Enermax Aquafusion 240 Liquid CPU Cooler Review

    Enermax has been around since 1990 and started primarily as a power supply manufacturer. Since then they have expanded into cases, peripherals, fans, heatsinks, and all-in-one (AIO) water coolers. So they are definitely a familiar name in the PC market. Today we have the Enermax Aquafusion 240 up for testing, a 2 x 120 mm AIO liquid cooler with a little bit of RGB flair.

    Specifications

    (Courtesy Enermax)

    Enermax Aquafusion 240 Specifications
    Model # ELC-AQF240-SQA
    Socket Compatibility Intel: LGA 115x/2011/2011-v3/2066
    AMD: FM1/FM2(+)/AM2(+)/AM3(+)/AM4
    Material Copper base with aluminum radiator
    Pump & Block
    Bearing Ceramic Nano PI Bearing
    MTBF 50,000 hours
    Rated Voltage 12 V
    Rated Current 0.45 A
    Rated Current – RGB LED 0.5 A (5 V)
    Fan Specifications
    Fan Dimensions 120 x 120 x 26 mm
    MTBF >100,000 hours
    Fan Speed 500-2000 RPM
    Voltage 12 V
    Fan Amperage 0.38 A (12 V)
    RGB Amperage 0.68 A (5 V)
    Air Flow 39~79.8 CFM
    Static Pressure 0.67~3.6 mmH2O
    Noise Level 17~32.6 dBA
    Connector 4-pin PWM, 4-pin RGB

    Features

    (Courtesy Enermax)

    AQUAFUSION, an addressable RGB liquid cooler for Intel and AMD CPU platforms, includes a unique RGB water-block with glossy acrylic cover and luminous Aurabelt™ for step-shaped splendid lighting effects. Together with ENERMAX SquA RGB addressable fans, AQUAFUSION can create dynamic visual experience via motherboard software or included control box. The included ENERMAX SquA RGB fans featuring vortex frame design can generate centered and stronger air pressure, especially perfect for radiator. With the patented SCT design, the cold plate can eliminate the “Boundary Layer” to increase coolant flow momentum and accelerate heat transfer performance. AQUAFUSION is a one of a kind cooling solution for custom gaming rigs or stunning system builds.

    auquafusion_240_aurabelt-1876052 Luminous Aurabelt™ for vivid lighting effects

    The 3D Layer Design with Aurabelt provides unique rainbow effects with 16.8 million colors

    auquafusion_240_squargb-300x150-1270016 ENERMAX SquA RGB (fans)

    ENERMAX square-shaped RGB fans featuring vortex frame design can generate centered, stronger air pressure, especially perfect for radiator

    auquafusion 240 rgb Addressable RGB lighting synchronization

    Synchronizable RGB lighting with motherboards featuring an addressable RGB header (pin assignment: +5V/D/G). User can program preferred lighting effects via motherboard software

    auquafusion_240_rgb_mobo-1851130auquafusion_240_rgb_box-1624763 2 ways to control RGB lighting effects:

    Through Motherboard Software

    Users can sync the RGB lighting with motherboards featuring addressable RGB headers

    Through ENERMAX RGB Control Box

    Users can use the included control box to adjust preferred lighting effects (10 pre-set effects), brightness and speed

    auquafusion_240_sct-300x86-4292494 Patented Shunt-Channel-Technology (SCT) cold plate design boosts thermal conductivity and eliminates heat surge

    ENERMAX patented SCT (Shunt-Channel-Technology) cold plate design helps eliminate the “Boundary Layer” to increase the coolant flow momentum and accelerate heat transfer performance. The SCT also lets heated and non-heated coolant to swap the channel and increase utilization rate

    auquafusion_240-3595658 Premium 400 mm weaved tubing is perfect for mainstream system builds
    auquafusion_240_radiator-9117877 The radiator offers high heat exchange capacity thanks to the fine channels and thin aluminum fins design. AQUAFUSION comes in 2 sizes: compact 120 mm one and double-length 240 mm radiator

    Packaging & Accessories

    The front of the box is mostly for marketing such as the Enermax logo, Aquafusion logo, manufacturer specific motherboard RGB compatibility. Of course, the eye-catching product image showcasing the RGB lighting on both the fans and pump top take up the most amount of space showing off what is inside.

    aquafusion_240_box_front-300x225-2352412

    Box

    Turning the box over, we are bombarded with all the information provided on the back on the box which includes a full specifications table, list of features, and a few pictures.

    aquafusion_240_box_back-300x225-8584884

    Box

    On the left side of the box, there is more detailed information in the form of a schematic which allows consumers to know the exact dimension of every aspect of the cooler so that they can be sure it will fit in their case.

    aquafusion_240_box_side_01-300x225-7262086

    Box

    When opening the box we are greeted with the User’s Manual and a white foam topper. Then, removing the topper reveals the Aquafusion 240 wrapped in plastic and nestled in a cardboard mold for protection.

    aquafusion_240_box_opened_01-300x225-7743225Opened aquafusion_240_box_opened_02-300x225-9909401Opened

    Included in the box is the Aquafusion 240 cooler itself, two Enermax SquA RGB fans, RGB Control Box, various RGB cables, Y-cable for the fans, and mounting hardware.

    aquafusion_240_box_contents-300x225-4495027

    Contents

    The mounting hardware consists of a combined Intel/AMD backplate, AMD mounting clip, and all the various screws, spacers, washers, and nuts needed to mount the Aquafusion 240 to just about any Intel or AMD socket.

    aquafusion_240_mounting_hardware-300x225-6245986

    Mounting Hardware

    In the first picture, we have the RGB Control Box, an RGB Y-splitter to the left, Control Box power to the right, and the pump RGB cable in the center. In the second picture, is the fan Y-splitter, SATA power for the fans, and a Gigabyte motherboard RGB cable.

    aquafusion_240_rgb_control_box_01-300x225-8012492RGB Control Box aquafusion_240_cables-300x225-5724235Cables

    ENERMAX Aquafusion 240

    The Aquafusion 240 is a great looking cooler with an almost entirely matte black finish, except for the RGB lighting and a few Enermax logos. The pump, power cable, and hoses are braided and heatshrinked giving the cooler a more finished appearance.

    aquafusion_240_01-300x225-6599847Enermax Aquafusion 240 aquafusion_240_rgb-300x225-4992120Enermax Aquafusion 240

    A Closer Look

    As with most AIO liquid coolers, the pump and water block are a single unit with the pump stacked on top of the block. Other than the translucent ring around the top of the pump, the entire unit is black in color. The ring is for RGB lighting effects and the glossy top plate is actually a really dark tinted acrylic so that some RGB lights will show through there as well. I’m usually not a fan of RGB, but I have to admit, the recessed RGB Enermax logo and stripes into the pump top looks really good.

    aquafusion_240_pump-300x225-2619838Pump/Block aquafusion 240 rgb pumpPump/Block

    The base of the water block is bare copper without any plating, and I’d consider the base finish to be matte; even though some reflection can be seen on the base it’s not clear by any means.

    aquafusion 240 block base

    Waterblock Base

    The radiator is very minimal and understated with a matte black finish with a white Enermax logo on the sides. Fin density is around 19 FPI. There were some bent fins on this sample as you can see in the photo.

    aquafusion_240_rad_damage-300x225-8833571

    Radiator

    The fans included with the Aquafusion are the Enermax UCSQARGB12P-AQF. These are 120 mm RGB fans which run between 500 and 2000 RPM. Like the pump/block, they are solid black except for the translucent ring for RGB lighting and the white Enermax logo on the hub.

    aquafusion 240 fansFans aquafusion_240_fan_model-300x225-1920662Fan Label

    The corners of the fans have a thin foam layer for reducing noise by absorbing vibration.

    aquafusion_240_fan_corners-300x225-3726246

    Foam Corners

    The mounting process was pretty intuitive. The first step was taking the backplate, feeding bolts through the correct holes for the socket, and press fitting plastic washers down the shafts to hold everything in place.

    aquafusion_240_install_01-300x225-9787927

    Backplate

    The next step was to place the backplate onto the back of the motherboard, then press fit tall spacers onto the bolt shafts to secure the backplate to the motherboard.

    aquafusion_240_install_02-300x225-2143548Backplate aquafusion 240 install 03Spacers

    The last few steps would be applying thermal paste, placing the pump/block combo onto the CPU, and tightening down the cooler with the included spring-loaded nuts.

    aquafusion_240_install_04-300x225-6564005

    Pump/Block

    RGB Control Box

    The RGB Control Box uses a SATA connector for power which connects to one end, and the RGB Y-cable is used to connect both the pump and fans to the box.

    The fans’ RGB cables are chained together before connecting to the Y-cable, and the pump has a special cable to use for connecting it to the Y-cable. Then, the single end of the Y-cable is connected to the end of the box, opposite of the power.

    aquafusion_240_rgb_box_connected-640x440-4811581

    Connecting the RGB Control Box

    Adjusting the RGB Lighting

    Here’s an excerpt for setting up the RGB lighting on the pump and fans…

    The 4 LED colors indicate the different modes: GREEN (Lighting Effect), RED (Effect Speed), BLUE (Brightness), YELLOW (Auto-run).

    Lighting Effect

    1. Press “M” until you reach the Light Effect Mode (GREEN).
    2. To change the effect, press the ▲ or ▼ button.
    3. 10 pre-set light effects:
      • Racing-Rainbow (Default)
      • Breathing-Rainbow
      • Flash-Rainbow
      • Overlaying-Rainbow
      • Flow-Rainbow
      • Colors auto-run (8 colors)
        Press ▲ for 3 seconds to fix the current color. Press ▲ for 3 seconds again to return
        to the Colors auto-run effect.
      • Ripple auto-run (8 colors)
        Press ▲ for 3 seconds to fix the current color. Press ▲ for 3 seconds again to return
        to the Flash auto-run effect.
      • Overlaying-RED
      • Overlaying-GREEN
      • Overlaying-BLUE
    4. Pressing ▼ for 3 seconds will return to the default “Racing-Rainbow” effect.

    Effect Speed

    1. Press “M” until you reach the Effect Speed Mode (RED).
    2. To change the effect speed, press the ▲ or ▼ button.

    Brightness

    1. Press “M” until you reach the Brightness Mode (BLUE).
    2. To adjust the brightness, press the ▲ or ▼ button.
    3. Press “M” in any mode for 3 seconds to turn-off the light. Press “M” again to turn on the light and continue with the previous effect.

    Test Setup & Methodology

    Test Setup
    CPU Intel i7 8700K @ 4.7 GHz, 1.125+ V
    Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix Z370-F Gaming
    RAM 2 x 8 GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3200 15-15-15-35
    GPU EVGA RTX 2060 XC ULTRA
    Storage Intel SSD 660p Series 1 TB M.2 NVMe
    PSU Seasonic X-750 Gold
    Heatsinks Enermax Aquafusion 240 (Stock)
    Sythe Fuma Rev. B (Stock)
    EVGA CLC 240 (Stock)
    Noctua NH-D14 (Stock)
    be quiet! Dark Rock 3 (Stock)
    Thermalright Venomous X (1x Gentle Typhoon AP-15 w/ 25 mm shroud)
    Equipment
    Fluke 52 II Dual Input Thermometer
    Tenma Sound Level Meter

    Methodology

    All testing was performed on an open test bench, which minimizes ambient temperature and gives a “worst case” scenario for sound level.

    Cooling performance was tested as follows:

    • Disabled all BIOS settings that cause the CPU clock speed and/or Vcore to fluctuate (although there was still some Vcore fluctuation under load).
    • Ambient temperature was measured with a Fluke 52 II at ~1 inch from the intake fan(s). Then, subtracted from the recorded temperatures to get ΔT.
    • Varied Vcore (in BIOS) from 1.125 V to 1.375 V in 0.050 V increments to increase heat. Stopped increasing Vcore once a core reached ~100 °C.
    • 20-pass 2048 MB RAM LinX runs at each Vcore interval were used to load the CPU.
    • CoreTemp was used to record minimum and maximum core temperatures.

    Sound level in dBA was measured 10 cm from the intake fan with the fan speed set to 100%. Then, sound level was estimated for other distances using the following formula:

    L2 = L1 – 20 * log10(r2/r1)

    • L2 = dBA @ desired distance
    • L1 = dBA @ reference distance
    • r1 = reference distance
    • r2 = desired distance

    Why estimate sound level instead of measuring at further distances? It’s because the meter I’m using is most accurate between 40-130 dBA, so I needed to measure really close to the source to make sure my readings were within that range to get the most accurate measurements.

    Results

    Cooling Performance

    The performance was worse than expected with most of the coolers outperforming it by 3-5 °C on average. Although, that shouldn’t be anything major as far as an everyday driver and overclock is concerned; only when really cranking the voltage and trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of your CPU will you run into temperature limitations.

    aquafusion_240_temp-2291535

    Sound Level

    The Aquafusion 240 is definitely a loud cooler when cranked up to 100% as the following results show. So, I definitely wouldn’t run them maxed out for everyday use unless you’ll be wearing closed back headphones. Remember, this is a worst-case scenario on an open bench with maxed out fan speeds. However, like all fans, the speed can be reduced in the motherboard BIOS to fit your preference.

    aquafusion_240_spl-4874580

    Conclusion

    I’ve always preferred understated designs, so RGB has always been too flashy and “in-your-face” for my tastes. However, Enermax managed to keep RGB simple enough for me so that it’s not a turn-off. The lighting on the Aquafusion’s pump and SquA RGB fans are the best looking RGB accents I’ve seen. This, along with the braided tubing/wires and matte black color scheme, makes the Aquafusion a great looking cooler for any build.

    On the performance side, there was nothing spectacular. Cooling performance was adequate, and the SquA RGB fans are loud when maxed out. So I’d recommend running the fans under the maximum by adjusting the speed/profile within your motherboard BIOS.

    The price comes in around $110 at Amazon which is on the lower end for an RGB 240 AIO cooler. At this price, one will be trading a bit of performance for aesthetics. Whether or not that’s worth the trade-off will be up to the individual’s personal preference.

    Overall, the Enermax Aquafusion 240 is one of the best looking liquid coolers around and performed well enough to recommend to those leaning more towards aesthetics than maximum performance.

    Original Article