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Cooler Master ML360R AIO: Large and in Charge

By Robert Baddeley on August 16, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

Cooler Master ML360R AIO: Large and in Charge

Are you in the market for an AIO cooler and unsure which direction to turn?  Options paralysis got you down? You can’t go wrong with a company like Cooler Master - a name in the cooling game since there was a cooling game to have a name in.  In this review, we’re taking a look at their brand new and largest ever cooler: The ML360R.  Interest piqued? Ready for some delicious RGB and chilly temperatures?  I put the ML360R to the test against some of the most popular coolers on the market and you may find yourself surprised by the results.

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Specifications

  • MSRP: $159.99
  • CPU Socket:
    • Intel LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 1151 / 1150 / 775
    • AMD Socket AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+/ AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1
  • Radiator: Aluminum, 394.00 x 119.00 x 27.20 mm /15.50" x 4.70" x 1.10"
  • Pump:
    • Size: 83.60 x 71.80 x 52.70 mm / 3.30" x 2.80" x 2.10"
    • MTTF: 70,000 hours
    • Noise: < 15 dBA
    • Connector: 3-pin
    • Rated Volt.: 12VDC
  • Fans (3):
    • Size 120mm
    • Speed: 650-2000 RPM +/- 10%
    • Air Flow: 66.7 CFM
    • Air Pressure: 2.34 mmH2O
    • MTTF: 160,000 hours
    • Noise: 6-30 dBA

Test Setup

Like all the reviews I do I use my main gaming/workstation in my home office to do my testing. Before I get to the specifications of my rig there are a few things I want to cover.  First, all idle temps are recorded 30 minutes after a cold boot with no activity taking place after logging in and launching the temperature monitoring software. Two, I have really good central air in my house so my ambient temperature is a solid 75 degrees freedom units (or 24 Celsius for the rest of the entire world).  Third, and this is just for transparency, I had initially changed up from using Prime95 for stressing the CPU to generate heat and used Aida64 but I found the temps were considerably lower and as a result, I switched back to Prime95 and redid a good bulk of testing.  My reasoning is that I should be seeking the highest temps I can get on an AIO when I’m testing them to ensure I’m reaching the specific heat capacity of the liquid and causing the AIO to work as hard as I can get it to work.  It’s these heavy loads that start to show the difference between mediocre and superior coolers and if you’re reading this to help make an informed decision I want to do my part and give you the best results I can get.  Moving on to the setup:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600x 4.3Ghz @ 1.41v (all cores)
  • RAM: G.Skill TridentZ RGB 3200Mhz RGB
  • GPU: EVGA 1080Ti FTW3
  • Case: Cooler Master MasterCase H500M
  • Stress Program: Prime95
  • Ambient Temp: 75f(24c)

Unboxing and Installation

The unboxing and installations were literally no different than when I reviewed the ML240R not so long ago.  The box was well packed, the contents secure and protected, and everything I needed to get up and running was included in the box.  The ML360R came ready for installation with either AMD or Intel processors, three addressable RGB fans, the radiator and pump unit, and the RGB controller.  For this installation, I was rather lucky in that the Cooler Master MasterCase H500M I have already come with a control unit preinstalled for the two 200mm fans that are featured on the front so I didn’t have to do much in the way of cable management to get myself up and running and connected with the controller.

For the AM4 bracket, there are two half clips that attach to the pump unit with some included screws.  In the picture, it looks like I’m attaching them on top of the mounting point but it actually screws in below.  I think what I like most about Cooler Master’s approach for the AM4 is that they make use of the two black plastic pieces that come stock on AM4 motherboards.  With other coolers I have to take them off and use custom mounting brackets that attach on the backside of the motherboard - it’s nice to have a solution that will be simple for people new to putting together computers.

Testing

All testing was completed using Prime95 with small FFTs, which are known to produce the most heat.  It’s one hell of a torture test.  Now temperatures aren’t recorded immediately after beginning the test due to the specific heat capacity of the liquid in the AIO.  It takes a lot more energy to heat up “water” than it does a metal like copper, which is why it takes longer for temperatures to rise with liquid cooling compared to air cooling.  For testing purposes, this means we aren’t going to get our true load temperatures until we reach that specific capacity.  In an effort to ensure enough time across all the AIOs tested, temperatures during torture tests were taken at 20 minutes after the test started and were logged using both NZXTs CAM as well as Ryzen’s Master Software.  I used two pieces of software to make sure the temperatures recorded were as accurate as possible.

Being a huge fan of Corsair’s AIO work I have to admit that I was really surprised to see that the ML360R beat it out in my testing at load, especially given that the idle temperatures didn’t reveal that I was going to be getting anything abnormally good - they were simply on par with what I would expect.  In reality, a 1c difference in load temperatures is well within a margin of error and can be explained by something as simple as inconsistencies in thermal paste application.  I intend to go back later using my nice aftermarket paste and see if it changes anything but I have my suspicions that Cooler Master has simply made a really nice AIO that can stand up with the best of them.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it most people are perfectly fine with 240mm radiators for their AIOs.  But if you’re like me and just can’t stop yourself for slowly creeping your voltage up to see just how much of an overclock you can get away with, the bigger the radiator the better.  Cooler Master has really come forward with one of the best 360mm radiators I’ve had the pleasure of installing and using and I don’t see any reason to take it out of my rig for the foreseeable future.  I get great temperatures and I have a ton of headroom to try pushing higher overclocks without melting my CPU through my desk.  And though I don’t have a decibel meter to test noise levels yet I can run the fans at up to 85% without actually increasing the ambient noise in my area.  That’s some impressive cooling power for no noise.  At the end of the day if a 240mm isn’t going to cut it for you and you want a little more personality than the Corsair 150i Pro with cooling that’s just as good if not better than you can’t go wrong with the Cooler Master ML360R.

Pros

  • Great Temperatures
  • Quiet Pump and Fans
  • Easy Installation

Cons

  • Fan Controller is unwieldy during installation
  • Not all motherboard’s addressable RGB are supported

The product discussed in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of review.