Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm CPU cooler review

The modular fans on this 240mm AIO liquid cooler look great and minimize cable clutter, but their smaller fan blades limit cooling power.

Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm

Our Verdict

69%

A stunning-looking cooler, but its performance is let down by weak fans.

The original Lian Li Galahad AIO liquid cooler was a favorite from 2021, thanks to its stunning appearance, decent performance and reasonable price, but a lot has changed with the latest version. The Galahad SL 240mm now costs $30 more than the original Galahad, however,  which puts it at a distinct disadvantage when it’s up against the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix, which has received a sizeable price cut since its original release.

At Custom PC, we’ve been reviewing the latest PC hardware since 2003, and we run a number of tests in order to gauge performance. We use Prime95’s smallest FFT test with AVX instructions disabled to load the CPU and take the temperature reading after ten minutes.

When testing CPU coolers, we use CoreTemp to measure the CPU temperature, before subtracting the ambient air temperature from this figure to give us a delta T result, which enables us to test in a lab that isn’t temperature controlled. For more information, see our How we test page.

Thankfully, the Galahad SL 240mm sports a number of upgrades this time. Its trump cards are its Uni Fan SL120 fans, which offer stunning RGB lighting, and their slot-together design that means only one PWM and RGB cable is required for both fans.

The pump has both power and RGB cables trailing from it, though, so the cable setup isn’t quite as slick as that of the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB, although the Lian Li does at least come with a software-controlled fan and lighting hub.

Using a USB header cable and Lian Li’s own software, you can individually control the digital RGB lighting of each fan, as well as the pump, and control the speeds as well. The software is quite basic, and no match for Corsair’s powerful iCUE software, but it does the job.

Meanwhile, the cooler’s build quality is superb, and the radiator is clad in brushed metal sheets with plenty of shiny beveled edges, which you’ll also find on the fans and waterblock/pump unit. It looks stunning. The pump also sports RGB lighting, with a ring around its base and a dot display in the cap, which is either partially covered by a Lian Li logo or by an aluminum cap that’s included in the box.

If you want to use an Intel 12th-gen CPU, then LGA1700 compatibility is all included in the box too, as is a tube of thermal paste to cater for future CPU upgrades or motherboard changes.

Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm temperature

The Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm fans and pump proved to be reasonably quiet in our testing, but the fan blades are significantly shorter than those on usual 120mm fans, in order to make way for the lighting components.

Unfortunately, this arrangement with the fan blades hampers cooling, with the Lian Li’s best delta T result of 57°C (on our LGA1700 system) being 2°C warmer than that of the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB, which is quieter and costs much less money.

Using the low-speed setting in the software saw this temperature rise by a further 4°C. It was again not able to better the cheaper ARCTIC cooler in our AMD system either, and the Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix was 6°C cooler in this test as well.

Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm pros and cons

Pros:

  • Fantastic looks
  • Innovative fan linking
  • Software control

Cons:

  • Poor cooling
  • Expensive
  • Software is a bit clunky

Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm specs

The Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm specs list is:

Intel compatibility    LGA1700, LGA1200, LGA115x, LGA2066, LGA2011
AMD compatibility  Socket AM4
Radiator size with fans (mm) 124 x 273 x 52 (W x D x H)
Fans 2 x 120mm
Stated noise 32dBA

Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm price

Price: Expect to pay $150 (£140).

Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm review conclusion

It’s hard not to be disappointed by the Lian Li Galahad SL 240mm, especially when its predecessor was one of our favorite 240mm AIO liquid coolers. Here, though, Lian Li has largely sacrificed cooling for aesthetics, and its SL fans appear to be quite compromised – their small fan blades simply don’t push air at a rate that’s consistent with the noise they churn out.

This, is a real shame, as every other aspect of the cooler is fantastic, but its high price really can’t be justified when it has such lackluster cooling performance. The Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix is cheaper and a much better performer, while the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 RGB is cheaper and cooler, while still offering RGB lighting.

If this CPU cooler isn’t right for you, we’ve reviewed plenty of other alternative 240mm AIO liquid cooler models, including the EK Nucleus AIO CR240 Lux D-RGB, as well as the Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL240 Flux. If you’re looking to upgrade your CPU, make sure you also check out our full guide to the best CPU for gaming, where we outline the very best options at a range of prices.