At the end of it all, we are somewhat impressed with what Enermax has delivered. With just about every year comes a new generation of AIO head units, and as they get more and more efficient, it really becomes a battle of fans, and since they all use the same two OEMs for the head units, there isn't a lot of difference to be made there.
Enermax took the time to design a different head unit than the rest of the market has and while unique, it is also a bit plain and dull in our opinion. If not for the LED backlit name and logo, the head unit would be much less impressive in its textured plastic lines and grooves. While most users would opt for the high performance model of this cooler, losing just a bit of CFM and half of the static pressure may be worth it if you like the look of the Apollish fan.
Thermal performance was a fair bit better than expected to be honest, and that is a major check in the plus column for Enermax. The flip side to that level of performance is that there will be the drone of 60 dB screaming at your ear holes. Even if you have a soundproofed chassis, you will be hard pressed to contain the noise this cooler puts out there. Getting the radiator mounted was simple enough, and the fan screws were easy to line up, but when it came to the head unit, we almost thought we did something wrong.
We had to set about three threads on any one screw, and with real force and effort, we had to force the opposite screw into the riser. While it was a major pain in the you-know-what to get it mounted, the higher mounting pressure plays a part in this AIO's efficiency.
While it was a touch complicated to install, there is no denying its ability to hang with the already established names in the AIO market. Enermax is offering a great cooling solution, even if the product comes off a little plain, and with the affordable pricing they have released the HP and TAA versions of the Liqtech 120S at, it is going to be easy for them to jump in and grab their fair market share of this segment of cooling.
While at first we had little hope for this Enermax cooler, we found ourselves almost shocked at where it placed, and just how well it handled its business. While we still would very much appreciate a set of washers to protect the motherboard, even if just for our peace of mind, there really is no reason to knock Enermax or the Liqtech 120S; they have proven themselves capable, and it makes us more eager to try the other two AIOs they sent as well.
PRICING: You can find the ENERMAX Liqtech 120S for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Enermax Liqtech 120S AIO Liquid CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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