Arctic LF 280 II doesn't fit with my motherboard in the AP201; looking for alternative.


Limp Gawd
May 30, 2008
So I saw a reddit post that had an Arctic Liquid Freezer II 280 in an AP201 and I went ahead and ordered the same combination. However, with the B650M Aorus Elite AX it doesn't fit. The top VRM is 3-4mm too tall and the CPU power cables get squished really severely. With a dremel or drill, I might be able to get it to work, but I'd rather not go that route.

I'm cooling an AMD Ryzen 7900.

That means I'm looking at the Arctic 240 or an air cooler like the Noctua NH-D15 or be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4, which should all fit.

I'm unsure of the best way forward at this point, and hoping for some input.

What are your thoughts on 240 AIO vs air coolers, with longevity and noise mitigation most important?
I just had a thought and want to check if it's sane.

I think if I replaced the 140mm fan that is over the VRM with a 120mm fan, the 280 would fit. Would the 120-140mm 280 be better than a 240mm cooler?
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How's the clearance for the CPU 8 pin power connector? The Liquid Freezer II is thick and prevented me from plugging in both 8 pins but it only needed one to run.

But why not just use low profile 140mm fans? Another thing is the fans that come on it are wired directly to it and use a single cpu fan header to power them and the pump, so you will be doing some rewiring if you replace the fans.
The 8 pin is squeezed pretty hard. Even if I grind down the VRM to make some space, I'm not happy with that. Maybe a slim 140 and normal 140 would work too. I'm not afraid of some rewiring... I have the tools and experience. But, returning the 280 and buying the 240 might be the most sane option.

I'd eat the postage cost of the return, but it might be better in the long run.

The issue is that once you drop down to 240... I feel the Noctua NH-D15 starts to become more competitive in terms of noise and cooling. Also, the Noctua holds its resale value much better than an AIO, so in the end it's total cost to use it for 5 years or so might be the same as the AIO which might be worth nothing by then.

Kinda stuck here and going in circles... modify the 280 or buy the 240 or NH-D15... hrm...