Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
I have yet to really see a different looking water cooler, at least from a radiator standpoint. In the case of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB, we have a similar matte finish with an all-black color around the radiator and tubing. Cooler Master branding can be found on the long side of the radiator. The water block looks a bit different, as Cooler Master has implemented their addressable RGB on the pump head. A single cable extends out from the water block to power the pump itself. This wire terminates with a three pin fan header connection. Otherwise, there is not too much else to really note on an appearance stance, since practically all all-in-one coolers look this way to begin with.
The radiator on the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB features a standard fin layout. The fins are placed so they come into contact with the liquid piping through its tops and bottoms. The result is a wavy set of fins. Heat from the liquid is pumped through the radiator and transferred to the fins through the contact points. Fans are attached on the radiator to dissipate the heat on the fins. The liquid is transported from the water block to the radiator via the tubing. The tubing is made from an ultra-low evaporation rubber, measuring 350mm in length. This should fit in most standard midsize cases on the market, though it is possible this may be too short in some larger full-size towers. All of this depends on where you place the radiator in relation to the processor on the motherboard though, so your mileage will vary. The tubing is strong but flexible and should not form any kinks, even in extreme bending. The tubes also pivot slightly on the water block, allowing for an easier maneuverability should it be required. The tubes are covered with a braided cover to add a bit of a premium look to the otherwise plain rubber tube.
The radiator measures in at 277mm in length, 119.6mm in width, and 27mm in thickness. These are pretty standard dimensions for a 240mm all-in-one liquid cooler. The size of the radiator plays a pretty significant role in cooling, as a larger surface area allows for better heat dissipation. The radiator is composed of aluminum, which is average in terms of heat transfer. However, this metal material is light in weight, ensuring it does not cause too much strain on the case. Overall, the build quality of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB is decent, but I was easily able to spot some bends in the fin layout on the radiator. This is disappointing, as there should not be any sort of defect on the radiator before you open it up, but not too surprising when you consider the malleable property of aluminum.
Going down the tubing, we get to the water block of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB. For the most part, it too has standard dimensions, with 83.6mm in length, 71.8mm in width, and 52.7mm in height. Most of its height comes from the large plastic cover with the twelve RGB lights. Internally, Cooler Master has advertised a dual chamber pump to carry water in and out. Otherwise, the base making contact with the processor is constructed out of copper, which is expected. Copper is often chosen due to its excellent heat transfer properties. Four plastic holes are on each corner to mount the included metal brackets for installation.
The two fans included with the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB are the MasterFan MF120R ARGB fans. Specifications of the fans includes a speed range of 650 to 2000 RPM. The rated noise level is 6 to 30 dbA, though we will see what this means when we test for noise levels. However, you can tell these fans are created with a balance between airflow and air pressure, as there is quite a bit of overlap for each consecutive fan blade. In addition, the fan produces an air pressure of 2.34 mm H2O, with an airflow rating of 66.7 CFM. Otherwise, these fans also have installed dampeners in each corner to prevent vibration between the fans and the radiator. As you can tell by its name, these fans also have addressable RGB LEDs installed to make for a colorful display. These fans have two connectors with one for controlling fan speed and power, while the other used for the RGB header connection. Those connect into either your motherboard or the included RGB controller.
Installation of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB was probably as simple as any all-in-one coolers, but I will take you through a step-by-step walkthrough. The first step is to take the correct backplate for your system. Both AMD and Intel backplates are provided with the ML240R RGB. For the Intel backplate, you can see there are two different positions for the pegs, which cover majority of the Intel sockets. If you are using an LGA20xx processor, four screw pillars can be used, since those motherboards do not require the backplate. Slotting it in through the back of the motherboard is painless, as is securing the backplate with the four included screws. Otherwise, the next step continues on the inside of the case.
The next step would be to install the mounting screws on both sides of the water block. From here, you can either install the radiator and fans into the case or to mount the CPU cooling block in place. Personally, I mounted the radiator and fans first, as it can be quite unwieldy trying to mount the CPU block with a dangling radiator. Thankfully, my case utilizes a top mounted removable frame, so users can install the radiator outside of the case before slotting it in. Next, I mounted the CPU block in place with the provided thumbscrews. Cooler Master includes a small tube of thermal grease to apply to the processor. The last step is to plug all the connectors in place. I connected the power to a fan header and the fans to the motherboard.
One additional step I made was plugging in all of the RGB connectors to the included light controller. You could argue this is the biggest selling point of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240R RGB, but I have to say this controller has some flawed aspects. For one, the connectors on the controller are weak as the RGB pins slide out easily. However, my biggest gripe is the fact nothing is labeled clearly on this controller, whether it is the connectors or the buttons. A short video exists on Cooler Master's website, though it is still not very clear. From what I understand, these buttons cycle through effects, colors, and speeds of the effects. I will say the controller is still a nice addition, but I think it almost detracts more than it adds with such unclear documentation and some physical flaws.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results