Enermax came out swinging with the Liqtech II series coolers, but they were already against the proverbial ropes with the lackluster performance and reliability of their initial Liqtech cooler and the performance and quality issues. All of that aside I think the Liqtech coolers are a great option plagued by a bad fan combination. Enermax took the ‘if it doesn’t work use a bigger hammer’ approach to cooling and while that may work and work well in data center applications, this is a consumer product and will likely be deployed near a desk where people may be sitting not always with headphones on. If you are a headset user 24/7 this may be a non-issue, but for those who use their system in an environment where audibility can become a concern, I would advise to either avoid the Liqtech or pair it with different fans to get a great cooler at a much better noise profile.
Heres the score breakdown
Value – 85 The Enermax cooler actually comes at a reasonable price point when compared to other top rated coolers on the market. But you will likely want to bundle better fans into this which will likely land you in or around the 30+ dollars you may save on the Liqtech series.
Performance – 65 The performance is reasonable or averages, not really knocking anyone out of the park but it does a ‘good job’. On top of that Audible performance has to fit here and I have to take some serious points off here as I cannot imagine what kind of thermals or even worse fan noise would result from a static 500W heat load connected to one of these coolers. as they claim it can do.
Innovation – 75 Innovation is interesting as I don’t call the previously mentioned ‘if it doesn’t work use a bigger hammer’ approach as innovation but more a brute force tactic to get a product to market.
Quality – 85 Quality score is where its gonna be tough as part of the quality I lend to the experience and I feel like anyone getting the Liqtech for use in a desktop rig where tranquility is desired may be an issue as once again the fans crop into the picture. The overall build quality, however, is very solid and with the end shells, the Liqtech feel and look like great quality solid products.
I feel like Overall Enermax makes some pretty attractive products and the Liqtech could be another great one but they really dropped the ball on fan selection and for that, I cannot with good conscience recommend the Liqtech series, although if they were to respin the existing Liqtech and either offer a DIY option or bundle a fan with a more realistic noise range, it could be not only a chart topper but a solid recommendation.