Like be quiet!, Xilence belongs to Listan GmbH. Where be quiet! covers the mid- to upper-range, Xilence is in the entry-level price range. Thus, the AIO Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 is priced at the very bottom and is pretty much the cheapest way into the world of water cooling. How the cooler fares and whether it stands out from similarly priced air coolers in terms of performance is clarified in this Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 review.
|Supported Intel sockets||1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1200, 1356, 1366, 2011-0, 2011-1, 2011-3, 2066|
|Supported AMD sockets||AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, AM5, FM1, FM2, FM2+, TR4, sTRX4, sWRX8, SP3|
|Volume||Up to 32.5 dB|
|hose length||330 mm|
|Fan||Red Wing 120 mm with 1500 RPM (+ / – 10%)|
|Price||€ 48.09 *|
- Simple packaging
- All parts additionally packed in foil
- Good protection due to the egg carton style molded box
The packaging of the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 is in the typical Xilence style of sleek black and white with the product printed in cartoon style and black and red accents. Inside you’ll find a cardboard box that holds the individual parts, which are in turn wrapped in plastic. The fan is individually packaged and not pre-assembled. The assembly material is in another cardboard box.
Scope of delivery
- Mounting materials for all mainstream sockets and a few enthusiast sockets
- Small tube of thermal compound
- Screws for a second fan
In addition to the cooler, fan and manual, a decent package of mounting hardware is also included with the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120, allowing the cooler to be mounted on Intel’s mainstream sockets from LGA115x to 1700, as well as all AMD mainstream sockets since FM1 – including AM3, AM4 and AM5. Intel 2011 and 2066 sockets as well as AMD’s TR4 and sTRX4 are also compatible. Whereas I would already say that this is not the actual target group for this cooler. There are a total of eight long screws included, which means you can also attach a second fan to the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 for a push-pull configuration. A small tube of thermal paste is also included – so this is not pre-applied.
- Xilence logo on pump unit lights
- Fan does not glow, but stands out due to red color
The design of the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 is dominated by the red fan that is included. This one stands out a lot and even though it’s not illuminated, it doesn’t really fit visually into any color scheme of a computer unless you go for a Xilence full fan setup. That being said, the radiator looks quite decent and the hoses are kept in a typical black. The pump unit is also kept in black, making it much easier to integrate into the look of a computer. In addition, the logo on the pump unit glows white when turned on. Thus, you have some light without the illumination being too intrusive.
- Simply manufactured fan
- Moderately robust backplate
Depending on which part of the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 you look at, the processing should be considered differently. The fan is kept very cheap and apart from rubber pads on the bottom, it corresponds to the cheap entry-level in terms of workmanship. The backplate, which is included, also doesn’t look very high-quality and is kept quite thin. The mounting frame, which is attached to the pump unit, is a bit more robust, but still very simple. The workmanship looks better when it comes to the radiator and the hoses. For the radiator corresponds to the quality of workmanship known from much more expensive coolers and on the side there are noble-looking elements in a black look of brushed aluminum – which, however, are only glued on.
The hoses are neatly made and are not exposed thanks to sleeving. The pump unit sits in a plastic housing, but it looks quite neat. When shaking the radiator, it is clearly noticeable that there is some air in the system.
- The installation is not difficult
- Use the included backplate
The installation is not witchcraft, but also not the best solution I have seen so far. Unlike most coolers, the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 does not rely on the existing AM4 backplate for AM4, but instead requires the included one. Here, screws are pushed through from behind and the backplate is placed with the insulating supports towards the motherboard from behind. A washer is then placed on the screw from the front and then long spacers are screwed on the entire length of the screws until the backplate is seated.Here you have to make sure that the hexagonal screw heads are properly seated in the back of the backplate and do not sit on the raised frame of the backplate.
The correct frame is attached to the pump unit via a bayonet fitting. Now that the thermal paste has been applied to the processor and the protective film has been removed from the contact surface, the pump unit is put on and tightened with knurled nuts on the screws. For the last bit, you can use a screwdriver to increase the contact pressure a bit. Just be careful, don’t overdo it.
- Screws included for push-pull configuration
- Additional performance test with second fan
Since the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 comes with long fan screws for two fans, I also wanted to perform the test with a second fan. Here I opted for another relatively inexpensive fan with a similar speed range around 1500 RPM, a be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (available for € 12.13 *). The included fan of the LQ120 could not be found separately with this model name.
Thus, I ran the test once with the one factory fan and then again with two fans in push-pull configuration to see how big the performance difference is. Anyway, due to the reduced resistance, it was noticed that the factory fan, whose speed was measured, spins noticeably snappier when combined with the second fan.
- Uniform test system for the coolers
- Processor as a proxy for the mid-range
- Test against similar-priced air coolers
The test system’s Ryzen 5 3600X has an all-core overclock of 4.2 Ghz at a peak core voltage of 1.4 volts in the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 test. This results in a CPU package power of around 80W during a Cinebench run. After eight minutes of warm-up time, a one-minute measurement of the average temperature is taken. Here, the test is performed four times: 25, 50, 75 and 100% fan speed on the cooler respectively.
The test system sits in a Fractal Design North, which offers very good airflow with low noise with Noctua fans. The case fans are set at a low speed for low noise impact (front: 2x Noctua NF-A14 ULN at 550 RPM, rear: Noctua NF-S12B at 700 RPM). Thus, they do not influence the measurement results by automatics.
In the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 review, a few air coolers are used for comparison. On the one hand, the AMD Wraith Spire as an example of a box cooler that is used in the lower price range and from which users are most likely to upgrade. On the other hand, the DeepCool AK400 and the Enermax ETS-F40-FS were used as two slightly cheaper air coolers, and the DeepCool AK500 is a model that is slightly more expensive than the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120. The thermal compound used is Arctic MX4, which is the most common on average.
Comparison of performance and volume
|Cooler||25% PWM||50% PWM||75% PWM||100% PWM|
|AMD Wraith Spire||74.2 K @ 1450 RPM, 40 dB||66.8 K @ 2020 RPM, 41 dB||63.7 K @ 2700 RPM, 43 dB||62.7 K @ 3100 RPM, 45 dB|
|Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120||59.3 K @ 720 RPM, 40 dB||56.2 K @ 910 RPM, 40 dB||53.1 K @ 1260 RPM, 41 dB||50.3 K @ 1630 RPM, 43 dB|
|Xilence LiQuRizer LQ 120 + be quiet! Pure Wings 2 (push-pull)
||58.6 K @ 750 RPM, 41 dB||54.4 K @ 970 RPM, 41 dB||49.9 K @ 1350 RPM, 42 dB||49.5 K @ 1760 RRPM, 45 dB|
|DeepCool AK400||63.1 K @ 610 RPM, 40 dB||52.9 K @ 1150 RPM, 40 dB||50.6 K @ 1580 RPM, 41 dB||49.3 K @ 1930 RPM, 42 dB|
|DeepCool AK500||61.8 K @ 600 RPM, 40 dB||52.4 K @ 1060 RPM, 40 dB||49.5 K @ 1500 RPM, 42 dB||48.5 K @ 1850 RPM, 43 dB|
|Enermax ETS-F40-FS||56 K @ 530 RPM, 39 dB||51.9 K @ 810 RPM, 39 dB||49.7 K @ 1030 RPM, 40 dB||49 K @ 1210 RPM, 41 dB|
Notes on the measurement: green means good performance, yellow means acceptable performance, and red means borderline performance. The temperature delta measurement means that this value must be added to the current room temperature to get a fairly accurate value. If we have a room temperature of 22.3° C and add a delta of 44.8 K, we get a CPU temperature of 67.1° C. So, all green temperature values mean that the CPU stays below 70°C under long-term full load at a room temperature of 20°C. For the yellow values, the CPU temperature is above 70° C in the corresponding scenario, and the red values are above 80° C.
Similarly, the volume: green is pleasant and unobtrusive, yellow is clearly audible and can be annoying, red is exhaustingly loud. Note on this: An increase of 6 dB corresponds to a doubling of the volume.
Analysis of the test results
- Performance comparable to 120mm air coolers
- Relatively quiet, but slow fan
- No big jump in performance from low to mid-range
It is quite interesting to see: The Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 shows in this test that it cools about on par with a 120mm tower air cooler. However, there is a rather interesting observation to be made: Where it performs above average at low fan speeds (25% PWM) and is only beaten by the 140mm tower cooler Enermax ETS-F40-FS, the jump in performance to the higher fan speeds is less impressive, leaving it beaten by other coolers in the price range at the high end. However, it beats the included factory cooler all around. Both in terms of performance and noise. A second fan does improve performance, especially in the mid-range. But in the end, the difference isn’t huge and also increases the volume a bit.
On the subject of volume, the Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 does have a noticeable pumping noise, but it is not huge. At 25% and 50% fan speed, it is still louder than the fan. But as the fan speed increases to 75%, the fan slowly becomes more perceptible and at 100% the pump noise can no longer be heard out. Overall, the fan is relatively quiet, but achieves this especially by not spinning as fast, which in turn reduces the maximum performance. Slower spinning in the test is only the larger fan of the Enermax cooler, but this compensates for the lower speed by the larger cooling surface.
Those who expect more performance from water coolers than from air coolers will be disappointed, at least in this case. Realistically, though, that’s not really necessary, because here you get the performance of a mid-range air cooler for the price range of a mid-range air cooler. And that as a water cooler, which definitely brings its advantages. Because while you can’t extract a higher cooling performance, you at least have the free space around the processor, which makes it easier to get to the RAM or various connected cables, for example. You are also more flexible when it comes to the case, because smaller cases often offer the possibility to install a small water cooler rather than a large air cooler. And at least the Xilence LiQuRizer review shows that there are no real sacrifices to be made in terms of performance compared to similarly priced air coolers – and most larger water coolers get noticeably louder.
In short: The Xilence LiQuRizer LQ120 does not take the performance crown. But depending on the application, it can definitely be a sensible choice at a humane price.