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CoolerMaster ML240R: Like Having a Custom Loop

By Robert Baddeley on May 10, 2018 | Hardware Reviews | Comments

CoolerMaster ML240R: Like Having a Custom Loop

Cooler Master has been a name in the All-In-One (AIO) water-cooling scene since… well, really since it became a thing.  Recently we had the chance to look at the latest 240mm cooler in their line up, the ML240 RGB.  Boasting a dual chamber pump design that keeps heated coolant isolated, a low resistant radiator, and delicious dual 120mm RGB fans, the Cooler Master ML240R is everything you could ask for - but does it delivery cool temps?  We put it through the paces to find out.

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Specifications

  • MSRP: $119.99
  • CPU Socket Support:
    • Intel: LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 775 socket
    • AMD: AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket
  • Radiator: Aluminum; 227x119.6x27mm (10.9 x 4.71 x 1.06”)
  • Fans (2):
    • Size: 120mm
    • Speed: 650 - 2000RPM +/- 10%
    • Air Flow: 66.7 CFM (max)
    • Air Pressure: 2.34 mmH2O (max)
    • MTTF: 160,000 hours
    • Noise Level: 6 - 30 dBA
  • Pump:
    • Size: 8.36 x 71.8 x 52.7mm (3.3 x 2.8 x 2.1”)
    • MTTF: 70,000 hours
    • Noise Level: < 15dBA
    • Connector: 3-pin
    • Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
  • 2 Year Warranty

Test Setup:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 3.9GHz @ 1.4v Overclock (All Cores)
  • GPU: EVGA 1080Ti SC2 Hybrid
  • Case: Corsair Air 540
  • Ambient Temperature: A consistent 75 fahrenheit
  • Idle Temps: Idle temperatures recorded after 30 minutes from first log in from cold boot.
  • Stress Temps: CPU was stressed using Prime95.

Contents and Installation

Everything we needed to get up and running was included with the ML240R, as it should be.  Ryzen has been out long enough that any coolers delivered without an AM4 bracket would be a major no-no.  In addition to the AM4 bracket we got the two 120mm RGB fans, a small syringe of Mastergel thermal paste, the unit itself (obviously), a two way fan splitter, a three way RGB splitter for connecting everything to the controller, the RGB controller, and your standard wordless instructions and warranty information.

Installation was smooth as could be.  For the AM4 bracket there are two U-shaped clips that attach to the pump for fastening the unit to the stock AM4 clips that come on a motherboard.  Coolers I’ve used in the past didn’t make use of these so it took me a seconds of rummaging in my motherboard box to find them.  The mounting points for the fans on the radiator were better than others I’ve seen (I’m looking at you EVGA) and there were no issues getting the unit in place and ready for testing.  We also utilized the included thermal paste to preserve the integrity of the review.

Testing

For our testing the first part of testing, we utilized prime95 to place full loads across all cores on the overclocked Ryzen 7 1700, recording the temperature after 15 minutes of run time.  AMD Ryzen Master and CAM were used to obtain temperatures and correlate to ensure accuracy.  All tests were conducted in a closed case with 3 120mm intake fans on the front, the two included 120mm fans intaking through the radiator on top, and finally an exhaust fan in the rear.  Idle temperatures were recorded after a cold boot and system idle for 20 minutes - the hope being it ensured that at this point the CPU would be settled enough that we would be able to read a mean idle temperature. There wasn’t a lot for us to compare it to, yet, aside from a H100i v2 that had previously been purchased for the testing rig.  Without further adieu, the results:

The ML240R performed wonderfully as it was put through its paces. During the test the Ryzen 7 averaged a power draw between 147 and 150 watts and considering we are pumping 1.4volts through this CPU the temperatures are extremely impressive.  This next graph requires a little bit of explanation (note the asterisk).  The rig that was used to test the coolers is not specifically a testing rig, but the daily gaming PC of yours truly.  During the passed year I had purchased an EVGA CL120 and a Corsair H100i V2, both for non review purposes.  There were no official temperature recordings, just me paying attention to my temperatures as I tend to do when overclocking.  Given that testing could not be duplicated across all coolers using a controlled method, the comparisons are anecdotal.

I think if we were to put the H100i V2 pitted against the ML240R, we would over time see that unit to unit they deliver roughly the same cooling performance.  The EVGA was included not because it was a bad cooler, but more to illustrate that if enthusiast level overclocking is a goal you are better served with a 240mm radiator versus a 120mm radiator.

A big thing that stood out to me about the ML240R is something that doesn’t stand out at all: noise.  It goes without saying that during a 100% CPU stress test you can hear the fans spin up, but they weren’t nearly as loud as the stock H100i V2 fans, the EVGA fan, and even my NZXT fans.  In order to even hear CoolerMaster fans I had to bottom out the fan curve on my NZXT case fans to keep them from spinning up during the increase of ambient temperature in the chassis.  Even taking that into consideration they are incredibly quiet and go completely unnoticed in gaming sessions.

Conclusion

In the looks department, I hope the pictures have said enough.  Needless to say this is one of the nicest looking pumps I’ve used and if you’re a fan of non-ringed RGB fans there is absolutely nothing wrong with the ones included.  If you’re using an MSI, ASUS or ASROCK motherboard you’ll find you have the ability to control all the RGB through your motherboard.  If you aren’t, however, one of the lucky ones that owns those brands you will need to use the included RGB controller to change between presets.  In the coming weeks, Cooler Master has stated a software will be released to control the internal RGB controller - but until that time you need to pick a preset you like and button it up in your case.

The Cooler Master ML240r RGB did NOT disappoint.  Not only did we love the look, but it delivered outstanding cooling with substantial heat thrown at it.  The dual-pump system works all the magic that is claimed and isolating heated coolant from cool coolant is obviously a strategy worth pursuing in all future pumps.  Do you own an ML240r RGB? How is it working out for you? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Pros

  • RGB… Soooo pretty.
  • Quiet Fans
  • Outstanding Cooling

Cons

  • Software for RGB control not released for non-MSI/ASUS/ASROCK boards
  • Using physical controller to change presets is a pain

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