Enermax LIQTECH 120X – Test and Review

After the huge success with the old AIO series called ELC featuring several models, ELC120-TA, ELC120-TB and ELC240, Enermax expanded their AIO products with a second series called LIQTECH. The series includes 3 very interesting products offering very innovative and reliable features. The models are:

  1. LIQMAX 120S – the AIO system features a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 156 x 120 x 32 mm, cooled by 1 x 120mm Twister Pressure fan working at 600 – 1300/2000/2500  revolutions per minute range, 310mm long FEP tubes and Copper cooling plate.  This model is equipped with a water pump working at 2300 revolutions per minute.
  2. LIQTECH 120X – the AIO cooler features a single slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 153 x 120 x 43 mm, cooled by 2 x 120mm Twister Pressure fans working at 600 – 1300/2000/2500  revolutions per minute range, 310mm long Polyamide (PA) rubber tubes and Copper cooling plate.  This model is equipped with a water pump working at 2500 revolutions per minute.
  3. LIQTECH 240 – the system features a dual slot aluminum radiator with dimensions of 273 x 120 x 27mm mm, cooled by 2 x 120mm Twister Pressure fans working at 600 – 1300/2000/2500  revolutions per minute range, 310mm long Polyamide (PA) rubber tubes and Copper cooling plate.  This model is equipped with a water pump working at 2500 revolutions per minute.

For this test and review I received the LIQTECH 120X model. An AIO cooler which looks really nice and most of all is very promising in terms of performance. So let’s waste no more time and check the features and then, the performance of the product.

The front of the box The side of the box
IMG_9914 IMG_9918

 

Enermax LIQTECH 120X  was provided to me for a test and review in a pretty small but very attractive carton package painted in black/red/white colours forming a very stylish and at the same time very aggressive colour scheme. On the front side of the box there is a big picture of the AIO cooler itself and some information regarding the sockets compatibility and the features which this product actually offers.

Of course, the full technical specification in several languages, dimensions of all of the components forming the AIO and a lot of additional pictures and details are on all other sides of the box.

To be honest, this package is one of the best looking packages which I ever seen so far and I believe it is time to put the box aside and check the features of the AIO itself. So, after I opened the package this is the view which I got.

Leaflet The AIO packed inside
IMG_9920 IMG_9922

 

First thing to notice after I opened the package was a very detailed installation manual placed above a Styrofoam sheet added with one purpose only and that is protecting the AIO structure. After I removed the installation manual and the Styrofoam sheet out of the box there was the AIO cooler, accompanied by the fans and all of the additional accessories, which will be needed so the cooler can be used with all modern Intel or AMD sockets. All of components forming the AIO were packed in separate nylon bags just to ensure that everything will arrive in perfect condition.

 

Enermax LIQTECH 120X ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES

After I spent some time taking all of the accessories out of their packages one by one and after I arranged them for taking some pictures, this is the view which I got.

IMG_9925

The standard Enermax LIQTECH 120X package offers:

  1. Two brackets entirely painted in black, which should be attached to the water block so the AIO could work with Intel platforms
  2. Two brackets entirely painted in black, which should be attached to the water block so the AIO could work with AMD platforms
  3. Combined black metal backplate needed for both Intel and AMD platforms
  4. Isolation pads for the back plate to ensure no short circuit with the back of the motherboard
  5. A lot of screws and nuts for installing the AIO on both Intel and AMD sockets
  6. 8 long bolts needed to attach the two fans to the radiator and to install the radiator to a 120mm case fan slot
  7. A thermal compound
  8. 4-pin PWM Y-splitter for powering and regulating the fans directly from the CPU fan header
  9. A square plastic bracket needed for AMD systems.
  10. Installation manual

I believe the time has arrived to check out the AIO water cooling system itself.

After I took the AIO out of package I noticed that Enermax LIQTECH 120X offers a pretty standard structure for an all-in-one water cooling system with some additional visual and performance improvements, featuring a thick and very attractive 120mm cooling radiator, a cooling block together with the pump attached, tubes, cooling fans and the mounting kit, which I am going to describe one by one in this article.

IMG_9924

So, let’s get started.

Enermax LIQTECH 120X STRUCTURE

After I took the AIO cooler out of the carton bed the first thing which actually drew my attention was the water block itself, made as one really stylish and at the same time solid and reliable structure.

Before I start describing the water block, I would like to mention that I am already in details familiar with this water block design, which I saw for first time back when I tested and reviewed SilverStone Tundra TD03 and after that I saw its insides when I made the Project Black water mod. In fact, Enermax is using the same water block but with some major visual and performance improvements.

The top of the waterblock The side of the waterblock
IMG_9938 IMG_9940

 

Enermax LIQTECH 120X is equipped with a very stylish looking water block with dimensions of 65mm (L) x 55mm (W) x 37.5mm (H) made of a square, perfectly milled copper contact plate with the water pump attached on the top. The connection between the cooling plate and the water block is done by 8 screws, which is actually the first improvement in comparison to the water block used by SilverStone. The additional 8 screws are added to improve the overall durability and reliability of the water block itself.

liqtech_chart02

Apart from that, inside the water block the cooling plate features the patented Shunt-Channel-Technology (SCT) with which the cold plate can eliminate the “Boundary Layer” to increase coolant flow momentum and accelerate heat transfer performance. When the CPU core is overclocked and generates hot spot, SCT design creates the redistribution and remix of coolant flow among individual channels to effectively remove heat surge on the CPU in an extremely timely and efficient manner.

IMG_9942

Both the contact plate and the pump together are covered with a nickel-plated unibody aluminum block, which for this product is entirely painted in black matte. And here comes one more improvement, which actually is an additional small cooling heat sink, of course entirely painted in black matte attached to top of the aluminum block featuring the company logo. Apart from that, when the AIO is working there are some blue LEDs beneath the heat sink logo, which are not very bright but still add some nice visual effect to the overall system appearance. And here comes something that made me think… The whole AIO is made in the black/red/white colour scheme, but why are the LEDs blue?

For this AIO cooler both of the Intel and AMD mounting brackets are entirely painted in black matte and made to be attached using 4 small screws to specially designed channels on both sides of the water block. Of course, the filling hole is again on one of the sides secured with a bolt and rubber isolation.

IMG_9946

The installation itself is a pretty easy and very reliable way to hold the water block in place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow the rotation of the water block in all directions for AMD but for Intel it is just fine.

IMG_9948

The pump itself is powered and regulated by a separate not very long 4 Pin PWM cable sleeved in black mesh, coming out of the water block, which when working at maximum speed of 2500 revolutions per minute consumes up to 3.6W.

The black water block looks really stylish but the major visual effect is added from the cooling radiator. And by mentioning the radiator let’s check its structure.

Enermax LIQTECH 120X  is equipped with very good looking, painted in black matte and at the same time pretty interesting water cooling radiator made entirely of aluminum with a thick design and dimensions of 153 x 120 x 43 mm.

The side of the radiator The front of the radiator
IMG_9930 IMG_9935

 

Enermax seamless radiator is made to offer 120% better coverage than a conventional structure. This helps the fins carry away more heat from the pipes and cool the coolant more efficiently than traditional structures.

Apart from that, the cooling radiator is designed as a structure of 2 components which features the entirely painted in black aluminum body and 2 additional aluminum, entirely painted in black brackets which should be attached to both sides with two small screws. Both of the brackets are actually pretty thick and are working as additional heat sinks to improve the overall cooling efficiency and to hold the fans. And to provide the best possible cooling/noise efficiency both of the brackets feature rubber strips, entirely painted in red.

IMG_9933

The connection between the radiator and the water block is done by two Ø10mm Polyamide (PA) rubber tubes with length of 310 mm entirely made to provide maximum durability and effectively shield against leakage and corrosion.

The radiator itself  is compatible with up to two 120 x 25 mm fans installed on both sides of the aluminum fins in push-pull setup.

And by mentioning the fans, let’s check what they have to offer.

IMG_9951

The standard Enermax LIQTECH 120X package offers two ELC-LT120HP fans featuring the patented Enermax Twister Bearing with MTBF up to ≧160,000 hours, which can be attached to the radiator via 4 long bolts for every fan and the bolts which will be needed for the back fan are actually the ones which will hold the radiator to the case on the back or top of every middle or full ATX modern case.

The fans themselves feature a square plastic frame with dimensions of 120 x 25 mm and propellers featuring 9 very wide and at the same time very sharply angled blades made to operate at 3 different performance modes:

  • Silent mode: 600 – 1300 revolutions per minute mode providing airflow level range of 48.5 ~ 102.4 m3/h , static level pressure of 0.8 ~ 1.7 mm-H2O at noise level of 15 ~ 21.5dBA.
  • Performance mode: 600 – 2000 revolutions per minute mode providing airflow level range of 48.5 ~ 150.9 m3/h , static level pressure of 0.8 ~ 4.7 mm-H2O at noise level of 15 ~ 27dBA.
  • Overclock mode: 600 – 2500 revolutions per minute mode providing airflow level range of 48.5 ~ 188.7 m3/h , static level pressure of 0.8 ~ 7.4 mm-H2O at noise level of 15 ~ 30dBA.

In order to install the fans to the radiator and the radiator to a 120mm case fan slot, I have to use the 8 long bolts provided in the package.

IMG_9952

And this is what the fans look like installed on each side of the radiator.

The front of the radiator The AIO assembled
IMG_9955 IMG_9956

 

After I’ve assembled the AIO I should say that it’s a pretty nice, stylish and very attractive structure, combined with very aggressive colour scheme featuring an entirely painted in black water block and tubes, black/red radiator and painted in black fans which will definitely fit in any modern case, especially in the black/red colours.

To use the AIO I will have to install it using the mounting kit provided in the package and according to the official details announced on the company web page, the AIO is made to be compatible with:

  1. Intel sockets:  LGA 775/1150/1155/1156/1366/2011
  2. AMD sockets: AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+

Of course, for doing the tests I will have to use the AMD brackets, the back plate and some bolts and nuts:

IMG_9928

To test and review the AIO cooler I shall assemble the pretty extensive mounting kit. Something which I will describe step by step in the next lines and pictures.

IMG_9958

These are all of the parts which should be assembled so I can install the back plate to the motherboard and later install the water block to the processor.

Preparing the back plate The back plate ready
IMG_9961 IMG_9962

 

As always, first thing to do is to stick the short circuit isolation pads to the back plate and place the 4 long bolts inside the holes as you can see on the pictures above. Apart from that, the additional plastic square part has to be installed in the middle of the metal back plate to push it a bit further away from the motherboard.

With the back plate installed to the back of the motherboard I was able to attach the AIO and install both together back inside the case.

And this is what the AIO looks like inside the case ready to be tested and reviewed.

IMG_9964

As you can see from the picture above, when the water block is attached to the processor it will not block any of the DIMM slots and will provide full low profile and high profile RAM compatibility.

 

Enermax LIQTECH 120X  TESTS

With the AIO installed, the time to check my testing rig has arrived and I continue the article with the tests…

CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350

  1. At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.356V)
  2. At low overclock frequency of 4.220 MHz  (at 1.392V)
  3. At medium overclock frequency of 4.420 MHz (at 1.416V)

Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3

Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD

Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Hard drive:  WD Server Edition WD1002F9YZ 1TB

Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03

Power supply: Antec HCP-750W

Cooler: Enermax LIQTECH 120X 

Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

For this test and review I am going to use the two standard Twister Pressure fans working at speed range of 600 – 2500 revolutions per minute, providing airflow level range of 48.5 ~ 188.7 m3/h , static level pressure of 0.8 ~ 7.4 mm-H2O at noise level of 15 ~ 30dBA in push-pull setup.

The tests will be conducted in a closed system with:

  1. 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel of the case putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
  2. 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
  3. Room temperature of about 20 degrees.

Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.

And here I want to describe my testing method.

I will install Enermax LIQTECH 120X and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the AIO for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.356V), at low overclock frequency of 4.220 GHz (at 1.392V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.420 GHz (at 1.416V) using the two fans working at:

  • Silent mode: 600 – 1300 revolutions per minute mode providing airflow level range and the pump working at full speed.
  • Overclock mode: 600 – 2500 revolutions per minute mode providing airflow level range and the pump working at full speed.

Now let’s check out the test results:

LIQTECH 120X Silent Mode 2FANs@4020MHz 1.356V  LIQTECH 120X OC Mode 2FANs@4020MHz 1.356V
Enermax LIQTECH 120X 1300@4020MHz 1.356V Enermax LIQTECH 120X 2500@4020MHz 1.356V
LIQTECH 120X Silent Mode 2FANs@4220MHz 1.392V LIQTECH 120X OC Mode 2FANs@4220MHz 1.392V 
Enermax LIQTECH 120X 1300@4220MHz 1.392V Enermax LIQTECH 120X 2500@4220MHz 1.392V
 LIQTECH 120X Silent Mode 2FANs@4420MHz 1.416V LIQTECH 120X OC Mode 2FANs@4420MHz 1.416V 
Enermax LIQTECH 120X 1300@4420MHz 1.416V Enermax LIQTECH 120X 2500@4420MHz 1.416V

 

All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:

Results T

And the fan speed during the tests:

Results R

I believe the time for conclusions has arrived.

 

Enermax LIQTECH 120X CONCLUSIONS

1. Enermax LIQTECH 120X performance:

After I’ve spent some hours unpacking the Enermax LIQTECH 120X and all of the accessories part of the very extensive packaging which will be needed for normal operation, arranging them for taking some pictures, reviewing and installing the AIO cooler on my motherboard and finally after I’ve finished testing I can say that I am really impressed with the overall appearance, features and performance of the product.

Enermax LIQTECH 120X is one really interesting and very attractive product made to provide amazing build quality and at the same time very aggressive appearance and very serious cooling performance. The AIO itself is equipped with a 43mm thick radiator design, cooled by really fast and very well performing fans, and after I’ve finished the tests with my really hot AMD FX-8350 I can recommend this AIO cooler to be used in every modern desktop system cooling all modern processors on the market while working at default or even overclocked frequencies without any problem. It will definitely handle the load, unfortunately by sacrificing the noise.

And by mentioning the noise here I want to point out that both of the fans are equipped with the patented APS PWM control, which offer the option to every customer to set the preferred revolutions per minute range which will provide the most suitable cooling / noise level balance. And from what I saw the first mode is made to provide Silent operation and it is really silent, while the other two modes are totally made for performance usage and when these modes are used the noise level increases significantly.

2. Enermax LIQTECH 120X appearance:

Enermax LIQTECH 120X is entirely made to provide very stylish design combined with very aggressive colour scheme, which when working inside a black or red middle or full tower ATX case offers pretty nice visual effect and that can be the base for a very good looking desktop machine or a modding project in black/red. Before I give the award I want to mention that if the water block back light was made in red, the cooler would be an absolute killer.

According to my review, I think that Enermax LIQTECH 120X deserves the following reward:

Best-Perf-Visual

Official price (MSRP) for Enermax LIQTECH 120X: unknown

Official warranty: 24 months

Special thanks to Enermax for providing the test sample.

enermax_banner

Enermax LIQTECH 120X – Test and Review
9.2 Total Score
Excellent appearance / performance/ noise level balance

Performance
10
Noise Level
9
Compatibility
9
Additional accessories
10
User Rating: 4.4 (1 votes)

Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of www.DVTests.com with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
4 Comments
  1. Reply Svetoslav 02.02.2015 at 10:22

    Great work! It seems a nice AIO water cooler, but being an Enermax I do not expect the price to be very low.
    Did you notice any water pump noise in silent mode?

    • Reply Dk_vr 03.02.2015 at 11:40

      Thank you for the good words…
      According to what I saw on the web, the price for this product is surprisingly low.

      Through my tests I was not able to hear the pump at all in fact both of the fans were working at about 2300 rpm.
      After the tests when I set the fans at silent mode it was absolute quiet but a little bit too sensitive. Every temperature spike was making the fans to make rpm spikes too.

      With silent mode it was fine but with performance mode the fans are constantly increasing and dropping the speed. And after some time it might become a little bit annoying for normal home user. For the extreme users this is a song for the ears.

  2. Reply Stuen4y 02.02.2015 at 10:15

    Great review once again. I am quite disappointed though by the way they have hidden the thickness of the radiator… It’s quite deceiving. I would not buy it for myself. The performance is just right though.

    • Reply Dk_vr 03.02.2015 at 11:36

      Thanks for the good words.
      Yes it is a bit strange why the additional heatsinks are hiding the thickness of the radiator itself but from what I saw even with this radiator the AIO is very good performer.
      Yes it is a bit noisy at full fan speed but it provide a lot of possibilities for quiet and extreme cooling.

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