It seems that Enermax has decided to become a serious player in the field of liquid cooling systems. As of today, they already have six full-fledged AIO CBO series in 120, 240, 280 and 360 mm radiator formats. From all this variety, the Aquafusion 240 system (ELC-AQF240-SQA) fell into our hands. And, as always, we’ll take a look at how it works and what it’s capable of.
Packing and scope of delivery
The colorful box happily informs its buyer that this CBO is compatible with all branded backlight systems from ASUS, ASRock, Gigabyte and MSI. Fortunately, you can still find detailed technical specifications of the product and even a diagram showing its dimensions, which is especially convenient when you are trying to figure out whether it will fit in your case or not.
Inside, all parts are traditionally packed in plastic bags and a mold made of pressed cardboard.
There are a lot of details in the package. In addition to the radiator, water block and two 120mm fans, there is:
- installation instructions;
- ARGB backlight controller;
- Power SATA cable to power the controller;
- ARGB cable for connecting the backlight of the water block;
- ARGB splitter from one connector (female) to two connectors (male);
- BRG cable for specific backlight connectors on Gigabyte boards;
- Power SATA cable to power the pump;
- braided splitter from one to two four-pin fan power connectors;
- 2 gram syringe with Dow Corning® TC-5121 Thermal Grease;
- four spring-loaded nuts;
- four plastic racks;
- four metal studs for Intel LGA2011 connectors;
- four pins for all other processor sockets;
- four plastic clips for studs;
- eight long screws for fixing fans;
- eight short screws for attaching the heatsink to the case;
- two paws for sockets AMD AM3 and AM4;
- metal universal reinforcement plate;
- square adhesive insulating pad for AMD sockets.
We have already reviewed many similar non-separable systems and, apart from just a couple of exceptions, they are all arranged according to the same principle. The water block is combined with the pump and connected by two flexible hoses to the radiator. Enermax Aquafusion 240 does not stand out here.
The radiator is made of aluminum and painted black. Its length is 274 mm and its width is 120 mm. The side plates have two sets of mounting holes for 120mm fans, arranged without clearance. Radiator fins are band-type, stacked at 19 FPI (fins per inch). Between the fins are 12 channels through which the refrigerant is pumped. The total heat dissipation area is approximately 2500 cm2. The weight of the equipped system, excluding fans, is 850 grams.
The tubes are fixedly connected to the radiator by crimping with plastic clips. The thickness of the manifold on the hose side is 19 mm. There is also a sticker with the serial number.
The collector on the opposite side has a thickness of 14 mm.
The thickness of the radiator meets the standard of 27 mm. Figured side plates with the Enermax inscription are held on by four screws each. The length of the nylon braided hoses is 400 mm. External diameter — 12 mm. They are not very flexible and spring when you try to bend them somewhere.
The water block is plastic and has a square shape with rounded corners. Its upper part is made of tinted acrylic, a little lower there is an insert made of white plastic, behind which LEDs are hidden. Its height is 55 mm, width and length — 69×69 mm in the thickest part. A three-pin braided cable, 290 mm long, is responsible for connecting to the power supply.
Next to the power cable there is a four-pin connector, covered with a rubber plug. A wire is connected here to control the backlight from the controller or from the motherboard. The internally mounted pump has a ceramic bearing and runs at a constant speed of 3100 rpm. To my surprise, even at such speeds, the pump is almost audible — the manufacturer tried either with sound insulation, or with the quality of the electric motor. The declared resource of continuous time between failures is 50 thousand hours (approximately 5-6 years, if you do not turn it off at all).
The hoses are connected to the water block on the right side with the help of elbow fittings, which can be easily rotated to the sides at large angles. Metal paws for attaching to Intel sockets are screwed by default at the top and bottom.
The copper square base has a size of 56×56 mm and is held on by eight Torx screws. It shows small semicircular traces of grinding. There are certain complaints about evenness — in the middle, parallel to the fittings, there is a bulge of a cylindrical shape. Perhaps it was made on purpose to strengthen the contact patch in the center, or maybe this is a manufacturing defect.
The 120mm fans in this system are called Enermax USCQARGB12P-AQF, and they are a very interesting thing. In addition to the exotic shape of the frame, along the perimeter of which addressable RGB LEDs are built-in, this is the second propeller in my memory (after the Noctua NF-F12 PWM) in which fixed guide blades (13 pieces) are installed at the back to align the air flow. The type of bearing is not specified, but judging by the absence of extraneous noise and the stated MTBF of 100,000 hours, this should be a decent hydrodynamic. The speed range of the impeller is regulated by PWM (also by the way without characteristic overtones) in the range from 500 to 2000 rpm. The propeller operates silently up to 800 rpm. It howls at maximum speed, but these are already features of the aerodynamics of the blades, nothing can be done. The length of the power cable for four pins is 500 mm, and the length of the ARGB backlight cable is 500 mm to the female connector and another 100 mm to the male connector, covered with a protective cap.
This is what the fans look like after being installed on the heatsink using the included screws. To protect against vibrations, soft dampers are glued to the corners of the propeller frame on both sides.
The total thickness of the system with fans and taking into account the protruding screw heads reaches 55 mm.
To control the backlight and lighting effects, the package includes its own controller in case the motherboard does not support ARGB backlighting. It is a small box with dimensions of 59x17x12 mm. On one side is an ARGB connector covered with a cap. On the other hand, there is a two-pin port for connecting power. Of the controls, there are three buttons: two arrows and one mode switch, marked with the letter «M». A dot indicator above the arrows indicates the current tuning mode. Green color — switching lighting effects (10 options). Red color — select the playback speed of the effect. Blue color — select the brightness level. Yellow color — automatic switching of effects.
Understanding the abundance of bundled cords can be difficult at first, so we decided to help readers with this. Conventionally, cables can be divided into two categories — for lighting and for powering fans. Let’s start with the first. If you look from left to right, then the first wire will be for connecting the backlight to Gigabyte boards with a three-pin BRG connector and a length of 400 mm. The next wire is needed to connect the backlight to the water block, its length is 400 mm. The splitter from one to two ARGB connectors is also 400 mm long. And the last 500 mm cable is used to power the backlight controller from a regular Power SATA connector (thanks, not from Molex!).
With fan wires, everything is easier. There is a 400mm braided 4-pin fan header splitter that allows you to connect both propellers to the same CPU FAN header. An adapter from Power SATA to a four-pin fan power connector will allow you to connect a pump if there is no free port on the motherboard. And if there is, then it may just be useful in the household.
Let’s move on to installing the CBO and testing its effectiveness.