Choosing a Cooling System

Your system requires adequate cooling to operate at its peak performance. Luckily, MAINGEAR has done most of the legwork here, only presenting you with compatible options that have been thoroughly tested to maintain or exceed industry-standard thermal performance. Choices include air coolers, AIO’s, or our APEX liquid cooling system.

Air coolers utilize fans and heatsinks, providing long lasting performance with zero maintenance. Due to their simplistic form and function, air coolers will typically last the life of your PC, however, CPUs with high power draw may require something a bit more substantial.

AIO’s, or “all-in-ones” are closed-loop liquid coolers. They feature the same basic working principle as our Apex open-loop liquid cooling but are limited to cooling the CPU only. A single radiator is mounted inside the case, and a cooling plate is mounted to your CPU. Coolant flows through this loop continuously, aided by a pump. In most cases, an AIO will provide better cooling performance than an air cooler, as liquid makes for a better heat transfer. Imagine trying to cool off in a cold shower as opposed to standing in front of a fan. AIO’s are our most popular option, and come in varying radiator sizes, based on the level of cooling performance desired.

APEX is our fully custom open-loop liquid cooling solution. Imagine the same concept as closed-loop liquid cooling, but in a modular design. Because we’re crafting these loops from scratch, we can utilize multiple radiators to provide liquid cooling for both your CPU and GPU. This solution will result in the most capable overall thermal management and quietest system operation of any of our cooling options. Aside from the cooling benefits, many customers will opt for APEX simply for the wow-factor. APEX loops feature dedicated reservoirs, higher performing radiators, custom pumps, and allow for unique customizations, such as tube type, fitting style, and coolant color. APEX will single handedly turn your gaming PC into a work of art. Note, APEX loops require occasional upkeep, such as topping off coolant levels or performing a flush. Rest assured, MAINGEAR has help guides available or can provide these services for you in-house. Maintenance needs are infrequent and shouldn’t be a concern when considering this option.

Feeling ready to make the jump into a new build? Head over to our custom configurators to spec out your new system here. If you'd rather leave the research and customization to the experts, take a look at our Ready to Game systems here.

Too many options? Still not sure which to choose? Give us a call at 908-620-9050 or reach out via email to Our entire staff is made up of gamers and creators alike, and we’re happy to lend a hand with configuring your new PC, however you plan to use it most!

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