How Often to Replace AIO Cooler?


How often should an AiO water cooler for the CPU be changed? You don’t need to replace your AiO water cooler as long as it doesn’t leak and the pump works. I’ve had mine for 7 years, and I use it mostly 24 hours a day.

The AIO or AiO part of AIO coolers stands for “All-in-One”. It’s called that because instead of just fans and a heatsink, it comes complete with all of the cooling devices needed to cool down a gaming PC or overclocking a power laptop.

To be more specific, it comes with a radiator, pump, tubes, and a cooling unit. Let’s now discuss everything else about an All-in-One cooler rig.

How Often to Replace AIO Cooler?

You should replace the AIO cooler when it stops working instead of simply replacing it on a set amount of time unless you have cash or disposable income to spare on such an expensive activity! There’s no reason to dispose a perfectly fine cooler until it stops working.

You can troubleshoot minor issues in the meantime. With careful usage, a cooler can last you about 5 years, or roughly the same time your bought device would fail or become obsolete to the point where the manufacturer doesn’t have parts for it anymore (roughly 5-6 years).

Long story short, watch out for leaks and don’t worry about your AIO cooler until about half a decade down the line of careful usage.

How Often Do You Need to Replace an AIO Liquid Cooler?

Some liquid coolers exude water so they evaporate very little and last a long time before refills. Other machines use DIY liquid, which results in less longevity due to the quality of your tap water. There are also coolers that use water block technology to protect your PC from leakages or oxidation.

Check your water block parts every 6 months or once a year. Check the water levels of your liquid coolr as well. Check if your AIO liquid cooler is still functioning after 5 years. If you wish to refill with DIY liquid, use exuding, distilled water for best results.

What is an AIO Cooler?

The All-in-One cooler is composed of a radiator or heatsink, pump fans, tubes, and a cooling unit that could be of the water or air variety. The water or liquid variety requires refills and careful maintenance to keep the liquid from ending up in the PC circuitry.

Other AIOs are of the air variety, which is all about ventilation and large fans to cool down the unit when push comes to shove. Their problems mostly root from blockages care of dust or hair ending up inside the unit as well as failing fans.

How to Tell if the AIO is Failing

If for example your Ryzen Threadripper 1950X has an Enermax LiqTech TR4. You can tell the AIO is failing by the following telltale signs or symptoms of death, which include the following:

  • The PC gets super hot (the most obvious tell-tale sign).
  • Performance is drastically degraded.
  • No noticeable changes after fixing it by redoing the CPU thermal compound.
  • Slower PC and constant freezing or hanging.
  • The clock speed barely goes over 550Mhz when it’s capable of so much more.
  • The AIO cooler is 5 years old or you’ve been using your PC heavily.

Keep This in Mind

Take good care of your cooler and it will last you 5 years but you have no reason to replace it before that or even after that if it’s still working properly. Just remember that higher fluid temperatures accelerate evaporation and 60°C is the critical point for your cooler.

References:

  1. How often do you replace your AIO?“, Reddit.com (BuildaPC Subreddit), May 8, 2019
  2. Stephen Brown, “Expert’s Advice | How Often to Replace an AIO Liquid Cooler“, TechDim.com, April 25, 2022

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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