The Bottom Line
- + ARGB at both ends
- + White product extends ARGB
- + Performance
- + Twistable head unit
- + Affordable
- - Noise
- - MSI software
Should you buy it?AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
We don't have much to base an opinion on MSI and coolers, only seeing two previous to this review. We have seen a ton of their peripherals over the years. Still, when it comes to coolers, all we got our mitts on were the Core Frozr L half a decade ago or the Coreliquid S360 from earlier this year, but it ended up being a monster that doesn't work on other motherboards. Still, it did have that cool IPS display, but it was not a cooler for the everyman.
We have a more straightforward design for you this time but dressed up with that MSI flare to ensure it looks like no other AIO on the market. In the quest to be unique, they made some choices that maybe not everyone will love, but we can say that before this review, we had not gotten to see the combination of ARGB lighting with an all-white cooler like this. They are mostly black, and it eats most of the light emitted from the fans and head unit. After seeing what Cooler Master just offered, you will see from MSI a simpler setup but no less impressive in its capabilities and cooling potential.
We have the MSI MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White sealed loop CPU cooler for you today, and as we alluded to a moment ago, you are about to see something you may not have expected. MSI may not send us a ton of coolers, but it seems like when they do decide to send us something, it ends up being cool in some aspect or another, and hopefully, that trend continues in your minds, as MSI would love you to be their future customers.
The MSI MAG Coreliquid 240 R V2 White is a 240mm-radiator-base AIO with dimensions of 274mm in length, 120mm in width, and 27mm in thickness. Things move quickly into the fans, where we see there are two 120mm fans in the box. Each fan is capable of speeds of 500 to 2000 RPM, and while at top speed, it will deliver 78.73 CFM, but there isn't a pressure or noise rating for them. These fans use ball bearings and can last nearly eight years as they sip power through the 4-pin PWM connectors. The fans are also ARGB capable; the fan cable length is 350mm, while the ARGB pigtails are 550mm long.
The pump is brought up next, as shown by the over eleven-year lifespan. We get an 18 dB(A) noise rating for the pump, which is said to spin at 4200 RPM while pulling 4W. The cold plate portion of the head unit is made of copper, and the entire head unit measures 80.5mm by 66.6mm and stands 48.5mm tall.
Socket support follows up and finishes the information on the AIO. We can see that Intel is widely supported with the latest sockets and goes back to LGA115X, while AMD supports anything since AM2 on through the new AM5 sockets. Warranty information should be at the bottom of the chart, but MSI is vague online, making you register the product to see its length.
Coming off the back of that $209.99 Cooler Master, we are pleased to say that you won't have to dig that deep to get what MSI offers. Looking around, we found the MSI Mag Coreliquid 240R V2 White listed at just $119.99, which is more in line with the market, in our opinion. That said, if you would rather have everything you see here but in black, that is possible, and you get a bit of a price break. If you opt for the black model of the MAG Coreliquid 240R V2, you only pay $109.99, so there is something to ponder, but the white brings a new level of illumination we hadn't foreseen.
The MSI Mag Coreliquid 240R V2 White ships in a black box, making the image of the cooler in the middle jump off the page. We see the logo at the top left, but the other notations of LGA1700 and Mystic Lighting support are in the bottom right corner. The image of the cooler shows MSI favors the triangular shapes as we see them on the fans and the head unit, but the illumination looks softer and more pastel in the rendering.
At the right end of the packaging, we again see the MSI logo near the top, but the cooler is reoriented before snapping its picture. The naming is at the bottom, and it also says this is a liquid cooler, for those that were not quite sure.
Making it to the back panel, the naming and features are shown at the top, but the shiny portion covers a few more features with more depth. There you will find mentions of the effortless installation and rotatable blockhead, the integration of the pump to the radiator, and high thermal dissipation.
The left end of the box offers a specifications chart with more detail than the product page. We finally see the fan noise rating of 34.3 dB(A), but we also see these fans have nearly 3 mmH2O of pressure. Beyond that, it also mentions the ceramic bearing in the pump, but it is otherwise the same as what we covered.
The bottom of the box is where you will find the product sticker should you need to reference the serial number for any issues that may arise. It is also where MSI puts the company information, iconography, and product page code.
As most AIOs do, MSI ships theirs in a cardboard box with a compartmentalized interior, keeping all of the bits and bobs from touching one another. Every bit of it is covered in plastic to keep debris off the cooler and vibrations from affecting any surfaces. Foam covers the top of it all and comes together to make certain the MAG Coreliquid 2240R V2 White showed up in perfect condition.
MSI MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White CPU Cooler
Even while white, we can still see many of the details offered in this head unit. In the center is the dragon, but around it are raised sections of the block cover, which also have slots and diffusers for added glow. The dot you see on the side is the furthest point you can rotate the cover counterclockwise if needed to be done at all.
Spinning the head unit, we now see a gray triangle on the body rather than a dot, which is the marker of how far the cover turns clockwise. We don't mind the black angled swivel fittings, and we like the look of the white sleeve capped with white plastic. The cable illuminates the head unit, as the pump is not in here.
At the other end of that cable, and matching how the fans are, we get a single lead from it with a 3-pin 5V ARGB female connector on it, which has a male pigtail added so that one can add other devices inline.
The cold plate is copper and has fine remnants of machine marks visible on its surface. As many are, the surface is convex and flattens out with the right amount of pressure. We also noticed the lack of hardware attached to it, and if you look closely at the edge at the top, you can see part of the groove to slide them into place.
Moving from the head unit to the radiator, we find that the sleeved tubing is a little more than fifteen inches long, which we know is plenty for most builds. The tubing terminates in the same manner as it did on the opposite end, and we see a fill port, which is mechanically sealed.
If for some reason, you toss the box but have an issue down the line, you can always refer to the end of the radiator. On the 27mm thick end of the radiator, we get the full product name and serial number.
With white chosen as the backdrop, there were a few colors we could think of to use here. However, most of our choices would be bolder than the light gray in which we see the MSI name painted. A nice touch, but those rivets are much more visible when everything isn't black around them.
We are dealing with yet another high FPI radiator, and when counted, we got to 23 fins per inch. With the fan specs being what they are, we cannot foresee them having issues moving air through it. However, the area at the left where the pump is installed, while centered behind the fan hub, does block a fair bit of cooling surface.
Accessories and Documentation
We mentioned that the hardware for the head unit slid into the sides, which is why we have these C-shaped brackets in this image. On the left is the Intel bracket, the Intel mainstream backplate is in the center, and the AMD bracket is to the right.
Regarding LGA1700, MSI provides a kit for that, separate from the rest. We can see the backplate with LGA1700 stamped into it next to one of the 3M tape strips. The bag to the right contains the standoffs to use with this backplate.
HEDT Intel sockets will need the standoffs at the left, and mainstream Intel users will need the plastic spacers. The thin ones next to them are used to isolate the mainstream Intel backplate. In the middle are the AMD latches, followed by the knurled nuts for securing the head unit to the various setups, and last are the studs for the mainstream Intel backplate.
The fan mounting screws are straightforward. On the left are eight long screws for securing the fans to the radiator. In many installations, you will also need short screws to secure the other side of the radiator to the chassis.
The last of the goodies are in this image, where we find a small tube of thermal paste and some fan power options. There is a splitter cable to power both fans from a single header. There is also a Molex power to 4-pin fan adapter, which allows users to run the fans at full speed or add in a low-noise adapter and ignore the PWM curve.
The gray from the radiator goes along with the gray stickers on the fan hubs, which have the dragon in black. Each fan has a 4-pin PWM connector and a 3-pin 5V ARGB pigtail like the one we saw from the head unit. These APA1225M12 fans are white in all aspects, have nine blades, and the hubs sport the ARGB LEDs.
The guide at the left starts with some text in many languages but quickly goes through a parts list and into each socket type installation process. With this guide, most novice users will have the cooler up and running in ten minutes or less. MSI also includes an invite to the reward program and another showing you how MSI will reward you if you praise it online.
Installation and Finished Product
These factory hooks are often sitting on a shelf and rarely used, but we will have to keep them in place for this MSI cooler as well. If there is any advice at this stage, ensure this hardware is screwed down tight and doesn't move.
In high contrast, we see the MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White against that sea of black. We like the natural look of the hardware as it goes well with the white. The fittings blend into the motherboard well enough, but we wish the ARGB cable on the head unit were black.
We can overlook the cable with a view like this. Again, never having a white AIO, we were not ready for how good this looks. We also get all of the angles now, as they add shadow lines and shades of white, bringing more of the detail forward than should be visible.
Under these lights, we could still capture the effect of what MSI offers here. With our motherboard in control of the AIO lighting, the LEDs in the fan hubs give tremendous amounts of light to the surrounding area, which in normal lights makes the entire cooler and tubing glow the color of the fans. The head unit is illuminated on three slots around the battle dragon, which is also backlit. It is just shocking how nice this looks.
The lights are overpowering the fans here too, but you can see bits of the glow on the rear I/O cover, the top of the chassis, and the white wires under the fans. Now keep that flood going so that the head unit and tubes glow to match what the fans near them do. This would be a stunning addition to any build with black cables, but the white leads make things look messy.
Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results
Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO [Wi-Fi] (AMD X570) - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4000MHz 4X8GB
- Graphics Card: ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Galax HOF Pro M.2 1TB SSD
- Case: Hydra Bench Standard
- Power Supply: ASUS ROG Thor 850W - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
- Software: AMD Ryzen Master, AIDA64 Engineer 6.25.5400, and CPU-z 1.92.0 x64
To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our 2020 CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for more information.
With that 56.6 Â°C average in the stock run, we find the MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White punching above its weight class. For a 240mm radiator, it is shocking to see it beat the be quiet 360, the LF II 280, and even the Levante 360. Creeping into the top ten is a tough task, but it seems not to be an issue for MSI.
Even though MSI lost a couple of positions in the overclocked chart, the 63.9Â°C result is respectable. With less surface area, it outpaces the Levante 360, the LF II 280, Pure Loop 360, and even more expensive options in various fan modes.
Letting the fans and pump spin at their top speeds, we grabbed the average temperature and saw it at 61.4Â°C, which is great for a 240mm AIO or any cooler. However, it leaves just 2.5 degrees on the table, and the amount of noise that goes along with that is just as loud as what Cooler Master did in our last review.
Noise Level Results
With the bright red line so far down the chart at 35 dB, it is easy to see that MSI has no noise issue; performance over all things is what it seems like in this design. While way into the audible scale, we aren't mad at MSI for it. As an idea of where we are to get that noise level, the pump is at 4066 RPM, and the fans were at only 1261 RPM.
We knew things were about to get loud, and that 45 dB reading tells us it is so. The fans are only at three-quarters speed at 1459 RPM, and the pump did not increase its speed.
As we said, 2.5 degrees of extra performance comes with 57 dB of noise from this MSI AIO. Again, the pump ran at 4066 the entire time, not adding anything to the mix, but as the fans got to 1991 RPM, the noise shot up to a level that may be too much for 24/7 use.
MSI did many things right with the MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White. They chose a design with all of the angles, raised and lowered portions, added in sharp lines, all to make what could have been boring to look at, and playing with light and shadows have come up with a design that grows on you the more you see it.
In the beginning, we said MSI may have made some choices that many may not know why it was done, and we cannot reiterate how cool this AIO is to look at inside a build. The flood of lighting and the way that the white MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 takes on those colors is something we never got to see firsthand, and we would like to thank MSI for opening our eyes to this.
Beyond the aesthetics and appeal, next in line to a buyer comes down to performance. We feel that the MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 is a top contender for those with room for a smaller AIO. You can get better performance, but it will cost you plenty to get to the top of the chart, and MSI didn't take the expensive route to get there. You will be dealing with more noise than many other coolers we have used, but as long as you aren't sitting in the office with it running at full blast, you should be fine. We would leave PWM in control, as the fans will get close to 1000 RPM at idle and are less than 30 dB at that point.
The hardware and goodies are on point. While no concessions are made for those without motherboard ARGB support, those who have it don't have to rely on MSI software, as our ASUS board controlled it fine. That said, the software is the biggest downfall for us. It is bloated, it conflicts with many other software suites, and trying to uninstall it entirely is as easy as climbing Everest.
It all comes down to that MSI made an AIO that reminds us of days gone by yet delivered that concept in very attractive and updated packaging. The overall white theme is something everyone needs to try and appreciate with the advent of ARGB, and at just $119.99, you can try it with the MSI MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White liquid CPU cooler. If you are dead set against adding white to a build, you can do the same from the black model and save a few dollars. Either way, we have to give MSI props for doing whatever it takes to get to the top ten in our charts and jam your company flag in the hill up there.
The Bottom Line
MSI comes out of virtually nowhere and blows our mind with the MAG Coreliquid 240R V2 White. It is visually stunning, the performance is damn good for a 240mm radiator, and even though it gets loud, it won't break the bank to get one.