Beginning to think I should have bought an EVGA or ThermalTake cooler.
From a performance perspective, I can highly recommend the Arctic Liquid Freezer II
. I don't know of any AIOs that are the same size that beat their lineup (for performance or performance/dBA) and they even added RGB models to the whole lineup (not my bag, but I can't blame them for how many people love it these days).
I am not at all knocking the EVGA CLC lineup. I ran their 280mm for about 5-6 years and it performed very well. Comparing the two series reviews, it seems the performance can be similar, but the EVGA one will be quite a bit louder. I think that's because the radiators Arctic uses are thicker, so they don't require as much noise (airflow) to get the same amount of cooling. You just need to have space. Also, I don't know if EVGA still supports their software for the CLCs (I'm completely ignorant on this as I never used it), but I have seen some complaints about bugginess and functionality on that forum section before. The good thing (really good from my perspective) is that you don't even need to plug in the USB cable at all. You can make it 100% fully operational just using the fan header. One less thing to troubleshoot or have go wrong lol.
Is there some sort of software/firmware/bios update from EVGA I need in order to get an AIO to work? I'm at my wits end at this point. MSI tech support is worse than useless, all they do is make me redo things I've already done. When they answer at all.
Just to kind of start over as it's been a while...Looking at the user manual and ignoring fans for a second, you have 3 connections you can make:
1. Motherboard Fan header (a 4-pin is shown in the manual even though the only signals are RPM/tachometer and GND...not
2. Motherboard USB header
3. SATA Power direct to the PSU
1. for the fan header connector, no setting you apply in BIOS is going to do anything to that. It's sole purpose is to tell the motherboard how fast the pump is spinning. I would plug that into the pump header if it was me, just to keep the labeling easy in my head. That way, if you go into your BIOS and look at the PUMP RPM, you should see if the pump is moving or not, regardless of what the MSI software might tell you. As for setting up the parameters of that header, I'd just set it on DC and 100%. That won't have any impact on the pump because that wire is not connected, but I don't know if it would try and adjust anything if it sees a pump speed but isn't outputting do to a smart profile so just setting it at 100% would keep everything constant (this is probably not an issue, but I feel like its the safest way to set it and avoid any...weirdness).
2. Assuming you have this plugged in, as you say you do (I'm not questioning this), the website indicates MSI Center is the application to use. I haven't used that before, but their FAQ says there may be firmware available through the MSI Center. You go to Live Update -> Advanced to scan for new firmware.
3. Like the old commercial said "plug it in, plug it in"...and of course you did or I don't think any of it would work at all.
So factoring in that 1. is a feedback to the motherboard (not control from the motherboard), nothing in the BIOS or motherboard control is going to fix this cooler. The only possible thing that can fix this is a driver or firmware from MSI to make their software control it better, unless of course, the pump is just bad and you got two bad pumps in a row.