At first, our hopes were high, but this product diminished that for us as soon as testing begun. But there is a lot to like about this design over many others. There is the use of more typical cooler hardware, making sure the head unit mounting system will never spin in the back plate, a concern for some other makers. We liked that there was plenty of tubing length, and the move to FEP tubing to reduce evaporation even more.
We liked the sleek design of the head unit, and even being taller so they can separate the pump and cold plate, the clear top, and blue LED backlighting in it takes it over the top aesthetically compared to others who have tried this configuration in AIOs. There is the new fan thumbscrews, the rubber gasket, a splitter cable to power the fans and a slick way to mount this cooler even with four fans on it to try and capture your purchase. None the less, this is why we say to let the charts do the talking, and wait till we are done before you fall in love.
Even with fans rated higher than the specifications were telling us to expect, we feel the MasterLiquid Pro 240 should have made a better showing in the charts, especially when considering it was bested by a couple of coolers which cost half as much. We get that the design is intended to be quiet above all things performance related, but with a switch to let these fans spread their wings, delivering all that speed and noise, the performance is not worth the effort to manually control these fans.
In our testing, the PWM curve was sufficient to get nearly all of the performance available out of this cooler. If you do intend to try to run these fans at full speed, plan for the MasterLiquid to be overpowering to everything else in the room. Even if you had a window AC unit running, or music blasting, it is likely that the 69 dB from these fans will still be heard. Of course, you could opt to change the position of the fan switch to a lower setting, but with about three degrees added to each step-down, it would leave our CPU in the eighty-degree range at the lowest fan setting. While Cooler Master did a nice job with the PWM curve, and performance is not all that bad, there is not shaking the fact that you can get better results at half the price.
It is a shame, as with everything we saw on paper, and what is described on their website, we thought Cooler Master was on the right path, coming back stronger than ever. What we were delivered was off-specification, the radiator was not as described, and after rechecking our settings and making sure there was no air trapped in the head unit, we were left scratching our heads a bit with these results. All signs pointed to this being a superior design, but with potentially obnoxious sound levels, and being beaten by the Corsair H80i, we don't see a lot of users moving to this AIO unless you just have to keep with a theme for a build.
There are just too many good AIO designs out on the market already for us to justify what Cooler Master is offering in the MasterLiquid Pro kits, and with many now offering software control and RGB lighting, it almost leaves this unit in the Stone Age. As it stands, with the product we were handed to test, there just isn't enough amazement in what they do offer to make us want to advise you take this route for your next liquid CPU cooling choice.
|Overall TweakTown Rating||87%|
The Bottom Line: Cooler Master's MasterLiquid Pro 240 has all the parts, accessories, and do-dads one wants with an AIO. However, while the performance is good, it's not great, the value is lacking a bit, and the fan noise can be over the top if manually controlled.
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