Overall and Final Verdict
The AIO water cooling market doesn’t get nearly as much excitement with big changes as it has in the past. Like I mentioned earlier most companies use the same OEM and with that, the designs have moved closer and closer together. Asus jumped in with a few new ideas though, most went to their higher end model but the OLED screen did make it to the Ryuo. The short version of things is that I did love the screen. Most people will think it is pointless and this is true for some people. With so many cases pushing to have every surface be tempered glass, it's not a big shocker that people would also want the inside of their build to look good and to have something interesting inside to see and that is where the Ryuo comes in. The OLED screen was visible through the tempered glass on the build I tried it out in and the software did give a few different usable options like uploading your own logo or design or rotating through showing stuff like the CPU temperature. The size of the Ryuo screen is actually readable and usable compared to the small OLED screens Asus has been playing around with on a few of their high-end boards. But it is also clear that the software still needs time to mature, support for the screen with other brands boards is coming if not out by now for example. I also had a lot of things I would love to do on the screen that wasn’t possible with the current software, but hopefully, they continue to improve on that. Most other companies I wouldn’t put too much stock into waiting for that but Asus is known to continue to improve things.
Installation was easy, easier than most Asetek kits with the easy to swap mounting bracket. I wasn’t a big fan of the number of wires you have to deal with coming out of the pump though. I would love to see Asus run a few of those up to the radiator and make doing clean wiring a lot easier. Most importantly the USB port on the pump was a pain, specifically the plug was too long and it pushed up on the ram in both motherboards I used the Ryuo on.
Once installed performance was good as expected from any 240mm AIO really. The fans that Asus designed have a LOT of airflow and static pressure but hopefully, you don’t need to run them at high speeds because they did get noisy at and above 50% fan speed. Thankfully I didn’t have them running that high in real-world use.
Now the pricing of the Ryuo is going to be the biggest sticking point for most people I think. A basic 240mm AIO kit starts at $80 on sale and goes up from there. Getting one from a name brand with RGB on the pump is about $120 to $130 with a few models go up above that from Corsair with their highest end versions like the H100i RGB Platinum. So with the Ryuo 240 selling for $169.99 right now, it is right up there with the most premium models and frankly, the average person isn’t shopping in that range. Now I do think having an OLED screen on the pump does justify the price to a point, but I just don’t know if people are going to want to go up to this price point when there are other kits with nicer RGB fans selling for $20/$30 less. Now the same argument could be said for the Platinum from Corsair, its only justification is the cost of the fans and if the Ryuo had the Noctua fans that the Ryujin has I would actually consider $169 to be about right once you figure in the fan cost. Real world though I think the Ryuo will need to come down just a touch, still above those RGB AIO kits but low enough for people to consider stepping up to the OLED screen over RGB.
People who want the OLED screen will most likely still get it and if the software continues to mature I would love to use them more in my builds. But I am most looking forward to seeing where Asus goes next. The Ryuo, being mostly the same AIO that you see from other companies with the exception of the screen, has a few big flaws with one cool feature. I just don’t think most people will be able to justify it. For people looking to get the screen and who aren’t considered with the price, the Asus Ryujin might be the better option with its quieter Noctua fans and airflow around the pump for motherboard cooling.
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