Sharkoon S90 RGB review – Performant, colorful and high-quality workmanship
The name Sharkoon or Sharkoon Technologies GmbH stands for a German company founded in 2003 and based in Pohlheim (Germany) and Taiwan. The manufacturer specializes in the development of high-quality and affordable PC components and gaming products. The portfolio has so far included cases and power supplies, but also fans, mice, mouse pads, keyboards, headsets, gaming chairs and other peripherals. Sharkoon has not yet gained a foothold in the CPU cooler segment. The manufacturer now wants to change that with a series of AiO water coolers. After the Sharkoon S80 RGB, we also have Sharkoon S90 RGB in review for you today.
Inhaltsverzeichnis / Table of contents
Sharkoon added the first AiO water coolers to its own portfolio in February 2023 with the S70 RGB, S80 RGB and S90 RGB. The S90 RGB is said to be an all-in-one water cooling system, which is supposed to provide efficient cooling for all CPUs with a 360-millimeter radiator and is also supposed to be visually convincing due to the illuminated fans as well as pump elements with infinity mirror effect. Furthermore, the manufacturer mentions the high socket compatibility with easy installation, flexible as well as textile-covered hoses and a rotatable Sharkoon logo in the pump lid as features. What the Sharkoon S90 RGB can do, learn here in the following chapters.
Sharkoon S90 RGB review: technical details
|Compatibility AMD||TR4 / TRX4 / AM5 / AM4 / AM2 / FM2 / FM1 / AM3+ / AM2+ / AM2|
|Compatibility Intel||LGA 115X / 1366 / 1200 / 1700 / 2011 / 2011-3 / 2066|
||€ 129.90 *|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||392 x 121 x 27.5 mm|
|Number of fans||3|
|Fan name||Sharkoon Brushless DC Fan|
|Bearing type||hydrodynamic plain bearing (HDB)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Fan speed||600 ~ 2,000 rpm ± 10%|
|Max. Noise||35 db(A)|
|Max. Volume flow||131.93 m³/h|
|Max. Air pressure||2.90 mm H2O|
|Lighting||12x addressable RGB LED (per fan)|
|Nominal voltage (fan)||12 V|
|Nominal voltage (LEDs)||5 V|
|Nominal current (fans)||0.21 A|
|Nominal current (LEDs)||0.54 A|
|Nominal power (fans)||2.52 W|
|Nominal power (LEDs)||2.7 W|
|Fan connector||4-pin PWM|
|LED connector||4-pin (5V-D-coded-G)|
|Fan cable length||450 mm|
|LED cable length||450 mm|
|Dimensions||Ø 71.5 mm x 52.3 mm|
|Cooling plate material||copper|
|Pump speed||1,600 ~ 3,200 rpm ± 6%|
|Nominal voltage (pump)||12 V|
|Nominal voltage (LEDs)||5 V|
|Nominal current (pump)||0.35 A|
|Nominal current (LEDs)||0.8 A|
|Nominal power (pump)||4.2 W|
|Nominal power (LEDs)||4.0 W|
|Pump connection||4-pin PWM|
|LED connector||4-pin (5V-D-coded-G)|
Packaging & Scope of delivery
The packaging of the Sharkoon S90 RGB consists of color printed cardboard and is dominated by the main colors black and white. Furthermore, some colorful product images have been printed on the packaging. Lastly, you can find details about the type of CPU cooler and information about the most important features, all technical specifications, as well as a listing of the package contents. The text elements were mostly written in English. However, the listing of the main features was printed in several languages.
Inside the cardboard box, Sharkoon places all the components in a mold made of recycled cardboard and wraps the radiator, hoses, pump block, fans, and other mounting materials in a plastic film for extra protection. Overall, the scope of delivery includes the radiator with pump, three 120 mm fans with RGB lighting, a backplate or mounting bracket made of metal, necessary mounting materials (screws, spacers, etc.), a small tube of thermal compound, connection cables and detailed installation instructions.
Design & Workmanship
Visually, the radiator of the S90 RGB is designed the same as the heat exchanger of the S80 RGB, except that it is longer. It consists of soldered aluminum fins, which, to improve the appearance, were painted black. The manufacturer’s lettering or lighting elements were omitted. However, to further enhance the look of the radiator, the two ends of the radiator were powder coated black and the elongated sides were covered with a brushed aluminum cover plate. With a height of 27.5 millimeters, the radiator is within the average height of many commercially available compact water cooling systems.
Sharkoon also relies on black as well as textile-coated water hoses with a length of 400 millimeters for the S90 RGB. This is usually sufficient to be able to place the radiator anywhere in a midi tower without any problems. Also helpful is the pump block, which has flexible hose joints with a wide swivel range. However, both on the radiator and on the pump side, the black hoses were pressed into metal sleeves. This makes the solution a closed system, where the cooling circuit can not be expanded.
The pump housing of the Sharkoon S90 RGB is made of plastic, but this has been encased in a grayish aluminum to improve the look and feel. Heat is transferred from the CPU’s heatspreader to the cooling circuit via a copper baseplate. The pump built into the block rotates between 1600 and 3200 rpm and is connected to the motherboard via a 4-pin PWM connector.
In the lid of the pump you can also find a mirrored surface, behind which there are numerous RGB LEDs or an illuminated manufacturer’s logo and which is surrounded by a ring in diamond optics. When the illumination is activated, an infinity mirror effect is displayed. The LEDs are controlled via a 5V 3-pin cable from the mainboard. Furthermore, there is also another RGB strip on the side around the pump block.
The included fans of the type “Sharkoon Brushless DC Fan” consist of a black fan frame and a milky rotor with nine fan blades each. The connection is made via a 4-pin PWM connector including a Y-switch directly on the motherboard and makes the fans adjustable between 600 and 2000 rpm. Furthermore, the fans have small gray rubber buffers at the corners, which should prevent the transfer of vibrations to the radiator or the case.
For the implementation of the lighting, 12 addressable RGB LEDs are used in the fan hub. The LEDs are controlled via a proprietary connector, which can be converted to a conventional 5V 3-pin ARGB connector via an adapter and connected to the RGB cable of the pump.
Combining the fan, radiator and pump, the Sharkoon S90 RGB comes in at a proud weight of 1.86 kilograms. In terms of depth, it comes in at an identical 52.5 millimeters to its little sister, the S80 RGB. Unlike the S80 RGB, however, the S90 RGB requires significantly more space in the case and correspondingly longer mounting rails due to the larger radiator. In terms of build quality, we could not find any flaws here either. Fan, radiator or the pump unit did not show any processing or paint defects. Furthermore, there were no bent fins or unsightly scratches.
Sharkoon S90 RGB review: assembly
For the review, we are using a test system on a benchtable. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat buildup in the case. The test system consists of the following components.
- AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ 3.8 GHz at 1.25V
- MSI B350 PC Mate
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT gray 32 GB DDR4-3000
- Corsair Force Series MP510 960GB Nvme
- Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1060 6G
- LC-Power LC550 V2.31 Platinum Series 550W
The installation procedure is identical for all of Sharkoon’s AiO water cooling systems. In the following, we explain the procedure on an AM4 mainboard. The installation on Intel works mostly analogously, except that a different mounting frame as well as the supplied backplate must be used.
First, we start with the preparation of the motherboard. Since the S90 RGB is attached to the backplate of the AMD retention module, the plastic brackets on the front of the motherboard have to be removed first. Instead, special spacers with threads on both sides are now screwed into the AMD backplate by hand. After that, you would install the radiator in the case. However, since we are using a benchtable, this step is omitted.
Next, the pump block must be prepared and fitted with the correct retaining bracket. For this purpose, the pump block or the mounting frame have retaining lugs with the help of which the frame snaps in accordingly after a rotation and remains on the pump. After we have evenly distributed the thermal paste (Arctic MX-4) on the heatspreader of the CPU, the pump can be placed on the processor. In the last step, the mounting frame is firmly connected to the backplate’s spacers via four thumbscrews.
The overall impression of the mounting system is good and strongly resembles the method of Asetek’s AiO water cooling systems. It is easy to mount and you theoretically don’t even need tools. Moreover, it offers high compatibility and can be attached to all old and new sockets. If there are any doubts during installation, they should disappear into thin air with a look at the installation instructions. There, all steps are explained in detail with text and pictures.
Loudness and cooling performance
As pointed out in the previous chapter, we are using an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the MSI B350 PC Mate as our test hardware. The Ryzen runs at 3.8 GHz at 1.25V. To warm up the processor, it was loaded with Prime95 for 15 minutes. The CPU’s temperature was then read out with the CPUID hardware monitor and the room temperature was around 20 °C during the measurements.
|wdt_ID||CPU-Kühler||Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C)||Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C)||Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)||Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)|
|77||Enermax AQUAFUSION ADV 360||50,20||50,10||1.460||2.100||2.230||3.200|
|78||DeepCool LS520 SE||51,40||50,00||1.460||2.200||2.100||3.020|
|79||Alphacool Core Ocean T38 360mm||52,20||49,30||1.600||2.500||1.800||3.200|
|80||DeepCool Castle 280EX||53,00||52,00||1.050||1.600|
|81||Raijintek Scylla Elite CA360 ARGB||54,00||51,00||850||1.000||3.200||4.000|
|83||SilentiumPC Fera 5 Dual Fan||55,00||53,00||730||1.300|
|84||ENDORFY Navis F360||55,50||49,40||1.200||1.975|
|85||Thermaltake CNPS10X Performa||56,00||53,00||700||1.500|
|86||ALSEYE Xtreme X360||57,00||53,00||1.100||1.600|
|CPU-Kühler||Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C)||Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C)||Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)||Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)|
As can be seen from the table or the diagram, the CPU of our test system reaches a maximum of 51.4°C (at 50% PWM fan and pump speed) or 49.4°C (at 100% fan and pump speed) at full load. When the fan (600 rpm) and pump (1820 rpm) run at minimum speed, a maximum temperature of 56.7°C is reached. This puts the Sharkoon S90 RGB virtually at the top of our table and even with reduced RPMs, it offers more than enough leeway for stronger CPUs to reach a critical temperature.
However, even with the S90 RGB, you have to make concessions in terms of noise with better cooling performance. At maximum fan and pump speed, the system is clearly audible and definitely too loud for a silent system. The three fans are always the main source of noise. Only below 800-1000 rpm does the noise of the fans stop. A subtle whirring can be heard from the pump at higher speeds, but it is quickly drowned out by the noise of the fans and completely disappears below 1900 rpm.
Sharkoon S90 RGB review: lighting options
The Sharkoon S90 RGB features various ARGB elements that can be controlled via the motherboard. These include the fans, whose fan hub has corresponding LEDs, as well as the pump block, where additional LEDs are located below the mirror plate. The control is done via the 3-pin 5V ARGB connector on the pump block. The fan connections are directly connected to the pump block via an included cable. This way, the mainboard only needs a single ARGB connector to control the lighting. Finally a few impressions of the activated lighting.
Summary of Sharkoon S90 RGB review
Can the second AiO watercooler from Sharkoon also convince? We would like to answer these questions with a clear “yes”. The chic look with RGB lighting and aluminum applications, the excellent build quality and the very high cooling performance remain unchanged. The mounting system is compatible with all older and new sockets and eliminates the need for tools. The shorter fan cables with daisy-chain feature also make cabling easier and make the system look tidier afterwards.
Similar to the Sharkoon S80 RGB, the proprietary RGB connectors of the fans as well as the volume in the higher speed range could be mentioned as points of criticism for the S90 RGB. However, the statement from the review of the S80 RGB also applies here. Due to high fan speeds, the volume is a problem with many AiO water cooling systems and can usually be controlled quite well by individual fan curves in the BIOS. The proprietary RGB connectors of the fans are easily adapted via the included cable and connected to the Y-crossover of the pump.
With a purchase price of € 129.90 *, Sharkoon also places the S90 RGB in the midfield. Basically, the price seems reasonable here as well. Nevertheless, Sharkoon’s larger AiO water cooler first has to assert itself against other well-known manufacturers in this area. The Sharkoon S90 RGB definitely has the potential to do so, and only time will tell.
Sharkoon S90 RGB
Value for money
The Sharkoon S90 RGB offers a chic look including RGB lighting, excellent workmanship and high compatibility. Due to the 360 mm radiator, it also convinces with an enormous cooling performance. However, adjustments to the fan curve are necessary to silence the water cooling.
Sharkoon S90 RGB AIO 360mm, Wasserkühlung price comparison
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