For a long time, liquid processor cooling systems have been more the choice of CPU overclocking enthusiasts, as well as techno-aesthetes who want to bring some charm and add uniqueness to their platform. However, due to the increase in energy consumption of chips, recently, increased interest in liquid cooling systems has appeared among users who need the stable operation of top models even in regular mode. With the release of new generation processors from Intel and AMD, which have increased TDPs, the demand for liquid cooling systems may increase further. Therefore, on the eve of the sale of powerful Core 13xxx and Ryzen 7000 chips, we decided to test the original liquid cooling system – ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB.
ASUS ROG RYUJIN
The history of liquid cooling systems of the ROG RYUJIN series began in 2018 when the developers presented the first model from the line of powerful maintenance-free liquid cooling systems. The highlight of that version was a 1.7-inch OLED screen with the ability to display system information.
In the second generation of ASUS ROG RYUJIN II, the developers worked on the idea of displaying system parameters and also added opportunities for personal tuning, offering a 3.5-inch LCD screen fixed on the pump with advanced options for adjusting the data displayed on the panel.
The later ASUS ROG RYUJIN II ARGB modifications received bright addressable RGB lighting, which allows you to radically change the color mood inside the system unit. We received an older three-section version of the ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB for testing.
Specifications of ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB
|Model||ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB|
|Compatibility||Intel: LGA 1700, 1200, 115x, 2011, 2011-3, 2066
AMD: AM4, TR4
|Water unit||Dimensions: 78.15 x 87.5 x 81 mm; internal fan up to 4800 rpm, 19.41 CFM|
|Pump||Asetek 7-th Gen; motor speed: 840-2800 +/- 300 rpm|
|Heatsink||121 x 394 x 27 mm; aluminum; braided rubber tubes; length: 380 mm|
|Fans||3×120 mm; ROG FAN MODEL 12 ARGB; 120 x 120 x 25 mm; 600-2200 rpm; 70.07 CFM; 36.45 dB|
|Special options||3.5″ color LCD screen on water unit, ARGB backlight|
|Manufacturer’s warranty||6 years|
|Approximate price in Ukraine||13,500 UAH. (~$320)|
The cooling system is delivered in a fairly large cardboard box. To preserve the components during transportation, additional damping pads are provided inside.
The kit includes a heatsink with pump, three 120mm fans, an external hub controller to control the fans and lights, a pair of extension cables, a set of fasteners and a short paper manual.
Construction and design
ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB is a maintenance-free liquid cooling system, which involves the initial connection of the pump to the heatsink unit by the manufacturer and filling the circuit with coolant. In this case, the owner of the system has only to install it in the case and fix the water unit on the processor.
ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB uses a three-section aluminum heatsink unit. The dimensions of the heatsink are 121×394×27 mm. This is one of the defining parameters that must be taken into account when choosing a liquid cooling system. In advance, it is necessary to clarify whether your case provides for mounting a system of this size.
The pump and the heatsink are connected by rubber hoses with nylon braiding. The length of the hoses is about 380 mm. From the heatsink side hoses are pressed on perpendicular connectors.
At the points of connection with the pump, L-shaped rotary fittings are provided, which allow you to choose the most suitable position depending on the internal system layout.
Original 120 mm fans marked ROG AF 12S ARGB are used to blow the heatsink unit. These are 7-blade models with a connecting ring on the outer radius. This method helps to focus the air flow. Claimed rotation speed is 600-2200 rpm, with the fans capable of pumping up to 70.1 CFM with a peak noise of up to 36.5 dB.
PWM modulation is used to control the rotation speed. An additional 3-pin cable is designed to connect controlled ARGB lighting. Note the presence of rubber inserts on the corners of the fan housing to reduce the effect of vibration.
The water unit uses an Asetek 7th generation pump with a motor rotation speed of 840-2800 rpm and good overall performance. The water unit has a composite design. An additional compact fan is provided in the central part, which not only cools the pump itself, but is also designed to partially blow the area around the processor connector.
The use of liquid cooling system most often involves an increased load on the elements of the power module of the processor. Without external blowing, the MOSFET assemblies of the power regulator heat up more, so even minimal air circulation in the VRM area will be beneficial. Of course, the additional active element is another potential source of noise, but it can always be turned off if necessary.
At the heart of the water unit is a copper heat sink with a well-finished surface. Thermal paste has already been applied to the site to improve heat transfer.
The upper decorative cover with the display module is removable. Moreover, it is well fixed with magnets, but if necessary, it can be easily removed without additional tools. You will need to disconnect the cover when attaching the water unit.
In general, the installation process does not cause any particular difficulties, both in the case of Intel and AMD platforms. The set includes two universal metal frames. In the case of an Intel solution, you need to use an additional plate (backplate) with guides. For AMD, you only need to first remove the standard plastic brackets next to the processor connector and use the complete threaded racks. The mounting frame is tightened with nuts with knurled heads. After that, it remains only to fix the top cover with the screen.
An external hub controller is offered as part of the liquid cooling system for centralized control of fan operation modes. It is assumed that such a metal box can be fixed inside the system unit after the necessary switching. Three main fans are connected to the controller using 4-pin connectors, as well as ARGB connectors for controlling the backlight.
The ARGB-in connector is used to connect the ARGB output on the motherboard. With the help of such a link and the support of AURA Sync technology, it becomes possible to synchronize the liquid cooling system backlight with the backlight of other system components.
A SATA connector is provided on one of the edges to connect power to the hub-controller itself. In turn, the Micro-USB connector uses for communication of the controller with the water unit. The latter also additionally connects to the motherboard via internal USB 2.0. From the description, the switching process looks a bit complicated, but in practice, it is easier than it looks at first glance.
Settings and lighting
To configure the ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB, the proprietary Armory Crate utility is used – a kind of universal “control center” for all ASUS devices.
Here you can change the behavior of the display on the pump: display a branded image with brand symbols on it, set your own image or use it for system monitoring – the display can show a large number of parameters, for example, CPU temperature, frequency and voltage, coolant temperature, pump speed, etc.
In general, the ability to display system indicators on the external screen of liquid cooling system is not new, but in this case, the large area of the display allows for displaying several parameters at once, which can be very convenient.
Among the original options, you should also note the possibility to download and display your images on the screen. Moreover, you can use both static JPG and animated GIF files with a total volume of up to 16 MB.
In the Fan Control section, you can configure the coolers in detail or choose one of the templates – Silent, Standard, Turbo or Full Speed. In addition, Armory Crate can update the firmware and download the AIDA64 utility.
Armory Crate is also used to control the lighting of the coolers and synchronize them with other ASUS devices thanks to the support of the AURA Sync function. In our test bench, for example, it made it possible to synchronize the backlight of the cooling system with the video card and the motherboard.
The presence of addressable ARGB backlighting allows you to diversify the applied light effects without being limited to banal modes.
Test bench configuration
To evaluate the capabilities of the ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB, we used the flagship of the 12th generation Core line – Core i9-12900K. We remind you that this is a 16-core processor, which includes 8 productive computers with Hyper-Threading support, as well as 8 economical cores. The chip has a base TDP of 125 W, but the maximum power can be increased to 241 W with dynamic acceleration. And this is even in the normal mode of operation of the processor. 5+ GHz peak clock speeds for core cores, additional compute, and 30MB of L3 cache. With such a set, it is one of the best options for testing the potential of the cooling system.
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO (LGA1700; Intel Z690)
- Processor: Intel i9-12900K (8/16 (3.2/5.2 GHz) + 8 (2.4/3.9 GHz); 30 MB L3)
- Memory: 16 GB (2×8 GB) DDR5-4800
- Video card: ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition 8 GB GDDR6
- Storage: Samsung 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (1 TB)
- Power supply unit: ASUS ROG Strix 1000W Gold (1000 W)
To evaluate the effectiveness of the liquid cooling system, we used several typical tasks for gamers – Cyberpunk 2077 and Far Cry 6. In addition, the list of stages included an application with an intensive multithreaded load Cinebench R23, as well as synthetics with the AIDA64 stress test.
In idle mode, the CPU temperature was maintained at 23-24C under open stand conditions at 21C indoors. The fans on the heatsink rotated at a speed of about 900 rpm, the pump at 1100 rpm, and the internal fan was turned off. During the testing, three standard operating modes of liquid cooling system were used – Silent, Standard, and Full Speed.
As can be seen in the diagrams, even such gaming “heavyweights” as Cyberpunk 2077 and Far Cry 6 do not create a maximum load on the processor. The efficiency of ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360 ARGB even in Silent mode is enough to prevent the Core i9-12900K from heating up to 60C. In such conditions, the operating mode of liquid cooling system with Silent and Standard profiles is very similar. The fans were spinning at around 1000-1100rpm, the pump at 1300-1450rpm, while the internal water unit fan was not activating at all. The measured noise level at a distance of one meter from the test stand is about 41–43 dB.
At full speed, the liquid cooling system kept the temperature of the Core i9-12900K at 51–53С, with an average of 40–46С. Of course, this profile is excessive for games, because the noise level from the fans increases noticeably – up to 60-61 dB.
In the multi-threaded rendering mode of Cinebench R23 and the AIDA64 stress test, the load on the CPU and, accordingly, the heat generation, increase significantly. Peak temperatures rise to 85-87С, average – 80-81С. In such situations, the selected profile already has a weak effect on the behavior of the liquid cooling system. The processor must be cooled, so the speed of rotation of all fans increases. Except that in the case of the Silent profile, the frequency of the 120-mm ones rose to 1600 rpm. While in the Standard/Full Speed modes, their rotation speed increased to a maximum of 2000–2100 rpm. At the same time, in Standard, the speed of the internal fan of the water unit was ~1600–1800 rpm, and in Full Speed, it spun up to the limit of 4800–5000 rpm.
However, basic profiles are a kind of blanks with predetermined algorithms for the operation of all components. Each of them can be adjusted independently.