Back at CES, ASUS impressed crowds by unveiling a suite of new components in all new product categories for the company. We had power supplies, cases, and AIO CPU coolers, all with unique features to challenge the competition. We’ve got one of the latter in for testing today with the ROG Ryujin 360mm all-in-one CPU cooler. Featuring Noctua fans, addressable RGB, and a customizable OLED screen, this isn’t one you’ll want to miss.
- Water Block Dimension: 100 x 100 x 70 mm
- Block Material (CPU plate): Copper
- CPU Socket Support: Intel: LGA 115x,1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066?AMD: AM4, TR4*
- Radiator Dimension: 394 x 121 x 27 mm
- Radiator Material: Aluminum
- Tube: Sleeved Rubber tube
- Fan: 3 x Noctua NF-F12 industrialPPC 2000 PWM
- Fan size: 3 Fan Slots (120mm)
- Fan Dimension: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
- Fan Speed: 450 ~ 2000 RPM +/- 10 %
- Fan Static Pressure: 3.94 mmH2O
- Fan Air Flow: 121.8 CFM
- Fan Noise: 29.7 dB(A)
- Control Mode: PWM
- OLED Display: 1.77 " Full Color OLED
- AURA Sync Support: Yes
- Embedded Fan for VRM Cooling: Yes
- Embedded Fan Speed: 4800 RPM +/- 10 %
- Embedded Fan Air Pressure: 3.94 mmH2O
- Embedded Fan Air Flow: 19.41 CFM
- Embedded Fan Noise: 31 dB(A)
- Intel: LGA 1150, 1151, 1152, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066
- AMD: AM4, TR4*
- Warranty: 3-year
The ROG Ryujin is the highest end of ASUS’ all-in-one coolers and features a large 360mm radiator. ASUS has partnered with Noctua on this release and has equipped the Ryujin with a trio of fans based on the popular NF-F12s.
Having used a Noctua D14 air cooler on my last build, this caught my eye. Noctuas are really good fans. They’re designed move a lot of air very quietly, to the point where and I had to check my RPMs to confirm they were running at full speed. They were and, under load, that air cooler went toe-to-toe some well know 240mm liquid coolers, so seeing them on this AIO was really compelling.
The Ryujin is only available in 240mm and 360mm sizes. It also has a little brother in the 120mm/240mm Ryuo. Each cooler uses Asetek cooling solutions, so nothing out of the ordinary there. Both lines keep the distinctive OLED screen, but the Ryuo uses ASUS’ in-house Strix fans and leaves out one of the most unique cooling features on the larger AIO.
The Ryujin has a unique shape:
The pump head on the Ryujin is big and blocky, though manages to look good thanks to its stylish face. There’s a good reason for that shape, however. Built into the body is a fourth fan to increase air circulation on the VRM and top-most M.2 drive. It’s a good idea, in theory, as VRMs directly impact the stability of your overclock and thermal throttling can bring even the fastest M.2 SSD to its knees.
Then, of course, we have the gorgeous design. The OLED screen is customizable, allowing you to display images, GIFs, or even to act as a hardware monitor by displaying your temps and CPU frequency. The RGB is also customizable, allowing you to integrate it with the rest of your PC. If you’re running an ASUS motherboard, you can easily synchronize your patterns and lighting effects.
All of this comes in at a cost of $279 for the 360mm version we’re reviewing today. It’s quite a premium with other popular 360mm coolers coming in at $199 or less. We’ll save discussions of value until after the results. For now, let’s dig in and see how it performs.
Test system: i7-8700k at 3.7GHz (4.7GHz Turbo), ASUS X370 Maximus X Hero Motherboard, ADATA XPG Spectrix D41 DRAM 32GB 3200MHz, GTX-1080Ti (SLI), 1TB Samsung 970 PRO, 1TB WD Black, 12TB HDD Mass Storage, Corsair HX-1050 1050-watt PSU, Fractal Define R6 TG case.
Our cooler testing takes a close look at comparative idle temperatures and load temperatures in an environment with a controlled ambient temperature 22 degrees celsius. Load temperatures are gathered after running Prime95 for twenty minutes, giving the liquid the chance to warm up. Our temperatures are also normalized to show the temperature increase over ambient to remove that as a factor.
Performance Testing and Conclusions
As you can tell, the Ryujin performed very well in our load testing. When controlled for ambient, it managed to top our charts when ran at 100% fans. Unlike many coolers, it’s not obnoxious at this speed which makes it reasonable to actually use them at that intensity. Keeping them at 70-80% still delivers good results with a significant sound drop-off.
Since the pump and radiator design is the same between several of these AIOs, the added performance is likely a result of the improved fans. In my opinion, when you combine the sound benefit along with the cooling, the Ryujin is even more impressive.
That said, I did notice something rather odd. I run multiple temperature monitors and the temperature displayed on the pump head was significantly lower than what was read by MSI Afterburner. I was a bit perplexed but it appears this actually draws on a thermal probe on the motherboard and not the CPU itself. You’ll want to bear this in mind when setting your temperatures but I was pretty disappointed that the temperature displayed isn’t accurate to the CPU itself.
When it comes to size, 360mm was more than sufficient to keep the 8700K in our test system running cool even over longer periods. All liquid coolers are subject to the thermodynamics of the liquid inside of them; after a period of absorbing heat, they hold it and stay warmer for longer periods of time. This is the key reason why we always run our torture tests for twenty minute intervals to allow the liquid to warm up and provide more accurate results for what you’re likely to see after several hours of gaming.
The benefit to the larger 360mm size is that it prolongs the warm up period and shortens the cooling period, for lower average temperatures. In our case, even after repeated 20 minute bursts in Prime95, the radiator was able to dissipate enough that it never “held” a higher temperature. The Ryujin almost instantly allowed the CPU to drop back to to stock idle temperatures as soon as the load was removed with a variance that topped out only a few degrees higher than when we started.
Make no mistake, the ROG Ryujin is quite a capable all-in-one. The question is whether its cooling performance and unique features justify its additional cost. The biggest bonus here is obviously the Noctua fans which are expensive in their own right. Three Noctuas, bought out of pocket, is $60 as of this writing. Add to that the VRM-zone cooling fan and unique OLED display and you can begin to see why we have that premium. Still, for that price, I wish there were expansion options for adding a GPU to the loop or at very least a temperature readout that matched my other software (fingers crossed this gets updated in a future software patch).
What you’re really buying here is membership into an club of ROG owners. It’s a status symbol in certain circles of PC enthusiasts, and you’re paying for that too.
Overall, the ASUS ROG Ryujin is a performer of an AIO. If you’re looking for something to make your rig unique, keep you chilly while gaming, and don’t mind paying for it, the Ryujin has you covered.
- Excellent aesthetic
- Can achieve great results
- Genuine Noctua fans that run quiet
- Active VRM/M.2 zone cooling
- Customizable OLED screen
- 360mm is a great size for consistently low temps
- Exceptionally expensive
- Temperature readout doesn’t match software temps
The product discussed in this review was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.