Articles

ENERMAX LIQTECH TR4 280 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler Review

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Friday , January 26, 2018

ENERMAX has been the most aggressive company when it comes to cooling AMD's Threadripper CPU with an easy to use and affordable All-In-One system. Today we are reviewing its THIRD socket TR4-specific AIO. It's previous offerings have been extremely solid and we think that Enermax has stayed on point.

ENERMAX LIQTECH TR4 AIO Liquid CPU Coolers

Enermax is a well known name among computer enthusiasts. It has been in business since 1990 and is best known for its high quality power supplies. We have been reviewing its PSUs for over 10 years, and it simply builds some of the best PSUs in the business. Like many companies have done over the last decade, Enermax has diversified its product lines far beyond PSUs. We have been reviewing its CPU coolers for 5 years. Recently we have reviewed the Enermax Liqmax II 240 AIO and it took home our Gold Editor's Choice award and we also reviewed its previously released Threadripper AIO coolers, the LiqTech 240 and LiqTech 360. So assuredly Enermax does have some pedigree in the AIO arena, albeit short. Today we are focusing on its LiqTech TR4 line of CPU liquid coolers once again this time the "280" version. This of course represents the radiator size and the use of two 140mm fans, where the previous TR4 AIOs used 120mm fans in two-fan and three-fan configurations.

The Enermax LiqTech TR4 280 represents the third Enermax AIO cooler for Threadripper. Back in October when we wrote the original LiqTech TR4 reviews, there were no other Threadripper-specific AIOs on the market, and even now, 4 months later we are still not aware of any besides theses from Enermax. Our experience with "generic" AIO coolers adapted for use with Threadripper have not worked out very well for a couple of reason. FIrst and foremost, any sort of common convex surface causing some big mating issues, and second, the way Threadripper has positioned its two dies down on the CPU substrate, make actually covering these with the mating surface causes issues. Issues exist with both AIO, air coolers, and even custom loop water blocks. Even the heralded EK has come up short in terms of cooling Threadripper. My overall point being that Threadripper cooling is above and beyond most solutions on the market, so choose wisely if you are going to be overclocking.


What's in the Box

The LiqTech TR4 280 comes packaged extremely well, so it showing up undamaged to you should not be an issue. Packaging has changed a bit since we last reviewed the original LiqTech TR4 AIOs. The packaging has now changed from using closed cell foam to a formed fiberboard insert. Every part is individually bagged as well, so any kind of water damage is very unlikely as well.

Once you get everything out of the packaging, you will find all the needed parts and pieces. As we are used to, the included hardware is topshelf in terms of materials and machining. You go also get 2 grams of TIM, but we suggest that you buy some "extra" as 2 grams of TIM will facilitate just one application. We do however highly suggest you do at least one test fitting, then reapplication to make sure you "got it right." If you don't "get it right," this can severely hamper the temperatures that can be achieved with these coolers. I will cover more of that in a bit. We use Prolimatech Pk-1 Nano Aluminum Thermal Compound for all our Threadripper testing.

As you see you are responsible for attaching the fans. One thing that has improved since our initial review is how much easier the fan were to attach. Enermax has cleaned up the threading on the radiator attachment points and has also made the hole in the vibration dampening strips a bit bigger so those do not get caught in the threads while turning the screws down. You can also see that Enermax has trimmed out the top and bottom edges of the radiator so that it has a nice clean look to it. The fins on the radiator showed up in almost perfect condition as well, which is another testament to its packaging.

The coldpate on the LiqTech is extremely well done. It comes with a clear adhesive sticker over it to keep it perfect during shipping. This sticker peels off clean, but I would suggest using some 99.9% isopropyl alcohol be used to clean it before installing the unit. The coldplate is almost perfectly flat as well which is a big deal when it comes to getting good mates with the extremely large Threadripper IHS.