EVGA’s CLC 120 CL11 keeps it simple and affordable

When the first wave of liquid AIO coolers hit the market, their ease of installation and high level of compatibility were major selling points. Over time the market expanded to include models with ever-longer radiators, fans sandwiched around the heat exchanger, and complicated mounting hardware intended to fit every CPU socket in the last fifteen years. EVGA's CLC 120 CL11 liquid AIO cooler goes back to those early days with its 120-mm radiator, simple wiring, and simplified, Intel-only mounting. The kit has an affordable price, though fancy stuff like RGB LED illumination, fill ports, and expansion options are left at the chopping block.

The CLC 120 CL11's copper waterblock-and-pump assembly fits Intel LGA 115x, 1366, 2011, 2011v3, and 2066 sockets. Unfortunately, AMD CPU owners are left in the hot, sweaty desert. We're hopeful that the somewhat streamlined compatibility list will translate into a simple mounting procedure. In any case, the wiring will be simple. The pump speed is controlled by water temperature and the fan is a constant-speed, 1800-RPM unit, so a couple of three-pin fan headers are the only connections needed. The CLC11 doesn't have any other controls or any bespoke monitoring features.

The radiator is a 120-mm aluminum unit with a plain-jane, single-speed fan attached. The radiator and fan have a combined thickness of 2.1" (5.3 cm), so the cooler should fit in most PC cases without issue. The full shroud on the fan should make it less likely to tickle cabling in a tightly packed mini-ITX build than some of EVGA's other CLCs.

EVGA's CLC 120 CL11 is on sale now in the company's store for an affordable $60. We didn't find listings at Amazon or Newegg just yet, but we're certain the cooler will show up in all the usual places soon. The manufacturer backs the back-to-basics cooler with a five-year warranty.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Having owned a 120mm CLC (and having been asked to build PCs with several more) I can categorically state that all CLCs with radiators smaller than 240mm are utterly pointless fads.

    A 120mm tower cooler will match or outperform a tiny radiator like this, but cheaper, without possible pump failure or water leakage, and more quietly too.

    There is just no reason for these stupid products to exist, other than to appease the branding whores who want yet another [s<]LED[/s<] logo in their RGBLED-endowed case windows. OMG, it's not even an LED-backlit logo! The [url=https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103252<]competition[/url<] is offering LEDs AND 240mm at this price :\

      • ikjadoon
      • 2 years ago

      I think the *only* exception in noise/performance is Arctic Cooling’s Liquid Freezer 120. Cooler and quieter than a Noctua NH-U14S through some combination of their excellent fans and black magic:

      [url<]https://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/02/11/arctic_cooling_liquid_freezer_120_aio_cpu_cooler_review/3[/url<] But, mechanical failures still exist. The only time I'd consider their application worthy is for GPUs, who actually need the cooling. CPUs have such a little impact: going from 4.9GHz to 5.2GHz on an i7-8700K is hardly going to change your gaming performance. But clock stability & overclocking headroom on a part who's stock TDP is ~60% higher than your CPU? Perceptively quieter and perceptively faster.

      • DPete27
      • 2 years ago

      Agreed, except where space limitations exist and a 120mm tower cooler isn’t feasible.

      • psuedonymous
      • 2 years ago

      [quote<]There is just no reason for these stupid products to exist, other than to appease the branding whores who want yet another LED logo in their RGBLED-endowed case windows.[/quote<]Reasons to exist: - Relocate the 120mm-sized chunk of metal from sticking straight up in the middle of the motherboard to a case-wall-mounted 120mm vent hole. Vital for SFF use. - Safety for transport. A 120mm tower cooler is a big chunk of metal (the venerable TRUE copper weights nearly 2kg for the heatsink alone!) mounted to the motherboard PCB only. Any movement of the case means that big chunk of metal on a 120mm+ lever arm is flexing that PCB right over the solder balls mounting the CPU socket to the board. An AIO mounts the mass directly to the case wall, leaving only the pump/block combo unit attached very close to the PCB (less lever arm) and partially supported by the semirigid tubes.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        The TRUE copper is vastly better than any 120mm CLC; It’s comparable to the 240mm CLCs that I am quite happy to recommend. By contrast, the most popular 120mm tower (Hyper 212 Evo) is only 460g, and it’s not the lightest option available in that size, either.

        I also disagree with your assertation that 120mm CLCs are vital for SFF use; If the SFF is large enough to mount a bulky radiator+fan (150x120x55mm excluding hoses) then it’s arguably big enough for a 120mm tower or, better still, a 140mm down-blowing cooler. At the other end of the spectrum, true SFF designs are either horizontal HTPC variants where you may find that the excess bulk of a 120mm radiator prevents it from mounting in a 120mm fan bay or the shoebox variants like the SugoSG05 where a CLC in the only fan bay is a huge detriment to the case airflow and serves to raise GPU temperatures significantly, which is the more power-hungry, noisier and cooling-sensitive piece of hardware anyway.

          • psuedonymous
          • 2 years ago

          [quote<]I also disagree with your assertation that 120mm CLCs are vital for SFF use; If the SFF is large enough to mount a bulky radiator+fan (150x120x55mm excluding hoses) then it's arguably big enough for a 120mm tower or, better still, a 140mm down-blowing cooler.[/quote<] 140mm downdraft is a no-go for ITX without a flex riser to offset the GPU. Most of the more compact SFF variants are sandwich designs like the Dan A4 or Louque Ghost, or otherwise low Z-height designs like the Zaber Sentry or NFC S4M/S4M-C. In all of these cases a downdraft coolder is far too large to fit, but an AIO pump/block combo can fit along with a radiator positioned elsewhere in the case, often aided by use of split AD/DC and DC/ATX PSUs to distribute volume. It's a LOT easier to find room in a small case for a 120mm rad that you can reposition at will than it is to try and fit a tower or even downdraft cooler that is fixed in place (and often orientation, due to the need to clear the PCIe slot and DIMMs).

      • peaceandflowers
      • 2 years ago

      Has calling two 120mm fans “240mm” always been a thing? I mean, it’s known that 120mm refers to the diameter of the (single) fan, right? Just like 80mm, 140mm etc.

      I was already imagining an actual 240mm diameter fan, covering the better part of the side of a case… Now that would be a cooling solution! Undoubtedly far superior to 2x 120mm at that!

    • DPete27
    • 2 years ago

    Looks like an uninspired entry into an already crowded market.

      • ikjadoon
      • 2 years ago

      I wonder if this is targeted to pre-built companies that want to market “EVGA Liquid Cooling included at no-charge!”

      I was going to ask if this was Asetek Gen6, but I stopped myself to keep my sanity.

    • chuckula
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]EVGA's CLC 120 CL11 liquid AIO cooler goes back to those early days with its 120-mm radiator, simple wiring, and simplified, Intel-only mounting. [/quote<] At first I was going to launch into my stock conspiracy theory that Intel is clearly illegally bribing EVGA to deny liquid cooling to AMD but then I remembered the truth: AMD parts are so cool thanks to their soldered IHS that AMD doesn't need lquid cooling! THANK YOU AMD! #IntelTIMSucks #YesIKnowZegaHasPasteTooButThatDoesn'tCount

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      You get an upvote just for ‘Zega’.

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