Is 120mm Radiator Enough for CPU or GPU?

It’s always hard to think faster when you’re on a budget or if you’re just giving water cooling a try and want to make sure if it’s as good as they say.

You should always be careful when it comes to choosing PC parts for your new or existing build, two questions come to your mind, the first one is: Will a 120mm radiator be enough for your CPU? The second question is even harder to accept its answer, Is a 120mm radiator enough for your GPU as well? 

You’ll discover the answers to both questions below so keep reading. 

Do I need a radiator for my PC? 

Only if you have a water cooling system, if you’re using air cooling then No, you don’t need a radiator. 

Water Cooling Your PC

It’s more useful to use water cooling than air cooling because water transfers heat more efficiently, quieter system, and won’t spread the heat all over other components, but it’s not that important if you don’t need to, you better save the extra money for other upgrades. 

Is a 120mm radiator enough for your CPU?

Yes, especially if your CPU isn’t overclocked, but I guess your CPU is, assuming you’re a gamer who would love to have more processing power for no extra charge, but you better get a thicker radiator because it’ll cool your CPU even more.

Also, if you can mount another fan on the back for a push/pull configuration that’ll be much better.

Having two 120mm radiators will give you the same performance as a single 240mm radiator, so the choice is yours.

Make sure to have enough space in your case if you intend to get two radiators or push and pull fans, it’s also a good idea to mount the radiator on top of the case if you don’t have enough space inside.

Cheap doesn’t always mean bad but if you decided to go with a single 120mm radiator you should get a high-quality one, mostly more expensive ones are better. 

Is a 120mm radiator enough for your GPU?

There’s a chance you have or will get a GPU in the future, if you’re thinking about getting a 120mm radiator for both CPU and GPU then it’s a bad idea, the 120mm radiator is barely enough for your CPU, if you want to cool both then you should get a bigger radiator.

Keep in mind that if the flow rate is high and the fans are running at a high speed this should improve the cooling process.


So to sum it all up you need to think of this, if you have a CPU and a single GPU then you should get 2 or 3 120mm radiators, one radiator for each component plus another radiator for better performance.

Or you can get 1 240mm radiator and a single 120mm radiator, it’s really up to you to decide. 

But it’s always recommended to get bigger radiators to stay on the safe side, you’ll also maintain a low noise level when you run slower fans along with bigger radiators. 

Consider getting a large chassis if you haven’t gotten one yet, you can fit a large radiator in a small case so you’ll avoid a few problems in the future. 

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