Overall and Final Verdict
Well going in, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Sapphire's first AIO cooler. Typically with first jumps into the market, we see basic OEM copies being introduced and in some ways, the Nitro+ S240-A is your standard OEM cooler, namely it does have a standard Asetek radiator and their newer gen7 pump design. But Sapphire didn’t just repackage an OEM design and leave it at that. The fan design alone is a complete departure from what we normally see with AIO coolers. The fans match what you would see on a Nitro+ video card. It is unique which is good but I think it will come down to preference on if people will want that style of fan all-around their case. In addition to the fan design, they made a few great improvements on overall wire management with fans that combine the RGB and fan wiring together as well as custom cable lengths for the fans and wire management spots on the fan housings as well. The only downside there is that the unique fan design does use a specific plug, so replacements in the future could be a pain or cause you to have to change over to different fans altogether. But that is only if you deal with one failing and Sapphire does offer a warranty which is 2 years on the pump and tubing but 3 years for the fans themselves. The simpler fan wiring ties into the wiring right on the pump and they avoid running an external controller or having to run any software at all because they use your motherboards addressable RGB header for the lighting and the fan headers for fan and pump speeds.
Sapphire styled the pump design up with a unique look including integrated addressable RGB lighting. This makes the pump a little tall for compact SFF builds, however. Their fans also have a higher max RPM than most of the other AIOs that I have been testing which helped in a few situations give a little more headroom. Not that I would want my AIO running at max speed. When running with the stock fan profile however the Nitro+ S240-A was significantly quieter than the other coolers tested.
Overall I am digging what Sapphire is doing. They have a few unique takes on things like wire management to stand out in the market although I don’t think the overall styling is my style. It also makes me excited to see what they may offer in the future as well. Especially with the possibility of the styling of your video card being able to tie in with your AIO. As for pricing, Sapphire wasn’t able to give me an MSRP before the launch. I did see the Nitro+ S240-A listed on a Singapore website ahead of the launch at a price that converted to $159 USD but I can’t confirm if that is what this kit will sell for. If it is, I would say it’s a little high. For comparison, the H100i Elite without the LCD has an MSRP of $149 but it is currently $114 and that kit has higher-end maglev fans and uses a lighting and fan controller. I think the price should be around the same price as the MAG C240 which is $119 as they both have aRGB lighting and don’t use a USB controller. So we will have to wait and see what the Nitro+ S240-A ends up selling for post-launch.
Live Pricing: HERE