Overall and Final Verdict

Not only can you now basically build an all MSI system with the exception of the memory and the CPU. With MSI bringing out more and more cooling options you aren’t forced into one specific path. They have cooling options from budget coolers or on the other end of the spectrum coolers like the MSI MEG CoreLiquid S280 with a large LCD screen on it and options in between. The CoreLiquid S280 takes a relatively standard OEM dual 140mm cooler design and adds on a 2.4-inch screen on top, a VRM cooling fan on top of the pump, and higher-end non-RGB fans. It’s kind of an interesting combination really, most companies who have been adding screens on their coolers have been going with fancy RGB fans but MSI with the CoreLiquid S280 is clearly targeting the same crowd as the ROG Ryujin which has a similar but larger top screen, the integrated pump fan, and Noctua fans. It is a good balance as well in my opinion, cooling is important and so is noise, at least for me. In my personal builds, I don’t need RGB fans, but I do like having some customization that the integrated screen can offer.

The CoreLiquid S280 performed well in our test suite with its 280mm cooling setup keeping the 12900K cooler than the other coolers tested. For noise, the Silent Gale fans did well but the integrated pump fan was a little noisy so our 50% and 100% fan speed tests were a little noisy but when the software was left to control things it was the quietest cooler tested as well. You do get a nice large screen, at least compared with the Ryuo and the Corsair options that I have previously tested but the latest ROG Ryujin II does have a larger screen which is an area a future model could improve on. The software was easy to use as well but I did find a few areas where MSI could add more customization for the CoreLiquid S280 screen in the future as well.

Beyond that my only other complaint would be with the reflective screen cover that the CoreLiquid S280 has. It made seeing the screen harder with other RGB lights around and the gap between the actual screen and the cover did sometimes create a ghosting effect if you aren’t looking at the screen head on. So there is room for improvement in the future, much like how the Ryujin changed from its first to second versions. But MSI is on the right track. As for pricing, the CoreLiquid S280 has an MSRP of $249.99 which is $10 less than the Ryujin II 240 but the Ryujin II gets you the Noctua branded fans and a larger screen. The CoreLiquid S280 however is selling for $232 at Newegg right now which better fits what you are getting and the Ryujin II is priced higher than MSRP at those retailers evening things out. Not to mention the CoreLiquid S280 is a larger cooler.  



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Author Bio
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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