Refilling an AIO with New Fluid - Thermal Test Results

By Published December 23, 2017 at 11:31 pm

We previously went through the process of dismantling, draining, and refilling an Enermax Liqtech TR4 closed-loop liquid cooler (some call these "AIOs") in an attempt to determine how serviceable the CLCs are. This particular cooler wasn't too difficult to refill, as we showed in our accompanying video, but we still wanted to check thermal results to see if the cooler had worsened in performance. The goal wasn't to make it better, just to see if it could be serviced, and without negative impact to cooling ability.

Keep in mind that fluid selection will matter: If the CLC mixes metals, as many do, you'll want to include a biocide of some sort in your refill. There are plenty of mixtures that would achieve this. We used an EK Cryofuel with biocide additive, with distilled water as the primary component (>90%) for the liquid composition. Our thermal test methodology is the same as in all our Threadripper cooler reviews, including the Enermax 360 vs 240 review. If curious how we tested, head over there.


Results are largely above, but here are the charts:

enermax refill blender

enermax refill prime

The results, as stated in the video, were basically that cooling was "not worse," if not slightly better -- within variance and error, to a degree (literally), but potentially slightly better. The refill was successful, the cooler is still fully usable, and it is, in fact, possible to refill a CLC and continue using it. This is primarily helpful in the event that the CLC's usable life expires only because of permeation of the tubes, which tends to happen in the 5+ year territory. For systems with long uptime and service life, which is likely for an AMD Threadripper computer, knowing that you can maintain a CLC fairly easily is helpful and comforting for an expensive, well-built component.

Learn more in the video above! Full articles coming shortly on some more in-depth thermal and architecture topics.

Editorial, Testing: Steve Burke
Video: Andrew Coleman

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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