Recently(about a week ago) I built my first PC(theres a whole series about it, check my profile). It wasn't anything splashy or overt the top, just a better machine than what I have right now. While I'm fine with most of it, I have one pretty major problem with it. The stock CPU cooler that came with the Ryzen 3600X is a bit too loud.
First I tried tuning the fan curve down a bit in the bios, but that just lead to a "yo-yo" effect. It would get hot and ramp the fans up, then get cool again and turn the fans down. So I turned that back to what it was. Its not too much of a problem when I'm playing games as I've got headphone in, but when I'm programming or just doing something else without anything to block the noise, it can get quite annoying.
While this was an upgrade I knew I was going to have to make, I didn't think I'd be making it so soon, but I guess that it will be a decent Christmas gift to myself.
The first step(always the hardest) is to chose what I want. I want something that looks nice(sorry Noctua, while you perform great, your brown and tan color scheme is the ugliest thing I've ever seen and the black ones aren't exactly what I want considering I've been focusing on white for everything else). I've got the NZXT H510 case so I need something that will fit in that, and the max possible size for that is 280 mm radiator if I went with a AIO.
My current choices for an AIO are either the Corsair iCUE H115i RGB Pro XT which is 280 mm or the NZXT Kraken X52 which is 240 mm. Surprisingly, the NXZT comes in at a more expensive price of $150 vs Corsair's $130. I'm more of a fan of Corsair's look as well due to the white fans vs NZXT's black fans. The one part that NZXT wins on is the part that connects to the CPU, which looks a LOT better over on NZXT's. Their infinity mirror design is definitely a great looking part.
I really don't have a pick for an air cooler. All the white ones look terrible or are louder than the AIOs by a significant margin. The only benefit of them is that they come in at a lot cheaper(somewhere around $30-$50 for decent ones). I'm looking for some here but just due to the much superior looks of the AIOs, I think that they might be the way to go.
The biggest benefit for going AIO for me would be the silent operation. Corsair's boasts a 0 RPM feature when the CPU is running cool enough and I'd definitely be a fan of that. While I didn't expecting to be upgrading anything on the PC this soon, having a lot quieter operation would be beneficial for me going though things day by day.