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Sapphire Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A CPU cooler review

Sapphire steps outside the graphics card market to make this 240mm AIO liquid CPU cooler, which looks fantastic and has powerful cooling abilities.

Sapphire Nitro S240

Our Verdict


Good-looking and powerful, but it’s also extremely noisy and rather expensive.

Sapphire is a brand that we normally associate with graphics cards, such as the Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 6750 XT, but the innovative AMD GPU partner is now branching out into the AIO liquid cooler scene, and the Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A looks like a decent first effort, featuring an attractive pump with RGB lighting, as well as powerful 2,400rpm RGB fans.

At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest PC hardware since 2003, and we run a number of tests in order to gauge performance. We use Prime95’s smallest FFT test with AVX instructions disabled to load the CPU and take the temperature reading after ten minutes.

When testing CPU coolers, we use CoreTemp to measure the CPU temperature, before subtracting the ambient air temperature from this figure to give us a delta T result, which enables us to test in a lab that isn’t temperature controlled. For more information, see our How we test page.

The Sapphire cooler’s pump is the same 7th-generation Asetek design as we’ve seen on other coolers this month, such as the Phanteks Glacier One 240 T30, but we’re happy to report that, unlike Phanteks, Sapphire includes LGA1700 mounting components in the box.

Sapphire also offers useful measurements for the waterblock/pump section, which is quite hefty, and the company’s web page needs to be a first port of call for anyone with a mini-ITX motherboard, so you can make sure it fits, as its 91mm width might foul memory modules in some orientations. You don’t have to deal with an overly chunky radiator, though, as it has the standard 27mm thickness.

Both the pump and fans have separate PWM cables for speed control, and you’ll need them too, as it’s a noisy cooler at full speed. The fans have both speed and RGB lighting signals sent over a single cable to reduce clutter, but with six cables running off the pump, you’ll need to spend some time reducing cable tangles around your motherboard’s CPU socket.

The cooler is powered by a single SATA connector, while the RGB lighting is controlled using a standard 3-pin connector, so you can link it to your motherboard or use a separate RGB controller. The lighting is very bright and vibrant too, giving the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix and NZXT Kraken Z53 RGB a run for their money, with beautifully diffusing fan blades. This is where the extras end, though, as there are no additional fan screws, nor a tube of thermal paste for future applications, as the paste is pre-applied.

Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A cooling performance

While the Sapphire Nitro+ S40-A definitely isn’t going to be a friend of your ears at full speed, though, the decibels did at least translate into excellent cooling, with thermal performance coming second only to the mighty Phanteks Glacier One 240 T30 – the Sapphire even outpaced the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix and EK EK-AIO 240 Basic in both our AMD and Intel systems.

Its CPU delta T when cooling our Intel Core i9-12900K was 46°C, which is just 1°C behind the Phanteks cooler and 4°C lower than the result from the iCUE H100i Elite Capellix. In our AMD system, cooling our overclocked AMD Ryzen 7 5800X it managed a CPU delta T of 50°C, again just behind the Phanteks cooler, but only a degree or two behind the Corsair and EK coolers. You can slow down the fan speeds, but at low speeds, the Phanteks was cooler and quieter than the Sapphire.

Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A pros and cons


  • Vibrant RGB lighting
  • LGA1700 compatibility out of the box
  • Excellent cooling


  • Extremely noisy
  • Lots of pump cables
  • A bit pricey

Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A specs

The Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A specs list is:

Intel compatibility   LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA2066, LGA2011
AMD compatibility Socket AM4, TR4/X
Radiator size with fans (mm) 120 x 273 x 52 (W x D x H)
Fans 2 x 120mm
Stated noise 36dBA

Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A price

Price: Expect to pay $140 (£130).

Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A review conclusion

We can’t deny that the Sapphire Nitro+ S240-A looks great, and it’s also extremely powerful, but it really isn’t the most pleasant cooler to have running in your PC at full speed. It’s cheaper than the Phanteks Glacier One 240 T30, but if we wanted the best cooling, we’d opt for the Phanteks, which is even cooler and is also still excellent at its lower fan speeds, where it was quieter than the Nitro+ S240-A.

Meanwhile, if you want RGB lighting, the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix is a better buy, saving you some cash while still offering decent cooling and full software control. However, this is a superb first effort for Sapphire, and only a few niggles and some stiff competition sees it miss out.

If this cooler isn’t right for your needs, we’ve reviewed plenty of other alternative 240mm AIO liquid cooler models, including the EK Nucleus AIO CR240 Lux D-RGB, as well as the Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL240 Flux. If you’re looking to upgrade your CPU, make sure you also check out our full guide to the best CPU for gaming, where we outline the very best options at a range of prices.