AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 Review in English
Today we are reviewing GIGABYTE’s (AORUS) first attempt to enter the closed liquid cooler (CLC) market with its AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 (also called «AIOs»). AORUS aims to grab the market share with its «halo» product, where the appearance, RGB and aesthetic are prioritized and do not scale proportionally with the price.
Despite a somewhat high price ticket compared to other options in the market, according to AORUS, its LIQUID COOLER 360 also aims towards giving a good performance and we will review that, and more, in our review.
AORUS has sampled us the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 for this review.
AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 – Specifications
The AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 is a closed-loop liquid cooler which has the following:
-A water pump.
-A 360mm radiator.
-Includes a dissipation block (copper).
-Three ARGB fans (120mm x 3).
It is the nature of all closed-loop liquid coolers or better known by its acronym, AIOs (All in One) to provide faster heat transfer compared to its counterpart, air coolers.
AORUS, for its entry into this market (which is a little saturated) has chosen ASETEK as a partner to provide the technology and patent that the company has. ASETEK is responsible for manufacturing the basic components of several liquid cooler models on the market and has a reputation that gives confidence and safety to end user.
Being a «halo product» (at least for us) it has premium features, which differentiates it from other ASETEK based models. On top of the water pump, the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 has a 60x60mm circular LCD screen, which you can customize information, text and images.
The three fans that come with the whole kit, are ARGB and are double bearing, which theoretically gives more life span compared to conventional ones.
Both the circular LCD screen of the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 and the three ARGB fans can be synchronized with other AORUS components using RGB Fusion 2.0.
AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360
|Radiator & Block||Dimensions : 394 x 120 x 27mm
Pump Dimension : 80 x 80 x 60mm
Radiator Material : Aluminum
Block Material : Copper
Material de bloque: Cobre
|CPU Socket||Intel 2066, 2011-3, 1366,115x
AMD TR4, AM4
|LCD Display||60 x 60mm LCD Full Color (320p)|
|Fan||Spec : 3 x 120mm ARGB Fan
Speed : 2500 RPM +/-10%
Bearing Type : 2 Ball Bearing
Air Flow : 59.25 CFM
Air Pressure : 3.51 mmH2O
Life Expectancy : 70,000 Hours
Noise Level : 18~39.5 dBA
Flujo de aire: 59.25 CFM
Presión de aire: 3.51 mmH2O
Expectativa de vida: 70,000 Horas
Nivel de ruido: 18~39.5 dBA
|Software||-RGB FUSION 2.0 Support
-AORUS ENGINE Support
|Precio||MSRP USA: 230 USD|
As an additional note and for users who are not aware, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper (TR4) processor mounting system comes with the processor (not with any ASETEK based AIO mounting system. The AORUS AIOs is compatible with the new TRX40 boards and the 3rd generation AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors.
Within the connections, the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 uses a SATA connector to power the pump, LCD screen and fans. At the moment, the text support of the LCD screen is for English letters and numbers only. Images loaded to the pump must be in BMP format and their width must be less than 820 pixels (self-adjusting to 320×320 pixels).
As additional data, AORUS recommends Windows 10 for this product.
Unboxing and photos of the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360
People who are familiar with ASETEK based AIOs will see that the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 has the same mounting system and is quite simple to install. I would like to emphasize, that changing the pump bracket, from Intel (which comes by default) to AMD, is quite simple and does not require much force.
The fans come with two connectors; a 4-pin PWM connector and a smaller one, ARGB, which have to be connected to the respective cables coming out of the pump.
We want to see the following image individually, to check all the connectors that come out of the pump.
These are the different connectors, which one must take into account when making the different corresponding connections:
-USB 2.0 cable (connects to the motherboard).
-SATA power cable (needs to be connected to an output from the PSU).
-Cable with three PWM connections for the fans.
-Cable with three connections for the fans (ARGB).
Now let’s look at some important observations we discovered when installing this AIO, which will apply to the entire AORUS LIQUID COOLER series and we believe that the end user should be aware.
IMPORTANT: Observations on the design of the AORUS LIQUID COOLERS
When we started reviewing the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 240 (originally we were going to start with that model) we realized something «odd» that we had not noticed at the time we made an assembly of a PC with the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 280 (stream in spanish here). Two sides of the fans are unequal than the other two (lower height).
Here is a photo to better illustrate what we are trying to explain.
If you notice, one of the screws has the correct length, while the other (the right side at this angle) does not. This means that the screw will pierce the radiator. The important part is, what part of the radiator are you «drilling»? Depending on this, it might cause a possible leakage.
For this, the following image shows us which is the critical part of the radiator, which, in the case of being perforated, causes leakage.
The red lines are where the refrigerant travels and in the event that any of these red lines are punctured, liquid will begin to filter. If the user screws in the corners, where the height of the fan is lower, he will end up drilling the «E», which makes contact between the channels.
A week ago we passed this observation on to GIGABYTE and their official response was that drilling this part (the zigzag or «E») does not cause performance degradation, water leaks, nor does it invalidate the product warranty.
However, we want to emphasize that there was a lack of quality assurance (QC) in the product development (fans/screw heights) that could have been avoided.
Here the photos of the radiator on both sides, to certify that the holes corresponding to the screws, do not pass through the critical circulation channels.
Observation #2: Tube contact with water pump/ LCD panel
The water tubes are covered with fabric, but when installing the pump and handling the hoses, we found that they rub against this specific part of the pump. As it is a corner, in one of the samples (the 240mm) the fabric began to get «damaged» by the constant friction of manipulating these two elements.
We suggest to be quite careful with this part and in the manipulation of the hoses, since, depending on the material, it can suffer internal damages.
Here is an image for your reference.
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (4.175 GHz @ 1.325v LLC LOW)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE X570 AORUS MASTER
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 3200 MHz CL14 (2x8GB)
Video card: GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2080 Ti GAMING OC
SSD: Trion OCZ150 500GB
Operating system: Windows 10 Home 1903
Note: All AIOs tested will have their pump at maximum RPM unless otherwise specified. In the event that the maximum RPM of the pump generates too much noise, we will emphasize this in the final analysis.
Fans are tested at 1500 RPM (standardized) as well as their maximum RPM. The noise of both scenarios is measured and compared in the respective section.
Performance test #1 – «Za Warudo»
«Za Warudo» is our lightest test and we believe that most coolers from manufacturers should be able to dissipate, without the processor reaching a point where it has to lower frequencies or restarting. In the event that a air/water cooler fails this test, it is not suggested for moderate or heavy overclocking.
This test uses a non-AVX load.
Performance test #2 – «Doomsday»
«Doomsday» is our most rigorous test we have at the moment for consumer platform (not HEDT) and the water/air coolers that pass this test, appears in this graph (else they failed due to thermal throttling).
This test uses an AVX load.
Noise Test – Fans
We standardize fan speed to 1500 RPM for all tests, as we hope that all AIO fans will reach this RPM. We also test the maximum RPM and in the case of the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 fans, they have a maximum of 2700 RPM. We measure the difference in decibels with the ambient noise. We try to make sure that the ambient noise is controlled as possible (normally measured during the night) so that there is not much divergence.
The fans that AORUS has chosen for its 360mm dissipation (and we imagine that it is the same for the rest of its line) have excellent performance and generate very little noise. At 1500 RPM the noise is almost imperceptible half a meter away.
Software: AORUS ENGINE and RGB Fusion 2.0
AORUS ENGINE is essential for the use of AORUS AIOs, both to control pump speed and fans. There is no way to access this information, nor is there any way to modify it, so installation is mandatory.
The AORUS ENGINE software varies depending on which «RGB» mode you are in, but there are two things that prevail at all times. That’s «FAN MODE» and «PUMP MODE».
In pump mode, there are four profiles:
In the «FAN MODE» you have these options:
We found a slight «bug» in the custom fan mode. Although we set 1500 RPM, it was running at 150 RPM higher than it should, so we had to lower it down to 1351 RPM for the fans to run at 1500 RPM, as you can see in the following screenshot.
As previously mentioned, depending on the «RGB» mode you use, more information will be available in AORUS ENGINE. If you use «FUNCTION MODE» in RGB Fusion 2.0, additional options (FAN RPM and PUMP RPM) will be shown on the LED display.
To finish, one can change the position of the image by clicking on the two arrows. When you finish by pressing apply, the flashing process will begin (which can take up to five minutes).
RGB Fusion 2.0 and AORUS LIQUID COOLER
RGB Fusion 2.0 is an important software for the AORUS LIQUID COOLERS line up, since one of the features of this product is the ARGB of the fans, as well as the elegant and sophisticated LCD screen that is located above the pump. So we’ll see what options the software has.
The modes it has are as follows:
-Enthusiast Mode 1
-Enthusiast Mode 2
-Enthusiast Mode 3
-Function Mode (previously mentioned)
-Custom Image Mode (the mode for using custom images)
-Custom Text Mode 1
-Custom Text Mode 2
The ARGB fans also have different modes independent of what a user can choose for the the pump, such as:
What I would like to add, is that to change to «custom image» mode one has to use a BMP not exceeding 820 pixels and upload it using AORUS ENGINE. This process takes about five minutes and then you have to activate it in RGB Fusion (Custom Image Mode).
Final analysis – A worthy «halo» product, incredible performance, but with some observations
The AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360 liquid cooling will take the attention of any PC enthusiast user who sees it. It’s eye-catching, has ARGB and a full LCD screen which one can customize. From every perspective is a product «halo» (at least for us) because it meets all the qualities that this type of product has, as well as the price that has this unit.
The «halo» products do not scale linearly in terms of value/performance, since their emphasis is primarily on aesthetics. Despite this, AORUS has done a very good job in the performance department, since in the most arduous test we have, it has beaten the CLC 280 at its maximum RPM.
Also to be commended is the choice of fans that AORUS has chosen, as they have a very good performance at 1500 RPM, with very low noise. Even their maximum RPM (2700 RPM) generates less noise than other fans with lower maximum revolution.
The ARGB in the fans and the customizable LCD screen is a major differentiator of other AIOs «ASETEK» in the market.
There is only one detail that we explained in the unboxing part, that there was a «failure» in the fan design process, in which the screw perforates a part of the radiator that turns out to be «non-critical», according to what GIGABYTE has assured us, as well as what we have investigated.
Personally, I would suggest users to screw two of the four screws when installing and/or cutting the two other screws that are longer (due to the irregular height of the fans) to measure.
The only weak point of the AIO is on the software side and we see that it does not have a sensor that measures the temperature of the water (it may have it, but it is not present in the software at the moment). Having a water sensor is useful, to monitor whether the pump/radiator is in perfect condition or entering a point of failure.
Also RGB Fusion 2.0, which works without problems on its own (we haven’t tested if it conflicts with other RGB software) doesn’t have the customization that other companies do. GIGABYTE should start investing more in R&D to improve its software so that the target audience can have a better experience.
We would have liked GIGABYTE to have covered a little more than three years warranty on this unit (mostly for the price) but it’s not bad either.
If you have ever seen this photo on the web, we were the first ones to put Ricardo in the AORUS LIQUID COOLER – XanxoGaming 2019.
-Aesthetically one of the best AIOs currently on the market and we classify it as a «halo» product.
-Very good dissipation performance.
-Good performance fans, low noise and has a maximum capacity above the competition.
-One of the few AIOs that has a fairly customizable LED display.
-Warranty is three years.
-The screws pierce part of the radiator (not critical), although GIGABYTE assures us that there is no loss of performance nor guarantee nor cause leaks (we have also investigated whether this is true). Read more about it in the unboxing part.
-Software experience can confuse the average user a bit.
-Lack of further customization and development of the software by GIGABYTE/AORUS.
-At the time of review, although it is a modified ASETEK OEM product, there is no way to see the internal temperature of the water.
-This taste will come out a little more than normal (price).
We give a platinum award to the AORUS LIQUID COOLER 360, most of all for the aesthetics and beauty of this product, together with the performance it gives, as well as the fans that AORUS chose for this product. It has our recommendation (although we claim to see the unboxing first) as well as performance and aesthetics award. It is waiting to revise its 280mm and 240mm versions. Would a 120mm version not be bad (for ITX mobos)?
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