Question AIO watercooling for Antec GX500 case: Which ones fit, which ones would you recommend?

Oct 12, 2022
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Hey folks,

TL;DR:

Do you have any experience in what all-in-one watercooler units would fit in (or fit to) an Antec GX500 case? I plan to replace my current aircooler with an AIO watercooler, but when researching the topic, I found lots of conflicting information online. I don't plan to do any overclocking - I just want to improve the current cooling performance of my PC, if possible.

Details:

I'm currently using a be quiet! Pure Rock Slim in my configuration for my (non-OCd) delid i7-4790k. I chose this aircooler mostly due to space restrictions (I use an mATX-factor ASUS Z97M-Plus MoBo with 4 RAM sticks, so I needed a compact cooler unit). And while the Pure Rock Slim does an adequate job, it can't handle the built-in Turbo Boost mode of the CPU, regularly throttling when it's enabled and the computer works on something resource-intensive, such as video rendering. As such, I started wondering if an AIO watercooler would solve the issue and would provide better cooling performance for Turbo Boost.

However, researching the watercooler support of my Antec GX500 case yielded rather conflicting results. Most of the following information is coming from this Tom's Hardware topic, so thanks everyone who shared their two cents there! ;)
  • According to the official specs of the case, the GX500 has "rear water cooling grommets", by which I'd suspect I can fit a single-fan AIO watercooler to the back of the case (it's not clear whether they mean a 120mm or 140mm fan, but based on this review, I suspect 120mm).

  • A relevant TechPowerUp! review also suggests that AIO watercoolers (specifically 240mm units) can't be fit at the top side or front side of the case, but only in the back.

  • In the above-linked case review of DVTests.com, a conversation in the comments state that "a standard size and thickness radiator should fit perfectly on the top two 120mm fan mounts", but the "original cage doesn't allow installing any 240mm radiator". They also claim that "a 140mm radiator should be fine", though.

  • However, several other sources, like Newegg's video review or Vortez.net claim that a 240mm radiator unit can be fit at the top, though likely externally or via the "partial waiver of [the top] fan slots".

  • Finally, in a rather amusing and conflicting fashion, official Antec Support communication also states contradictory information. On the hand, they supposedly told a user that the GX500 should be "capable of mounting a 240mm radiator for water cooling". On the other hand, in the above-linked DVTests.com review, they state that by default, it cannot fit a 240mm radiator inside.
So, if there's anyone who's using a GX500 case with AIO watercooling: Which one did you choose and what AIO size would fit in your experience?
For example, I see that the OP of this topic is using an LC-Power LC-CC-120-LiCo, but I'm not sure if that would provide better cooling performance than my current Pure Rock Slim (even though the LiCo apparently has an official TDP of 180W, while the Pure Rock Slim has 120W).

Any help would be very much appreciated! ;)
 

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