Peering over the enthusiast PC marketplace landscape, there's evidence that liquid cooling has become more commonplace. Closed-loop, all-in-one coolers provide simple-to-install, effective cooling solutions without the fuss and headaches often associated with traditional water cooling systems.
Cooler Master has recently released two new all-in-one liquid cooling units: the Master Liquid ML120L and the ML240L. As you might guess, the ML120L is a 120mm radiator unit, and the ML240L happens to sport a 240mm (2x120mm) form liquid cooler. (Note: we have a review of the 120mm unit coming soon.) PC gamers and system builders increasingly want to add the sleek, visual presence that only a liquid cooling unit provides, while ensuring a thermal design that can handle overclocking potential. Want custom color options? Cooler Master’s Master Liquid ML120L and ML240L both feature LED RGB 4-pin fans and pump display utilizing RBG integration with capable motherboards. Or you can control the color and display pattern manually via a "Molex" (4-pin ATA)-powered control module.
Put it all together and you have your cooling factor and your cool factor covered.
The ML240L design is nearly identical to that of its smaller sibling (the ML120L), sporting a matte black 240 (2x120mm) radiator with moderate FPI (folds per inch), braided nylon sleeved tubing between the pump and heat exchanger, presumably the same dual-chamber, PWM-capable pump and dual 120 AB RGB MasterFans that spin up to approximately 2000 RPM @66.7 CFM. For our testing, we will be configuring these fans to exhaust case air through the radiator and out the top of the case in a ‘push’ configuration, as opposed to a ‘pull’ setup where the fans draw air through the heat exchanger.
The Cooler Master Master Liquid ML240L uses an all-copper cold plate with a lateral grain that would seem to favor thermal paste application inconsistencies and overall CPU socket compatibility, rather than using a machined, mirror-like mating surface to the CPU heat spreader. The pump includes mounting bracket hardware for most modern Intel and AMD sockets, apart from AMD’s TR4 Threadripper, which requires a separate mount. The pump and block unit arrives bare out of the box, requiring you to choose and install the proper mounting as needed, and the included documentation provides simple steps for configuring hardware for your specific CPU socket.
The copper CPU cold plate is devoid of the common patch of pre-applied thermal paste, and Cooler Master has opted to include a small tube of thermal compound to apply during installation, rather than having the thermal paste oxidize and dry for the weeks or months following packaging.
The ML240L utilizes the same Cooler Master 120 AB fans as its ML120L counterpart, complete with permanent, rubberized corner fan mounts and quite resourceful thumbscrews for mounting fans to the radiator. We have grown quite fond of this simple feature rather quickly, considering that you cannot always pre-mount radiator fans for every PC case, and how difficult (and potentially disastrous) normal screws can be with an erroneous slip of a screwdriver within a fully built gaming rig.
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