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Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite ML240L & ML120L RGB Review

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Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite ML240L & ML120L RGB Review

Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite ML240L & ML120L RGB Review

CPUs are getting faster and sporting more cores than ever and as that happens the need for increased cooling capacity increases. Large bulky air coolers with multiple fans towering over your CPU and filling a large part of your chassis are an option but All In One water-cooling is fast becoming mainstream. Typically they are easy to install, zero maintenance and outperform air cooling. The prices on the AIO coolers have dropped as demand has gone up and even the RGB AIO’s have gotten to a reasonable price point. Cooler Master sent us their MasterLiquid ML120L and ML240L RGB AIO water-coolers to take a gander at.

 

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB is a compact 120mm fan AIO water-cooling unit usually mounted on the rear fan slot on your chassis and like its bigger brother the ML240L is capable of syncing with Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte, and MSI motherboards that have RGB capable motherboard headers. The kits also contain a standalone controller for changing RGB colors and effects.

 

The Cooler Master ML 240L RGB is a 240mm double fan AIO water-cooling it uses the same fans as the ML120L and the same dual-chamber pump. Both AIOs feature a nicely braided hose with rubber shrink sleeves over the connectors to further protect the connections.

 

Features & Specifications MasterLiquid Lite ML120L RGB

 

Features

Liquid CPU cooling is optimized for low noise and performance. Easy-to-install 120mm radiator makes this the perfect all-in-one liquid cooling for novice to experienced builders. Now enhanced with RGB lighting feature, this is for anyone that also wants lighting effects in their system.

RGB Lighting SyncMasterLiquid ML120L RGB makes syncing the lighting easier than ever before. It comes with MF120R RGB, a water pump that lights up with RGB, and a controller to easily control and sync it all.

Dual Chamber Pump with RGB

Isolates the heated coolant to maximize the results of the cooling of the processor.

RGB function to sync with the system.

Custom design low resistance radiator allows higher flow rate, and heat exchange efficiency and provides unmatched cooling performance.

Air Balance Fans aside from having the perfect balance of airflow and air pressure to exhaust air through the fins and out of the case, the MF120AB RGB fan uses a silent driver IC that smoothens fan operation to reduce fan clicks and vibrations.

Specifications

Product NameMasterLiquid ML120L RGB
ModelMLW-D12M-A20PC-R1
CPU Socket CompatibilityIntel® LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 775 socket

AMD® AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket

RadiatorMaterialAluminum
Dimensions157 x 119.6 x 27mm (6.2 x 4.7 x 1.1″)
FanDimensions120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1″)
Speed650 ~ 2000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%
Air Flow66.7 CFM (Max)
Air Pressure2.34 mmH2O (Max)
MTTF160,000 hours
Noise Level6 ~ 30 dBA
Connector4-Pin (PWM)
Rated Voltage12 VDC
PumpDimensions80.3 x 76 x 42.2 mm (3.2 x 3.0 x 1.7″)
MTTF70,000 hours
Noise Level< 15 dBA
Connector3-Pin
Rated Voltage12 VDC
Warranty2 Years
EAN Code4719512063446
UPC Code884102036125

Schematic


Courtesy Cooler Master

The CoolerMaster provided schematic shows a Dual chamber RGB PUMP that isolates heated coolant and has an RGB Logo. The Tubing shows FEP tubing that is flexible and durable as well as sleeved in a nicely done braid. There is a slight discrepancy on the fan description as our fans clearly read MF120AB but it may be mislabeled on the schematic as our fans look exactly like that. It’s noted that the Radiator is low resistance and 120mm. Now the controller shown here isn’t in scale with the other images and is actually about 1 ½” and controls 6 preset modes, color of the fan and brightness.

After playing with the controller that resides inside the chassis there were plenty of presets to keep the RGB fan in you happy.

Packaging & Unboxing MasterLiquid Lite ML120L

The ML120L RGB comes in a sturdy cardboard box with plenty of information and specifications to help the consumer make an informed decision about its purchase.

Opening the box we find a pressed cardboard insert with pockets to protect the individual components. We didn’t find any damage and the outer box it we shipped in had taken typical package carrier abuse so the protection is pretty good in its cardboard cocoon.

After removing the components you can see the sturdy interior container with the bends and curves that strengthen it.

Just under the lid, we found a warranty booklet and an accordion manual.

A Closer Look MasterLiquid Lite ML120L RGB

 

Out of the box, the CM MasterLiquid Lite ML120L shows a nicely braided hose and rubber shrink wrapped connectors. The quality looks good and it has a solid feel to the product.

With the MasterFan 120AB RGB (66.7CFM Max) attached by some easy to use thumbscrews, we can easily tell that this is a much upgraded version of the original MasterLite 120.

The Radiator has a nice sturdy housing and is a custom design that allows for higher flow rate.

The radiators fins are in good shape with no obvious deformities and the housing is of sufficient strength and thickness you shouldn’t have a problem with durability.

Courtesy CoolerMaster

Here’s a shot of the cooling arrangement, showing the cooling channels.

The CPU waterblock/pump is solidly built and operates quietly at 15dBA or less. Notice the nice weave on the hoses giving it a premium look and feel and the shrink rubber cover over the connectors. You should note that the connectors swivel to make the install easier. The waterblock/pump has an LED logo on it that syncs with the color of the fans. While the fans will sync with compatible motherboards the waterblock needs the included controller to sync.

The copper plate on the dual chamber pump/block shows some mill marks and as you can see the power is done with a 3 Pin fan connector and it has a 4 pin female RGB controller wire.

The MasterFan 120AB runs between 650 and 2000 RPM at an advertised maximum of 66.7 CFM and a dBA rating of 6 – 30dBA. During testing from 1 meter away we registered 55 dBA but that was with the side open on the chassis. Notice the same two-wire connection scheme on the fan, one 4 pin PWM and a 4 pin female RGB controller wire. This arrangement is common on RGB fans so if you want that RGB bling you need to put in a little more wiring time.

Here we have the MasterFan 120AB RGB with the controller strap. The single wire from the top connects to the controller and the side with 3 wires connects to the block and fan(s). We say fan(s) because this is the same setup as the ML240L. With the ML120L you can actually control a chassis fan with the extra wire, however, all the wires are used on the ML240L.

As you can see we received MasterFan 120AB RGB fans that run 650 – 2000 RPM manufactured a couple months ago.

The RGB controller is powered by a pass through Molex connector and connects via a little connector that comes off the Molex setup. It would have been more elegant to use a SATA connector as most of us don’t use Molex anymore and this adds another wire to the chassis to corral.

The backplate consists of 9 pieces, the backplate, 4 threaded pins that come up through the bottom and 4 clips that slide into 3 different slots depending on your CPU socket. Assembly was fast and easy but we did have to glance at the manual.

Here’s a shot of the ML120L RGB in our test rig TryRedasuaras Rex. We disabled our RED Corsair fan to show how nicely the ML120R lights the chassis and we can say you won’t be disappointed by the brightness and if it’s too bright you can use the controller to tone it down a little.

No worries this puppy is RGB so you get plenty of color choices.

No worries this puppy is RGB so you get plenty of color choices.

Courtesy Cooler Master

The bundle contains everything you need for all modern sockets and even included 4 extra fan thumbscrews if you want to go push/pull on the radiator.  

Socket compatibility is listed below for your convenience.

Intel® LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 775 socket

AMD® AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket

Features & Specifications MasterLiquid Lite ML240L RGB

 

Features

Liquid CPU cooling optimized for low noise and performance. Easy to install 240mm radiator makes this the perfect all-in-one liquid cooling for novice to experienced builders. Now enhanced with RGB lighting feature, this is for anyone that also wants lighting effects in their system.

RGB Lighting SyncMasterLiquid ML240L RGB makes syncing the lighting easier than ever before. It comes with MF120R RGB, a water pump lights up with RGB and controller to easily control and sync it all.

Dual Chamber Pump with RGB

Isolates the heated coolant to maximize the results of the cooling of the processor.

RGB function to sync with the system.

Custom design low resistance radiator allows higher flow rate, heat exchange efficiency and provides unmatched cooling performance.

Air Balance Fans aside from having the perfect balance of airflow and air pressure to exhaust air through the fins and out of the case, the MF120AB RGB fan uses a silent driver IC that smoothens fan operation to reduce fan clicks and vibrations.

Schematic:

Courtesy Cooler Master

The CoolerMaster provided schematic shows a Dual chamber RGB PUMP that isolates heated coolant and has an RGB Logo. The Tubing shows FEP tubing that is flexible and durable as well as sleeved in a nicely done braid. There is a slight discrepancy on the fan description as our fans clearly read MF120AB but it may be mislabeled on the schematic as our fans look exactly like that. It’s noted that the Radiator is low resistance and 240mm. Now the controller shown here isn’t in scale with the other images and is actually about 1 ½” and controls 6 preset modes, color of the fan and brightness.

After playing with the controller that resides inside the chassis there were plenty of presets to keep the RGB fan in you happy.

Specifications: Master Liquid ML240L RGB

Product NameMasterLiquid ML240L RGB
ModelMLW-D24M-A20PC-R1
CPU Socket CompatibilityIntel® LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 775 socket

AMD® AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket

RadiatorMaterialAluminum
Dimensions277 x 119.6 x 27mm (10.9 x 4.7 x 1.1″)
FanDimensions120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1″)
Speed650 ~ 2000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%
Air Flow66.7 CFM (Max)
Air Pressure2.34 mmH2O (Max)
MTTF160,000 hours
Noise Level6 ~ 30 dBA
Connector4-Pin (PWM)
Rated Voltage12 VDC
PumpDimensions80.3 x 76 x 42.2 mm (3.2 x 3.0 x 1.7″)
MTTF70,000 hours
Noise Level< 15 dBA
Connector3-Pin
Rated Voltage12 VDC
Warranty2 Years
EAN Code4719512063453
UPC Code884102036132

Packaging & Unboxing MasteLiquid ML240L

On the CM MasterLiquid Lite ML240L, we see similar packaging to the ML120L RGB and both kits share everything except the ML240L gets a second fan and 240mm radiator.

Inside the CM MasterLiquid Lite ML240L, we find the same pressed cardboard scheme with all the components safely stored in their own compartment.

Emptied we find the same deep protective pockets as the ML120L and the curves and ridges that give it the needed durability to protect your prize.

Under the hood, we find a warranty information booklet and an accordion manual.

 

A Closer Look MasterLiquid ML240L

On the CM MasterLiquid Lite ML240L, we find the same dual chamber pump, sleeved hoses, and sturdy radiator construction.

The radiator has a well constructed thick frame and the fins and channels show no imperfections to the human eye.

We attached the fans with the 8 provided thumb screws and these are the same MasterFan 120AB RGB fans as on the ML120L. It would have been a nice touch to include 8 more thumb screw for those wanting a push-pull setup.

Notice the swivel connectors on the waterblock and here again visible mill marks on the copper portion of the pump/block.

The 240mm radiator is of good solid construction and the channels and fins don’t show any blemishes or bending.

The MasterLiquid Lite ML240L comes with two MasterFan 120AB RGB fans with 4 pin PWM connectors and the 4 pin female RGB controller wires.

Here’s the pair of MasterFan 120AB we received, covering the coils of copper in the center with a sticker would have been a nice touch.

Here’s the label on the MasterFan 120AB which shows the 650 – 2000 RPM rated speed.

Cooler Master provides a dual can to single connector adaptor and it’s partially sleeved and we would have liked to see full sleeves on the exposed wires.

We went ahead and attached the controller to the Molex power and RGB controller cable so as you can guess your RGB controller is going to be inside your chassis.

We connected the wires outside the chassis so you can get an idea of what you are dealing with on the RGB/Controller setup. We did a front chassis mount on the Corsair Spec-04 Carbide series mid-tower we used for in chassis testing so it wasn’t too bad running the wiring.

We ran a measuring tape on the hoses and from radiator base to pump/block it’s 12 inches and front mounting on a mid-tower was a little tight, top mounting should leave plenty of room.

Courtesy Cooler Master

Here’s the bundle on the MasterLiquid Lite ML240L and you’ll find everything you need for mounting on all modern sockets and for those clinging to their LGA 775 socket the Master Liquid series will even cover that.

Socket compatibility is listed below for your convenience.

Intel® LGA 2066 / 2011-v3 / 2011 / 1151 / 1150 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 775 socket

AMD® AM4 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2 / FM2+ / FM2 / FM1 socket

Testing Environment & Equipment

Testing Hardware

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K

Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus Code

RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX 3200Mhz

GPU: EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 ICX

SSDs: Kingston KC1000 480GB

Chassis: Corsair Spec-04 Carbide Series

EVGA 74.83 CFM Fans Extra Testing

OS: Windows 10 Professional X64

Testing Setup

We pondered what software to use for stressing the CPU 100% and OCCT and Prime 95, as well as Intel Burn, just produce an unrealistic amount of heat. Some of the CPU stress programs are designed specifically to generate heat which has no real bearing on real-life computing. We tested a host of software from Realbench to never heard of programs and finally landed on CPU-Z and the Stress CPU utility. It’s easy, free and available to everyone and during test selection; it consistently kept 4 cores 8 threads at 100% and generated enough heat to convince us of the validity of the Stress Test. 

Notice the Stress CPU Button, we used 4 Core 8 Thread testing

We went with a worst case scenario, no chassis fans, no ambient air movement. Lab temperature was kept at 72oF or 22oC throughout testing. We disabled Intel’s Turbo feature and locked the CPU to a steady frequency and CPU voltage for each clock speed on the CPU. We went into BIOS and set OC profiles for 4.5GHz, 4.6GHz, 4.7GHz, 4.8GHz and 4.9GHz. We cut off at 4.9GHz as the CPU voltage required to reach 5GHz stable with a stress test load running for an hour were just unacceptable and liable to degrade the CPU. To sustain a 5GHz OC we were well over 1.42v and Asus recommends triple radiator cooling for 1.35v (which we exceeded). We fired up the test station and let it Idle for 30 minutes and recorded the idle reading. We then ran the test at each CPU speed for an hour then recorded the reading.

Between tests, we shut the machine down for 30 minutes then went to the next CPU speed.  Each test at each speed was repeated 3 times then we report the average of the 3 readings. Every test was run using the pre-set profile in BIOS without any changes to maintain test consistency.

We used the provided thermal material on the CoolerMaster coolers for testing. The thermal material which we recommended replacing earlier well we can eat our words on that one. We did each test with Arctic Ceramique and the readings didn’t change so use the included pre-applied paste if you want it’s pretty good. Thermal measurements were taken using RealTemp.

Testing Results:

The results in Red are done with the Stock MasterFan 120AB RGB at full speed, the tests in blue are the result of swapping out the CoolerMaster Fans for EVGA 77.82 CFM with a static pressure of 4.04 mmAq (MAX). The Cooler Master 120AB RGB hit 66.7 CFM with a static pressure of 2.34 mmH2O (Max) so the more powerful EVGA fans might give us a little better results.

4.5GHz Test

Idle temperatures are always well within acceptable limits so we’ll deal with load temperature in our testing. Idle temperatures are listed for your convenience. The ML120L got us a 65oC under load at 4.5GHz and an hour’s run of the stress test. Replacing the fan with the EVGA Higher CFM and Pressure fans dropped us down to 64o.

The ML240 kept us at a cool 62oC with stock fans while the EVGA fans gave us a load temp of 61oC.

4.6 GHz Test

At 4.6GHz the stock fans on the ML120L hit 65oC and change out to the EVGA fans we dropped one degree to 64oC.

The ML240L kept the line at 62oC and stronger fans dropped it to 61oC.

4.7GHz Testing

Things start to heat up at 4.7GHz and the ML120L hit 70oC and tack on the EVGA fans it hits 68oC.

The ML240 hits 67oC with the stock fans and the EVGA fans pushed that down to 66oC.

4.8 GHz Testing

Voltage wasn’t too bad here at 4.8GHz requiring 1.312v for stability on the CPU and the ML120L gave us a 75oC and adding the EVGA fans it hit 64oC.

The ML240L hit 69oC and with the EVGA fans dropped to 68oC so yes higher CFM higher pressure fans are helping.

4.9GHz Testing

Here at 4.9 GHz, we cut off testing at 85oC on the ML120 with both sets of fans it was obvious after just a couple of minutes temperatures were getting out of hand quickly. That’s to be expected with a 120mm cooler they aren’t designed for extreme overclocks.

The ML240L hit 83oC after an hour’s test at 4.9GHz and 1.36V and tossing on the EVGA fans dropped it to 79oC so it seems at higher temps the stronger fans become more important.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Lite ML120L RGB

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite 120mm RGB’s performance was in line with what we expected and while it didn’t top the charts in 120mm performance it held the line up to 4.8GHz on the notoriously warm 7700K. The wiring took a little time to get it to look good in the chassis but once we kicked off the RGB effects well worth it.

The ability to sync it with RGB capable motherboard headers is a big plus!

If you need a compact AIO water cooling system for mild overclocking or just keeping your stock speed CPU nice and cool the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML120L RGB might be what you are looking for!

CoolerMaster MasterLiquid Lite ML240L RGB

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite ML240L had dazzling RGB effects via a hardware controller and by RGB capable motherboard headers. The cooling capacity was good all the way up to 4.9GHz under worst case conditions and under normal use should give you plenty of overhead for moderate overclocking.

The quality of the ML240L was good and the radiators sturdiness impressed us. The cloth covering on the hoses was a nice touch and the brightness of the RGB fans lit up the entire chassis.

If you’re looking for that little extra bling and crave some RGB action while keeping your CPU cooled the Cooler Master ML240L should do the job for you and provide an eye catching RGB experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Western is the founder of Gaming Gorilla, as well as several other infotainment blogs. When he's not working on his business, he's likely in the gym or playing video games. Dan's current setup is a PS5/Nintendo Switch living room setup, and a custom RTX 3090, I9-10850K inside the Lian Li 011D Mini for his office setup.

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