Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 water cooling system follows in the footsteps previously presented by MasterLiquid Pro 240, although the appearance became simpler, and the price is slightly lower. It will be interesting to see what we will get for our money.
Last year we tested MasterLiquid Pro 240 , which was interesting not only for its original design. The two-chamber construction of a water block with a pump was also unusual, which was supposed to provide a long service life. With the new Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 model (without the “Pro”), Cooler Master released a less expensive alternative to Pro.
Of course, it is necessary to reconcile with a number of differences in design and characteristics. The water pump with the pump has become simpler, the speed range of the two PWM fans can no longer be controlled via the toggle switch on the casing. Afflicts and shortened warranty period: two years instead of five. But the retail price is much lower. Of course, MasterLiquid Pro 240 has significantly fallen in price since its announcement, today SVO can be purchased at a price 85 euros in Europe. Therefore, the difference in price is not so significant. In addition to the 240-mm model, Cooler Master introduced a new 120-mm version of MasterLiquid 120.
In addition to the user manual, warranty card and mounting accessories, the buyer will receive a small tube with a thermal paste and a Y-adapter, which allows controlling two fans through a single PWM connection. A separate connection is required for the pump.
The angular heat exchanger resembles the MasterLiquid Pro 240, but the remaining components of the non-Pro PSBs are noticeably different. The tubes are no longer shiny and spiral, they are enclosed in a modest braid. However, the tubes from FEP under braiding should be more reliable than conventional rubber ones.
The water-block looks stylish. Instead of a transparent cover with a blue backlight, black plastic is now used. The shape of the water block did not change, the lighting did not go away either. After the system is turned on, the Cooler Master logo starts to glow white.
The base of the water block also changed. Unlike MasterLiquid Pro 240, Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 no longer has a protruding square. Also, the polishing of the base is not so neat.
Tubes are not removable, they are firmly attached to the water block and heat exchanger. So the possibility of expanding the circuit Cooler Master has not provided.
The heat exchanger with angled shapes is a distinctive feature of the MasterLiquid line. But still there is a slight difference between MasterLiquid Pro 240 and Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240: the cooling fins are not bent at right angles.
Even between the fans, you can see the differences in detail. Visually MasterFan 120 AB and MasterFan Pro 120 AB are very similar. But in the case of the “younger” model, there is no PWM speed range switch – the Pro fans could choose three ranges. At MasterFan 120 AB, the speed range is always between 650 and 2000 rpm. Through the utility ASUS we were able to set the minimum speed only about 800 rpm. Large rubber pads provide vibration isolation of fans from the radiator – in contrast to conventional low-cost fans.
On the other hand, Cooler Master did not compromise on fan mounting. Both 120mm PWM-controlled fans are mounted with knurled screws. This method facilitates the removal and re-installation of fans. For example, we were able to easily establish reference fans instead of standard ones in our tests.
A compact water block with a pump is installed without any compatibility problems. Is that with the outgoing side tubes may be difficult. But in our test system, up to the first memory bar there was enough space. Before installing the water block, it is necessary to put a mounting frame on it, and also install the rear plate under the appropriate socket. From the side of the back plate, screws are threaded, which are fastened by four nuts with a knurled head. Do not interfere with a screwdriver with a narrow blade.
The heat exchanger is simply screwed to the body. When choosing the location for the installation of the radiator, it is necessary to take into account the length of the tubes of about 35.8 cm.
For a closed loop loop, Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 shows a quite moderate noise level. At maximum fan speed, the cooler does not much exceed the bar of 40 dB (A), it works quieter than many competitors. However, in everyday scenarios, fans will run at significantly lower revs. At a speed of 1,000 rpm, the noise level is quite low. If we reduce the speed to 790 rpm (the minimum level that we were able to get), the noise level will be only 31 dB (A).
In a quiet environment, you can hear only soft rustle of bearings. But here the noise of the pump comes to the fore already at an average speed. In our test system, the operation of the pump was always noticeable. And if the other components of the system are quiet, then the noise of the pump will be more annoying than you might think from the test results. However, in the usual game computer, the pump is unlikely to stand out with its noise.
In the next test scenario, we will evaluate the performance of a cooler with a standard fan at 1.000 rpm and at maximum speed. For the tests, we performed measurements without the housing cover, so that it did not limit the cooling performance.
Although Cooler Master in something cut down the new system of water cooling, Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 at maximum speed showed results identical to the older model. And at 1.000 rpm even she was overtaken. At this speed, the results roughly correspond to a powerful air cooler with two radiators. However, part of the SW with 240-mm heat exchangers show themselves better.
To compare the “clean” performance of coolers without the influence of regular fans, we equip all coolers with our reference fans. We used powerful Noctua NF-A15 PWM fans, the distance between the fixing holes is 105 mm, the speed is up to 1,200 rpm. If there was no possibility to install such fans on the radiator, we used a more compact Noctua NF-F12 120 mm at a speed of up to 1,500 rpm. In the case of coolers designed for “real” 140mm fans with 140mm hole spacing, we used the NF-A14 PWM.
For 240-mm radiator Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 we chose fans NF-F12 PWM.
Fans Noctua allowed to lower the temperature by 1.000 rpm to 1 degree. However, even with the reference fans some 240 mm SVO show themselves better. At 600 rpm, the Cooler Master model is even further away from the leaders of the rating.
Cooler Master planned Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 as a less expensive alternative to MasterLiquid Pro 240. However, many of the differences were purely cosmetic. Of course, there are also functions of difference, for example, fans with PWM control can not change the speed range. But they are also not so significant. The only important drawback is that the guarantee is reduced to just two years.
Interestingly, in our tests, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 showed itself even slightly better than the more expensive Pro model. Depending on the test, we obtained an identical or slightly better cooling performance. The noise level of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 also proved to be better. However, we could not adjust the pump speed using the motherboard. On installation, both SROs are approximately the same. Special installation problems do not occur, but some competitors are more user-friendly. But Cooler Master facilitated the replacement of fans through the use of convenient knurled screws.
If compared with other SVO, then there are 240-mm models on the market with higher cooling performance and less noisy pumps. If you are sensitive to the noise level, then we still recommend to be quiet! Silent Loop 240mm , although the price of this system is 120 euros significantly higher. The model Arctic Liquid Freezer 240 gives slightly higher performance, but also costs more. In addition, the dual configuration of pull-push fans worsens compatibility and leads to increased noise levels. So the cooler Master novelty retains its appeal.
In general, Cooler Master with the new model Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240presented a very interesting solution. Many competitors are much more expensive.