The development of liquid cooling systems for the AIO (all-in-one) processor has been hampered by Asetek’s patent policy for almost 10 years. Someone agrees with it and legally uses the products of this company in their solutions (or modifies it), others, bypassing the patent, try to place the pump in a radiator or hang it on hoses, others ignore intellectual property rights and simply create their own “copies”, then colliding with lawsuits. And it’s not that users suffer much from this, but the industry is marking time even longer than in the situation with heat pipe technology.
MSI is a solid and respected company, which is why they work directly with Asetek when creating their products in the field of liquid cooling. One of the results of cooperation with them was the MSI MPG CoreLiquid K360 system, which I will talk about in this review. Slightly looking ahead, I note that on the whole it turned out very well — original, cool, quiet and, in some ways, even comfortable.
|Technical specifications||MSI MPG CoreLiquid K360|
|Product page||MPG CoreLiquid K360|
|Processor socket compatibility||Intel LGA1150/1151/1155/1156/1200/1366/2011/2011-3/2066
|Radiator dimensions (LxWxH), mm||394x120x27|
|Fan dimensions (LxWxH), mm||120x120x25|
|Radiator material and construction||Aluminum three-section water radiator with belt-type fins|
|Number of plates per inch, FPI||18|
|Water block size, (LxWxH), mm||95x94x84|
|Water block material||Plastic housing with copper base|
|Pump speed at 12 V, rpm||2000 — 2800 (c SHIM)|
|Peak power consumption of the pump, W:||4|
|Pump MTBF, hour||50 000|
|Pump noise level, dB(A)||20|
|Fan Model||3 x MSI Torx Fan 4.0 (PLA12025B12H)|
|Fan rotation speed, rpm||0 ~ 2500 with PWM|
|Air flow, m³/h||131,5|
|Fan noise level, dB(A)||39,9|
|Static pressure, mm of water||4,29|
|Number and type of fan bearing||Double ball bearing (double row ball bearing)|
|Fan MTBF, hour||100 000|
|Rated fan voltage, V||12|
|Fan current, A||0,28|
|Peak fan power consumption, W||3,36|
|Additional features||2.4″ liquid crystal display on the water block, ARGB fan lighting, software for controlling the cooling system, a mini-fan above the pump for cooling power circuits near the processor socket|
|average cost||8799 hryvnias|
Packing and scope of delivery
The packaging of all liquid cooling systems based on Asetek solutions differs only in the cover. So it happened in this case. Images of the product and all the basic information about it are present on the sides of the box.
Inside is a familiar figured cardboard tray, designed to absorb liquid in case of a leak. It stores all parts wrapped in plastic bags.
In addition to the radiator and three fans, the package includes:
- installation instructions and two inserts with calls to review MSI products and assemble a system entirely from their components;
- 12 metal spacers for screws;
- four nuts with a knurled head and a notch for a Phillips screwdriver;
- 12 long screws for mounting fans;
- 12 short screws for mounting the heatsink into the case;
- plastic mounting plate for Intel LGA 115x, 1366 sockets;
- four screw racks for sockets Intel LGA 115x, 1366;
- four screw racks for Intel LGA 2011 sockets;
- mounting frame for AMD AM4 and AM3 sockets;
- four screw posts with a washer on the bottom for AMD AM4, AM3, and TR4 sockets;
- ARGB fan backlight splitter from one + 5VDG connector to three.
The MSI MPG CoreLiquid K360 LSS system differs from its “analogues” only in a massive water block, from which a lot of tangled wires come out. It is connected to the radiator by flexible hoses in a black nylon sheath, 400 mm long and 10 mm in outer diameter.
A standard three-section radiator has dimensions of 394x120x27 mm. The side slats have three sets of mounting holes for 120mm fans, arranged without clearance. The belt-type fins are manufactured at a density of 18 FPI (plates per inch). Between the fins are 12 channels through which the refrigerant is pumped.
The tubes are permanently connected to the rubber fittings of the radiator. The thickness of the manifold on the hose side is 19 mm. The serial number of the product is also affixed here.
The collector on the opposite side has a thickness of 14 mm. And here, too, there is a sticker with a barcode.
Unlike the radiator, the water block is made in a more original way. A 50×37 mm color liquid crystal display is hidden under a ribbed removable plastic cover with ventilation holes on the sides.
The height of the water block is an impressive 84 mm.
The hoses are connected to the water block with angle fittings by means of crimping with plastic clips. The angle of their rotation is significantly limited by the overhead cover.
Removable waterblock cover rests on four magnets. It is put on with a notch towards the hoses.
Inside, the water block is a multi-layered “sandwich”, where a display with control electronics is fixed on top, then a fan for blowing around the near-socket space of 60×15 mm format with a speed range of 1000–4000 rpm, and then, the pump itself follows (7th generation), whose speed can also be adjusted between 2000-2800 rpm.
Thermal paste is traditionally applied to the sole of the cooler. By default, the mounting frame for the Intel processor is preinstalled on the water block.
The round copper base has a diameter of 55 mm and is conically ground with a pronounced rise in the center. The sole of the cooler is attached to the pump with eight screws with a cap in the form of a six-pointed asterisk.
With a huge number of wires coming out of the control board, it will not be easy for a beginner to figure it out. Fortunately, some of them are signed. So, the SATA Power connector is used to power the system as a whole. The USB block is needed for control via software from the motherboard. Three four-pin fan connectors are labeled as Fan1, Fan2, Fan3. The numbering matters, because the system in idle or light load is able to turn off unnecessary propellers and generally control them separately. The wire marked as CPU FAN is connected to the appropriate connector and serves to monitor the revolutions (and so that the PC does not give a warning that the cooler is not working during boot). And the backlight wires from the fans are connected to the last connector + 5VDG.
The backlight is connected through a splitter from one + 5VDG connector to three.
120mm fans are not common here either. Their marketing name is Torx 4.0. The figured frame has rubber slips on all fixing corners. The impeller consists of eight blades with an average angle of inclination, but united in pairs by a side insert, supposedly improving the focusing of the air flow. It all rotates on a double-row ball bearing, which, on the one hand, provides an enviable longevity of 100 thousand declared operating hours, but on the other hand, leads to a slightly higher noise level. The available speed range is controlled by PWM, starting from a complete stop and up to 2500 rpm. The acceptable noise level ends after 1200 rpm. ARGB LEDs are located around the stator.
For power, a four-pin connector with a braided cable, 350 mm long, is used. The length of the backlight cord with +5VDG connector is 550 mm.
This is what the fans attached to the heatsink look like:
By the way, the rubber dampers on them slightly shift the mounting holes relative to each other, which complicates the process of getting the screws into the thread.
Assembled with fans, the total thickness of the system in the profile is 54 mm due to the protruding screw heads.
Let’s move on to installing the LSS and testing its effectiveness.