Once known only for being a supplier of quality power supplies, Enermax has expanded their product line over the past several years. They now provide cases, cooling products, and a host of peripherals to computer enthusiasts. Today, we’ll be looking at their latest all-in-one CPU water cooler, the Liqtech 240 HP. This all-in-one CPU cooler is armed with Enermax’s unique water block and a 240 mm radiator, but how well does it perform? Let’s take it for a spin and find out.
Specifications & Features
Here are the specifications as provided by the Enermax product page. The first thing I noticed is that we have an aluminum radiator and pump casing mixed with a copper cold plate. Mixing aluminum and copper in the same loop is typically frowned upon, but Enermax feels the anti-freeze and anti-corrosion fluid they use is enough to ward off any potential problems. The pump casing is anodized aluminum, which can also help prevent corrosion. With Enermax offering a two-year warranty, I suspect they are quite confident they have potential corrosion issues under control.
The Liqtech 240 HP fits all current AMD and Intel sockets, which will allow the unit to be used on older and newer systems alike.
|Enermax Liqtech 240 HP Specifications|
Here is an engineering diagram showing all the dimensions you could possibly need. This could be important information if there are any fitment questions.
Below is a list of the marketing highlights courtesy of Enermax. The first item below states the water block is aluminum, but I think they are referring to the outer casing of the pump/block assembly.
- High quality aluminum water block prevents operating noise and improves cooling efficiency
- Patented Shunt-Channel-Technology (SCT) boosts thermal conductivity and eliminates any heat surge
- Precise micro-channel cold plate enlarges the cooling surface
- Innovative radiator structure provides seamless contact area and increases heat dissipating speed
- 2x length radiator enhances heat exchange capacity and cooling performance
- High-pressure airflow fan with smart APS (Adjustable peak speed) control providing 3 peak rpm options
- All-in-one liquid cooling system with maintenance free prefilled coolant
- Ceramic bearing pump for longer life span and noiseless operation
- Flexible polyamide (PA) rubber tubes ensure zero permeability
- Easy-install smart bracket gives perfect contact force with CPU
Having a look at the high-level features, again we see the aluminum pump block assembly. Low operating noise, improved cooling efficiency, and a ceramic bearing in the pump are what Enermax emphasizes here. The copper cold plate design is what Enermax calls its patented Shunt-Channel-Technology (SCT). The aluminum radiator features a seamless structure that is said to provide 140% more fin contact area when compared to conventional radiator designs. Flexible polyamide rubber tubing is used, which is known to resist leaking and corrosion. The included 120 mm fans are the Enermax patented APS PWM control variety and feature three cooling modes that can be set with a small switch on the fan hub.
Enermax chose a red and black theme for the retail box, which is an attractive affair with lots of pictures. Most of what we touched on in the features section above is also printed on the box, so you’ll get a good idea of what you’re buying into with a look around the package.
Once opened, you’ll find Enermax did a terrific job protecting the contents within. Everything is wrapped in plastic bags to ensure there are no scratches or blemishes once it arrives. There is an installation/user guide sitting on top that will come in handy. The last two picture below are of all the box contents laid out.
The box of hardware includes everything you need for installing the unit. Provisions are made for installation on any current socket type, both Intel and AMD.
The Enermax Liqtech 240 HP Up Close
The two included 120 mm fans are unique in that they have a switch built into the hub that gives you three speed options. All three options bottom out at 600 RPM, but the upper range options are 1300, 2000, and 2500 RPM. By default, the fans are set to the 600/2000 RPM setting. The switch can be seen in the second picture below along the left side of the hub area. The fans are part number ED122512S-PA fans, which can provide about 100 CFM and over 7mm H2O of static pressure at full speed. The fans also feature a 4-pin connector, so PWM operation is possible. With specs like that, and the ability to adjust the upper RPM range, you should be able to dial in these fans to match any usage scenario.
Below are a few images of the 240 mm radiator. Both sides have red rubber strips to minimize fan vibrations and provide a bit of color contrast. The paint job on the radiator is actually one of the best I’ve seen, it really looks nice and reeks of quality. Being a sealed unit means the tubes are attached to the radiator with non-serviceable clamps, shown in the last picture below.
Turning our attention to the pump/block assembly, again we see it’s a very attractive looking piece of hardware. The aluminum casing actually has fins on the top portion to help dissipate any heat that is generated. The Enermax logo in the center illuminates with a soft blue glow when the unit is running. The copper cold plate is nicely machined and smooth to the touch. The streaks you see in the pictures below are residue from the protective sticker applied at the factory. I’ll be sure to clean that off before installing! The power cable connector is 3-pin, so no PWM function is available here. However, there are quite a few motherboards on the market that can control 3-pin connectors, should you want to do that.
I’ll be installing the Liqtech 240 HP on my open-air test bed, which is an Intel i7 4770K socket 1150 setup. Installation begins with installing the fans on the radiator. The instructions say to position the fans on the radiator in such a manner the air flow will pass through the radiator and exhaust out of the case. If you’re a rebel like me, you might prefer to do the opposite and install the fans so air is drawn in from outside the case and exhausted inside. In all honesty, it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of difference either way, but this unit allows you to choose your preferred method. Because I’m testing the unit in an open air environment, I went ahead and installed the fans as the manual suggests. Another thing to take note of is the RPM range switch we spoke of earlier. Because of the switch’s location on the hub, it won’t be accessible once a fan is installed. So, make sure to set those switches the way you want from the start. From this point, just mount the radiator wherever your case supports installing a 240 mm radiator. Hardware is included for mounting the fans to the radiator and mounting the radiator to the case.
I did a quick mock-up installation on a spare socket 1150 motherboard so you can get a feel for the pump/block mounting. First, you grab the back plate and slide the bolts through the holes that match your socket type. In this case, it was the center position.
Next, install the back plate to the motherboard, then simply lower the block/pump assembly over the bolts and secure with the spring loaded thumb nuts.
If you’re wondering about AMD installation, the process is almost identical to Intel installation. You’ll need to remove the Intel mounting brackets from the pump/block assembly and install the included AMD brackets. There are four included insulation stickers that need applied to the back plate before installing it. Once those steps are done, slide the mounting bolts through the back plate and install it to the motherboard. From the top side of the motherboard, slide the four included black plastic sleeves over the mounting bolts, place the pump/block assembly in position, and secure it with the four thumb nuts.
|Motherboard||ASUS Maximus VI Formula|
|CPU||Intel i7 4770K Haswell|
|Memory||G.SKill TridentX DD3-2400 MHz 2x8GB|
|SSD||Samsung EVO 500 GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair HX1050 Professional Series|
|Video Card||EVGA GTX 780 Ti Classified|
|Cooling||EKWB Supreme LTX CPU Water Block – 360 mm Radiator – MCP35X Pump
Swiftech H220 AIO Cpu Cooler
Enermax Liqtech 240 HP AIO CPU Cooler
As you can see by the system specs above, I’ll be comparing the Liqtech 240 HP with a custom loop and the Swiftech H220 AIO CPU Cooler. This will will give you perspective on how the unit performs against a custom built water cooling setup and what is widely regarded as the best AIO cooler in the H220.
All testing was done in a room at 74 °F (25 °C) and we chose Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 as the thermal interface material. Each comparison cooler was used with the fans that came packaged with it. For the load testing, AIDA64 System stability test was used to load the CPU 100% for 30 minutes, and the highest average temperature of all four cores was recorded. For the idle results, I let the system sit idle for 30 minutes and again recorded highest average temperature of all four cores. Testing was done twice – once with the fans set to 50% speed and again with the fans running at 100%. The overclocked testing was performed with the CPU set to 4.5 GHz using 1.3 V.
The 50% fan speed testing showed almost no difference between all three comparisons when the CPU was sitting idle. This held true with the CPU at stock and while overclocked. This isn’t surprising as most any type of decent cooler can keep a CPU within a few degrees of ambient when it’s sitting idle. Once the CPU was put under 100% load, the custom loop outperformed the two AIO units as expected. The Enermax and Swiftech units traded wins and performed within a single degree of each other across the board.
Next, we ramped the fan speeds up to 100% on all three comparison samples. Just as expected, all three comparisons were pretty much identical when the CPU was sitting idle. Once we put the CPU under load, the custom loop continued to dominate and the Enermax fell a couple degrees behind the Swiftech unit.
In all reality, there is little difference between the Enermax and Swiftech units as far as performance goes. An argument could even be made that my results are within the margin of error, which pretty much makes it a wash between the two units. I have to admit, the Enermax Liqtech 240 HP surprised me with how well it performed. Nothing to complain about on the performance side.
To be completely honest, I was expecting the Swiftech unit to dominate the Enermax it in all areas. But quite frankly that just didn’t happen. However, the one advantage the Swiftech has over the Enermax is fan noise. When the fans were ramped up to 100%, the Enermax unit was substantially louder than the Swiftech with its fans also set to 100%. That’s not to say the Enermax fans are annoyingly loud, but the difference is noticeable. The Enermax unit has an advantage of its own too, and that’s on the aesthetics side. In my opinion, the Enermax unit looks fantastic and feels like a well-crafted piece of hardware once you get it in your hands. Another advantage the Enermax has is its ease of installation. Enermax came up with a hassle-free back plate and installation procedure that even the most novice user can handle. It’s one of the easiest AIO installations I’ve come across to date.
Other than the the fans being louder than those found on the Swiftech unit, the Enermax fan’s three position switch is another advantage it has over the competition. By setting the switch to the lower RPM limit, you can effectively make the noise level compete against just about any fan out there; but you may have to sacrifice a degree or two in cooling performance. Simply having that option is an advantage most other AIO units simply don’t offer.
As far as pricing goes, again the Enermax Liqtech 240 HP surprised me. It can be had for $109.99 at Newegg, which puts it right at the median of similar products from other manufacturers. Based on performance and aesthetics alone, I figured it would be priced a bit higher than that. So, I think the price is right about where it should be. But, wait, there’s more! There is currently a $15 rebate available, which makes your final cost $94.99. At that price, it’s about as close to a no-brainer as you’re going to get.
Wrapping things up here, if you’re in the market for a great performing, good looking AIO CPU water cooler that comes with a set of awesome fans… it’s right here. Enermax did a fine job with the Liqtech 240 HP… Overclockers Approved!