Ultimate RGB Cooling Performance
It wasn’t long ago that CPU coolers were merely fighting for the performance crown. Today, performance is merely a process of looking for a double tower or a big radiator. The real factor for cooling is style. While the LIQFusion 360 is bound to have good performance, the RGB goodness has to stack up as well. We’re still putting Enermax to the test for performance though. Let’s start taking a closer look at this cooler, right after this word from the company.
ENERMAX Technology Corporation is a world-renowned PC Power Supply Unit manufacturer. Since our establishment in 1990, we provide power supply products and peripherals like chassis, cooler, fan and keyboard with excellent quality and have won recognitions of consumers around the world.
ENERMAX products are recommended by worldwide reviewers, and certain were granted by iF, Red Dot, Good Design and Taiwan Excellence Awards. Those are proven evidence of our top-notch quality and design competency recognized by the professionals.
Packaging and Accessories
Enermax doesn’t skimp on packaging. Even though other coolers I’ve seen reduce the box to the bare minimum, the LIQFusion 360 comes in a great container. The box art looks great which is normal, but the unit fits in the cardboard sleeve comfortably. The radiator looks like it’s protected well from potential impact. These are minor details to say the least, but ones that I really appreciate seeing attention given to. Another good reason for ample room is how many accessories Enermax includes.
The cooler comes with the normal extras. We have install parts, connecting cables, and a stand alone RGB controller. What I don’t see come with other coolers is the Velcro strips, a loop back plug, and a Molex power adapter. In fact, Enermax might be the only company that goes to these lengths with CLCs. The last two items are for safely topping off the fluid level in the unit if you need to. Even though the cooler is closed loop, builders can refill it at their own discretion. Not only will this help if the unit has extra air in it for any reason, but changing fluid after 1-2 years can potentially increase the life of the cooler as well.
LIQFusion 360 Install Process
Installation with this cooler is real easy. Unfortunately, there is one major complication we’ll get to shortly. For starters, it’s usually easiest to install the fans to the radiator first. Just make sure you have the wires headed in the direction you want them to go for cable management. Once the fans are secured, installing the unit in the case is easy if you have the space. From there, I start working on the mounting bracket for the block.
The mounting system has a critical flaw for certain motherboards. In my case, I have an extra plate on the back of my Aorus X470 Gaming 7. As you can see below, the large square design is too big to fit past the back plate. The other issue is that the metal bracket can sit directly on top of the solder points from the back of the VRMs. Personally, I’ve never had an issue with this, but another reviewer had a grounding issue. Thankfully, his motherboard was safe after removing it. A simple fix for the grounding is to use a hard, thin plastic shiv just to make sure the solder points don’t make contact through the foam.
As for my problem, I found a simple way to adapt the mounting kit to the original AM4 bracket on the back. I bought four screws from the hardware store that thread into the back bracket. As long as they are long enough, they fit right through the spacers, holding everything in place. It also doesn’t seem to over tighten the cooler. Remember, trying anything like this is at your own risk. However, I hope Enermax adapts an AM4 solution similar to this for the LIQFusion 360 down the road.
Lots of Wiring
Have we gotten to Bluetooth control of RGB lighting yet? Unfortunately, all that RGB goodness comes with a lot of wires. On the plus side, Enermax includes a splitter cable for the 3 fans with the LIQFusion 360. Once you connect the three fans to the three slots, you only need one header on your motherboard to power all three. This is really important as well, since you need a secondary motherboard header for the pump. Many motherboards today include a pump fan header on the board, on top of having two CPU fan headers. If you aren’t so lucky though, finding only two fan headers to power the unit is much better that four.
Next up is the lighting control, which can go one of two ways. First, you can use another splitter cable to tie the four connections to a single addressable RGB header on your motherboard. The fourth connection is for the lighting on the block and as always, the necessary cable is already included. The other method is to use the included addressable RGB controller. Simply plug the splitter cable in one end, and plug the SATA power cable into the other. You will need that extra power connection for the lighting if you choose to use the included controller.
LIQFusion 360 RGB Lighting
The RGB controller is slightly improved from my review of the LIQFusion 240. Enermax has a light that changes color on the controller when you press the mode button. If it’s green, then the up and down arrows will change the actual lighting effects. The red light allows you to change the speed that the lighting effect cycles at. For the blue light, you can change how bright the lighting is. Finally, a yellow light indicates the controller is using an auto, or demo type mode. The instructions and design on this one felt much easier to use than before.
As far as lighting effects are concerned, I’m a huge fan of video for showing off the color patterns. I linked that below at the time I start showing off the patterns. In short, the LIQFusion 360 controller has some great options for a user to cycle through. You can always go with other controller options, but always remember to use an addressable RGB header. The addressable ones use a 5v power pin, instead of the 12v that older RGB headers used. That 12v will fry the LEDs in the fans and block, so double check what you plug the lighting into.
LIQFusion 360 Testing Results
Let’s begin with the system used for testing.
- AMD Ryzen 2700X CPU
- Gigabyte Aorus X470 Gaming 7 Motherboard
- 2x Gigabyte RX 570 Graphics Cards
- Crucial MX500 SSD
- Cooler Master H500P Case
- NZXT E850 PSU
Let’s talk about some serious cooling performance. For starters, we have the lowest temperature on the chart. Considering we pitted the LIQFusion against a custom loop, that’s impressive. Granted, custom could easily top this result. A thicker rad, stronger fans, or higher fin density would easily pull ahead. However, the LIQFusion 360 is a CLC hanging int he crowd with custom cooling. That, to me, is incredibly impressive. Even the noise level was extremely tolerable for three fans.
Next up was overclocking results. I have 4 levels of overclocking for my Ryzen 2700X. As you can see, setting a fairly silent noise limit on the coolers tested causes one of them to drop to level 3. The LIQFusion and the custom loop maintain the level 4 cooling. However, the pump on the Enermax unit is a bit quieter than the larger pump and reservoir on the custom loop. That tiny edge gave the LIQFusion the lead on our chart. This cooler is a great option for raw performance or silent cooling with a little fan speed tweaking.
What does Enermax deliver here? A nearly perfect CPU cooler! Performance was exceptional, and I imagine even other CLCs will have a hard time keeping up at similar noise levels. The RGB lighting is excellent. Even though I got to add the Squa RGB fans to my light show, the stock fans look excellent as well. The only thing keeping this cooler from being perfect is that back install bracket. The potential for problems is too great to ignore, but easy to work around if you are willing.
Finally, we have good news on the pricing as well. Even though $150 can be a bit high for a simple cooler, the price is really good for CLCs with this much RGB lighting. Almost every other cooler I saw on Amazon was priced higher for a similar amount of features. I saw some cheaper options, but not from any major brand. Considering the amount of accessories Enermax includes, the value is great as well.
The Enermax LIQFusion 360 falls short of a Must Have Award since functionality is lacking in the install process. However, we gladly award this cooler in the categories of Great Performance, Great Style, and Great Value!
A huge thank you goes to Enermax for providing this sample. For more product links, check out below.
We use affiliate programs through Amazon and Newegg to help support our content. If you plan to purchase any products after reading about them on our site, please use one of the links below if applicable. Thank you very much for your support!