Cooler Mas­ter MasterLiq­uid

GREAT LIGHT­ING, SU­PERB VALUE AND DE­CENT COOL­ING, AL­THOUGH IT’S A TAD LOUD AT FULL SPEED.

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

The last 120mm all-in-one liq­uid cooler we saw from Cooler Mas­ter was its MasterLiq­uid 120, which put in a de­cent ef­fort. How­ever, not only has the com­pany since re­vised the de­sign and in­cluded a plethora of RGB light­ing, but the new cooler also costs just $75, which un­der­cuts the orig­i­nal cooler and comes close to mak­ing the ML120L the cheap­est cooler on test.

Both have the pow­er­ful MF120R RGB 2,000rpm fan, and the pump sports RGB LEDs. They can also both be con­trolled sep­a­rately or to­gether us­ing an in­cluded three-way RGB LED split­ter ca­ble, al­low­ing you to power an LED strip in ad­di­tion to the fan and pump from one RGB LED header on your moth­er­board.

There’s an ex­ten­sion ca­ble for you to con­nect all the para­pher­na­lia too, and Cooler Mas­ter has even man­aged to in­clude a ba­sic light­ing con­troller in the box. This con­troller can switch be­tween sev­eral colours, bright­ness set­ting and light­ing ef­fects, and will come in handy if your moth­er­board doesn’t sup­port RGB light­ing.

You’ll need a 4-pin Molex con­nec­tor to power the con­troller, but the RGB light­ing proved to be vi­brant and ac­cu­rate, work­ing ne with the Asus Aura soft­ware we used with our moth­er­board.

Should you wish to ex­pand the cool­ing po­ten­tial, Cooler Mas­ter in­cludes eight long fan screws al­low­ing you to add a sec­ond fan to the ra­di­a­tor, but shorter screws are also in­cluded to mount the ra­di­a­tor di­rectly to the case with the sin­gle in­cluded fan in push mode, blow­ing air through the ra­di­a­tor.

In­stalling the MasterLiq­uid ML120L RGB was rel­a­tively easy, al­though there’s some con­struc­tion work re­quired to mount plates to the cooler. On In­tel sock­ets, you’ll need to hold the cooler in place while you deal with some small, ddly thumb­screws. On AM4 moth­er­boards, you only get a two-point clamp, as with this cooler’s pre­de­ces­sor, but you can lock it down quite rmly us­ing the in­cluded thumb­screws, and it’s bliss­fully easy to t too.

Noise wasn’t a strong point for the MasterLiq­uid ML120L RGB, which dished out 50dBA at full speed, al­though its noise is still prefer­able to the whiny pump on Cor­sair’s H60 cooler. Amaz­ingly, the ex­act op­po­site oc­curred when we switched to our moth­er­board’s silent fan speed mode. Both the fan and pump can be con­trolled us­ing fan head­ers, and the MasterLiq­uid ML120L re­sponded well to our silent mode with the sys­tem at idle, with the noise bot­tom­ing out at just 31dBA, mak­ing it barely au­di­ble at all out­side the case.

Cool­ing was good in all our test sys­tems too, with sec­ond-place spots in our In­tel sys­tems and joint sec­ond place with ARC­TIC’s Liq­uid Freezer 120 in our AMD sys­tem, with its CPU delta T of 42°C sit­ting be­hind the top 40°C re­sult recorded by NZXT’s Kraken M22.

CON­CLU­SION

It might not have the cool­ing clout or low noise of­fered by the ARC­TIC Liq­uid Freezer 120, but the MasterLiq­uid ML120L RGB still of­fers great value for money, dish­ing out de­cent cool­ing on all our CPU sock­ets, along with full RGB light­ing. It’s also es­pe­cially quiet once the fan and pump spin down. If you’re on a tight bud­get, you re­ally want RGB light­ing and you’re pre­pared to re­duce the topend fan speed, the Cooler Mas­ter is the cooler for you.

KEY SPECS

Com­pat­i­bil­ity In­tel: LGA775, LGA2011, LGA2011-v3, LGA2066, LGA115x, LGA1366; AMD: Socket AM4, AM3/+, AM2/+, FM2/+, FM1 • Ra­di­a­tor size with fans (mm) 120 x 157 x 52 (W x D x H) • Fans 1 x 120mm • Stated noise Up to 30dBA

$75 • www.cool­er­mas­ter.com

“Cooler Mas­ter has even in­cluded a ba­sic light­ing con­troller”

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