With the days of high-performance yet ultra-cool running CPUs long in the past it should come as no surprise that bigger and bigger “All In One” Closed Loop Cooling solutions are quickly becoming the new standard for many. After all, better cooling than air without the hassle factor of ‘open loop’ water cooling is a hard to beat combination. The problem is… they need to be big if they are going to surpass what air can do. These days that means “280” / dual 140mm radiator AIO’s is the bare minimum and “360” / triple 120mm radiator based solutions are an even better step in the right direction. Recently we took a look at two such 360mm based solutions (MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R and Arctic Freezer II 360) and walked away impressed with what they could offer. Today we are going to take a long hard look at the recently released, ~$200 USD, Gigabyte Aorus WaterForce X 360 and see what it brings to a table quickly filling up with good options.
Unlike some manufactures, Gigabyte actually cares about user feedback and obviously took the valid criticisms of their Aorus AiO series to heart. So before slapping a ‘rev 2’ on the label on their older model and calling it good enough Gigabyte went back to the drawing board to see exactly what could be improved… and then implemented those tweaks. For example, gone is the thin (albeit easier to maneuver) 5.1mm(ish) tubing which has been replaced with 7.8mm(ish) tubing. The integrated pump now uses ceramic bearings for longer lifespan and lower nose. The water block /pump combo unit has been upgraded to be compatible with almost all modern CPU sockets, and is slightly bigger. Yes bigger at 82x82x74 vs. 80x80x60. The fans have been… ‘tamed’ and instead of running 2.5K to displace 59CFM of air they are now 2.3K RPM and move 60CFM of air. All of which certainly sounds like a very good recipe for making a high performance CLC solution.
With that. Make no mistake, this is an Asetek latest generation based AIO and comes with a few… quirks. Quirks that may matter to you or not. We will go over these quirks in this review and by the end you should have a very good handle on precisely who this new Aorus WaterForce X series has been made for. With that information you can then decide if has been made to meet your needs. So with the brief overview taken care of lets dig in and see what makes this CLC tick.