Back in COMPUTEX 2018, ASUS was announcing a huge lineup of products including the the first ROG Phone, which was pretty much the saving grace for that year’s COMPUTEX as Intel, AMD and NVIDIA didn’t really coincide their launches back then. For ASUS, their ROG brand alone filled up much of their announcements, but aside from their first ROG-branded gaming phone, it was the introduction of new product lines that ASUS is new in, that caught our eyes. There was a new ROG case which never materialized but the Helios took its place, the ROG Thor power supply which had a digital display for currently used capacity and lastly, the ROG Ryujin and Ryuo AIO liquid coolers. Sharing the same Asetek design, the Ryujin and Ryuo are distinguished between each other by the fans and the intricate, more premium pump-block of the Ryujin. The Ryujin is the more premium of the two, featuring Noctua fans and an integrated fan on the pump-block.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Ryujin 360; ASUS ROG’s current flagship AIO cooler designed by Asetek and includes three 120mm Noctua Industrial PPC fans, its quite a premium model. We’ll test the cooler on both AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and an Intel i9 9900K so read on and see how this cooler handles.
- 1.77” color OLED for real-time system stats and personalized logos or animations
- Embedded microfan helps to cool VRM and M.2 area by up to 20°C
- Quality Noctua Industrial PPC PWM fans deliver high airflow and minimal noise
- ROG Vortex one-stop control center for lighting, OLED display, and cooling
- Individually addressable RGB and NCVM coating pump cover accentuates the sleek, modern aesthetics
- Styled to complement ROG motherboards, at the center stage of your build
- Reinforced, sleeved tubing for increased durability
Much like many of ROG’s products, the Ryujin comes packed in full-color box with the familiar red and black segments. The front of the box has a nice hero shot of the pump block and a large print of the IndustrialPPC fans used by this cooler. We need to address this right now, these fans from Noctua are 25$ each and are custom made for ASUS with their black dampeners. With this cooler priced at around $300, a good chunk of that is for the fans alone and ASUS, for a company that has embraced RGB, has decided to go with a performance option in this case. Going back to the packaging, the back of the box has highlights of the major features for this cooler.
Aside from the fans, the bundle in this package is standard for most AIO: the cooler itself, the mounting kit for AMD and Intel, some documentation and a pump-block cover unique to the ROG Ryujin line.
This Ryujin is an off-the-shelf Asetek design and NZXT plus a bunch of others companies will use this AIO design for their own cooler. The major changes for ASUS, of course, are the fans and the pump-block.
The Ryujin supports many modern sockets from HEDT to mainstream ones. LGA115x are all supports as well as AM4 and AM3. HEDT support for Intel comes-out-of-the-box but for socket TR4/sTR4, you’ll need the Asetek AIO bracket which is usually included with the processor.
The Ryujin comes with pre-applied thermal paste but if you use your own, you can safely remove this with some isopropyl alcohol and a rag.
The Ryujin comes all comes already connected to the head. Unlike NZXT and Corsair who have USB cables in the blocks that you need to connect along with a separate main line, ASUS solders everything on so nothing is forgotten or lost. But like the other companies, these are all required to operated and it does leave some cable mes.
The cable headers include a SATA plug for general power, 3 fan headers for powering and controlling the fans, a USB port and a PWM header for monitoring of the pump.
The main block head features an OLED screen, full customization in ROG Armoury Crate. This is complimented by an RGB light bar. You will need to mount the pump-block shroud cover to full enjoy the lighting as the bare block head looks incomplete but you can totally do so if you wish. Not pictured here is the fan underneath the top of the pump-block which is intended to cool the surrounding areas of the CPU.
The IndustrialPPC fans are intended for, well, industrial applications and yes, these are available in black straight from Noctua. In a previous life, these were the only non-brown fans from Noctua but times have changed and the Chromax line now offers black fans in general. Performance though, iPPC fans are still one of Noctua’s most powerful fans, going as high as 24v and 3000RPM, they offer some excellent air pushing power yet still remain totally silent – Noctua fans’ most notable trait.
Processor: Intel Core i9 9900K
Motherboard: ASUS ROG MAXIMUS XI EXTREME
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3600 16GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1050w
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
Motherboard: ASRock X570 Steel Legend
Memory: G.Skill TridentZ RGB DDR4-3600 16GB
Storage: WD Blue SSD 1TB SATA
PSU: Seasonic Platinum 1050w
For load testing, we used RealBench 2.56 stress test to put load on our systems. RealBench is a good mixed, workload benchmark with some AVX loads to put in a decent amount of heat in our system.
Ambient temperature is maintained at 30*C give or take a few 0.5*C in variance. All systems are tested in an open test bench with no fans directly blowing over the system.
Temperatures are gathered 15 minutes into idle just staring at the desktop and final temperatures are gathered from HWINfo’s CPU package reading for Intel and CPU temprature for AMD. The average LOAD and average IDLE temps are used for these results.
Test systems are have fixed voltages for more uniform testing. Fan profiles are set to default or normal profiles if they do not have motherboard PWM controls.
Please be guided accordingly that the charts show results as DeltaT meaning temperatures over ambient.
As always, we leave the numbers to speak for themselves.
The ROG Ryujin is a mixed bag and depending on how you look at it, it can be the most impressive AIO you’ve ever had or the most expensive AIO you ever had. Let’s talk performance first.
Performance overall is expected from much of the Asetek 360mm based AIOs that we’ve tested and this is to be expected as the same DNA runs through most of this coolers, even variations from another manufacturer only varies in block and fan choices. Overall though, the ROG Ryujin offsets this providing a software interface to control fan speeds and pump speed via ROG Armoury allowing for an easy-to-use control option when you need it. Through ROG Armoury, you can also control lighting and sync it with your ROG Aura Sync-capable devices like motherboards and graphics cards, etc. You may opt for your own RGB fans but do note that the Noctua iPPC 2000 fans are $25 each and since they’re not locally available, they also carry shipping cost. The fans alone make up nearly half of the price of the Ryujin 360mm and its money well spent. Besides Noctua’s A12x25, the iPPC2000 rank as the second strongest fan from Noctua’s lineup. Noctua justifies this price with powerful air pushing power but does it all dead silent. At 2000 RPM, the Noctua iPPC 2000 is silent which is surprising given ASUS can and will go for RGB when it supplements a feature but it seems performance has been the priority here – noise performance.
Going over looks, this is quite polarizing but personally, I prefer the block design of the Ryuo – a simple, circular design which is now the popular approach that competing coolers are using. Still, it’s been 2 years since the announcement of the Ryujin and as a pioneer of the OLED hype, there’s much to be learned here. Aside from the fans and pump head, much of the Ryujin is pedestrian and generic. The fans themselves are customized for ASUS, as Noctua sells these with brown corner dampeners but the Ryujin iPPC 2000 inclusions have black pads. During this time, Noctua also announced their Chromax line with black coolers and fans, ending the company trope of only releasing the tan and brown fans. They still do sell those though.
Going back to the Ryujin, looks subjective but the block is designed to be as is for a purpose: the 60mm fan. This fan is supposed to blow over the CPU area including the VRM but ultimately falls flat and fails to serve its purpose particularly for the high-end CPUs it was intended to cool. The RGB strip looks good though but we now see the awkwardly placed square OLED screen in the corner of the shroud cover. For all intents and purposes, ASUS could’ve just saved the money and removed the OLED altogether. It does not provide a clean look bu rather only serve as an advertising space for the company. Users can change the graphic but with the small screen and poor resolution, it fails to standout against the newer OLEDs in the market.
Still, as mentioned in the beginning of this segment, how you perceive this cooler is defined by how you look at things. If you’re particularly after silence and performance, the ROG Ryujin is simply in the running for the top AIO whether it be the 240mm or 360mm. The combination of a Noctua iPPC and a trusted design, makes for a reliable combo. But, as I also mentioned, its average street price makes it one of the most expensive AIOs around. Do take note that competing AIO coolers have now followed what the Ryujin set 2 years ago but none has worked with Noctua in providing the same silent performance that the Ryujin offers.
With street prices at $320 or around Php15,000 (Php15,500 – PCH HUB), the ROG Ryujin set the bar for the priciest 360mm AIO when it was released but with newer, competing models also following suit, none has provided the same performance leap that ASUS has taken when it collaborated with Noctua for this release. So, if you’re after RGB, you won’t find much of that here but if you’re after unadulterated performance with dead silent radiator fans included right of the box, the ASUS ROG Ryujin 360mm is the top choice.
ASUS backs the ROG Ryujin 240mm and 360mm with a 1-year warranty. We give it our B2G Silver Award!