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KITGURU SHORTLISTS: THE BEST COOLER OF 2022

Last updated on March 28th, 2022 at 08:16 am

Gone are the days when a cooler's only requirement was to keep your CPU at a safe temperature. With the advent of liquid cooling, RGB and advanced control systems, coolers can be a thing of beauty.

Arctic Freezer A35 A-RGB

Arctic’s Freezer 30-series approach is tried-and-tested and has proven to be a success; we think the Freezer A35 series does a great job at building on that prior success. The price versus performance offered by the Freezer A35 A-RGB is superb. Arctic’s cooler is punching above its price point when it comes to thermal performance and noise output. And the standard A35 or A35 CO versions are even cheaper than the blinged model.

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Fractal Lumen S36 RGB

With the Lumen RGB series of AIO coolers, Fractal has aimed to offer high-end cooling and complementary ARGB lighting alongside an attractive price point. That is exactly what the Fractal Lumen S36 RGB achieves. Shipping in 360mm format and based around the Apaltek 3rd Gen liquid cooling design, we were hoping for solid performance from the offset and that is just what we got.

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Arctic Liquid Freezer II

The Liquid Freezer II is a follow up to Arctic's original Liquid Freezer range of AIO coolers. With some interesting features on show, the Liquid Freezer II will attempt to knock our current best performing all-in-one cooler, the Deepcool Castle 240EX off its throne when we put it through its paces on our test bench later.

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NZXT Kraken X73 RGB

It was difficult to see how NZXT could improve the original X-3 AIO series but the addition of RGB fans has certainly covered all bases now, especially for hardcore RGB enthusiasts looking for the full RGB effect. Even with lower fan speed, the Kraken X73 RGB is still a top performer for cooling high-end overclocked CPUs.

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Zalman CNPS20X and CNPS17X

We have two coolers from Zalman that share the designation CNPS which stands for Computer Noise Prevention System. The cheaper Zalman CNPS17X is rated at 200W and employs a single 140mm fan, while the Zalman CNPS20X is rated at 300W and uses a dual tower design with two 140mm fans. The fans are PWM items that are rated to 1,500rpm with Fluid Dynamic Bearings and they also include Digital 5V RGB lighting.

 

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