Processor and graphics card prices are through the roof right now, and with scarce availability in most cases, it’s not the best time to build a new PC. What you can do, however, is tease more performance out of the components you do have. A deal at Amazon today can help with that. The online retailer is selling a 120mm EVGA CLC all-in-one liquid cooler for $45, down from the more recent pricing of $57 to $60.
A high quality cooler can be surprisingly effective at keeping your CPU temperatures lower when under heavy load. That means a modern processor can stay at its boost speeds for longer, which translates into better performance. A better cooler is also a necessity if you plan on overclocking since even a moderate overclock will generate more heat than usual, pushing stock coolers that come with CPUs beyond their limits. It should also be much quieter than a traditional air cooler with a big heat sink and fans.
This closed-loop liquid cooler is an excellent introduction into the world of all-in-one designs as it just has a single fan, making it much easier to install. We haven’t reviewed the CLC 120mm, though we do routinely use a 280mm EVGA CLC as part of our GPU testing rig. While we like the version we use, the reality is that fan count and size does matter. Reviews around the web suggest this AIO will perform about as well as a high quality air cooler.
At its MSRP of $70-plus that would be a problem, but under $50 for a liquid cooler that performs in line with a beefy air cooler? That’s a thrifty investment to improve CPU performance. The difference between this and the stock cooler that might have come with your processor will be night and day.