MSI has been a staple in the PC component industry for as long as all of us can remember and over the course of the years, has been branching out from its motherboard roots into a full stack of products. We have looked at a number of their video cards, motherboards, SSDs, and power supplies, but today, we’ll take their new AIO cooler (liquid cooler) out for a spin to see if it continues their reputation for providing good products to gamers and creators.
MSI sent us its MEG CORELIQUID S360 that is part of the “CORELIQUID S” series launch series that comes with a 2.4 IPS display. The CORELIQUID S series will be comprised of two AIOs, the S360 which is a 360mm AIO with three fans, the S280 which is a 280mm AIO with two fans. The CORELIQUID S series is made for gamers and creators and focuses on high performance, with as low a noise profile as possible. It is based on the Asetek 7th generation pump platform and competes with the likes of the ASUS ROG RYUJIN II 360, NZXT KRAKEN Z73, and GIGABYTE AORUS WATERFORCE X360.
MSI has three distinct categories of coolers, under the MEG, MAG, and MPG naming. This being of the MEG series means it stands for MSI Enthusiast Gaming (MSI innovative MEG silent) and is MSI’s top-of-the-line series for hardware. The MEG series sits at the top, with the MPG series right below, and then MAG. The MEG CORELIQUID S360 will have an MSRP of $279.99 and the S280 will have an MSRP of $249.99.
We will again be using our AIO test platform that is capable of putting out enough heat to make even the devil sweat. We do this to test AIO liquid cooling solutions that are likely to be used with some of today’s most demanding CPUs. This is a brand new launch from MSI that we are excited to dive into.
MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360 Overview
The MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360 is an all-in-one (AIO) CPU cooler that is designed to work on a wide variety of sockets. These include Intel’s LGA 115x/1200/1366/1700/2011/2066 and AMD’s AM2/AM3/AM4/FM1/FM2/strR/sTRX4/TR4/SP3. This range covers most high-end desktop processors on the market today as well as one socket that is not quite on the market yet, Intel’s LGA 1700, which is due out when Alder Lake arrives. That’s right, it has LGA 1700 support right out of the box!
While we have the 360mm radiator version that we’re reviewing today, this AIO is also available with a 280mm radiator that sports a pair of 140mm fans. Due to the laws of thermodynamics, expect it to perform a little worse than the 360mm version we’re reviewing today, but should turn in some fairly comparable numbers.
Water Block & Pump
The water block on the MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360 measures 95x95x54mm which makes it one of the largest assemblies that we’ve looked at. However, in that massive footprint, it houses a 2.4” IPS LCD screen and a 60mm fan, and the 7th Generation Asetek water pump.
The 60mm TORX FAN 3.0 that is built into the water block is intended to help with dissipating heat from around the CPU socket including VRMs, M.2 SSD slots, and/or memory, depending on the motherboard that you happen to be using. The unit supports 0 RPM fan mode with FAN 0 RPM Mode to suspend the radiator fans and water block fan under low temperatures to reduce noise.
The 2.4″ customizable IPS display screen sports a 320×240 resolution and its display is configurable through the MSI Center application. MSI Center allows the screen to be rotated to fit the installation angle of the water block and can display current system information, a picture, a video, the current time, or the current weather. The display is rated for 500 nits of brightness and can show off 16 bits of color.
The pump is PWM controlled with an approximate 2800 RPM (+/- 300 RPM) speed at a 100% duty cycle. It pushes the water through 400mm of cooling hose to and from the radiator.
The liquid CPU cooler radiator dimensions are designed to hold three 120mm fans and measure 394x120x27mm. By our count, the aluminum radiator sports a density of 221 fins per inch and is attached to 400mm of evaporation-proof tubing.
The included fans are MSI’s innovative MEG SILENT GALE P12 fans that sport hydro-dynamic bearings. These fans support a listed fan speed of 0 to 2000 RPM on their specs at a reported 22.7 dB(A). The stated maximum airflow is 56.2 CFM with a static pressure of 2.21 mm/H20.
To get the most of the MSI MEG CORELIQUID S360, you’ve got to head over to the Windows App Store and download MSI Center software. This application is what holds the keys to allow you to set fan curves for the radiator fans (if you have them hitched up to the water block’s wiring harness), the water block fan, the pump speed, and the screen. There does not appear to be another way to control these elements.
The overall UI is fairly intuitive and had us up and running in no time. It was a fairly straightforward affair to configure the fan curves to our liking and to select the bling that we wanted to appear on the 2.4″ IPS LCD display. It can display information or customizable graphics.