, so just do a little extra research and make sure the AIO you need will 100% fit your chosen housing.

Regarding the choice, your best bet would be to have a 240mm + AIO cooler. This is because you get better temperature performance compared to the smaller 120/140mm options. 360/420 mm radiators will of course yield better results, but the difference between them and 240/280 mm radiators is smaller than that of the 120/140 mm models. So if they work similarly, the choice comes down to what suits, what aesthetics you prefer, and in some cases you may want the radiator brand to match other components for unified RGB lighting effects.

You don’t really need to worry about pump clearance, but there may be a few rare examples with smaller housings, so just do a little extra research and make sure the AIO you need will 100% fit your chosen housing.

So let’s say we want a cool, yet whisper quiet system, how do we manage it without adding more radiators?

Let’s go back to the 800 RPM chart. The EKWB XE radiator, although much thicker, at low speed is very close to the performance of our slim SE radiator, as the fans have more problems with getting air through the 60mm radiator. This is until the push-pull setup comes into play, where we can see a big difference. The thicker XE radiator is way ahead, almost equaling the SE radiator in the push configuration at 1600rpm. There we see the strengths of the push-pull setup – you can get a quieter system by running the fans at a much lower speed without sacrificing a lot of performance.

EKWB water coolers (2)

Or maybe you just need some extra power to cool down overclocked high-end SLI / CF hardware with a HEDT processor? Setting up the push-pull fans will allow you to get even better thermals and make sure you squeeze a little more MHz out of your gear. Another thing we’d like to point out, unrelated to push-pull setups, is that Vardar fans do a bit better with pull setups. This is where we finish the push-pull tests and we hope that we have helped you choose the right fan configuration for you.

Specter v2 is an update to our Specter version. This system is designed with a liquid-cooled i9-9900K 8-core processor and an RTX 2080Ti 11GB graphics card.

The Good Part!

Reputable AIO manufacturers such as Fractal Design and EVGA usually give long warranties on their products because they are so confident in their systems.

The AIOs are not as large and bulky as their air brethren counterparts, and therefore put less physical strain on the motherboard. All you have in AIO is a pump head, soft tubes, and a radiator (and fans). No big metal air cooler!

Carbon Thunder is a workstation dedicated to animation, visual effects and games. This liquid-cooled design uses an 8-core i7-10700K processor and an RTX 2070 Super 8 GB graphics card.

ROUSHCHARGED is a workstation designed for live streaming. This design was designed using a liquid-cooled 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X processor and an RTX 2080 Super 8 GB graphics card.

Nautilus is a workstation dedicated to encoding and caching offline content. This design is designed using a liquid-cooled Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core processor and a GTX 1650 Super 4GB graphics card.

Eureka! 2 is a set of 3 workstations designed for several operating packages for MSP companies. This design is designed for the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X liquid-cooled processor and RTX 2080 Super 8 GB graphics card.

Eureka! is a workstation designed for several operating packages for MSP companies. This liquid-cooled design is designed for the Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core processor and RTX 2080 Super 8 GB graphics card.

Blenderizer is a workstation dedicated to animation, visual effects, video production, and games. This liquid-cooled design uses a 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X processor and two RTX 2080Ti 11GB graphics cards.

Firebird 2 is a workstation designed for several visuals and post-production packages. This liquid-cooled design uses an 8-core i9 9900K processor and two RTX 2070 Super 8 GB graphics cards.

Why Top Flight Computers?

We believe that nurturing and strengthening genuine personal relationships with our clients is the most important part of our business. First and foremost, we want to help you get exactly what you need to be successful.

If you need more than a turnkey mass market system, trust our technical excellence and commitment to personal service to design and build your own custom PC.

Top Flight Computers designs custom computers. We specialize in workstations, gaming computers and custom water cooling. We are based in Raleigh North Carolina and ship within the US.

I should have paid more attention to the AIO fan specs: Max DBA 33 which is noisy. Anything over 25 is loud to me. The 140mm Noctua redux 1200RPM version is 19.6DB max. The AIO fan is fully 4x + louder than the Night fan (every 3 decibels double the noise).

Frequently asked questions

Here are our official social media channels:

In addition, we also have country-specific channels on Facebook and Twitter.

Our products should be available from every PC component distributor. The list of possible stores can be found here.

Yes, but only for spare parts – they are available directly from our support ([email protected]). Besides, we do not sell directly to end customers, but to specialized dealers.

There are no general requirements – we support modders, esports enthusiasts, LAN parties, influencers and many other partners. If you are seriously interested in cooperation, please use our sponsorship contact form. After getting acquainted with your proposal, we will contact you if we see an opportunity for cooperation.

The fans used in graphics cards are typically not in line with industry standards, but are specially designed and optimized for use with a suitable graphics processor – which uses standardized components such as be quiet! fans very hard.

If your motherboard does not have an ARGB connector, then there is a so-called ARGB converter available from several manufacturers that takes care of this task.

General Warranty Issues

Almost all be quiet! brands receive a warranty period that significantly exceeds the statutory minimum period for manufacturer’s warranty claims.

In most cases, the manufacturer’s warranty is valid for 3-5 years from the date of purchase.

You can determine the exact warranty period for your specific device by clicking on this link: be quiet! manufacturer’s warranty

Yes and no…
To qualify for be quiet! under the manufacturer’s warranty service, two conditions must be met:

1. You must be the original retail customer who purchased the product
2. You must have an invoice for the device for which you want to make a complaint

If you cannot meet these criteria, unfortunately you are not entitled to a claim under the manufacturer’s warranty.

If you purchased the device from an online retailer, in many cases you can download the invoice directly by logging into your customer account, alternatively you can ask your retailer for it.

If you are unable to receive an invoice for the device, in some cases we may provide you with a special “customization procedure” based on the serial number (this procedure is generally excluded for devices in the product groups, case fans and CPU coolers).

In such cases, the decision is made at our discretion, and therefore cannot be interpreted as a general warranty right.

If you are unable to receive an invoice for the device, in some cases we may provide you with a special “customization procedure” based on the serial number (this procedure is generally excluded for devices in the product groups, case fans and CPU coolers).


Limp Gawd

Hi, does your motherboard have a CPU-OPT PWM plug? In recent years I have always hooked up the pump to the CPU fan and PWM for the fans to the CPU-OPT and also with the Silverstone 8 way splitter on the best located PWM header for wire management and a sata plug to run the case fans on my board. Another question, why would you buy a motherboard with only 2 fan slots? I don’t mean to be rude, I’m just confused, there seems to be room for at least one or two 4-pin headers, unless you’ve run a custom tank loop between those front-mounted fans and your motherboard to fit (Maybe? Idk , not sff) of a larger motherboard with the correct # 4 pins.


Hipster Replacement

I have a Corsair H115i Platinum and H80i in 2 machines that are side by side.
The system with the H115i has 3 HD120, 2 HD140, and ML140RGB, and is fairly quiet.
The second system is my Plex server, which has two 120’s on the H80i, one 120 on the front of the case, and an 80 or 90mm on the drive cage.
All I can really hear is the fan on the drive cage as it is quite noisy even with a 7V resistor.


The 4TB WD Black drives in my gaming setup are the loudest things in this room as they read / write.

Houdinier is a workstation dedicated to visual effects and simulations. This build was designed around a 32-core Threadripper 3970X CPU and two RTX 2080Ti 11GB graphics cards.

AIO coolers

AIO coolers work in the same way as custom loops, but instead of assembling the lamps yourself, they are standalone units that can be plugged in and played without any additional fuss – hence the term “all-in-one”. The block you attach to the CPU transfers heat from the chip to the fluid. The pump then pushes the heated coolant through one of the two tubes into a radiator connected to the case fans to cool, then returns through the other tube and repeats the process while the gaming PC is on.

Why should you use an AIO cooler?

Just like a pool cools you faster than a fan, AIO coolers cool CPUs much better than air. This allows you to take full advantage of more powerful components, as you can overclock your CPU to make it run faster without increasing the temperature too much.

The block in the AIO cooler is also much thinner than the heat sink in the air cooler, including the low-profile ones. This greater clearance means it will easily fit into smaller mini ITX cases, but you still need to pay attention to the mounting points on the case and the size of the included heatsink, which is typically 120mm, 240mm, 280mm or 360mm versions. However, remember that larger radiators are more effective at dissipating heat.

Be Quiet! Pure Loop and Silent Loop 2 AIO are the only ones with a refill port

Installation isn’t as simple as an air cooler, but it’s still much easier than a custom loop. You just need to apply thermal paste, screw the block on, plug it in and fix the heater. However, you need to consider where you want to place the radiator. There is a slight difference in the push or pull configurations which describe which side of the heater the fans are connected to, but we recommend placing it as an exhaust on the top or back of the case so that hot air is blown from inside the components.

Most AIO refrigerators have days numbered as the coolant naturally evaporates over time and you cannot access the coolant to replace it. Pure Loop and Silent Loop 2 from Be quiet! they change the game by adding an easily accessible refill port so you can refill or replace it, extending the life of your AIO.

Since AIO coolers are equipped with fans, you won’t avoid having to air-cool all, but the heat sink is in the same space as the case fans would be, so you don’t add more to the mix.

Should you use an AIO or air cooler?

Air coolers will suit most use cases if you’re happy with the default CPU clock speed and don’t intend to mess with it. They require almost no maintenance other than weird cleaning, but you should occasionally vacuum the inside of your computer, no matter what type of cooler you choose. They are budget friendly and should be able to handle most modern games with a reasonable frame rate.

AIO coolers are better in all respects as they are cooler and generally more compatible with a variety of enclosures, but are high in price and require more effort to install. They are best for when you want to overclock your CPU to be faster, provide efficient cooling in a compact form factor, or if you choose a high-end option to give your hardware a bit of customizable RGB lighting.

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