A very compact liquid cooler for SFF builds

Cooler Master's MasterLiquid Maker 92 is a unique liquid CPU cooler that fits all of its parts into one cluster atop the processor, and does it with a clever, hinged construction that allows it to be switched from an upright to a horizontal position at will. While the Maker 92 only occupies about as much space as a large tower air cooler in its upright position, the ability to fold it down provides both enhanced clearance and the option of directing airflow down to help cool motherboard components. But the big question for this cooler is just how effective can a closed-loop system be when it’s this compact? We’re about to find out!

Let's get part out if the way right off the bat: specialty small form-factor products generally don't offer competitive price/performance numbers, and critics are quick to point to this aspect of SFF computing. The small form-factor side of enthusiast PC building is a pretty small niche, and a product like the Maker 92 might not be for you; but what is important to consider when looking at a specialty product like this is the performance for its size, as designs of the most compact cooling components typically sacrifice something in this regard given their reduced surface area, smaller fan diameter, etc.

Most SFF solutions for processor cooling are of the air variety, with liquid being an option if a given enclosure supports your AiO (or custom loop) cooling of choice. Ultra low-profile CPU air coolers are popular for slim builds, and a product like the Maker 92 isn’t going to replace one of these if your enclosure of choice has a very low profile. Any system using a standard height PCI Express graphics card will work, though that top fan may have to come off depending on the case – which of course will affect cooling performance (in theory, anyway). But enough speculation! Let’s take a close look at this cooler and test out the fit and cooling prowess in both orientations.

First we'll check out the specifications from Cooler Master:

  • CPU: Intel LGA 2011-v3/ 2011/ 1151/ 1150/ 1155/ 1156 socket
  • Power Connector: SATA and 4-Pin
  • Radiator Material: Aluminum
  • Cooler Dimensions:
    • Vertical: 99.9 x 81.6 x 167.5mm (3.9 x 3.2 x 6.6”)
    • Horizontal: 99.9 x 142 x 118.8 mm (3.9 x 5.6 x 4.7”)
  • Fan:
    • Dimension Φ95 x 25.4 mm (3.7 x 1”)
    • Speed: 550 ~ 2600 RPM (PWM) ± 10%
    • Airflow: 49.7 CFM (max)
    • Air Pressure: 6.4 mmH2O (max)
    • Noise Level: 30 dBA (max)
    • MTTF: 350,000 hours
    • L-10 Life: 50,000 hours
    • Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Pump:
    • Noise Level: <12 dBA (max)
    • MTTF:175,000 hours
    • L-10 Life: 50,000 hours
    • Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Warranty: 5 Years

Thanks to Cooler Master for supplying the MasterLiquid Maker 92 for our review.

First Impressions

The MasterLiquid Maker 92 is attractively packaged, and inside we have the cooler – protected by a cardboard liner – and a separate box for the accessory pack and instructions.

Cooler Master does accessories as well as anyone, and the clear blister pack keeps each part separated for easy installation.

The Maker 92 itself is impressively well made, with a unique design that offers some intelligent design choices. The fit and finish is as high as any all-in-one liquid cooler I've tested, and the hinged design works very well, allowing for smooth transition from vertical to horizontal position.

With its ability to occupy a very small footprint, the Maker 92 provides the capability of running a full liquid-cooling loop in the space of a conventional air solution. Even if this doesn't seem necessary for your build requirements, from an enthusiast standpoint the design and construciton of the Maker 92 is still very cool.

On the next page we'll take a closer look at the Maker 92.

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