Liquid cooling has become more important than ever with the excessive amount of heat that computers generate. AIO (All in one) water coolers have dominated the sales charts due to their ease of installation, and performance per dollar. Custom water cooling loops are still the best for performance, but that can be complicated, and cost alot to invest in. Enermax has some solid products, and today I will be looking at one of their AIO solutions. Lets see how the Liqmax II 240 stands out against the growing competition in the water cooling arena.
|P.U. – Net Weight (kg)
|P.U. – Gross Weight (kg)
|P.U. – Dimensions (mm)
||L 510 x W 455 x H 320
||L 650 x W 335 x H 325
|Pieces / P.U.
The packaging was very nice for this product. It showcases the Liqmax II 240 nicely. The back of the unit has a great rundown of all the major features that make this AIO fantastic. This cooler is also rated right on the front for 350W+ TDP. This give lots of headroom for thermal performance for overclocking.
The accessories include:
- 1x Liquid Cooler ELC-LMR120S-BS/ELC-LMR240-BS
- 2x 12cm Double Batwing Fans
- 1x Universal Backplate for Intel® and AMD® sockets
- 4x Stand-offs
- 2x Intel® Bracket
- 2x AMD® Bracket
- 4x Stand-off for Intel® LGA 2011 socket
- 1x Square spacer for Intel® 775 socket
- 4x Insulating Sheets for AMD® sockets
- 4x Position Screws
- 4x Spring Screws
- 8x Fan Screws
- 4x/8x Case Screws (depending on the model)
- 1x Dow-Corning® Thermal Grease (TC-5121)
- 1x PWM Fan Y-Cable
- 1x Installation Guide
I want to point out the small detail that the cables for the fans are sleeved, and thermal compound is included. I would say that pre applied thermal compound would have been nice, but in this case give you the freedom to choose what brand you want, or use the included Enermax brand. The included thermal compound is Dow Corning TC-5122.
The Enermax Liqmax II is an advanced version of the successful Liqmax liquid coolers. The engineers have improved the performance of the cooler and operating noises. The cooler utilizes a double-Batwing blade for high volume airflow, and a smooth running pump for ultimate thermal dissipation. The pump has an APS feature( Adjustable Peak Speed) which allows for smooth operation. The water block uses a copper plate for better heat transfer, and better temperatures. The tubes are high-quality polyamide with maximum flexibility for easy installation.
The Liqmax II 240s best features:
- Maintenance-free Cooling System- All-in-One liquid CPU cooler with pre filled coolant offers best usability and maximum cooling performance for powerful PC systems with multi-core CPUs.
- Shunt-Channel Technology- Patented cold plate design for maximum cooling performance. The shunt inside the micro fin structure minimizes the “Boundary Layer” effect, eliminates hot spots much quicker and ensures a perfect heat dissipation.
- Stylish Water Block- Low operating noise and efficient cooling performance thanks to long-lasting ceramic bearing pump. The white LED logo displays the operating mode.
- Double-length Radiator- Higher heat exchange capacity thanks to double-length 240mm radiator. First choice for systems with overclocked CPU.
Fans best features:
- Double Batwing Fans- The new and innovative development of the popular Batwing blade design. Thanks to the advanced shape of the fan blades, the Double Batwing fans achieve an exceptional high air flow rate to enhance the cooling performance while reducing the noise generation.
- Adjustable Peak Speed Function & Automatic PWM Control- Easy fan speed customization according to the system requirements. With a small switch at the frame side, the peak speed can be changed in three steps. The fan therefore offers three various RPM ranges: Silent Mode / Performance Mode / Overclock Mode. Within the selected mode, the fan is controlled automatically via PWM.
- Effective Fan Decoupling- The fan is equipped with rubber pads to reduce the vibration and noise generation.
I did end up using different fans for the radiator. I used Enermax 120mm T.B Vegas PWM fans. I will provide the light show later in this review, but these fans provide a performance mode similar to the included Enermax fans, but with red LEDs. I also really enjoy the detachable fan blades for easy cleaning. This is a fantastic feature, and thank you Enermax.
Installing the Liqmax II 240 was a breeze. Mounting the fans to the radiator was simple, and the provided long screws were easily threaded. The included fans have rubber corners that reduce vibration, and prevent contact to the radiator. The Vegas fans do not provide this, and if Enermax would include LEDs in the included fans this would be the ultimate setup for this cooler.
I’m installing the Liqmax II 240 using the Intel 1150 standard. The back plate easily fits on the rear of my motherboard. You need to refer to the manual for how to mount your cooler depending on AMD or Intel specifications. The plate does label what side is for what mounting solution, and this is a small feature that is really helpful for new installers. I also enjoy how easily the pin screws slide in and out through the back plate.
There are four spacers used for Intel 1150 mounting. The screws slide through the spacers for easy fastening when tightening the cooler to the CPU.
I decided to use the thermal compound Enermax sent with the product. Be sure to remove the sticker on the copper block before mounting down the cooler.
Then just simply screw down the retention screws to secure the cooler. Don’t forget to plug-in the 4 pin PWM header to your motherboard. The best place to plug in this header is to the CPU fan header on your motherboard, also some motherboard have a second header for AIO coolers labeled CPU_OPT. To hook up the radiator fans you can either use the supplied splitter, or just plug them into fan headers on your motherboard.
To test the performance of the Enermax Liqmax 240 I will be testing cooling and noise. I will be comparing it to a H100i GTX V2 with similar testing. I will be running Aida64 Extreme for load performance, and for idle just sitting on my desktop with no application load. The load performance will consist of max RPM of fans, and idle represent lowest RPM setting for fans.
The test bench is as follows:
- Motherboard- MSI Z97-Gaming 5
- CPU: Intel Core I7 4790K
- Network Card- netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Liqmax 240
- Memory- Anarchy X 16GB DDR3 2800MHz
- Video Card: PNY GTX 960 4GB
- Storage- PNY CS2210 480GB / Samsung 950 pro m.2 512GB
- Power Supply- Enermax Platimax 1350W PSU
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- HyperX Cloud II
The CPU was overclocked to 4.5 GHz for benchmark purposes. Enermax does not include any software for controlling the pump, or fans. I had to control the fan curves, and PWM features through my motherboard software. If your motherboard is new enough you should have easy software to control fan curves and speeds. If its older with no software, you will be forced to jump in and out of your bios making it annoying to change pump speeds. The included fans, and the fans I used do have a switch for easy switching of your fans speed profiles. The pump is PWM and should adjust per voltage for performance needs. I normally just make sure the bios sets the CPU fan header to 100% so the pump is at full speeds all the time. Some AIO coolers require this, like the H100i GTX V2 to even have the pump perform correctly. Some people might want it quieter though, and the bios would be the best place to set fan curves. If your bios doesn’t support this feature then see if the motherboard software suit does.
For noise testing I used a high gain microphone. I want to explain a few things about noise testing, and this unit in particular.
First: Testing noise levels can be difficult. First don’t expect the same levels even with similar hardware. There are too many differences and variables that go into sound testing. You have to account for background noise, and other sounds in the environment.
Second: I am one reviewer, and am not a professional sound studio. I am not testing these items in perfect conditions. I do not have an anechoic sound chamber in my test studio.
Third: In particular to this unit. I am testing against a H100i GTX. These two separate AIO coolers are only used to show the difference in sound levels you can expect. They both run at different RPMs, and produce similar but different sound levels (dB). I also noted above under testing conditions, Load means fans at max RPM, and idle represents lowest RPM speed of the AIO coolers fans.
The Enermax Vegas fans advertise at the lowest possible RPM on silent mode, you can expect 500 RPM, and the h100i GTX 800 RPM. The max speeds of the Corsair fans is 2700 RPM , and for the Vegas fans its 1800 RPM. You can see there is a major difference. Of course the 1800 RPM speed will sound quieter compared to the 2700 RPM fans. I just want to show the difference you can expect. Expect better temperatures with the faster RPMs, but at a cost of noise. The Corsair system uses Corsair Link to change fan profiles, while the Enermax Vegas fans uses a physical switch on the fan for Silent / Medium/High RPM settings.
I want to discuss these levels above, and make it clear that I do not know what testing Enermax did to achieve their advertised dB levels. I can only speculate, and I believe they used an average background level, and possibly subtracted that from their findings. My average background noise is 20dB with systems fans, GPU, and other various background noises from my test bench. If I used a similar method and subtracted my background noise, I get close to their advertised levels. You can see below a visual representation of the noise level on max.
The LEDs are controlled by a simple button that can change each mode individually.
You can see the temperature differences due to the different fan speeds above. The Liqmax 240 is a great cooler for the price, and does seem to keep up despite the lower 1800 RPM fan speed. The H100i GTX is cooler but at the cost of a jet engine noise. You can find a happy medium using Corsair Link to select different profiles. The performance profile runs at 1680 RPM, and is the closest speed to the Vegas fans highest fan settings. To get the H100i GTX fans running at their top rated 2700 RPM you must select max setting the fans to 100%.
There are a few negative things about the Enermax Liqmax 240 AIO cooler:
- No software
- No pre applied thermal paste
Not having pre applied thermal paste isn’t critical, and does provide more choice when installing, but it’s just easier for setup if its pre applied by the manufacturer.
There is still alot to love about the Liqmax II 240. The performance per dollar here is what really shines. The smallest of design features like the high performance fans included to the PWM function of the fan headers makes the Liqmax run extremely well. The AIO cooler does provide maximum heat dissipation, and provides high volume airflow for the best stability while overclocking. The Liqmax II 240 can be bought on Newegg for $84.00 right now. I highly recommend this cooler for anyone on a budget, and is still is looking for efficient cooling and better performance for overclocking. Now, back to playing some more PC games.