Review of MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R Fans

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The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R is a high-performance all-in-one (AIO) liquid cooler designed to provide efficient cooling for modern CPUs, particularly in gaming and high-performance desktop systems. An essential component of any liquid cooler is its fans, as they play a crucial role in dissipating heat from the radiator and ensuring optimal thermal performance. This review focuses on the fans of the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R, analyzing their design, performance, noise levels, durability, and overall contribution to the cooler’s effectiveness.

Design and Build Quality

Aesthetic Appeal

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R features three 120mm ARGB (Addressable RGB) fans that not only serve a functional purpose but also add significant aesthetic value to any build. The fans come with customizable RGB lighting, which can be controlled via MSI’s Mystic Light software, allowing users to match the fans’ lighting to the rest of their system. This integration is particularly appealing for gamers and PC enthusiasts who want their rigs to stand out with vibrant and synchronized lighting effects.

Build Quality

The fans are built with a focus on durability and performance. The fan blades are made from high-quality plastic that is both lightweight and sturdy. The overall construction feels solid, with no signs of flimsy parts or weak joints. The frames of the fans are reinforced to prevent flexing, ensuring they remain stable even at high speeds.

Mounting and Installation

Installing the fans on the radiator is straightforward. The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R comes with all the necessary mounting hardware, including screws and brackets. The fans can be mounted in either push or pull configurations, depending on the user’s preference and case layout. The cables are long enough to reach standard motherboard headers, and the inclusion of ARGB connectors allows for easy integration with other RGB components.


Cooling Efficiency

The primary function of the fans on the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R is to dissipate heat from the radiator, ensuring that the CPU remains cool even under heavy loads. The fans are capable of delivering high static pressure, which is crucial for pushing air through the densely packed fins of the radiator. This results in efficient heat transfer and lower CPU temperatures.

In benchmark tests, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R performs admirably. When subjected to stress tests with high-end CPUs, the cooler consistently maintains temperatures well below thermal throttling thresholds. This performance is a testament to the effectiveness of the fans in conjunction with the radiator and pump.

Fan Speed and Control

The fans on the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R support PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) control, allowing for precise adjustment of fan speeds based on the CPU temperature. This feature is essential for balancing cooling performance with noise levels. At idle or low loads, the fans can spin at lower RPMs (Revolutions Per Minute), reducing noise, while ramping up to higher speeds during intense gaming or computing sessions.

Airflow and Static Pressure

The fans are designed to deliver a balance between high airflow and high static pressure. High airflow ensures that a large volume of air is moved through the radiator, while high static pressure ensures that air can pass through the radiator fins effectively. This dual capability is essential for maintaining efficient cooling in various operating conditions.

Noise Levels

Noise levels are a significant consideration for any cooling solution, especially in high-performance systems where fans often operate at high speeds. The fans on the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R are engineered to minimize noise without compromising on cooling performance.

Quiet Operation

At low to moderate speeds, the fans operate quietly, producing minimal noise that is barely noticeable in a typical room environment. This makes them suitable for builds where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum, such as in home offices or media centers.

Noise at High Speeds

When operating at maximum speed, the fans do generate noticeable noise, but it is within acceptable limits for a high-performance cooling solution. The noise is a low hum rather than a high-pitched whine, which is less intrusive. Moreover, the PWM control allows users to set custom fan curves, ensuring that the fans only ramp up to maximum speed when absolutely necessary.

Noise Dampening Features

The fans are equipped with anti-vibration pads at each corner, which help to reduce the transmission of vibrations to the case, further minimizing noise. This feature is particularly beneficial in maintaining a quiet environment, even when the fans are operating at higher speeds.

Durability and Reliability

Long-Lasting Bearings

The fans on the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R use high-quality hydraulic bearings, known for their longevity and smooth operation. These bearings are designed to withstand prolonged use without developing issues such as bearing noise or wobble. This ensures that the fans remain reliable over the lifespan of the cooler.

Warranty and Support

MSI offers a comprehensive warranty for the MAG CoreLiquid 360R, which includes the fans. This warranty provides peace of mind, knowing that any defects or issues that arise within the warranty period will be addressed by MSI’s support team. Users have generally reported positive experiences with MSI’s customer service, highlighting the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

Comparison with Competitors

Corsair ML120 Pro RGB

The Corsair ML120 Pro RGB fans are a popular choice for high-performance liquid coolers. They feature magnetic levitation bearings, which offer exceptional longevity and quiet operation. In comparison, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R’s fans provide similar performance in terms of cooling efficiency and noise levels. The choice between the two often comes down to brand preference and the overall aesthetic of the build.


The NZXT Aer RGB 2 fans are known for their striking RGB lighting and performance. They offer a high degree of customization through NZXT’s CAM software. The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R’s fans, while slightly less customizable in terms of lighting effects, offer comparable cooling performance and quieter operation at similar speeds.

User Experience and Feedback

Positive Reviews

Users of the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R generally report positive experiences with the fans. They appreciate the balance between cooling performance and noise levels, as well as the easy installation process. The RGB lighting is often highlighted as a standout feature, adding a visually appealing element to their builds.

Constructive Criticism

Some users have noted that while the fans perform well, the RGB lighting could be more customizable. They would like to see more lighting effects and the ability to synchronize with a wider range of third-party RGB ecosystems. Additionally, a few users have reported that the fans can be noisy at maximum speeds, although this is a common trait among high-performance fans.

Practical Considerations

Case Compatibility

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R’s fans require sufficient space for installation in the chosen case. Users should ensure that their case can accommodate a 360mm radiator and the associated fans. Most modern mid-tower and full-tower cases are designed to support such configurations, but it is always advisable to check the case specifications beforehand.

Cable Management

Proper cable management is essential for maintaining a clean and organized build. The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R’s fans come with relatively long cables, which provide flexibility in routing. Using cable ties and strategically placed cable routing holes can help achieve a tidy build, improving both aesthetics and airflow.


Like all cooling fans, the fans on the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R require periodic cleaning to maintain optimal performance. Dust can accumulate on the fan blades and radiator fins, reducing cooling efficiency. Using compressed air to blow out dust and ensuring that the fans are free from obstructions will help prolong their lifespan and maintain cooling performance.


The fans on the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R are a critical component of its overall performance, contributing significantly to the cooler’s ability to manage high thermal loads. Their design, build quality, and performance characteristics make them a strong choice for any high-performance build.


  1. High Cooling Efficiency: The fans deliver excellent cooling performance, ensuring that the CPU remains within safe operating temperatures even under heavy loads.
  2. Quiet Operation: At low to moderate speeds, the fans operate quietly, making them suitable for noise-sensitive environments.
  3. Aesthetic Appeal: The ARGB lighting adds significant visual appeal, enhancing the overall look of the build.
  4. Durability: High-quality materials and hydraulic bearings ensure long-lasting performance and reliability.

Areas for Improvement

  1. Enhanced RGB Customization: More lighting effects and greater compatibility with third-party RGB ecosystems would enhance the overall user experience.
  2. Noise at Maximum Speed: While the fans perform well, reducing noise levels at maximum speed would be beneficial for users who require high performance without compromising on noise.

Final Thoughts

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R’s fans are a well-balanced combination of performance, aesthetics, and durability. They effectively dissipate heat from the radiator, keeping the CPU cool even during demanding tasks. The integration of ARGB lighting adds a customizable visual element, allowing users to create a personalized look for their systems. While there are areas for improvement, the overall package is highly competitive, making the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R a strong contender in the high-performance AIO liquid cooler market.

For users seeking a reliable and aesthetically pleasing cooling solution, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R offers a compelling option. Its fans are a crucial part of its success, delivering the performance and features needed to keep modern CPUs running at their best. Whether you are building a new gaming rig or upgrading an existing system, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid 360R’s fans provide the cooling power and visual appeal to meet your needs.

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