MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review: Cool and Silent Efficiency from MSI

The MAG CoreLiquid E240 is MSI’s latest maintenance-free liquid cooling innovation. This name aptly captures the essence of the product, reflecting its seamless blend of efficiency and innovation. This cutting-edge cooling system is poised to revolutionize the market, positioning itself as a worthy successor to the immensely popular MAG CoreLiquid 240R and 240R V2, both of which have garnered a devoted following in recent times.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

At its core, the MAG CoreLiquid E240 boasts an upgraded pump, housing an optimized motor, ensuring optimal performance. Complementing this powerhouse are a pair of fans equipped with a broad impeller, responsible for active external cooling. While the fundamental 3-in-1 concept remains intact, the devil is in the details – and this product excels in the nuances.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

Unboxing

MSI’s MAG CoreLiquid E240 cooling system arrives in a packaging that befits its premium status. The striking black box, adorned with a vibrant, toxic green hue, immediately captures attention.

In a succinct trio of features, the essence of this cooling marvel is encapsulated: a rotatable pump body allowing for customizable aesthetics, a beefier and reimagined water block, and seamless synchronization with MSI’s exclusive Center software.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

Included within the package are mounting frames tailored for Intel LGA115x/1200/1700 and AMD AM4/AM5 processors, along with backplates, mounting screws, a Molex adapter designed to optimize pump and fan performance, and a Y-splitter catering to multiple fans. Oddly absent from the list is a tube of thermal paste, an omission that conveniently goes unmentioned in the provided information.

Design

The realm of maintenance-free liquid cooling systems, essentially a domain of pre-assembled liquid cooling setups, presents a diverse landscape. Yet, at its core, it adheres to a fundamental formula: a water block pump, a radiator, hoses, and fans. This foundational blueprint remains immutable, prompting manufacturers to vie for distinction primarily through innovative designs. Among the less conventional approaches are instances where pumps are integrated into radiators or mounted on hoses, coupled with qualitative enhancements such as revamped pump designs and finning the working fluid, to name a few.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

In the case of the new MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240, it adheres to the same fundamental principles but with notable improvements. The manufacturer has meticulously optimized the motor within the pump and introduced innovative fans. Additionally, the design team has creatively explored aesthetic enhancements.

Central to the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 cooling system is its 240 mm external radiator, measuring 277 x 120 x 27 mm. This dimension permits the installation of up to four 120 mm fans.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

The FPI indicator, denoting the number of plates per inch, stands at the classic figure of 20. Denser fins pose a challenge for airflow at lower fan speeds but simultaneously amplify the heat dissipation area.

One end of the system features a factory-filling hole, sealed securely and flanked by two herringbone fittings, each adorned with plastic rings. A technical sticker, bearing the tail number or serial number, is affixed for identification purposes.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

The connection between the water block pump and the radiator is facilitated by a pair of rubberized hoses, encased in an 11 mm thick fabric braid, spanning approximately 360 mm in length.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

The revamped design of the pump exudes a tranquil and approachable aura. The manufacturer likens it to the graceful flow of water and the passage of time, drawing an analogy akin to a dial’s movement.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

A distinctive feature of the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 is its 270-degree rotatable body. This unique attribute enables users to visually align the inscription with the overall assembly, enhancing customization options.

The mechanism boasts defined divisions and four primary positions, complete with tactile latches. However, users have the flexibility to select any rotation angle, though the bracket may require a bit of effort due to its snug fit.

Due to specific design characteristics, the movement radius of the two L-shaped rotary mechanisms with fittings is limited.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

In the subsequent phase, engineers adopted the principle of transitioning “from quantity to quality.” This involved increasing the channel thickness (with the exact value undisclosed by the company) and consequently reducing the number of ribs. This adjustment led to a trade-off: a decrease in the liquid’s useful heat transfer area but an increase in its heat capacity. Additionally, an enhancement was made by broadening the copper heel. Theoretically, this modification is anticipated to have a positive impact on the cooling process.

The central protrusion, constituting the base itself, boasts a thickness of 3 mm and dimensions of 40 x 43 mm in width. This differs from comparable models, which typically measure 37 x 37 mm.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

In the profile, two connectors are visible: one for controlling the 4-pin PWM pump speed and another for the 3-pin ARGB 5V backlight.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

The new fans feature a robust and broad impeller design. The FD12025L12SPAA model is equipped with a hydrodynamic bearing. Although the website does not specify the rotation speed, the packaging indicates a range of 600-1800 rpm. Extending from the case is a 4-pin PWM control wire and a 3-pin ARGB 5V backlight, complete with a splitter for an additional device.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 test

The testing phase will be conducted on the Intel LGA1700 platform. The installation process remains remarkably straightforward: align two corresponding brackets and securely fasten them to the base.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

Traditionally, these brackets were directly affixed to the bottom frame, with the inherent risk of them flipping over. However, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 model has ingeniously resolved this issue by integrating two cutouts in the case, ensuring a stable fixation and simplifying the installation process.

Next, the MSI FD12025L12SPAA fans are meticulously screwed in according to their designated positions within the case. In our specific setup, these fans are configured for exhaust, and situated on the top cover of the case.

Test base

  • Motherboard: MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-13700K
  • Cooling system: MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240
  • RAM: XPG Lancer Blade DDR5-6000 2x16Gb CL30
  • Power supply: be quiet! Straight Power 11 850W
  • Monitor: AOC U2790PQU
  • Case: Jonsbo D41 Mesh White

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 boasts dual zones of consistent backlighting: one on the main unit and the other on the fans. Both can be easily disabled through software and hardware means, either via the MSI Center utility or by leaving the corresponding wire disconnected. In the case of the water block pump, the cable can be entirely detached, conserving valuable space within the chassis.

The primary unit is uniformly illuminated around its core-periphery. This effect is achieved through a matte surface, softened by the upper insert, resulting in a pleasing visual aesthetic.

In contrast, the MSI fans are internally illuminated within the rotor area. The illumination, while subtle, is softly diffused by the blades, creating an even and gentle glow.

We rigorously tested the liquid cooling system on an Intel Core i7-13700K processor, which comes with a hefty TDP of 253W.

To push the system to its limits, we opted for one of the most intense stress tests available: the Prime95 program with Small FFT settings. Within our professional circle, we acknowledge that this test, under these conditions, imposes a load that theoretically reaches 110%. Realistically, such demanding levels are rarely encountered in typical usage scenarios.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

For our primary comparison and evaluation, we employed a standard bench life-support system, specifically the Jonsbo TW7-240 ARGB White model.

Let’s begin by examining the system’s default settings. On the MSI MAG Z790 Tomahawk WiFi motherboard, the consumption limits are unrestricted by default. Consequently, the Intel Core i7-13700K processor starts drawing power without constraints, reaching approximately 350W (unfortunately, we encountered this unfavorable scenario). This power draw aligns with the specifications of the Core i9-13900K. Under such demanding conditions, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 model struggles to fulfill its intended purpose. To be frank, even numerous custom cooling systems find it challenging; resorting to scalping and/or downvolting becomes necessary.

However, when you configure PL1/PL2 according to the specified 253W level for the Core i7-13700K, the situation significantly improves.

Now, if we consider a scenario involving the Intel Core i5-13600K with a TDP of 181W, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 liquid cooling system handles the task effortlessly.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

The conclusive test results have been meticulously charted, revealing a consistent trend among modern maintenance-free cooling systems. These systems tend to exhibit similar performances, displaying a correlation with a margin of error ranging from 3-5°C, occasionally even reaching up to 7°C. Notably, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 model appears notably livelier in comparison to its standard counterpart from Jonsbo.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

The MSI FD12025L12SPAA fans present intriguing features. Their rotation speed can be finely tuned, ranging from 600 rpm to 1800 rpm. They maintain a silent operation up to 900 rpm, remain quiet up to 1400 rpm, and offer a comfortable noise level at 1700 rpm. The manufacturer has integrated high-quality fans, emphasizing a low noise level while capping the upper-speed limit. In terms of airflow, their performance is moderate.

MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 Review

In contrast, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 pump evokes even more positive sentiments. As per specifications, the rotation speed is set at 3000 rpm (compared to the 3350 rpm in the standard version, which could be reduced to 1500 rpm), a significant drop from the 4300 rpm of the CoreLiquid 240R model. However, the previous version didn’t compromise much in performance, even when lowered to ~2700-2800 rpm.

Hence, the focus shifted towards optimization in the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 cooling system. The specifics of whether it incorporates a new pump motor are ambiguous, but the reduced operating speed and the more streamlined construction of the unit have rendered it nearly silent. It operates without unnecessary vibrations and, crucially, avoids extraneous air gurgles. Credit is due to MSI for this accomplishment.

Final line

The MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240, a maintenance-free liquid cooling system, falls under MSI’s junior line, the Arsenal Gaming – MAG series, catering primarily to the mass market and emphasizing balance as a key aspect.

This new product boasts an appealing design, showcasing the manufacturer’s distinctive and recognizable style. Its cooling performance proves adequate for Intel Core i5 and even Core i7 processors. Moreover, in terms of noise levels, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 operates incredibly quietly in day-to-day usage and offers a comfortable experience even during prolonged periods of use.

Available for purchase on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk at $108.74 and £94.99 respectively, the MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 presents an attractive option for users seeking an upgrade. This pricing strategy positions it as a compelling replacement choice in the market.

In summary, Liquid Cooling Systems (LSSs) have gained widespread popularity among users. Many individuals independently consider the aesthetic appeal of their PC interior and opt for either a large processor cooler or a water cooler. It is precisely for this discerning audience that the new MSI MAG CoreLiquid E240 model is tailored, offering an appealing design coupled with commendable efficiency.

About Ankeet Solanki

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