Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review

Enermax delivers a feature-rich liquid cooling solution that takes a stab at the top of the charts with its latest from the LIQMAXFLO series.

Published
Manufacturer: Enermax (ELC-LMF360T-ARGB)
12 minutes & 14 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 98%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

The price might shake you at first, but once you see what the LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB is capable of, it erases all concerns. A top-tier performer without the noise we expected, a VRM fan that is worth the effort, and an aesthetic anyone can appreciate all-in-one tidy package.

Pros

  • + Performance and low noise
  • + Compatibility and ease of installation
  • + VRM fan cooling
  • + Includes accessories for those without ARGB support
  • + Refillable

Cons

  • - Cost
  • - Proprietary connectivity

Should you buy it?

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Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

A few months back was the last time we saw something from Enermax, and we will reiterate that the Aquafusion cooler that we tested then was a trooper, performing better than expected, contained everything you could ever need, and looked stunning with the sleek styling and ARGB implementation. In a similar vein, we have another liquid cooler that boasts all the functionality of the Aquafusion Series. Still, Enermax takes a page from Antec, delivering an AIO with an additional fan in the head unit designed to cool the surrounding components.

On top of the additional fan, the styling of the head unit has been changed. This time, the idea is less of a sleeker appearance and is changed with something more industrial. Even though we get a new aesthetic, Enermax keeps with the daisy-chained power and lighting connectivity. On top of that, the cooler we have now is also maintainable and comes with extra coolant to help extend its lifespan well past the warranty.

Even though we have not seen much of this CPU cooler around the internet thus far, it is well worth your attention. While we do not want to spill all of the meat and potatoes of this cooler too soon, we will urge you to continue through. Enermax has provided us with a solid solution for just about any user out there, and it won't break you when it comes time to foot the bill with their newest LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB liquid CPU cooler.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 01

From what we gathered from the product page, the ELC-LMF360T-ARGB is one of five options in this series. There are 240mm and 420mm versions with ARGB at both ends, but there are also options with ARGB at the head unit only, in 240mm and 360mm options. With all five, compatibility is wide open to most users. Even those with some aging Intel systems get support back to LGA1366, but AMD users need to have AM4 or AM5 systems.

Another major change compared to the market is that the LIQMAXFLO coolers come with a 38mm thick radiator, which is still 120mm wide and 400mm long. The radiator is made of aluminum, uses a high FPI count, and offers a removable screw to allow it to be refilled. Coming from the radiator are a pair of tubes, both made of rubber and sleeved and are 400mm long to get things mounted cleanly.

The head unit is 70mm square and uses a copper cold plate. On top of the head unit is a removable cover that allows the head unit to fit in any orientation while still sporting the Enermax name in a readable fashion. Under the cover is a 60mm VRM fan, which keeps the same speed as the pump but offers nearly 19 CFM, whereas most coolers provide nothing. Under the fan is the pump, shown with the same speed cap, but the pump comes with a 50,000-hour MTBF, whereas the VRM fan offers no such time.

The fans aren't standard 120mm fans, unlike the SR variants of this model. While slightly thicker due to the rubber pads, these fans boast 1800 RPM with just 58 CFM and 2.4 mmH2O of pressure. However, these ARGB PWM fans come with proprietary connectivity, which is done to simplify the final appearance while also making it foolproof. The last couple of things worth mentioning are the 400-watt TDP, which is a ton of cooling power, and the fact that a five-year warranty backs these LIQMAXFLO CPU coolers.

As we write this, only the SR models are in the wild. Even so, we dug a little bit and came up with the $129.99 MSRP set for the LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB that we have in hand, which is reasonable compared to most of what is available. We will wait until all the facts are in before we get ahead of ourselves, but with what we have seen already, we will say this cooler surprised us in a couple of ways and are things that can easily sway you to team Enermax for your next CPU cooling solution.

Buy at Amazon

Enermax LIQMAXFLO SR 360 ARGB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$89.99$94.99-
-
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* Prices last scanned on 7/18/2024 at 12:49 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 02

With bright red flanking the top and bottom, our eyes jump to the large matte black panel with the cooler sporting an ARGB lighting display. Across the top are the company name, logo, and icons for the latest socket compatibility, while the bottom gives us the LIQMAXFLO 360mm liquid cooler designation.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 03

Lying the box on its back, we get a bright red panel to match the stripes we saw in the previous image. The entire panel is used simply for the Enermax name and logo.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 04

The box's right end follows what we just saw, except this time, the panel is black instead of red.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 05

The second long panel shows us the name and logo, but this time, it's followed by some misinformation. Enermax calls this a closed loop, but if it is refillable, that isn't correct. Nonetheless, they continue with the inclusion of high-performance PWM fans and a ceramic bearing, both said to stay quiet.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 06

The left end of the box offers a couple of codes, one for Instagram and the other for the product page. It is followed up with dimensional drawings and includes logos for all of the ARGB control methods.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 07

The back of the box shows us a list of specifications on the left, while the right is used for feature images. There is a disassembled pump image, one noting the VRM fan and another for the radiator fans. They show that the cover is rotatable and the fill port on the radiator.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 08

Even with a warped box and some dented inner packaging, it all did its job in ensuring the product inside was not only in one piece but also free of damage. With the hardware at one end, the radiator and head unit kept apart, and the fans spacing out the middle, there was little to go wrong, and nothing has.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Cooler

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 09

Our LIQMAXFLO 360 has a black head unit with bars keeping finders out of the translucent 60mm fan under them. A metal sticker with the Enermax logo covers the fan hub, and the surrounding edge is cut to expose the metal. This portion of the head unit is removable and rotatable, should you need to install it differently than suggested.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 10

The fittings connecting the tubing and transferring liquid to and from the radiator are out on the right side of the head unit. Between them are two ten-inch-long cables. One is fan power for the VRM Fan and the head unit pump, as they are tied together, while the other is for ARGB illumination.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 11

Each side of the head unit is shaped like this, which is how the air escapes the cover. Air is sucked in from the top and is thrown out on all four sides, not as much on the side with the fittings, to cool the components surrounding the socket. We also like the mix of textured and shiny surfaces.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 12

Enermax pre-applies Dow Corning TC-5888 thermal paste to the cold plate, but it is off-center and leaning left. While it will do what is asked, we would like it centered better, although we are seconds away from wiping ours off.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 13

Without any paste in the way, and after a decent cleaning, we can see the circular finish left from machining the cold plate. As to the flatness, it is flatter near the screws, but the center is convex to help flatten out the IHS.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 14

400mm converts to a little more than fifteen and three-quarters inches, and next to the tape measure, we see we got what is specified. The fittings at the ends are the same, and oddly, there is a standard fill port near the fittings, even though the other end of the radiator has a removable fill port.

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Both sides of the 38mm thick radiator sport the LIQMAXFLO name painted on them. When done with white paint, it stands out and is easy to see in dark cases.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 16

Typically, we would see who made the cooler looking at this end, but all we find are the importers and the cooler's serial number. If it wasn't obvious before, it is now: how thick this radiator is compared to most other submissions.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 18

Standing on its edge, we see standard 120mm fan mounting locations, and we notice both headers are nearly equal in size. Along with the frame and the tubes running end to end, this thicker radiator still uses a 24 FPI count, keeping the fins as dense as the rest.

Accessories and Documentation

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 19

On the left is the Intel head unit bracket, which slides into a groove above the cold plate and will work for everything from LGA1366 through LGA1700. In the center is the mainstream Intel backplate, and on the right are the AM4 and AM5 brackets for the head unit.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 20

To simplify things, we kept the bits in the bags. We found an LGA1700 kit with studs and spacers for the Intel backplate. We got the AMD kit to the right, where the studs and spacers are one part, while the LGA20xx standoffs are solid steel. The last bag offers the studs and spacers for all other Intel installations, along with black plastic spacers and the spring-loaded nuts that secure the head unit to the rest of the hardware.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 21

In another pouch, we get all the fan screws. After opening and counting, we got twelve long and twelve short screws for fan and radiator mounting. To the right are a set of three tubing clips. These are made to keep the tubes spaced evenly, but while sporting the Enermax name, they also have clips at the edges for wire management.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 22

Enermax ensures you have what it takes to get the ARGB lit up. At the top-left, an all-in-one cable allows the motherboard and fan connection to be converted and split, allowing one cable to connect it all. Below is a SATA power-to-fan lead, should you want to constantly force the fans or pump/VRM to its maximum. To the right is the Enermax controller that, with the wire next to it and connected to the 5V ARGB connector, will have access to modes, speed adjustments, and an LED on it, helping with the selections.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 23

If, after some use, you notice the head unit gurgling or you have a hunch that the coolant level is low, Enermax sends you a fix. We got a coolant bottle with a small tip to make refilling easy. Enermax also included a 24-pin adapter to jump the PSU while powering the pump to cycle the coolant. They even included some extra TC-5888 paste, should you need multiple mounting attempts.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 24

Enermax chose the three 120mm ARGB PWM fans, the UCSFARGB12P-LMF fans. These sport black frames and translucent blades to carry the lighting. All corners are isolated with thick rubber pads, and the fans connect via 8-pin connectors and are made to daisy-chain together.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 25

The manual is thorough and covers every aspect of the installation process in full detail. It covers everything from the hardware used to the installation of the clips and wiring, even a sub-section on how to use the controller should you not own an ARGB-compatible motherboard. Everything you need is in there, and you should be up and running in a few minutes.

Installation and Finished Product

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 26

As we do many times with AMD cooler installation, we must remove the plastic clips and screws from the top of the motherboard, leaving the factory backplate in place. We then took the hardware provided and screwed them into the backplate hand tight.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 27

To get here, you can set the head unit on the CPU with the pre-applied paste, grab the spring-loaded nuts, and secure them with a screwdriver in an X pattern.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 28

Mounting and wiring the fans was easy enough, and mounting the radiator to the chassis was a breeze. All we did beyond that was install the hose clips to keep the tubes from looking odd, as the tension may want to change their alignment.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 29

Once we add power, things get bright. The head unit illumination is not only in your face but also has high intensity. As do the fans at the top, but the color mixing is done better in the fans on the radiator than that VRM fan under the cover.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 30

Even though Armoury Crate controls the lighting, something in the design has the VRM fan coloration doing five laps around it compared to one on the radiator fans. The colors rarely match between the two, but if ARGB is your thing, the LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB has it in spades.

Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results

Chad's Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO [Wi-Fi] (AMD X570) - Buy from Amazon
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X - Buy from Amazon
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4000MHz 4X8GB
  • Graphics Card: ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon
  • Storage: Galax HOF Pro M.2 1TB SSD
  • Case: Hydra Bench Standard
  • Power Supply: ASUS ROG Thor 850W - Buy from Amazon
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
  • Software: AMD Ryzen Master, AIDA64 Engineer 6.25.5400, and CPU-z 1.92.0 x64

To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our 2020 CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for more information.

Thermal Results

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 31

Out of the gate, with the stock settings at play, the LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB slides into the chart in seventh place. Enermax runs head-to-head with the more affordable FX360 PRO and falls a few spots behind their Aquafusion Advanced CPU cooler at 54.9°C.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 32

Considering the 400W TDP, it stands to reason that the more heat you apply, the better the LIQMAXFLO should perform, and here we see it at play. At 60.9°C for our overclocked run, it leaves Enermax in third place overall.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 33

The PWM curve set by Enermax is on point. With the results of this test reduced to a 59.8°C result, we can see that with much more fan speed and noise, there was only 1.1°C left in the tank.

Noise Level Results

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 34

With great thermal results typically comes a ton of noise, but not here. Enermax can be in the top ten of all our tested coolers, with only 25 dB delivered to the room from the radiator fans at 965 RPM. We also measured the head unit VRM fan, and with it running at full speed all the time, it is a constant 30 dB.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 35

When ramping the fans to keep this heat load under control, more CPU speed and voltage didn't affect the LIQMAXFLO much. We saw only 1203 RPM to keep this cooler in third place, pushing 29 dB into the room.

Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB CPU Liquid Cooler Review 36

If you desire to run the fans at their maximum, the noise level does increase a fair bit. Now, at 1773 RPM, the fans put out 49 dB of noise. We found anything less than 1400 RPM is virtually inaudible, but once you cross that threshold, the noise comes on in big steps.

Final Thoughts

With a lot of competition for the top of our charts, we knew that a thicker radiator could easily reduce temperatures, and as our charts now show, Enermax did exactly that. The Enermax LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB is not only a stellar thermal performer, but the lack of noise throughout most of our testing pleased our ears. The head unit may have an industrial appearance, but they keep the best implementations of VRM cooling we have yet to see under that caged cover.

There is nothing to complain about regarding ARGB intensity, as this is one of the brighter CPU coolers we have used. We are not fans of how the default illumination is set, which allows the head unit coloration and the radiator fans to go out of sync at a five-to-one ratio. We also love that Enermax still ensures that those without ARGB motherboards can get a look they like by including the control module.

Everything about this design is intended to make it easier for the end-user. The proprietary fan connections and that all-in-one multi-cable simplify things and speed up the installation process. On top of the simplicity of the design, the book that comes in the box will answer any question that might arise. Enermax designed this to be virtually foolproof, and they did a fantastic job with it.

We touched on the VRM cooling, but we wanted to save this till the end so it stays in your mind. We have kept VRM temperatures from the beginning, and in most scenarios with an AIO on the bench, it is not unexpected to see 30°C to 33°C, depending on the cooler in question. With the LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB VRM fan doing its thing, we never saw more than 23°C for our VRM temperatures. That's a 10°C drop in VRM temperatures, which could help overclock the system more, and with a 400W TDP, the silicone and your brassiness to push voltages will be your real limits.

At first, we thought, after seeing the FX360 for $60, that Enermax would have a tough time winning our approval. As we break it down, you would be shelling out double the cost, but we feel that difference is worth it. Considering we get ARGB all over, there is a VRM fan that works at play and comes with everything you need, including a refill kit. Once everything is laid out on the table, the value of that $129.99 MSRP is much more apparent. As for us, we would be fine with shelling out the cash needed to get the level of performance and attention to detail that Enermax has put forth.

Performance

97%

Quality

100%

Features

95%

Value

98%

Overall

98%

The Bottom Line

The price might shake you at first, but once you see what the LIQMAXFLO 360 ARGB is capable of, it erases all concerns. A top-tier performer without the noise we expected, a VRM fan that is worth the effort, and an aesthetic anyone can appreciate all-in-one tidy package.

TweakTown award
98%

Enermax LIQMAXFLO SR 360 ARGB

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$89.99$94.99-
-
---
* Prices last scanned on 7/18/2024 at 12:49 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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