240mm vs 280mm Radiator: Which One Is Better?

Whether you’re using a 240mm or 280mm radiator, the choice is ultimately up to your case design. The following will help you decide which one of these radiators would be best for your build:
– Which size does your case support?
– What are the dimensions of the heat pipe array in each radiator?
– How thick is the copper base plate between fins on each cooler’s heatsink and its mounting bracket/hub?
The baseplate thickness should not exceed two millimeters at any point.

The “240mm vs 280mm vs 360mm radiator” is a question that has been asked by many people. There is no clear answer as to which one is better, so it’s up to you and your personal preference.

When it comes to a PC gaming setup, there are several factors to consider. PC gaming has a number of advantages over console gaming, the most notable of which being the ability to tailor your system to your preferences.

Having the right CPU coolant is an important part of creating a successful gaming setup. There are several alternatives available, with air and liquid being the most common. There are two sizes of liquid radiators: 240mm and 280mm. The two radiators operate similarly, albeit the 280mm radiator has several benefits over its 240mm sibling. Because the 280mm radiator has bigger fans, it may cool at a lower temperature than the 240mm radiator by 2-4 degrees. The 280mm option is also quieter than the 240mm option, despite its bigger size.

What is the difference between a radiator and a liquid cooler?

The term “air cooler” is self-explanatory. During operation, they utilize air to keep the CPU cool. Meanwhile, a water or liquid-based chiller is just what it sounds like. Water passes through a cooling block and over the CPU and/or GPU to cool the system.

The water passes through a radiator, which transfers the heat to the air, which is then blasted out by the built-in fans. A radiator is not needed when employing air cooling. Between the two, liquid cooling is regarded to be more effective.

What are the Benefits of Using a Radiator?

For starters, radiators have lower RPMs than air conditioning systems, making them a considerably quieter alternative. This is due to the heat being transferred via a liquid that never leaves the device. Some of the air conditioning devices might get rather loud, causing a distraction while gaming.

When it comes to the design of CPU liquid coolers, there is a lot of room for creativity. When you look at some of the more complex arrangements, you’ll see that they’re almost always liquid-based.

Finally, all-in-one liquid CPU coolers are available in a variety of sizes. Because of the potential size disparities in bespoke installations, liquid radiators have a size range that is more adaptable than air cooling devices.

What are the Drawbacks of Radiators?

It should go without saying that incorporating liquid may cause problems. Water and electricity aren’t friends. If a leak occurs, it may cause a short circuit, which might cause your system to fail.

However, there are all-in-one cooling solutions that seek to address this problem. This is accomplished by reducing the total number of operational components while simultaneously centralizing all internal functions.

What’s the Difference Between 240mm and 280mm Radiators?

The size and sound are the two most significant changes. The 120mm fans on the 240mm radiator are replaced with 140mm fans on the 280mm radiator. As a result, the latter is plainly larger and has a far higher cooling efficiency.

In general, the 280mm will perform better if they are both in the same room, in the same case, with the same room temps. It should cool 2-4 degrees cooler than the 240mm sibling on average.

Despite its larger size, the 280mm radiator is really quieter. While the change isn’t earth-shattering, it might be visible for PC gamers. The key advantage of the 240mm radiator is that it is much less expensive while giving equivalent overall performance.

When a Radiator Isn’t Necessary or Fits Well

While it outperforms air conditioning devices in terms of cooling, a radiator isn’t always required depending on the arrangement. There are a few situations when a radiator might be a terrible idea or just unnecessary.

If you don’t use your PC too much, you should be good with a factory or aftermarket air cooler. Similarly, if you have a CPU that isn’t prone to overheating, an air cooler should suffice.

Liquid coolers are designed for high-performance CPUs that may rapidly overheat. Otherwise, installing a liquid cooler is unnecessary and will result in a waste of money.

Which one do you think you should go with?

It’s all about you and your gaming setup. The beauty of it is that you may apply any requirements you desire. However, everything has a price, and it must work with the other components you add.

A 240mm radiator will function similarly to a 280mm radiator in terms of heat output. Yes, the 280mm radiator may cool at a lower temperature by 2-4 degrees. Yes, the 280mm radiator will be a little quieter than the 240mm radiator.

However, considering the price difference, you won’t be losing out on much if you go with the 240mm choice. You may spend your money on other components, such as a better graphics card, without sacrificing much performance from your radiator.


The IHS and the TIM are two components of your CPU cooling system that are critical to its functioning. The integrated heat spreader (IHS) is a device that distributes heat evenly. The IHS is the top silver cover area of the processor.

This causes a heat transfer from the processor, which uniformly distributes the heat across the CPU radiator. It may be soldered in place or adhered to the surface using an adhesive.


The thermal interface material, or TIM, is another option. This is the connection between the heat base of the CPU cooler and the IHS. Because the overall smoothness of the component may regulate the unit’s conductibility, it tends to be fairly smooth.

Manufacturers will not build a perfectly flush product, instead creating a smooth application surface with conductive and non-conductive pasts.

Other Things to Think About When It Comes to Cooling

For the longevity of your CPU, you’ll need a good CPU cooling device. However, there are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to keeping your unit cool. Keeping your CPU cool will help you get more out of your computer while also preventing damage to the numerous components within.

There are a few more considerations to keep in mind in order to keep your PC cool and working at its best.

Management of Cables

A cluttered setup is one of the fastest paths to an overheated PC. The installation and management of cables is the first step. To avoid cable clogs, make sure all of your cables are correctly arranged.

When it comes to your computer, airflow is everything. Any obstructions, whether caused by cables or otherwise, are not only unsightly, but they may also restrict air from reaching your PC’s components.

When space is limited, keeping your cords tidy is critical. You may even use a modular power supply to limit the amount of clutter.

Placement of Hardware

It isn’t always about what happens outside the computer cabinet. Consider what’s going on inside as well. Consider where your gear is placed on the motherboard of your PC.

It’s not ideal to have your SSD directly next to your GPU, for example. This places the storage device directly in the path of hot air ejected by the GPU. This might cause the drive to deteriorate over time, reducing its useful life.

Your selections may be restricted depending on the size of the motherboard. Consider where specific pieces of hardware should go when designing a PC from the ground up to optimize airflow and keep your system cool.

Temperature in the Room

A cooling system can only take you so far. If it has to contend with other factors that cause your PC’s components to get hotter, your cooling system will quickly become obsolete.

One of the elements influencing PC temperature is room temperature. While it may not be realistic to have an air conditioner on all of the time, a room that is warmer than usual might lead to overheating.

If you live in a hotter-than-average environment, you should bear this in mind while choosing a cooling system.


Remember how we spoke about cable arrangements causing blockages? The same thing might happen if you have your PC configured in a cluttered environment. Dust and other obstructions might prevent fans from working at their best.

Make sure you open your case every couple of months and blow it out with compressed air. This will prevent dust from accumulating on the different components, including the fan. Make a mental note of how you disassemble things so that they can be put back together properly.

Finally, be careful of any warranty limits if you’re disassembling anything. It’s possible that removing a component may void the warranty, which is the last thing you want to do.

Watch This Video-

The “120 vs 240 liquid cooling” is a debate that has been going on for years. The 240mm radiator provides more surface area than the 120mm radiator, but the 280mm radiator offers better performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 280mm radiator good?

A: A 280mm radiator is a great size for most people who are looking to build their own PC. It will be able to provide enough cooling power while not being too large or cumbersome in any way

Is a 240mm radiator enough for 10900k?

Is 240mm radiator enough for 5800X?

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