LIAN LI Galahad AIO 240 Liquid CPU Cooler Review
A Stylish First Effort From A Legendary Case Maker
LIAN LI is one of the oldest (founded in 1983) and best known companies in the PC enthusiast space, specializing in all-aluminum case construction – though they have embraced steel as an alternative with the more affordable LANCOOL series.
But we aren’t looking at a case today, as the venerable enclosure company has entered the AiO liquid cooler market. Naturally, there will be both aluminum and high style on display here.
It is called Galahad, and while I cannot immediately translate the concept of ideal chivalry into CPU cooling performance, the round pump design is evocative of the round table to which Sir Galahad is associated in Arthurian legend. Clearly, I am not reading too much into this name.
“The all-new GALAHAD AIO Liquid CPU Cooler is born to serve as a simple, safe, and yet highly effective liquid-cooling solution for your high-end CPU. With an aluminium high-density radiator, high-static pressure fans, a well-engineered CPU block pump, and vivid addressable RGB lighting, GALAHAD AIO promises to offer uncompromising cooling performance while adorning your build with stunning lighting.”
We received the 240 mm version of the Galahad in black, and proceeded to test it out using our recently implemented Z490 setup. How did this brand new cooler fare against a Core i9-10900K with no power limits? Read on to find out!
- Radiator material: Aluminum and plastic
- Radiator dimensions:
- 360mm: (L)397.5 X (W)122.2 X (H)27.2mm
- 240mm: (L)273 X (W)123 X (H)27.2mm
- Fan dimensions: (L) 120 X (W) 120 X (H) 25 mm
- Fan speed: 800 ~ 1900 RPM
- Fan airflow: 69.17 CFM
- Fan air pressure: 2.6 mmH2O
- Fan mttf: 40,000 Hours
- Fan power connector: 4-PIN
- Fan rated voltage: 12V DC
- Pump dimensions (L) 87.1 X (W) 74 X (H) 62
- Pump mttf: 70,000 Hours
- Pump noise level: < 20 dBA
- Pump connector: 2510-3-PIN
- Pump rated voltage: 12V DC
- AiO Cooler: 5 years
- Fans and LEDs: 2 years
- GALAHAD AIO 240: $119.99
- GALAHAD AIO 360: $149.99
“With an aluminium high-density radiator, high-static pressure fans, a well-engineered CPU block pump, and vivid addressable RGB lighting, GALAHAD AIO promises to offer uncompromising cooling performance while adorning your build with stunning lighting.”
Design and Features
This new LIAN LI cooler marries a traditional AiO design with liberal (and visible) use of aluminum – a material that is certainly appropriate considering the source. The radiator in particular stands out thanks to its brushed aluminum sides, with a prominent LIAN LI logo on each.
The aluminum accents add a premium touch, and the provided fans are also of the ARGB variety. In use the Galahad can be, along with the lighting in the pump ring, quite colorful.
A standard 27 mm-thick aluminum design (with a fin height of 20 mm within the frame), LIAN LI calls out their use of fin and tube density with this design:
“The radiator encompasses 14 rows of aluminium tubes, allowing maximum amount of liquid to pass through to transfer the heat out of the system efficiently. The surface area for heat dissipation is significantly increased thanks to the fins folded in high density between the aluminium tubes.”
The tubing, which is some 400 mm in length, is nicely finished with braided covers, and is listed as a “reinforced leakproof design”. Of note – at least with our sample – is the relatively stiff feel of these tubes, which were a bit more stubborn that other recent coolers I have encountered. I had to fight them a bit, but the feel did lend credibility to the claim of extreme durability.
As to the included fans, these deserve some additional consideration, as LIAN LI offers quite a bit more detail on their features than we generally see from the fans included with AiO coolers. These 800-1900 RPM fans are of the high-static pressure variety (2.6mm H2O), and can provide airflow up to 69.17 CFM.
From LIAN LI:
- Industrial-Grade Motor – Each of the high-static pressure fans is propelled by an industrial-grade motor that enables the fans to operate silently at full speed
- Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) Technology – Each high-static pressure fan features a fluid dynamic bearing, in which the load is supported by a thin layer of oil fluid to effectively reduce the friction caused by the moving parts in contact with the bearing surface
- Extra Magnetic Support – Extra magnetic force has been added to the center hub to support the fan blades, reducing the vibration level of each fan
Each fan also offers 12 addressable RGB LEDs, and users have the option of either motherboard header connection, or lighting adjustment via an included controller which offers a total of 17 presets.
As with the framing accenting the radiator, the CPU block/pump features an aluminum housing. There is also a optional, magnetically attached aluminum cap for the center of the assembly, which LIAN LI says helps to “shine and reflect the system lighting delicately through the surface to produce a variety of hues and a minimalistic elegance to your build”.
Functionally speaking, LIAN LI offers this summary of the CPU block/pump features:
- Triple-Chamber Structure – The GALAHAD AIO features a state-of-the-art triple-chamber structure, combining the pump chamber, the connecting chamber, and the coldplate chamber into one unit to significantly reduce the friction produced by the fluid flow and also serve as a protection mechanism to prevent your system from liquid leak should the CPU block pump be damaged.
- Multi-Chamber Technology (M.C.T) – The M.C.T. design separates hot and cool liquid flow by conveying them into different, sealed water passages, significantly enhancing the heat exchange efficiency and extending the lifespan of the CPU block pump by preventing the hot liquid from flowing back.
The installation process with the Galahad was significantly above average. In fact, I will go as far as to say that LIAN LI offers one of the best mounting systems in the industry. Why? It all starts with the hardware.
I installed the cooler onto an Intel Z490 motherboard, and it went very smoothly. Assembling the rear bracket involves pushing four bolts through the appropriate hole for your socket type, and plastic washers on the other end protect the PCB.
And now for my favorite design choice: this rear bracket/bolt assembly is held securely on the motherboard during installation thanks to what I think of as “locking” spacers. I have seen coolers that omit these entirely, and coolers that implement hard plastic rings that don’t grip the bolts at all.
Here, the plastic spacers (if that’s even the right term for this part) are designed to grip the bolts, and when they are pressed down to meet the PCB the bracket isn’t going anywhere. This might seem like a little thing, but when I first saw this on a Scythe cooler it was revelatory.
AM4 installation is less complex, as a simple bracket swap on the pump/block assembly allows compatibility with AMD’s default mounting bracket. As we’ve seen with CORSAIR liquid coolers, a pair of additional parts are attached at each end to grip the tabs on the bracket, and at that point they are simply tightened down.
With the Galahad installed on our Intel Core i9-10900K processor, and with the power limit settings of our ASRock Z490 Taichi set to “auto” (aka no limits), we set about thermal and noise testing.
|PC Perspective Cooler Test Platform|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z490 Taichi|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix LT 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3200|
|GPU||Palit GeForce GTX 1050 Ti KalmX (Fanless)|
|Storage||Corsair Neutron Series XTi 480GB|
|Power Supply||CORSAIR RM1000x 1000W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit|
For comparison we will be looking at performance relative to the two most recently reviewed liquid CPU coolers, though it should be noted that this Galahad is at a disadvantage given its smaller 240 mm size (both the CORSAIR and Deepcool AiOs tested were 280 mm models).
A very strong showing for this 240 mm cooler, as the Galahad finished less than a degree behind the larger CORSAIR H115i at its “extreme” preset. But how much noise did this smaller cooler output as it tamed the i9-10900K?
Noise levels of ~47 dBA are very noticeable, though this result should certainly be considered in context given the excellent cooling performance. I think of a Core i9-10900K running without power limits as, essentially, an overclock situation for any cooler (after all, the CPU is able to use 200+ watts pretty much infinitely).
CORSAIR’s “balanced” preset is very, very quiet under load, but load temps at that setting are about 14 C higher than the LIAN LI Galahad. There is certainly some room to experiment with fan profiles here, and one could find their own balanced setting to achieve lower noise without sacrificing too much in the thermal department.
With its stylish appearance and solid cooling performance from the 240 mm version we tested, the Galahad is a fine first effort from LIAN LI. All-in-one liquid CPU coolers have a tendency to look quite similar to one another, but here LIAN LI has made some choices to really help the Galahad stand out in your build.
Pricing is another area where I think LIAN LI did well, as $119.99 USD for the 240 mm version here is quite reasonable considering the premium look, integration of ARGB lighting in the pump and fans, and overall build quality. Oh, and the mounting system is as good as any I’ve used with an AiO cooler.
The only area where I wasn’t particularly impressed with this new cooler was the noise output under load. Though, to be fair, ~47 dBA is not uncharacteristic of high pressure fans spinning at full speed, as these were in their valiant attempt to keep our Core i9-10900K cool during a Blender workload (with no power limits enforced).
Bottom line, LIAN LI has created an excellent product with this Galahad AIO 240 liquid cooler, and priced it competitively. And while they are new to this market, a 5-year warranty (2 years for the fans and lighting) should help alleviate concern. Recommended.
This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.
How Product Was Obtained
The cooler is on loan from Lian Li for the purpose of this review.
What Happens To Product After Review
The cooler remains the property of Lian Li but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.
Lian Li provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.
PC Perspective Compensation
Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Lian Li for this review.
Lian Li has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.
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