MasterLiquid ML240R RGB by Cooler Master Review — cooler than your average cooler!

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Introduction

If the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB looks familiar, it is because a similar design was used in several of the MasterLiquid 240mm AIOs. But this time, they amped up the aesthetics appeal with more RGB. And not just RGB, but addressable RGB. Every one of the LEDs in the fans and the cooler can be individually controlled. Cool enough? Well we gotta see if it can cool our i7 5820K.

Packaging

The packaging of the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB is quite substantial. Cooler Master was sure to put as much mentions of RGB on the front of the box, with the cooler and fans displaying a fancy RGB pattern too to drive the point home.

Here on the side we see the specifications. Unfortunately there are no details about the pump’s flow rate, but Cooler Master did list out most of the details that matter about the fans.

The molded pulp here helps to keep everything intact, and keeps the packaging rather snug to prevent any damage from rough handling. I do prefer molded pulp over polystyrene as I will find little bits of polystyrene everywhere when I unbox stuff packed in the latter.

And here are the contents of the packaging. There are way too many to list out, but you can rest assured that there are enough mounting kits to allow you to fit the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB on any socket in the past 14 years or so, from Intel’s LGA 775 socket to the latest LGA 2066 socket. If you are from the red camp, anything newer than the AM2 socket is supported. Not the TR4 socket though. There are also enough adapters/splitters to run the whole thingamajig from just one ARGB header and two fan headers, one for the pump and one for the fans. Compatibility definitely won’t be an issue with the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB. Oh and the included ARGB controller is a godsend, especially if your motherboard doesn’t feature an ARGB header.

Appearance

The pump/waterblock is round with nicely sleeved pipes mounted on swivel joints running into its side. The wires running out are not sleeved, which was rather jarring when sleeving was used liberally on the pipes and fan wires.

The contact surface appears to be flat, but fans of mirror finishes won’t find joy here. The machining lines are still very visible, but it shouldn’t detract from its performance. One thing to note is the size of the coldplate, which would allow for optimal cooling of larger CPUs in the LGA 2011 or LGA 2066 sockets.

The radiator’s slim profile would allow it to fit in more cases where a thicker one might have clearance issues. Slapping on the fans would increase the thickness to just 52mm, which is still well within clearance. Custom loops may feature radiators that are already that thick. Forgive the unsightly cable management though, as we are running a open bench.

The ARGB controller looks pretty innocuous, but it holds plenty of features. Even before you plug it in via USB.

Once powered up, you will be enjoying all the colors of the rainbow and more. ARGB allows the multiple LEDs in the fans and pump to each glow a different color, making for a vortex of color as you can see here.

The pump glows in a multitude of colors too. There are 12 fully addressable RGB LEDs in the pump assembly itself, allowing you to really play around with the color.

Specifications

MasterLiquid ML240R RGB

CPU socket compatibility Intel LGA 775 ~ 1151 / LGA 1366 ~ LGA2066
AMD AM2 ~ AM4 / FM1 ~ FM2+
Radiator dimensions 277 x 119.6 x 27 mm
Fan(s) Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Quantity 2 pcs
Speed 650 ~ 2000 rpm
Airflow 66.7 CFM (max)
Air pressure 2.34 mmH2O (max)
MTTF 160 000 hours
Noise 30 dBA (max)
Pump Size 83.6 x 71.8 x 52.7 mm
MTTF 70 000 hours
Noise < 15 dBA
Included accessories ARGB controller, four-pin fan splitter, ARGB splitter, lots of screws, lots of mounting mechanisms, MasterGel thermal paste
Warranty 2 years

Cooler Master highlights that their pump is an in-house design. It’s a dual-chamber pump, which separates the heated fluid bound for the radiator, from the cool liquid returning from the radiator. The 240mm radiator is also apparently a custom designed for low flow resistance.

Pokde Benchrig

CPU Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.125 GHz
Motherboard ASUS X99-Deluxe
GPU MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G
Memory 4 x 4GB Kingston HyperX Predator 3000 MHz CL15
Storage Kimtigo 120GB SSD
Power Supply Cooler Master V850

Testing Methodology

Our Intel Core i7-5820K CPU will be clocked at 4.125 GHz, with a Vcore of 1.11V set in the BIOS. The thermal paste of choice will be the MasterGel Maker, sponsored by Cooler Master. To test the performance of CPU coolers, we run LinX 0.6.5 for 40 minutes, with a problem size of 23118. The fans (and pumps, if available) will run at maximum speed to gauge maximal performance. Ambient temperatures are fixed to 25°C, in an air-conditioned room. Noise levels are recorded approximately 50cm away from the bench rig.

Installation

Before we proceed to mount onto the motherboard, you will need to mount the correct mounting arms onto the pump. For Intel, it’s the one with two screw holes on each side. AMD users will use the one with the clips.

As we will be testing this cooler on the X99 platform, installation is actually exceptionally easy. The LGA2011v3 socket’s ILM has the mounting points built in, so there is no need to flip the motherboard over to install a backplate or anything of that sort. All you need are some standoffs.

After screwing in the standoffs into the socket, we just had to align the pump onto the four screws.

And voila, we have completed the installation of the cooler. Worth noting is that all the screws here can be twisted by hand, but you will want to use a screwdriver to properly tighten the mount.

Performance

While few coolers can claim the same, the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB actually bested our Noctua NH-D15, which was our go-to air cooler. With a difference of 8°C, we would be confident to push the clocks further on our i7-5820K.

While it was better in terms of cooling performance, it was noticeably louder than the renowned Noctua NH-D15. The noise difference here is akin to the difference between a whisper and some soft conversation, so you would not actually notice much noise if you put the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB into a case.

User Experience

As this is a ARGB cooler, you will want maximum customizability. There are plenty of options to tweak the lighting to your heart’s desire. Even if your motherboard doesn’t have any RGB or ARGB headers, the ARGB controller can be connected over USB for added customizability. There are 6 modes to switch between, and you can even adjust the speed via the controller.

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If you want more, you can download the Lighting Control software. The software is pretty interesting, giving you full control over the 12 LEDs in the pump, and 8 LEDs in each fan. You can configure how they move, or just have them shine, with a different color assigned to each LED. The choice is really up to you how to play with it. I personally love the spectrum cycle preset, so I didn’t really play with the ARGB features in the software, but it is nice to know that the option is available.

Conclusion

What do we think of the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB? We love it. Being able to defeat our Noctua NH-D15 is already a feat in its own right, and the ARGB lighting? Perfect. Available for RM415 on Lazada, the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB is even more affordable than the Noctua NH-D15. It comes with all the positive traits of an AIO, such as ease of installation without worrying about clearance, and did we mention it has ARGB lighting? The included controller is a nice touch too, giving those without ARGB headers on their motherboards the ability to have some fun with addressable RGB too. This is definitely Gold Pokdeward-worthy!

Our thanks to Cooler Master Malaysia for providing us with the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB for review. To support us (and Cooler Master), check out the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB via the link below: