Looking to overclock or simply cool your CPU? You're going to want to install a water cooling solution to handle the additional heat output. Going with a custom setup allows you to tailor the cooling to your requirements and adapt it to the best PC cases. Some of the best CPU water blocks, like the EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity, handle the transfer of heat between the CPU and water loop. We've done the research and put together a list with some of the finest choices on the market today.
EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity (Intel) (opens in new tab)
EKWB are experts on water cooling, and the Velocity is an excellent CPU block for Intel processors. A CNC-machined POM acetal plastic topper is connected to a mirror finish copper base plate — ideal for overclocked CPUs. It's compatible with G1/4-inch threads.
EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity (AMD) (opens in new tab)
For AMD fans, EKWB has the Quantum Velocity available, which can be hooked up to numerous AMD sockets. The company added high-performance copper for the base and high-quality nickel for the cover. This CPU block can hook up to G1/4-inch thread tubing.
EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity RGB (Intel) (opens in new tab)
We're back with EKWB yet again, but this time it's the EK Quantum Velocity with RGB lighting. While it costs a little more than the standard water cooling CPU block, you do get quite the light show.
EKWB EK-Quantum Velocity RGB (AMD) (opens in new tab)
This CPU block from Thermaltake is specifically designed for custom PC builds that rely on RGB lighting. You've got seven LED options and a controller to switch the mode. However, it's not all looks as the design allows for heat to be efficiently dissipated from the fins into the liquid. Overall, it's a great CPU block and will connect to G1/4-inch fittings.
Best Extreme Cooling
Corsair's Hydro X Series XC9 is perfect for an Intel X-series or AMD Threadripper CPU. It's easy to install and use, is well priced for what you get, has a high degree of customization with the integrated RGB lighting, and is supported by its iCUE software.
Choosing the right CPU water block
We recommend EKWB's EK-Quantum Velocity series for both Intel and AMD. The company has been around for ages and knows a thing or two about water cooling. The CPU blocks really are top-class. See our PC water cooling beginner's guide for more details on everything else you'll need to build your own loop.
Mixing aluminum with copper, nickel, or silver should be avoided. Using copper parts with nickel or silver should be fine, but adding aluminum to the mix could encourage galvanic corrosion, which we do not want to deal with in a water cooling loop. Play it safe. Try and match the water blocks with your radiators (copper to copper, aluminum to aluminum).
Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.
Get the best of Windows Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Windows Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.