In the updated range of Enermax liquid cooling systems, almost every product is, if not unique, then at least unusual solution. So, for example, Liqtech TR4 II is one of the few AIO CBOs that can cope well with cooling AMD Threadripper processors due to the increased size of the heat sink. Or NEOChanger — a pump combined with a reservoir. But in this review, we will consider another strange CBO called Liqfusion. And what is in it, readers will ask, in appearance it is quite an ordinary «dropsy»? And here it is not. Even here Enermax managed to be original. Let’s see what exactly.
Packing and scope of delivery
CBO is packed in a white box, on which all the necessary information is clearly readable. On the front there is a photographic image of the product and its name, and on the back all the advantages, technical characteristics are listed, and even a diagram with the dimensions of the device is made.
Inside, everything is packed in bags and stacked in a pressed cardboard tray.
The delivery set looks rich. Mainly due to the many additional cables. There is:
- installation instructions;
- an informational blue sheet informing about the need to check the system before installing it on the processor;
- two short and two long Velcro straps for cable management, red and black;
- eight long black screws for fixing the fans;
- eight short silver screws for mounting the radiator;
- square mounting frame;
- syringe with Dow-Corning TC-5121 thermal interface;
- spatula for applying thermal interface;
- four short mounting screws;
- reinforcing plate with insulating gasket;
- four metal posts with internal thread;
- five plastic washers;
- four long mounting screws;
- a bag of thermal paste;
- ARGB backlight control panel;
- adapter from «molex» to a three-pin connector;
- adapter for connecting three ARGB connectors to the remote control;
- splitter from one to two four-pin fan connectors;
- adapter with Power SATA connector for powering the remote control;
- adapter for the motherboard power connector, for separately starting the power supply and powering the CBO pump;
- 100 ml refrigerant container, for filling the CBO circuit.
In appearance, the Liqfusion system is in many ways similar to products from Corsair or the latest current CBO variants from Cooler Master, featuring a straight-faced radiator and rectangular headers. What it really doesn’t look like is the standard systems licensed by Asetek. Perhaps this is done on purpose to avoid patent litigation.
The main and main difference from Asetek products is fixed on the hoses, not far from the radiator. At first glance, it looks like some kind of tap with a diameter of 30 mm. But in fact, this is a CBO pump. Yes, yes, in this system, the pump is made by itself, and not integrated into the water block. This pump is fixed to the inlet hose using conventional fittings. The outlet hose just goes through the plastic housing of the mount, it is not fixed there in any way. A rubber pad is put on top of the pump housing, probably in order to reduce noise. The nominal speed of the device is 5000 rpm (with a spread of +/- 10%) at a voltage of 12 V. The noise level generated by this reaches 36 dB (A), which is quite quiet, especially considering the absence of parasitic overtones from the engine. The shaft bearing is traditionally ceramic, the system’s time between failures is declared within 50 thousand hours. The power connection wire is three-pin, nylon braided, 465 mm long.
The heatsink is made of aluminum and has two sets of mounting holes for 120mm fans on both sides. The belt-type heatsink fins have a density of 17 FPI (fins per inch). There are 12 channels through which the refrigerant is pumped. The total heat dissipation area is about 5,950 cm2. The weight of the equipped system without fans is 880 grams.
The thickness of the manifold on the hose side is 18 mm. The hoses themselves are rubber, soft enough to bend, although they are wrapped in a nylon braid. Their length is 400 mm, outer diameter is 10 mm. The inlet fittings are covered with beautiful fixed metal clips, behind which it is not clear how the hoses are fixed. By the way, the hoses themselves enter the radiator unusually close to each other in the center.
The opposite manifold, which is 13 mm wide in the center, has a silver nut with knurled sides, over which a black strip is glued. What exactly its purpose is — nowhere is indicated in the instructions. Perhaps this is a drain hole for a radiator, or just a decorative element.
The thickness of the radiator is standard, 27 mm. On the sidewalls in the middle there is a silver logo of the manufacturer’s company.
The water block, despite the lack of a pump in it, has a decent height of 51 mm. Its case is made of matte plastic, a transparent cover is put on top, in which ARGB LEDs are built-in around the perimeter, and in the center there is a visual indicator of the flow rate, in the form of a white water mill with nine blades. The backlight is connected to the power supply by a special four-pin connector. Braided cord, 295 mm long.
The top panel of the water block has a diameter of 72 mm, the company logo is applied behind the transparent plastic on a dark base. The diameter of the viewing window of the flow rate indicator is 42 mm. Usually the blades in it simply rotate beautifully in the rays of illumination, but even air bubbles sometimes float lazily in the window.
On the left side of the water block there is a hole covered with a cork for replacing the refrigerant. You will need a flathead screwdriver to unscrew the plug. And Enermax is the only manufacturer in my memory who guessed to put 100 ml of coolant in reserve in the kit for CBO, in a container convenient for refueling.
The hoses enter the waterblock from the right side, through L-shaped fittings, located at a distance from each other, which allows them to rotate at a wide angle.
The base of the water block is copper, nickel-plated. Even without a ruler, it is visually noticeable that it has a conical shape and radial grinding, in other words, the pressure in the center will be the strongest. The outsole is held on by eight classic hexagonal star screws.
The fans in this system are 120mm, labeled Enermax TB RGB (UCTBRGB12). The frame is round, with rounded mounting ears on the sides, each of which has rubber gaskets glued on both sides.
The configuration of the seven blades suggests that they are designed to create a compromise between the level of static pressure and the amount of airflow. In addition, the impeller can be easily snapped off and removed for cleaning. The bearing uses a proprietary version of hydrodynamics called Twister Bearing, reinforced with a magnet to stabilize the axis of rotation of the self-lubricating bushing, for which the manufacturer promises 160,000 hours of MTBF. The fan is able to operate silently in the range from 500 to 1000 rpm, at 36-40 dB (A), respectively, but at 1500 and 2000 maximum speeds it is very noisy. The rotation speed is controlled by PWM. In addition, addressable RGB lighting is built into the fan frame around the perimeter, which allows you not only to change colors arbitrarily, but also to reproduce various visual effects. The length of the four-pin fan power cord without braid is 510 mm. The cord for connecting power to the backlight is also devoid of braid and has a length of 500 mm.
On the radiator, these fans look slightly specific.
The thickness of the radiator with fans installed on it increases to 53 mm.
The complete addressable backlight control panel is completely made of plastic and has dimensions of 71x24x15 mm. It is needed in cases where the motherboard does not support ARGB. From the bottom it has a two-pin input for connecting power, from the top — a four-pin connector, where both fans and the water block are connected through an adapter.
On the front side of the remote control there is an indicator eye, just below there are two buttons with up and down arrows, and even lower is the M key. Short presses on this button switch the effects control mode (green indicator light) and the effects playback speed (red light). You can use the arrows to select one of 14 effects. If you hold down the down arrow button for 3 seconds, the default backlight mode will turn on. Pressing the up arrow button for 3 seconds turns on the automatic effect change mode (yellow light). Pressing any of the arrows again fixes the current effect. And if the M button itself is held for 3 seconds, then you can turn off or turn on the entire backlight.
The remote control power cord from the Power SATA connector has a length of 300 mm, as well as each splitter wire for three connectors for connecting the backlight. Both cables do without illumination.
The splitter for two four-pin fan connectors has a length of 230 mm and is enclosed in a nylon braid. The Molex adapter for powering the pump is short, only 100 mm and made without a braid.
And everyone who often deals with power supplies would like to have this wonderful adapter in their arsenal. A jumper on the 24-pin connector allows you to start the power supply directly, immediately after plugging it into the outlet. In addition, there is a three-pin output for powering a pump or fan, on a 300 mm long cord without braid. In the delivery set, this device is needed in order to check the performance of the CBO in idle mode, without mounting it on the processor.
The backlighting of Liqfusion in general looks good, but it can be better.
Let’s move on to installing the CBO and testing its effectiveness.