How Long Do AIO Coolers Last: What No One Will Tell You About AIO

If you want to know how long do AIO coolers last the answer can be a simple three to seven years. However, as with many things the answer is actually more complicated. But, you are in the right place because our experts have got you covered.

How Long Do AIO Coolers Last

By the end of this article, you’ll walk away with expert knowledge on AIO coolers and how to maintain them, so, read on.

How Long Do AIO Coolers Last?

AIO coolers last between three and seven years, and sometimes they can last even more.

It all depends on the following factors:

  1. Build quality of the AIO cooler
  2. Frequency of usage
  3. Ambient temperature of your environment
  4. Lack of maintenance
  5. Improper installation

– Build Quality of the AIO Cooler

The quality of every product plays a role in how long you can use them; AIO liquid coolers are no different. That’s why Corsair and NZXT put lots of effort into their water cooler products. They do all these to ensure you get the most from their liquid cooling solutions for a very long time. For example, NZXT Kraken Z73 and Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L are AIO coolers.

Both have impressive build quality, but the tubing of Kraken Z73 is an interesting one. It has a rubber tubing that carries the AIO liquid across the all-in-one cooler. Through handling, this rubber might break, which can cause leaks along the line. So, as a protection, the rubber tubing has nylon mesh sleeves that prevent leaking. What’s more, the fans on Kraken Z73 have engineering optimizations for efficient airflow.

Yes, all-in-one coolers use liquid; but, the radiator needs fresh air to cool the liquid in the tube. That’s the job of the fans, and Kraken Z73 has three fans for efficient cooling. Also, that number of fans is more than what you’ll find on most air coolers. Talking about Corsair, we can use Hydro H100i PRO RGB as an example. It has a five years warranty and tools like the iCUE software for better visibility of your system.

– Frequency of Usage

No matter how good a liquid cooler performs, excessive usage is bound to shorten its lifespan. Normal computer usage dictates that you use your computer for a while and turn it off. This means if you have a cooler installed, it goes off as well once you shut down your computer. But, if you have a PC that’s up every day with your AIO liquid cooler in operation, it will not last.

That’s because all components of the cooler will work more than normal, from the pump to the radiator. As a result of this excessive usage, they will stop working when you least expect them to. For example, when you overclock your CPU, it will heat up; so, your cooler steps in to cool your CPU to prevent damage. This is a good thing if you do it once in a while, but it’ll be detrimental to the cooler if you do it all the time.

As a result, your all-in-one cooler will work more than expected, moving liquid so, your CPU stays cool. And there is a limit to this; before you know it, the pump will be the first thing to stop working. When this happens, the entire AIO CPU cooler cannot function because heat will no longer leave your CPU.

– Ambient Temperature of Your Environment

A conducive environment will let you get the best liquid cooling from your AIO cooler. Such an environment should have good airflow and suitable room temperature. With this, everything will work as expected; but that will not happen if you work in a hot environment. Such an environment is not good for computers and your all-in-one cooler.

Ambient Temperature of Your Environment


Here is why; your all-in-one cooler operates by moving the hot liquid from the pump to the radiator. From there, the liquid gets cooled before making its way back to the pump that sits on your CPU. If you work in a hot environment, there is no way your radiator will get air cooling to cool the AIO liquid. As a result, the same hot liquid that leaves your CPU via the pump returns to the pump.

This will cause overheating and as time goes on, it will damage the pump causing it to shut down. Once the pump stops working, the all-in-one cooler no longer works and your CPU has no protection from heat. Also, if you are not careful, the heat will damage the CPU, leaving you with unexpected expenses. All these can happen before the expected lifespan of your all-in-one cooler.

– Lack of Maintenance

All your computer equipment needs care, this includes your AIO, air coolers, and others. This starts from when you buy them to installation and when it’s in operation. The latter is when you install the cooler, get it working and ensure it cools your CPU. After this, you have to check your all-in-one cooler to make sure it’s okay.

This check-up is the physical inspection of your all-in-one cooler, if you don’t, things can go wrong. For example, the radiator and fans can gather dust, causing suboptimal operations. On a normal day, when the fan is free from dust, it will take fresh air to cool in the liquid running through the tubing. But, when it starts to gather dust over time, the fans will blow away the dust on them before taking in the air.

This is double work on the fans, and over time this will affect their performance. For the radiator, when the surface has too much dust, the hot coolant coming from the pump will not get good cooling. As a result, the hot coolant goes back to the pump, and over time this will damage the cooler, causing it to fail.

– Improper Installation

When it comes to computers, if you don’t know how to operate them, don’t touch them and leave it to an expert. But, when you get your hands on a technology like an all-in-one cooler, you might want to install it yourself. If you are lucky, you’ll get it right; if you don’t, the cooler can stop working after a brief period. That’s because you should not place a cooler in your PC just anyhow without instructions and experience.

These instructions include how to install the cooler and where to place the radiator. The experience is knowing how to handle the cooler during installation. When you don’t know the instructions, you can’t have a good installation. As a result, your all-in-one cooler will not work as expected, leading to a shorter lifespan.

For example, when you don’t handle the tube very well, you can cause damage that can cause leakage. You might not even know this, and as time goes on, the leak can damage your gaming PC. Not only that, depending on the surface area of the leakage, tiny debris will get into the cooler. As time goes on, this will clog the pump, causing it to fail.

How To Take Care of Your AIO Coolers

You can take care of your all-in-one coolers by doing the following:

  1. Moderate usage
  2. Avoid hot environments
  3. Perform regular maintenance checks

– Moderate Usage

All-in-one liquid coolers like Kraken Z73 have six years of the NZXT AIO lifespan. This does not mean you should have them running every day; if you do so, they will fail without notice. So, once you complete your daily tasks, switch off your PC and let the AIO get some rest. But, if you overclock your CPU, always switch off your PC after every overclocking session.

By doing this, your all-in-one cooler will cool down, and it will reach and exceed its warranty period. At the same time, you’ll get the best cooling performance without the risk of failure.

– Avoid Hot Environments

Computer components like all-in-one coolers need good ventilation for best performance. So, you need to avoid a hot environment irrespective of your computer’s form factor. Based on how an AIO works, the fan air cools the AIO liquid that comes through the radiator. If this air is not cooled, the same hot liquid that leaves the pump will go through the radiator and return to the pump.

Avoid Hot Environments

This will damage the pump after some time, but if your PC has good ventilation, this will not happen. As a result, your cooler liquid will get fresh to cool the liquid that comes through the radiator. With this, your CPU will get the cooling it needs and your all-in-one will last for years.

– Perform Regular Maintenance Checks

Maintenance keeps cooling systems running fine, this includes your all-in-one liquid cooler. This check should include tightening the screws and dusting the fans and radiator. The former ensures that the liquid will not leak when it flows through the tube. What’s more, you should do this often as part of your routine maintenance checks.

As time goes on, you’ll get used to this, and you can fix a loose screw before it becomes a problem. Removing dust keeps the fans and radiators in good condition. So, the fans can operate without doing double work of getting dust out and blowing fresh air. Plus, dust will not clog the surface of the radiator, and you’ll get adequate cooling of your CPU.

What’s more, ensure you have enough thermal paste between the cooler and your CPU. At times, you might hear some mild noise from the radiator as a result of air bubbles. You can remove the radiator and move it by hand to stop the noise. If you have a custom water cooling solution, you can do the same.


This article discussed the longevity of all-in-one CPU coolers, and what can cause them to fail.

The following is a summary of our discussion:

  • The build quality of an all-in-one liquid cooler determines how long it will last.
  • Lack of maintenance can shorten the lifespan of all-in-one coolers.
  • A hot environment can cause your all-in-one cooler to fail before its warranty.
  • Regular maintenance and moderate usage add to the longevity of your all-in-one cooler.

Armed with the knowledge from this article, your all-in-one cooler will last. Now, share this article with anyone that owns an all-in-one cooler, and tell them you found it on our site!

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