Did you know ASUS made all-in-one CPU liquid coolers? Well, you do now as the company has just launched a revised version of the Ryujin. The Ryujin II 360 AIO is — as the name implies — an AIO with a 360mm radiator. It's designed with enthusiast use in mind, overclocking an AMD Ryzen 9 or Intel Core i9 processor, but comes with some handy features everyone can appreciate.
Based on the usual Asetek design we've come to know and love from all PC brands, ASUS went a little further by slapping a 3.5-inch display atop the water and pump combo block. This can show data like temperatures or system usage, as well as custom graphics and animations. It's quite the head-turner, especially when installed inside a case with a large glass side panel.
Bottom line: There's plenty to like with the ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO. We've got the latest Asetek pump, a huge 360mm radiator, and three high-quality fans from Noctua.
- Huge water block display
- Excellent cooling performance
- Three high-quality Noctua fans
- Included RGB controller hub
- 6-year warranty
- Integrated water block fan
- Pump a little loud at higher RPM
- Main CPU block is bulky
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO: Price and availability
The ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO is available for $240. It's a new AIO from ASUS and commands a premium price for all the included features. You can expect to pay more for a 360mm radiator-connected AIO, but ASUS added a display and internal fan to the water block, and there's an included RGB controller hub.
If you're building a PC from scratch and want to connect numerous RGB components, this is a great foundation for not only overclocking your CPU but also creating an impressive-looking rig. Compared to the competition, you're paying a small premium here for the newest Ryujin AIO.
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO: What's good
|Category||ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360|
|Pump||Asetek Pump (Gen 7)|
|CPU block||RGB LEDs|
|Fans||3x Noctua NF-F12|
|Price||See at Amazon (opens in new tab)|
ASUS includes everything you'll need for a new PC build. The AIO unit is packaged alongside an RGB and fan controller hub, as well as all the mounting accessories for Intel and AMD motherboards. Everything seems to be packaged well and nothing was damaged in transit, though I would like to see a little more padding, especially for the radiator.
The included three Noctua fans can be connected to the motherboard directly or via the controller hub. This can also be used for other RGB components you may have installed, keeping everything neat and tidy. Thankfully, ASUS did ask for dark-colored Noctua fans so we don't have to deal with the ugly brown standard design.
Speaking of design, the AIO itself looks like your average liquid cooler until you reach the CPU water block and pump unit. It's massive. Not only did ASUS include the 3.5-inch display but there's also an integrated fan inside the housing to help create some airflow around the CPU socket, which is an issue AIOs have compared to the traditional heatsink and fan solutions.
Installing the AIO is an easy process using the included AMD or Intel brackets. I did encounter a slight hitch with the ASUS ROG Maximus Z690 Hero where it was almost impossible to tighten two of the four screws due to the overhang of the plastic unit. This was solved by flipping the block so the overhang faced the DIMM slots rather than the VRM heatsinks.
There's enough flex in the tubing and it has adequate length for most PC cases. Using Asetek's 7th gen pump, ASUS opted for an aluminum radiator and plastic water block with a copper base. If you've used an AIO with similar underlying specifications, you'll not be surprised by the results with the ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO.
To test the AIO, we put together two separate systems, one with the Ryzen 9 5950X and another with a Core i9-12900K. Running both systems stock and overclocked led to impressive results. Whether you want to simply do some work or play games, the 360mm radiator and pump combo will easily handle the most powerful consumer-grade CPUs from AMD and Intel.
|Temp tests||Intel Core i9-12900K||AMD Ryzen 9 5950X|
Using the ASUS Armory Crate suite to manage the AIO was also painless though it is quite the bulk of code, so you really want to be using other ASUS hardware to make the most of it without the need for installs of various OEM software. The integrated blower within the housing also helped to provide additional airflow around the VRMs and other onboard motherboard components.
As a whole, the ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 is a fantastic AIO. It's the same Asetek magic that other brands rely on and ASUS didn't really change much, but the company didn't need to. The display, RGB and fan hub, and Noctua fans set this AIO apart from the competition, but so does the price.
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO: What's not good
There are only a few minor complaints I had with the ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO. The first is the noise. It's quite loud, especially when both the pump and internal fan ramp up with higher CPU temperatures. This isn't a negative in itself since the fan is great for cooling components around the CPU socket, something an AIO normally lacks.
But you will notice the higher sound levels if the rest of your PC is near silent. The price is going to put some potential buyers off, thanks to that massive display. It's more of a niche cooler and won't be to everyone's taste, but you'll need to be sure you're happy with spending a few hundred on an AIO cooler alone.
Lastly, the CPU block is a little on the bulky side. It's far larger than other Asetek 7 AIOs we've reviewed, including solutions from NZXT. This can cause issues when installing (and removing) the AIO, but it won't impact the installation of RAM modules in the nearby DIMM slots.
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO: Competition
There are plenty of AIO options out there, including from the likes of NZXT. A close competitor would be the NZXT Kraken Z73, which is also a 360mm AIO with the same Asetek 7th gen pump. The NZXT cooler also has a display, though it's considerably smaller and doesn't require the block housing to bloat out in size.
Temperature differences between the two in testing are really within a margin of error. This is to be expected since they're both technically the same without all the fancy features and design elements. ASUS does win out slightly and the integrated fan does lead to slightly lower temperatures around the CPU socket, but really the choice largely comes down to personal preference.
ASUS ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want to overclock your CPU
- You want your CPU to run cooler
- You want to add some RGB lighting
- You have an ASUS motherboard
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You don't want to install yet more OEM software
- You don't have a case that can take a 360mm radiator
- You already struggle with airflow inside the PC case
- You don't wish to use ASUS Armory Crate software
The ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO is a fantastic CPU cooler. You can't really go wrong with the Asetek 7th generation pump and ASUS did a good job overall with differentiating its premium AIO from the competition. The giant display is a clear highlight, so too are the Noctua blowers and internal block fan.
If you have an Intel Core i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 processor, spending money on coolers such as this is worth it to extract as much performance out of these power-hungry CPUs without running into thermal trouble. The Noctua fans are brilliant and are able to achieve good airflow without emitting too much noise.
You're going to want an ASUS motherboard when looking at the ROG Ryujin II 360 AIO. Not because this cooler doesn't work with other boards, because it does just fine, it's more so due to the software you're required to download to manage the cooler and its display. ASUS Armory Crate is the full (slightly bloaty) suite that also lets you tinker with the company's motherboards.
This is one of the best liquid AIO CPU coolers you can buy.