Over the recent years, we’ve seen the rise of AIOs, or closed-loop liquid coolers, in the market. There are a lot of choices when it comes to AIO liquid coolers these days, but there are still a few key differentiators between one another. Performance and aesthetics are important for AIO coolers, and Thermaltake knows this – hence the Floe Riing 360 comes with three of Thermaltake’s patented Riing Plus RGB fans. Because having RGB fans is the easiest way to pimp your AIO.
Thanks to Thermaltake Malaysia for hooking us up with one of these fantastic Floe Riing 360 so that I can light up the entire room with the AIO.
The entire Floe Riing 360 comes in this super long rectangular box that is rather huge. Thermaltake manages to fit in a complete image of the Floe Riing 360 in its RGB mode, show off a screenshot of its Riing Plus software, and also highlight some features at the front.
At the back, Thermaltake highlights even more of the Floe Riing 360 RGB’s features and shows off more detailed images of the lighting modes that it can do. I mean, Thermaltake patented it so that they can boast about it, anyway.
Digging everything out of the box reveals quite a lot of included parts, actually. Firstly, Thermaltake also included the mounting hardware for the AM4 platform – which is a plus as customers don’t have to send an email to request for the mounting hardware.
Thermaltake also included their RGB controller hub. This controller hub is powered using a Molex-to-4-pin flat cable, and communicates with the motherboard with a 9-pin motherboard USB 2.0 header to two micro USB cables. The controller hub also has a proprietary 9-pin cable for the Riing Plus RGB fans. There’s also another DIP switch behind the RGB controller hub. More on these later.
Then we have the 3 patented Riing Plus RGB TT Premium Edition radiator fans. Thermaltake claims that they’re high-static pressure fans with a patented 16.8 million colors LED ring and 12 addressable LEDs. We’ll be the judge of that.
|Intel LGA 2066/2011-3/2011/1366/1156/1155/1151/1150
|Rated Voltage:12 V/ 5V
Rated Current:0.325 A / 0.4A
Motor Speed:3600 R.P.M
|Dimension:120 x 120 x 25 mm
Noise Level:19.8 ~ 24.7 dB-A
Rated Voltage:12 V
Max. Air Flow:14.2~42.34 CFM
Max. Pressure:0.17~1.54 mm-H2O
|Dimension:360 x 120 x 27 mm
The Riing Plus RGB controller
As we mentioned, behind the RGB controller hub there is a DIP switch – but the function isn’t as descriptive as it needed to be. According to Thermaltake’s website, the Riing Plus RGB software can connect up to 16 controllers, and the DIP switch behind each RGB controller lets you set a number to every individual controller.
How does that work? It’s simple – since there are 4 switches behind, you can actually set it from numbers 1 to 16 by using the binary concept. 2⁴ is 16, and you can refer to the table below or the user manual to see how the concept works.
I have to admit, this is not intuitive at all, but it works. Furthermore, cable managing multiple controllers is not going to be easy.
The installation is pretty simple. For some reason, Thermaltake included two pieces of sticky tapes for the sides of the backplate for Intel platform. With the help of these sticky tapes, the backplate wouldn’t move around or God forbid – fall off the motherboard while fiddling with the other side. AMD users however, will have to reuse the stock backplate that comes with your AMD motherboard.
Installing the retention bracket on the CPU block is simple as well – just make sure not to smudge the pre-installed thermal paste if you’re planning to use that.
Cable managing the Floe Riing 360 is a little troublesome thanks to the extra cables for USB and the RGB controller hub, but Thermaltake did solve the fan cable issue by opting for a proprietary 9-pin fan header that combines both PWM and RGB headers together. We can’t comment if it’s an improvement over the conventional separated 4-pin PWM and 4-pin RGB cables, but having less cables is definitely a plus.
Since the RGB controller needs power and a way to talk to your motherboard, you’ll have to manage those extra cables too. Plan your cable route beforehand so you know where to put the RGB controller and route those cables more efficiently when the installation takes place.
The Floe Riing 360 RGB comes with a proprietary software which can be used to control the fan speed and the RGB lighting. The user-interface is fairly simple and straight forward, not the best around but it’s definitely 10 times better than the older version which we’ve experienced on the Big Water 2.0.
The new TT RGB Plus software can sync up everything from Thermaltake as well – ranging from its AIO coolers like this one, to their cases, graphic card water blocks, cases, fans, power supplies, and everything in between.
If you’re wondering why is there an IP address on the TT RGB Plus desktop app… It is because you can actually control the fan speed and RGB lighting through your smartphone using the TT RGB Plus app.
Before we began the test, we cleaned off the stock thermal paste for Gelid’s GC-Pro for these tests.
From our stock performance test, the Floe Riing 360 seems to be doing a pretty good job on the cooling. It performs just as good as an entry level custom liquid cooling setup, in our case here, the RayStorm Pro Ion AX240 from XSPC. Even against the Noctua NH-D15, the king of air cooler which is capable of owning quite a number of liquid cooler is no match for it.
As soon as we bumped up the clock speed to 5.0 GHz, we can see that the temperature went up by at least 10°C across the graph. While there are exception with good batch or golden chip, the sky high temperature on 5.0 GHz is a known issue to majority of the Intel i7 8700K owners. For the Floe Riing 360 RGB, we’ve recorded a consistent load temperature of 80°C throughout our CPU stress test.
When we first got our hands on the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360, we also have an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X with us. The highest-end enthusiast processor by AMD, and the Threadripper 1950X has 180W TDP.
Considering this fact, Thermaltake didn’t actually publicize the TDP of their Floe Riing 360. While we tested the Floe Riing 360 with a Threadripper 1950X, it idled at 46°C but under load, the processor hit its maximum thermal junction temperature, or TJMax for short. In modern CPUs, that means the processor is thermal throttling. Ironic considering that AMD provisioned the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 in their review kit as well.
Wrapping up the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 RGB review
When it comes to performance, the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 RGB is really good. To be able to compete with custom liquid cooling kits and defeat the king of air cooler is a feat that not many AIO coolers can pull off. And yet, the Thermaltake Floe Riing 360 RGB does it in a fashionable manner thanks to its RGB lightshow and the ability to cascade multiple controllers together, though not as easy as a plug-and-play solution.
- Pretty decent performance despite having fan blades that is actually smaller in diameter
- Fairly easy to install
- Sleeved tubes which helps to reduce evaporation rate
- TT RGB Plus software to control fan speed and RGB lighting
- Cascading multiple controllers is not simple plug-and-play
- Proprietary 9-pin cables for fans can only work with the included controller