There is no doubt that we loved the styling and theme offered with the Enermax Liqtech 120X. With the dual fans, the slick looking side panels on the radiator, and even the one off head unit, aesthetically there is nothing bad to say about this design. It is something anyone would enjoy, and it matches well to all those red on black motherboards out there. The installation was pretty simple, and since we saw AIOs from the same OEM from SilverStone, it was almost like visiting with an old friend. Compared to the Liqtech 120S in either form, the Liqtech 120X is definitely the eye catcher of the group so far, and will definite sway a lot of potential customers to choose this cooler.
Our problem is that while all of the RPMs check out, as verified via AIDA64, the pump and the fans were seemingly going as they should; yet when looking at the overclocked results, and taking averages of multiple block mounts tested in multiple orientations, nothing can explain its lackluster performance. Considering the 120S uses a much denser radiator, and only one fan at 105 CFM, the 120X and its large fin openings and 220 CFM of airflow should have been at least a couple of degrees better. We find that that is definitely not the case here though, and while it is extremely nice looking and well designed aesthetically, we cannot overlook what the charts show us.
Even without an official price at this point, and even if our guess is right and these release to the masses at around $100, even as slick looking as it is, something just doesn't add up. Keeping it short and sweet: the only way I would buy the Liqtech 120X over either of the S models is if it releases for around $70 (which it will not), or if the thermal anomaly gets fixed somehow. There is always the chance that we got a bad unit, but after almost six years of cooler testing, we have a good idea of what to look for. There was no gurgle; we ran the radiator and head unit in many orientations and with multiple mounts, and all the test results came out very close to each other in the test run.
It definitely defies logic, and what looked great on paper has not proven to be as effective in real life. We do still have one more AIO from Enermax to look at yet, so maybe they can go two out of three with their AIOs. I wouldn't in any way say this product fails outright -it just fails to meet expectations, and did not outperform is lower modeled brethren.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Enermax Liqtech 120X 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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