ASUS ROG RYOU III 240 & 360 ARGB CPU Heatsink Review
Conclusion - Has ASUS dethroned EK?
Published: 25th January 2023 | Source: ASUS | Price: |
In all, ASUS' ROG RYOU III 240mm and 360mm CPU coolers are a mixed bag. There are things that we love about these coolers, and there are things that we don't like about them, so let's start with the good things.
For starters, ASUS' ROG RYOU III CPU coolers look fantastic. A lot of effort has gone into making these AIOs look great inside your system, and we love the white models that ASUS have sent us. The Aluminium knurling on the sides of this pump/block combo unit are a refreshing change from the plastic that we normally see, and the AniMatrix displays on these units can be used to create great looking effects. ASUS' ROG RYOU III AIOs are premium units, so brace yourself for when we talk about the price of these AIOs later.
Moving onto performance, ASUS' RYOU III AIOs are up there with the best AIOs that we have ever tested. Had we not tested EK's Nucleus CR360 Lux in recent weeks, ASUS' ROG RYOU III 360 model would have been the best performing AIO that we had ever tested. Even so, second place is a strong place for ASUS, and their RYOU III 240 model is the best performing 240mm AIO that we have tested to date.
So now it's time for some bad news. While ASUS were proud to say that they are amongst the first companies to utilise EK's new 8th Generation Pump, we found that these pumps were noisy during operation. While these AIO pumps wouldn't deafen you, we could hear than over the fans of our system and across the room. While music or podcasts will drown out this noise, if you like a quiet room the RYOU III's pump will be an annoyance. Even lowering the pump's RPM didn't fully address this issue, which is frustrating.
The other problem that we have with the RYOU III series is its pricing. Brace yourself. At the time of writing the ROG RYOU III 240 is £249.95 at Overclockers UK and the ROG RYOU III 360 is £299.99, and those prices are for the black models (white models can often have premium pricing). While these AIOs look and feel more premium than most, you cannot argue that these prices aren't on the high side. Furthermore, both of these units are around £110 more expensive EK Nucleus Lux D-RGB counterparts. If you don't care about ASUS' AniMatrix display or ROG branding, the EK Nucleus CR360 Lux D-RGB performed better in our testing that its ASUS counterpart and has a quieter pump. However, it is worth noting that the EK Nucleus Lux does not have a white version... yet.
While it is easy to simply call ASUS' high pricing the effects of the infamous "ROG Tax", it is worth noting that ASUS have added premium touches that set the RYOU III apart from many AIOs. Its metal casing is a refreshing change from plastic, its AniMatrix display is unique and different from the norm, and the diamond-etched writing on the unit and the screen's mat vacuum coated lens are undoubtedly more costly than the printed text and plastic screen covers seen on most other products. Even so, £300 for a 360mm AIO is a lot.
All in all, ASUS' RYOU III series are impressive and deliver levels of cooling performance that sit amongst the best of the best. That said, the series is let down by its loud pump and high pricing.
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