Lian Li Galahad II Performance Review: A New Level of Liquid Cooling Excellence


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Aug 14, 2023

Lian Li Galahad II Performance Review: A New Level of Liquid Cooling Excellence

Lian Li’s Galahad II Performance is the strongest 360mm AIO we’ve tested. It features a low noise mode which doesn’t result in performance reduction when paired with most CPUs. It’s also reasonably

Lian Li’s Galahad II Performance is the strongest 360mm AIO we’ve tested. It features a low noise mode which doesn’t result in performance reduction when paired with most CPUs. It’s also reasonably priced for its class, at only $169.99 USD.

Best cooling we’ve ever seen from a 360mm AIO

Full RAM clearance

Low Noise and Full Performance Modes

Extremely strong noise normalized performance

Competitive price of $169.99

Full Performance mode runs loud

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Taiwanese component company Lian Li is well known for its premium PC cases and fans, but the company also offers power supplies and AIO coolers. Today we’re looking at Lian Li’s latest 360mm AIO, the Galahad II Trinity Performance. It features upgraded designs for virtually every part of the cooler, from the radiator to the fans to the liquid pump.

Over the past two years, the market for liquid cooling has grown more intense as manufacturers have released upgraded liquid coolers to more effectively dissipate heat to keep up with the demands of today’s hottest CPUs. Are the changes made by Lian Li for the Galahad II Performance enough to earn the top spot on our best AIO Coolers list? We’ll have to install and test the cooler to find out, but first let’s take a look at the cooler’s specifications and features.

Lian Li’s Galahad II Trinity arrives in a box similar in size to other coolers in its class.

The inner contents are protected with plastic coverings, foam, and molded cardboard.

Included with the package are the following:

Installing Lian Li’s GA II Trinity Performance on a LGA 1700 system is surprisingly simple, arguably the easiest installation I’ve ever encountered.

1. The fans are pre-installed to the radiator for simplicity of installation, so the first thing you’ll want to do is to secure the radiator to your computer case.

2. Apply the backplate to the back of the motherboard.

3. Attach the mounting standoffs.

3. Mount the CPU block on top of the standoffs after applying thermal paste and secure it with a screwdriver.

4. Next you’ll want to decide what cords to attach to the CPU block. You can choose to control the device’s PWM speeds and lighting traditionally by connecting them to your motherboard’s ARGB & PWM headers, or you can connect the fans to the CPU block and let Lian Li’s software control pump and fan speeds and RGB lighting options.

Every aspect of the Galahad II Trinity performance – including the fans, the radiator, the pump, the tubing, and more – have been upgraded to provide a premium cooling experience. The combined improvements made to the Galahad II are not minor compared to previous products. This cooler looks, feels, and (as we’ll soon see in testing) performs much betterthan many competing coolers.

⋇ 3x 120mm high performance LCP fans

There’s more to a cooler than just the heatsink or radiator. The bundled fans have a significant impact on cooling and noise levels and the unit’s aesthetic. These fans were designed specifically for liquid cooling with an impressively strong 7mm H20 maximum rated static pressure and up to 108 CFM of airflow.

Like the fans included on the previously reviewed EKWB CR360, Lian Li’s fans feature unique connections which simplify cable management by converting PWM and ARGB connections into a single header connected by micro-fit 8-pin connectors that have a similar form factor as CPU power connections. This results in a more secure connection with less cable management to worry about, even if th connectors feel a bit bulkier than necessary.

By default, these fans are solid black with no ARGB. However, those who prefer an ARGB can upgrade the fans with a Lian Li side ARGB strip.

Full Performance/Low Noise Toggle

Included with the AIO is a toggle switch that lets you quickly switching between full performance and low-noise modes. In full performance mode, the fans will spin at up to 3000RPM; with low noise mode this is reduced to 2300RPM.

Most users will not notice any performance loss with the low noise mode. I did not observe any meaningful differences when paired with Intel’s i7-13700K. You’ll need a very thermally demanding CPU to gain performance from the full performance mode. But for those chasing top overclock speeds, it’s nice to know it’s there when you need it.

CPU block improvements

Designed to be mounted in all directions

The 45 degree fittings connecting the liquid tubing to the liquid pump are rotatable, making it easy to use in any installation direction. Some AIOs lose performance when installed in a side mount. Lian Li’s Galahad II Trinity Performance is designed for full performance whether top mounted, front mounted, or side mounted.

Three lighting configurations

The decorative top of the CPU block can be customized one of three ways. The default style is an infinity mirror. The second style available offers diffused RGB lighting. The third option is a combination of the two, with a diffused RGB outside and a mirror on the inside.

Large copper contact plate

The Galahad II Trinity Performance features a large CPU contact plate, made of copper with significant revisions compared to the previous-generation product. The skived fins have increased spacing to prevent buildup of debris, and the height and thicknesses of the fins have been improved. Additionally, a trench down the middle of the skived fins has been implemented for better heat dissipation of the coolant over the copper plate.

The seal for the copper cold plate has also been improved, with straighter pathways for reduced turbulence and increased airflow.

⋇ Fine Sleeved Tubing with increased width

The inner diameter of the water tubes has been increased from 5.8mm to 7mm, upping the total volume of liquid by roughly 20%, which allows for better heat absorption.

The rubber tubes of the unit are reinforced and protected with fine sleeving, which also makes the unit look and feel more premium. Lian Li also includes a leather cable management tie to keep the tubes tidy.

Complete RAM compatibility

As the compact CPU block of the AIO does not overhang or interfere with RAM in any way, all sizes of DDR4 and DDR5 DIMMs are supported.

32mm-thick radiator

The Galahad II Trinity Performance sports an extra thick 32mm radiator, featuring a double-wave fin design for premium heat dissipation.

(Optional) Software Control

Manufacturers of AIO cooling systems tend to fall into one of two extremes when it comes to cooler control: Either they force you to use bloated, often buggy software to control the device, or they don’t include any software and rely only on motherboard PWM and ARGB controls.

With Lian Li’s Galahad II Trinity Performance, you have a choice. You can use the default motherboard controls if you prefer, but the company also offers an optional download of the L-Connect3 3 software for a more customized experience. This software offers in-depth lighting and pump/fan speed customization options, with the ability to control other compatible ARGB devices as well. Interestingly, you can also return control of these options to the motherboard with “MB Sync” option.

Modern high-end CPUs, whether Intel or AMD, are difficult to cool in intensive workloads. In the past, reaching 95C+ on a desktop CPU might have been a cause for concern. But with today’s processors, it is considered normal operation. Similar behavior has been present in laptops for years due to cooling limitations in tight spaces.

Despite assurances from the CPU manufacturers that there is no concern in running the CPU at or near its maximum temperature, many enthusiasts still prefer to have their CPUs run at lower temperatures. Most coolers won’t be capable of achieving this in the strongest and most power-hungry of workloads, but the strongest of 360mm AIOs are able to handle the heat with Intel’s i7-13700K.

There are many factors other than the CPU cooler that can influence your cooling performance, including the case you use and the fans installed in it. A system's motherboard can also influence this, especially if it suffers from bending, which results in poor cooler contact with the CPU.

In order to prevent bending from impacting our cooling results, we’ve installed Thermalright’s LGA 1700 contact frame into our testing rig. If your motherboard is affected by bending, your thermal results will be worse than those shown below. Not all motherboards are affected equally by this issue. I tested Raptor Lake CPUs in two motherboards. And while one of them showed significant thermal improvements after installing Thermalright’s LGA1700 contact frame, the other motherboard showed no difference in temperatures whatsoever! Check out our review of the contact frame for more information.

All testing is performed at a 23 degrees Celsius ambient room temperature. Multiple thermal tests are run on each CPU to test the cooler in a variety of conditions, and acoustic measurements are taken with each result. These tests include:

1. Noise-normalized testing at low noise levels

2. “Out-of-the-box”/default configuration thermal & acoustics testing.

a.) This means no power limits on Intel’s i7-13700K.

b.) Because CPUs normally hit Tjmax in this scenario, the best way to compare cooling strength is by recording the total CPU package power consumption.

3. Thermal & acoustics testing in power-limited scenarios.

a.) I’ve tested with limits of 175W and 125W enforced.

The thermal results included are 10-minute testing runs. To be sure that was sufficiently long to tax the cooler, we tested both Thermalright’s Assassin X 120 R SE and DeepCool’s LT720 with a 30-minute Cinebench test with Intel’s i9-13900K for both 10 minutes and 30 minutes. The results didn’t change much at all with the longer test: The average clock speeds maintained dropped by 29 MHz on DeepCool’s LT720 and 31 MHz on Thermalright’s Assassin X 120 R SE. That’s an incredibly small 0.6% difference in clock speeds maintained, a margin of error difference that tells us that the 10-minute tests are indeed long enough to properly test the coolers.

This review will focus specifically on how Lian Li’s Galahad II Trinity Performance compares against the strongest AIOs on the market : DeepCool’s LT720, EKWB’s CR360, MSI’s MEG S360, and Cooler Master’s 360L Core. If the cooler isn’t included here and I’ve reviewed it previously, that means it failed my unlimited power Cinebench tests and, as such, is not included.

Current page:Features and Specifications

Albert Thomas is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering CPU cooling reviews.

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CoolerMSRPRadiator SizeRadiator MaterialSocket CompatibilityBaseWarrantyMax TDP (Our Testing)⋇ 3x 120mm high performance LCP fansModelDimensionsFan SpeedAir FlowAir PressureBearing TypeMTTFLightingFull Performance/Low Noise ToggleCPU block improvements Designed to be mounted in all directionsThree lighting configurationsLarge copper contact plate⋇ Fine Sleeved Tubing with increased widthComplete RAM compatibility32mm-thick radiator (Optional) Software Control CPUComparison Coolers TestedMotherboardGPUCaseMonitorPSULian Li Galahad II Performance Review: A New Level of Liquid Cooling Excellence : Read more