First of all, let me start off by saying what a mouthful of a name that Cooler Master has opted for! The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB AIO cooler is their latest addition to the roster of AIO coolers that Cooler Master has in their lineup. This new AIO cooler sports RGB fans and RGB pump – hence the “RGB” moniker in the name.

Let’s take a look at the new MasterLiquid ML240L RGB that’s decked out with lights all over.

Unboxing

The entire MasterLiquid ML240L RGB box is actually reminiscent of the other Cooler Master’s Master-whatever packaging design, like the COSMOS C700PMasterWatt 750 and also the MasterKeys S PBT that we reviewed recently.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

At the back, there is some information about the dimensions of the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB so you can more or less get an idea if it’ll fit into your case or not.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

Opening up the box reveals a large cradle that occupies all of the space, and made out of paperboard. It houses everything in this 2-dimensional array.

Taking out everything you can find two of their MasterFan MF120R RGB fans, a warranty card, user manual, the AIO itself, and also a slew of hardware. This slew of hardware includes an RGB controller, cable to power up the aforementioned RGB controller, an RGB splitter, and mounting hardware.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

The mounting kit is very complete, in my opinion. The MasterLiquid ML240L RGB has mounting hardware for AMD’s AM4 platform too.

Design

Aesthetically, the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB is pretty basic other than the inclusion of an RGB CPU block.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

There is a little branding on the radiator itself – but it’s rather minimal, in my opinion. In most cases (pun intended), you won’t even see it.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

The MasterFan MF120R RGB is actually reminiscent of Cooler Master’s JetFlo fan’s chassis, but with SickleFlow’s blade design. All I can say is that the RGB illumination is really intense on the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

The tubing of the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB is actually sleeved in black by default. It looks sleek out of the box.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

Installation

First off, if you’re wondering what you’re getting in the box, there’s a page on the user manual that tells you everything.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

In terms of installation, I tried the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB with a Ryzen 7 1700. Since the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB supports AM4 platform out of the box, I don’t have to get an extra mounting kit – which is a boon.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB
A slew of mounting hardware!

Installation for AM4 requires a few screws to be screwed on to the CPU block, which is pretty straightforward. One thing I do like is that Cooler Master utilizes the backplate and mounting mechanism that came with AM4 motherboards.

Once the mechanism is latched onto the AM4’s mounting plate, it can be screwed to tighten the CPU block onto the CPU itself. Remember to apply thermal paste beforehand, though.

Speaking of thermal paste, Cooler Master gave a small tube of thermal paste instead of pre-applying it to the CPU block. This is good, as the thermal paste wouldn’t get dried up or accidentally smeared during installation. Let’s face it – AIOs aren’t that easy to install with the tube dangling around with the CPU block and the radiator.

Once both the CPU block and radiators are mounted, the MasterFan MF120R can be mounted by fingers using Cooler Master’s brilliantly designed screws. Though, I wish Cooler Master would include another 8 of these screws for push-pull configuration – but they didn’t.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB
RGB, oh RGB. Why art thou having so many cables?

After all the radiator and CPU block has been installed, the major issue is cable management. You have two cables coming out of each fan and also from the CPU block. Unlike Thermaltake’s approach of having a proprietary connector, Cooler Master opted for the commonly found 4-pin RGB header. Coupling everything with the included 1-to-3 way RGB splitter, things are pretty difficult to cable manage.

Furthermore, if your rig does not have an RGB header, then you’ll need to hook up the RGB controller too – which means more cable to manage.

Performance

Alright, enough about the RGB magic. Once the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB is installed and hooked up properly and cable managed, let’s see how it performs. Here’s my testing rig.

Test hardware configuration

CPU Cooler
  • Noctua NH-D15
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB with MasterFan MF120R RGB
CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700 @ 3.8GHz
GPU Palit GeForce GTX 1080 GameRock
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming K4
Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 16GB
Primary Hard Drive Plextor M8SeGN
Power Supply Cooler Master MasterWatt 750
Chassis Sharkoon BW9000-W
Fans Noctua NF-F12

The goal here is simple – test the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB against the best of the best air cooler in the market. How well does it fare out? Here are the results.

Cooler Idle (℃) Load (℃)
Noctua NH-D15 28.3 72.3
Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB 26.8 82.3

Not too well, I’d say. With the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB’s pump running at full speed, it’s fairly loud actually. The MasterLiquid ML240L RGB definitely isn’t enough to tame the Ryzen 7 1700 overclocked to 3.8GHz. At 82.3℃, my system is at borderline critical temperature when I render videos.

Swapping out the MasterFans MF120R RGB for some classic Noctua NF-F12 didn’t help either, as the pump isn’t strong enough.

In terms of maintenance, it does seem like the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB has a fill port if your coolant gets dried up. Accessing the fill port will void your warranty, though.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

Wrapping up the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB review

I have to say though, the price and the aesthetic appeal of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB is much more superior than the Noctua NH-D15 that we reviewed here. Let’s be honest, RGB is the definition of the year 2017, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

Furthermore, compatibility is much simpler for the MasterLiquid ML240L RGB, too. Nearly all modern cases have a 240mm radiator mount at the front, while most of them have 240mm radiator mounts at the top – just be mindful of the clearance, though.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L RGB

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Materials
9
Accessories
7
Aesthetics
9
Ease of installation
8
Hardware compatibility
10
Performance
6
Acoustics
7
Value
8
The enthusiastic nanoelectronic engineer who found his way into simplifying the world of tech for everyone. Introverted, but noisy. Nice to meet you!