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Cooler Master Masterliquid ML240L V2 RGB Liquid Cooler : Unboxing and Review

Cooler Master is a very well known name when it comes to PC Cases, Coolers, Power Supplies, Peripherals and so on. Apart from the Retail business, Cooler Master is involved in a lot of OEM work for a lot of popular brands. They make their Graphics Card heatsinks, CPU Heatsinks and so on. When a company is involved in so much cooling related work, it is bound that they shall be investing heavily in R&D for product development. This reflects in how the company's products mature with each passing generation.

Unlike many other popular brands in the market who more or less by default choose Asetek as their OEM for their solutions,Cooler Master designs and manufactures their own designs. Thanks to Asetek and their patents, there hardly is any scope left for innovation when it comes to Sealed Closed Loop All in One Liquid Cooler. Not that Asetek designs are not bad, but there is stagnation after a some time. Why we feel so will be evident later on in this review and we shall explain too. Cooler Master happens to be one of the very few Brands who manufacture their own Liquid Coolers and this gives them the freedom to try different ideas in order to improve the design and achieve better efficiency.

What we have today with us is the Revision 2 of CM's popular and cost effective Masterliquid ML240L RGB 240mm AIO Liquid Cooler. The original was quite a decent unit which performed well,was reliable and was priced reasonably. CM sent us their new version which according to them has undergone massive changes right from pump design, fan design,specifications,etc. Let us check it out in detail and also put it through its paces.


Unboxing :












Test Setup:

AMD
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16Core/32Threads)

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT (6Core/12Threads)

  • AMD Ryzen 3 3300X (4Core/8Threads)

  • Asrock B550 Taichi (Latest Public release BIOS)

  • Teamgroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz CL14 8GBx2 Dual Channel Memory Kit

  • Nvidia Geforce GT 730 4GB Graphics Card

  • 240GB SATA SSD - OS + Softwares

Intel
  • Intel Core i7 10700K (8Core/16Threads)

  • Intel Core i5 10600K (6Core/12Threads)(Simulated)

  • Intel Core i3 10100K (4Core/8Threads)(Simulated)

  • Asrock Z490 Taichi (Latest Public release BIOS)

  • Teamgroup T-Force Xtreem ARGB 3600MHz CL14 8GBx2 Dual Channel Memory Kit

  • Nvidia Geforce GT 730 4GB Graphics Card

  • 240GB SATA SSD - OS + Softwares


Test Methodology:
  • AIDA64 Stress Test (CPU,FPU,Cache,Memory) was chosen since it makes use of AVX Instruction set. AVX instruction set is known at add additional heat load making it tougher for the cooler to tame the hot cpus.

  • Prime95 64 Bit Blend Stress Test was chosen again because the latest version utilizes AVX Instruction set and hence adding more heat load.

  • Both these tests were specifically chosen to make sure the CPUs would run as hot as possible to simulate a worst case scenario in terms of overall cooling performance.

  • The tests were conducted on an open test bench and each run was for 15 minutes.

  • Windows 10 X64 Pro Edition was used with all the latest updates installed.

  • HWInfo 64 Software (latest version) was used for temperature monitoring.

  • CPU-Z was used to ensure the Clocks speeds reported by Windows we accurate.

  • Each test was run with 2 presets. 1 which consisted of setting the Radiator Fans on Auto Mode in Bios so that it would scale up/down as per the CPU temperature and the other with manually forcing the Radiator fans to run at full speed.

  • Since we did not have access to Intel 10th Gen "K" Series Core i5 and Core i3 series CPUs, we simulated them by disabling the active cores on the 10700K from BIOS. As for AMD CPUS, we did have the respective models and therefore used the CPU SKUs mentioned above.

  • Memory was set to it's default XMP setting of 3600MHz 14-15-15-32 1T @ 1.35V


Results :

Observations & Conclusions:
  • Originally we had no plans to include the Ryzen 9 3950X in this test setup since it is a 16 Core CPU and nobody in their right senses would use a 240mm liquid cooler for such a CPU. We still went ahead and included it out of curiosity.

  • The fact that the 3950X held 4 GHz under Aida64 AVX workload is nothing short of impressive. In all honesty, we had expected it to throttle to 3.5~3.8GHz maybe but that wasn't the case. This bodes very well for the cooler.

  • Next in line was was Prime95 and in this test too the 3950X held 4GHz. Impressive!

  • Ryzen 5 3600XT and Ryzen 3 3300X performed almost identical with marginal differences in boost clocks and temperatures.

  • Keep in mind that Vcore was NOT adjusted manually to a lower value but was left auto so that AUTO AGESA rules would apply while applying Vcore. It is a known fact that AUTO rules pushes a tad bit too much voltage to ensure complete stability even at boost clocks. Even with these, the temperatures were acceptable. We are confident that tweaking the voltages in BIOS will definitely help in keeping the temps lower and therefore more residency at boost clocks.

  • For the Intel test setup, we sadly had only 1 CPU from the 10th Gen lineup at the time of doing this review. Therefore we were forced to simulate 6 Core and 4 Core Scenarios.

  • The pattern continues with Intel CPUs also, almost all CPUs were constantly hitting above 4.5GHz on all cores which is superb!

  • Intel 10th Gen (aka Comet Lake) CPUs are based on 14nm+++++ (Ok we lost count of the "+") which means they shall be drawing a lot more power and hence would be running much hotter,that's what you would think right ? Well logically, theoretically, that is correct BUT, the results speak otherwise. The numbers paint a very different picture. Doesn't make any sense right ? Keep reading.

  • When Ryzen 3XXX series (Matisse Series) launched, there was a major change in design. IO Die and Chiplets were separated for the first time. 1st and 2nd Gen Ryzen all had a singular Die meaning CPU cores and IO Die was part of the same die. Because of this separation, there were now physically 2 and 3 different Dies on the CPU Substrate and they were not aligned in the centre of the Substrate like single die designs of Intel and previous gen Ryzen CPUs.

  • Almost all watercooling cold plate designs, be it for AIO or standalone waterblocks for custom loops were all designed keeping in mind the Die position on the substrate. Over the years the design was polished,refined and made more efficient.

  • Ryzen 3000 being drastically different, posed a challenge to existing cold plate designs to efficiently dissipate the heat. This is the reason why we see such high temperatures on almost all Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs. This was not the case with 1st and 2nd Gen Ryzen.

  • Thanks to 7nm Fabrication process utilised by AMD, the overall chiplet die size is considerably smaller,reducing the available surface area for dissipating heat. This adds to the problem stated above.

  • Unless engineers scrap the current designs and make a ground up new design for cold plates keeping in mind the Die placement, no liquid cooler is going to perform efficiently.

  • Even with this very minute yet very critical hurdle/handicap, the Cooler performed pretty well.

  • When you take the pricing of Rs. 7,000/- into consideration, there is hardly anything to complain about.

  • Overall, a very nice performing VFM cooler from Cooler Master which proves that the new revision has definitely brought performance improvements without increasing the cost.

  • Taking all the factors into consideration, we have no qualms in awarding this cooler a well deserved Silver Award!



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