CoolerMaster continues to innovate products in new ways that make PC building fun again. Everything CoolerMaster designs are 100% in-house and come from years of manufacturing experience. When building a PC one of the most critical things to consider is keeping your PC cool! Liquid cooling is more important than ever with the amount of heat that computers can generate. Custom liquid cooling loops will always reign supreme, but they are expensive and complicated. AIO coolers have saturated the market with their ease of installation and performance per dollar. CoolerMaster offers a wide variety of AIO and air coolers; today we will be looking at their Masterliquid 240. This AIO cooler is different from the Masterliquid pro 240 in that it brings a simplified design and in my opinion, better look to their product line.
The specifications are as follows:
|CPU Socket||Intel® LGA 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1366 / 1151 / 1150 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 socket
AMD® AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket
|Radiator Dimension||277 x 119.6 x 27 mm
(10.9 x 4.71 x 1.06″)
|Fan||Dimension||120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1″)|
|Speed||650 ~ 2000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%|
|Airflow||66.7 CFM (Max)|
|Air Pressure||2.34 mmH2O ± 10% (Max)|
|Noise Level||6 – 30 dBA|
|L-10 Life||22,800 hours|
|Rated Voltage||12 VDC|
|Number of fan||2|
|Pump||Dimension||85.6 x 70 x 49 mm
(3.37 x 2.76 x 1.93″)
|Noise Level||15 dBA (max)|
|L-10 Life||20,000 hours|
|Rated Voltage||12 VDC|
Why Masterliquid ?
The Masterliquid series is a new way to cool your CPU. It offers a lower profile design, easy installation, and MasterFans. What is so great about this unit is it brings a very simplified design and it just works out of the box. I was not a fan of the Masterliquid Pro and its blue LED light and FEP tubing. The Masterliquid 240 offers sleeved cables and FEP tubing, so it offers the benefits of FEP with a very clean look. The Masterliquid series has no software control and is very easy to setup right out of the box.
The item ships in a very sturdy box and is organized well. I would be surprised if you received this item damaged. What I enjoy about CoolerMaster is their item presentation to you. Not only is the product clean and simplified but the packaging also gets to the point and showcases the 240 well.
The accessories include:
- Masterliquid 240
- Instruction booklet and warranty info
- Screw set for various mounting types
- Mounting bracket for different socket types and yes AM4 is supported
- Thermal paste
- 4pin PWM splitter for MasterFans
- 2x MasterFans (650 ~ 2000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%)
Design & Installation
The Masterliquid 240 & 120 is the Masterliquid Pro’s little brothers, but in my opinion is much better and costs less. These items improve upon the PRO by making a few changes that make this item stand out. The FEP tubing is now covered in sleeving as well as the MasterFans fan cable giving it a nice clean cohesive look. I also am very happy they went away from the old style blue LED on the PRO and now uses a minimal white LED which will match more system color schemes. The only suggestion I could make here is to jump on the RGB bandwagon.
The Masterliquid series is very simple to setup and you can have a fully performing and functional machine in about 5 minutes. The first step is looking over the instructions and getting all the different screw types and mounting hardware you will need. I will be doing an install here for the Intel 115x socket type. The whole system is considered twist and play. All the screws are easily installed. CoolerMaster states ” Screw it in and experience the quiet muscle of liquid cooling without ever worrying about refills or maintenance.”
Once you find you have the appropriate mounting points going through the motherboard you can plan where the fans will go to the radiator before you get everything mounted down and into your case.
The MasterFans and the radiator are what make this item stand out from other AIOs. The MasterFans are masters of getting heat out of your case. They use air balance blades that help push more air volume out of your case. They use static pressure without the higher noise profile. They are designed to last as long as your cooler and offer 160,000 hours of life expectancy. The end of the MasterFans also offers pads around the screw areas to absorb vibration for an even lower sound profile.
The radiator is special because it offers a unique square fin design that offers a higher surface area for heat absorption. This will allow for spacious airflow and a more silent cooling operation. Installing the fans couldn’t be easier with the special included thumb screws.
Once you’ve figured out where you’re mounting the radiator you can attach your fans appropriately. I ended up mounting mine to the front of the case for improved airflow. Once the fans and radiator are mounted you can start the process for mounting the CPU block to your CPU. For the 115x socket I need to install these special plastic spacers so the block will fit properly to the CPU.
Before you can mount and lock down the CPU block you need to peel the protective layer label and apply thermal paste. To install the included thermal paste just put a pea sized dot in the center of your CPU.
When you have everything settle then its time to secure the water block to the CPU. Use the properly included thumb screws for 115x and screw down in a cross pattern. Don’t over tighten here as it could damage your CPU or motherboard. Once its secure plug in the 4pin PWM cable to your CPU or closest 4pin fan header. Please refer to your motherboard manual for what header is best at this step.
The Masterliquid offers a low profile dual chamber design with reinforced polymer (FRP) and can resist a broad range of chemicals. The block is impervious to oxidation and corrosion.
My favorite part is the included sleeving for the FEP tubing because now you can enjoy the best fo both worlds. FEP tubing is ugly but is functional and serves a purpose. IT can offer less absorption and a longer life over rubber tubing. Putting the sleeves over it and you have a very sleek and function looking product.
The last step of installation is figuring out cable management and connecting the two MasterFans to the 4pin PWM fan splitter. Once you have them connection find the closest 4pin fan header on your motherboard and you’re finished with the installation of the Masterliquid 240. The other thing I would suggest as well is to go into your bios and figure out PWM fan setting or a fan curve so these fans don’t run at 100% all the time. Also while you’re there make sure your pump is running at 100% so your flow is continuous and it keeps your CPU cool.
For testing, I did install the cooler in both a case for installation and then for the remainder of testing used my test bench.
To test the performance of the Masterliquid 240 I will be testing cooling and noise. I will be running Aida64 Extreme for load performance, and for idle just sitting on my desktop with no application load. The load performance will consist of max RPM of fans, and idle represent lowest RPM setting for fans. I will also compare this Cooler to Masterliquid PRO and see if these two coolers can hold comparisons. Please, know that testing can vary from setup to setup, so don’t expect the same results. Even similar hardware ran here could show variable differences.
For noise testing, I used a high gain microphone. I want to explain a few things about noise testing, and this unit in particular.
First: Testing noise levels can be difficult. First, don’t expect the same levels even with similar hardware. There are too many differences and variables that go into sound testing. You have to account for background noise and other sounds in the environment.
Second: I am one reviewer, and am not a professional sound studio. I am not testing these items in perfect conditions. I do not have an anechoic sound chamber in my test studio.
For temperature testing, I will be using two tools. The first tool is an IRT207 infrared thermometer and the second is a very special tool called the FLIRONE! This tool is fantastic because it will allow tech enthusiasts and reviewers to show visual results for thermal testing. It is a next generation thermal camera that works with iOS and Android devices. If you want to buy one look here.
My test bench is as follows:
- ViewSonic XG2703-GS Monitor
- Case- Corsair 88r mATX Case and Test Bench
- Motherboard- ASRock z270m Extreme 4
- CPU: Intel Core I7 6700K
- Network Card- Netgear AC 1200 USB
- Cooler- Cooler Master Master Liquid 240
- Memory- Avexir DDR4 3000 MHz
- Video Card: Nvidia GTX 1060
- Storage- Toshiba OCZ VX500GB SSD (Boot)
- Power Supply- Thermaltake PRO RGB 850W
- OS: Windows 10 x64 Pro
- Headphones- Creative H7
The CPU was overclocked to 4.6 GHz for benchmark purposes. CoolerMaster does not provide any software for controlling the pump or the fans. You have to control the fan curves, and PWM features through the bios or motherboard software. If your motherboard is new enough you should have easy software to control the curves and speeds. Some people might want it quieter, though, and the bios would be the best place to set fan curves. If your bios can’t support this feature then see if the motherboard software suit does. The pump is PWM and should adjust per voltage for performance needs. The fans at load should reach 2000 RPM, but my fan curve for overclocking only reaches just under 1600 RPM. This is also while still maintaining temps below 70°C.
I tested the above using an average background level. I would take my lowest and highest dB reading and take the average of that. You will have minimal dB differences due to various background noise, and other system devices and fans. 50dB is equivalent to a noise level of a normal conversation.
The Masterliquid not only looks better but seems to outperform the Masterliquid PRO. This could be because I have a totally different motherboard and setup than when I tested the MAsterliquid PRO, and my fan curve is set up differently, but using the same settings the lower profile and MasterFans are quieter than the PRO version.
The temperatures are very close, but here is the thing. The Master PRO is louder to maintain similar temperatures. So clearly I’m giving the title to the cheaper Masterliquid 240. It sounds, looks, and performs better than its bigger brother. Great job here CoolerMaster in giving the community what it has been asking for.
You can see above a real world example of how well this cooler performs. The Radiator and CPU block which are the coolest seems to be doing a great job keeping the CPU cool, you can tell this because look at the VRM and area around the CPU block which is still very warm. Those temps reached about 68.7°C.
Here I used the infrared thermometer just to back up the results of the FLIRONE. The temps are very close and maintain cooling performance.
There is very little to dislike about this cooler, not only does it hold its own against a higher tier product, it outperforms it by a margin. I absolutely love the CoolerMaster Masterliquid 240. I enjoy the sleek design over its predecessor and the ease of installation. I would have loved to test it against other AIOs on the market but I’m limited to what parts I currently have on me.
The white LED is one of my favorite changes and will match more existing builds. The old blue LED was not a fan favorite of the community and CoolerMaster listened to feedback. The fantastic feature is now the sleeved tubing which adds a pleasing aesthetic to the look and design of the Masterliquid series. They also refreshed the Masterliquid PRO to include sleeving as well. It would be cool if there was a way to incorporate the white LED logo into the radiator as well, the only other suggestion would be to add RGB lighting because this has become the trend of 2017.
I highly recommend this Masterliquid series and CoolerMaster set the MSRPs for the MasterLiquid Pro 240 and MasterLiquid Pro 120 in the U.S. at $70 and $80, respectively.
The Masterliquid 240 doesn’t show in any store yet but should be available soon. In the meantime, you can buy the Masterliquid PRO 240.