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Enermax Liqtech 240 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Enermax Liqtech 240 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Along with the Liqmax 120S and the Liqtech 120X, Enermax also offers a dual 120mm radiator solution this time following the Liqtech design influence.

@chad_sebring
Published Thu, Jun 5 2014 4:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:32 PM CDT
Rating: 75%Manufacturer: Enermax

Introduction, Specifications and Pricing

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VIEW GALLERY - 35 IMAGES

For those who paid close attention when the previous pair of Enermax cooler reviews went live: we had completely screwed up by the confusing names of both designs. The main point taken from that experience of emails and corrections is that we have found out what makes the Liqmax what it is, as well as what makes the Liqtech different. And, what we have found out is pretty simple. Liqmax is the name associated with the plastic square head units that are more like what we typically see from Asetek and CoolIt. The Liqtech naming is used for those that use the all metal head units, and have the radiators dressed up more fashionably than the typical AIO.

We were pleased on two fronts with this latest entry though. For one, it is a dual radiator design. This raises efficiency levels, and should make this entry the best performer out of the group. The second reason we were eager to see this design is that it follows the likes of the SilverStone AIOs, and with Enermax under the Liqtech naming, we know we are getting the all metal head unit, and better styling throughout. Plus, if the Liqtech 120X is an indication of what we are getting here, this is an AIO that will easily fit into most of the custom builds out there, and blend right in to the color scheme.

The reason Enermax has us here today is to take a look at the largest AIO that they currently offer, the Liqtech 240, which we will soon be going over in fine detail. If the previous solutions we tested are an indicator of potential performance, then this cooler could just sneak into the top of the list as far as AIOs are concerned. But, this is why we are here: to see just how well this Liqtech 240 AIO liquid CPU cooler does in the real-world. So let's get to it.

The ELC-LT240-HP, or Liqtech 240, offers a metal head unit as described earlier, and as we would expect, the cold plate at the bottom is made from copper. On top of the plate and its micro-channels is the ceramic bearing pump that is rated for speeds up to 2500 RPM. The coolant inside is cycled through 310mm of PA rubber tubing on its way to the 240mm aluminum radiator. In this 27mm thick radiator, the coolant passes through, is cooled by fans, and is then returned to the head unit.

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Along with finding out this cooler is able to fit any current mainstream processor, we also found out all there is to know about the pair of ED-122512S-PA fans that come in the kit. These are 120mm fans based on the Twister bearing, and they are rated to spin for 160,000 hours. There are also fan speeds shown, and these can be set via a switch on the back of the fans to allow for low speed, medium speed, or full speed. Each of the fans is rated to deliver 111 CFM while also pushing 7.4mmH2O of static pressure. These are four-pin PWM fans, and with the switches on them, it's almost like getting three fans in one.

What we have left to cover here is the biggest part of the decision for most customers when it comes to a new cooler: the cost. With the reasonable pricing of the previous two solutions, we did not expect any kind of price gauging when we went to look for it, and we found the Liqtech 240 to be just as reasonable. We see that this cooler can be had for just over $100 in some locations. On the flip side of that coin, we did also see some listings that we felt were a bit pricey. However, as long as time is taken to look for the best deal on hand, from what we gather so far, the Liqtech 240 is not only reasonable, but much cheaper than most other dual radiator solutions when they were all released.

PRICING: You can find the ENERMAX LIQTECH 240 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.

United States: The ENERMAX LIQTECH 240 retails for $105.24 at Amazon.

Canada: The ENERMAX LIQTECH 240 retails for CDN$202.59 at Amazon Canada.

Packaging

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The Liqtech 240 comes in the typical AIO cardboard packaging, but this time the color theme is black with a red accent. On the front of the box, under the image and the naming, are six features of this cooler, and it even shows compatibility.

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Both of the longer (let's say top and bottom panels) look identical, and on the black background we find the Enermax name and logo in the northwest corner. The center is then reserved for the Liqtech 240 naming.

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The right side panel does not offer much more than the last panel did; although, this time we do get to see the cooler, and we get a red stripe at the bottom.

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On the back of the box you will find the list of nine features at the top left, and going clockwise, we see the application view, the dimensions of the components, as well as a pretty full specs chart.

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The left side of the package is completely red and black, with white text telling us (in twelve different languages) that this is an AIO with high performance in mind.

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Just like many other AIO offerings, the Liqtech 240 arrives inside of a recycled cardboard inner tray. This tray, along with the various plastic bags, keeps the components separated, and free from damages or scratches.

Enermax Liqtech 240 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler

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At first glance, we see that the head unit on this is the exact same as the one we found in the Liqtech 120X. It has a black finned metal top screwed down to a metal mid section where the mounting legs are applied, and it has the Enermax name on both sides with their logo painted in the middle.

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The midsection of metal is where the ninety degree fittings are run through the head unit so that the pump and cold plate can utilize the coolant inside. Enermax has decided to leave the black PA rubber hose exposed, and the tubing is held in place with a plastic ring.

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Opposite to the fittings, we find the lead for the three-pin connection extending out of the head unit. Off to the left side, we can see that the Intel legs are screwed in, but simply remove these, and two on the other side, and the mounting can be set simply and securely for AMD users.

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The copper cold plate is held to the base with eight Torx screws; they keep the unit sealed, and attempt to keep the plate level. We also see there is a clear sticker over the base to keep it from oxidizing, and also to protect it against scratches.

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After removing the sticker, we see an almost flat finish, but there are defined lines in a half round arc that are left over from the milling process. Where the spreader touches the cooler, the plate is just slightly convex, and even more so as you move closer to the edges.

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As we moved away from the head unit, we also took a step back to see that there is eleven inches (or 310mm) of tubing between the head and the radiator. The power lead from the head unit is only slightly shorter at ten inches in length.

Enermax Liqtech 240 Continued

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In this image we can see three things. One is that as the tubing is connected to this radiator; we see the same plastic rings used here. We can also see the 27mm thickness of the radiator. And lastly, we can see this is where the serial number will be found on all of the units.

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Looking at the long edge of the radiator, we can see there is a metal trim piece applied to dress these units up a bit. Also, this side and the other side both have the four red rubber isolation pads applied to keep the fans from rattling against it.

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As we look through the fins, we find more of an air cooling fin arrangement rather than the very restrictive, high FPI designs that we typically see in AIOs. This dual pass system arrangement allows for much more freedom of air flow and pressure from the pair of high performance fans included in the kit.

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As if the arrangements and larger gaps weren't already enough to help improve efficiency here, these fins are also shaped to disturb the air flow and concentrate it more in the middle of each pass of tubes through the radiator.

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At this point we did skip ahead just a bit to grab the fans out and apply them to the cooler. The cooler looks very cool sitting still, and we like how it goes so well with the red and black theme of our test system.

Accessories and Documentation

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Since the cooler is set up for Intel, we pulled out the basic Intel mounting kit for everything except LGA2011. We have the studs, spacers, and thumbscrews on both sides. In the middle is a universal back plate that is drilled on two sides to fit various Intel sockets, but only installs in one way for AMD users.

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Here we are showing the LGA2011 mounting studs that replace the longer ones for AMD and Intel mounting. This is followed by AMD isolation pads for the back plate, the LGA775 preload spacer, and some TIM. The bottom shows the eight long screws to run through the fans underneath, and there are eight shorter screws to hang the radiator in the chassis.

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The last bit of the hardware offered is what we see here. The AMD mounting brackets for the head unit are in the middle, and there is a Y-splitter cable that has two four-pin female connections that terminate in a single, male four-pin connection to power both fans from one PWM header.

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There is also a very well written and illustrated manual to take you through the installation, along with a checklist of parts. Since we are very familiar with these installations, we didn't need this for much more than a look through –just to make sure we didn't miss anything new; we didn't.

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The last bit of the kit, and likely the most important to the efficiency of this design, is the pair of high performance fans. Both are four-pin powered, have nine blades, and are rated to be some pretty serious fans.

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What is really cool about these ED122512S-PA fans is the tiny little switch on the back of the fan frame. This allows the user to set a predefined limit of 600 – 1300 RPM, 600 – 2000 RPM, or let them crank along as we will in the 600 – 2500 RPM range for full effect.

Installation and Finished Product

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Above the motherboard, the mounting hardware is designed to stay in place with just the pressure of the spacers on the studs in the corners. This allows users to go ahead and install the board without adhesives, or screwing things in place thus far.

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On the flip side of the board we have the back plate aligned, and the studs are also aligned to fit the plate so that they won't spin when adding the thumbscrews to secure the head unit. With Intel installation, there are plastic spacers already on the plate for isolation.

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While the installation was pretty painless, we found that we could not use the typical top mounted orientation we usually do with AIOs. However, with all the variations, orientations, and repeated mounts and test runs, its location will matter very little to us for our needs, and should not be any issue in a typical chassis with the correct space for this cooler.

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While we don't get the fancy LEDs in the fans, the head unit will glow with the blue LED as seen here once the system is powered. This is also a good first check when booting, just to make sure that the pump is plugged in. Since it makes only 31dB of noise at full go, it is hard to hear the fans, so the light is beneficial in that manner as well.

Test System Setup, Thermal Tests and Noise Results

Test System Setup

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I would first like to thank ASUS, InWin, Corsair, and Fractal Design for supplying products for me to test with.

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

Thermal Results

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At the beginning of our testing we look at the idle temperatures, and this Enermax sat at 26.25 degrees after some time of sitting doing absolutely nothing. We do leave the head unit at full speed for all testing, and that registered at 2566 RPM most of the time.

Once we got to the load testing, we find the 49.5 degree result to be very good. Getting into the top five is not easy to accomplish, but the Liqtech 240 has gotten there.

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With the overclock now applied, the idle temperature slightly climbed to 27 degrees. As we got to the loaded testing, we find that this cooler is somehow a bit lacking.

With all of that air flow and pressure, we would have expected this to be the best AIO on the market at 240mm, but we find the 71.5 degree average result a little confusing, as well as disappointing. Even after many remounts of the head unit, three tests in each orientation, and even being sure to get the radiator higher than the block, we did not see any improvements more than a degree, give or take, from each run.

Noise Level Results

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Powering this pair of high performance fans with only 7.5V does result in some audible noise; even with the RPM down near 800 RPM, we were finding the 37 dB noise level. This is expected really, since the 12S is at the same level with the same fan.

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Once we allowed the fans to stretch their legs, reporting 2547 RPM, we found these fans to be downright obnoxious at 68dB. Even in a sealed chassis with sound deadening materials, you are going to hear this cooler with this sort of power to it.

Final Thoughts

There is a ton to like about the Enermax Liqtech 240. First off is the aesthetics: Not only is there a clean looking, all metal head unit that is simply black with white naming and a logo on it, but past that, the style continues with both the fans frame design being slightly irregular, and red pads and trim applied to the sides. Then, when you read the specs for the pair of fans that are blowing through the much more open design of these radiators, you almost need to wipe the drool in anticipation of the results.

This is where we find a problem though. We fully expected noise levels to climb when using fans of this nature, and even while it's annoying to deal with, we can't really say we didn't see that coming. The issue is more to do with something other than the fans though; it's the temperatures. We did everything possible like remounting the cooler with new applications of thermal paste, orienting the chassis various ways, and even spinning and elevating the radiator.

No matter what though, we were always getting results within a degree of that average we show in the charts. This is disappointing too, because the fans definitely feel like they were pushing massive amounts of air, and the pump was working or we would have gotten to the throttle point in testing. Maybe we just got a bad unit somehow, or it has some gunk slowing down the flow somewhere inside; but all we can say at this point, is that unless the style is something you cannot pass on, there are better options out there.

Even with a slightly lower release price than others in its class, we don't feel you should have to take the heat just to have some style and an easy to install kit. While they are all good points to have in an AIO, coming from a bang-for-your-buck perspective, it is better to buy the 120mm version from Enermax. With everything the Enermax Liqtech had going for it, we really wanted it to do well so we could gloat about what it can do. However, the tests and monitoring of the parts don't lie, and we just feel that if you are in the market for a 240mm AIO for the CPU, then you may want to keep looking.

PRICING: You can find the ENERMAX LIQTECH 240 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.

United States: The ENERMAX LIQTECH 240 retails for $105.24 at Amazon.

Canada: The ENERMAX LIQTECH 240 retails for CDN$202.59 at Amazon Canada.

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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, cooling, as well as peripherals.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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