Performance and Conclusion
While recent cooler reviews have included results from an updated Intel X99 test platform, I decided to add results from the previous Z170 system using a Core i5-6600K. The newer system's six-core i7-6800K is a bit unrealistic for a smaller cooler, but we'll see how the Maker 92 fared against an assortment of other coolers between the two platforms.
|Z170 Test Platform||X99 Test Platform|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-6600K||Intel Core i7-6800K|
|Motherboard||EVGA Z170 Stinger||EVGA X99 Micro2|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix 8GB (2x4GB) 2400 MHz DDR4||HyperX Fury 16GB (4x4GB) 2400 MHz DDR4|
|Graphics Card||XFX AMD Radeon 5450 (Fanless)|
|Storage||OCZ Vertex 460 120GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Corsair TX 650W PSU|
|OS||Windows 8.1 64-bit|
We'll start with the Z170 results, and for these I tested the cooler in its default push-pull configuration and with one fan removed. When the cooler is folded down into its horizontal position, the top fan's removal lowers the overall height to just under 100 mm. While the lower height obviously enhances the potential compatibility for the Maker 92, the big question was how much of a performance hit we would see from a single-fan setup.
As you can see, the dual fans definitely make a difference, but the numbers with a single-fan Maker 92 aren't bad at all considering its lower profile. I didn't have a lot of low-profile cooler options on hand to test against, but this first set of results should at least provide an idea of the Maker 92's performance with a 91W TDP processor like the Core i5 on test.
Next we'll look at results on the larger X99 platform with the i7-6800K, a six-core processor with a TDP of 140W. I included results from some larger coolers here, strictly for reference. If you have the room for a big cooler the Maker 92 probably doesn't make sense, but I still wanted to see how it coped with a bigger thermal load.
The point of testing with Maker 92 the big i7-6800K processor was to see if it could simply keep up with the CPU load - which it did nicely, even though it obviously finished last here. Those load and stress temps are very good for this processor, and even leave a bit of room for overclocking if desired. I had no interest in pushing it with this cooler, however, and I think the sweet spot for a cooler of this size is Intel LGA 115x.
Noise results are next. I only tested the Maker 92 cooler with both fans connected, as the second fan makes little difference in overall noise output, which you will see is rather low considering the 92 mm fan diameter:
These numbers are impressively low for a cooler with small fans, especially considering how fast (over 2000 RPM under load) they had to spin. Subjectively the Maker 92 seemed louder than the SPL meter (positioned 18 inches away) detected, with an audible 'hum' - but I use an open testbench so pump noise will seem louder in my testing. The contrast in sound characteristics between the pump and fans did made it harder to ignore the cooler, but inside a case it should far less audible.
Height vs. Performance
Using the Core i5-6600K test results I decided to chart the coolers based on the hottest load temps (using the Prime95 stress temps from the chart above), comparing these to the total height of each cooler tested. Really, when we're talking about low-profile coolers, the height/performance metric might be the most important thing to consider, and this should determine if the Maker 92 is really worth considering over cheaper low-profile air coolers.
Of this group, the low-profile air coolers on test include a stock Intel cooler at 46 mm, the Cryorig C7 at 47 mm, the Deepcool Gabriel at 60 mm, and the Noctua NH-U9B SE2 - which barely qualifies as "low-profile" - at 125 mm. The ultra-popular Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - which is in no way a low-profile solution, and is included for reference only - stands in at 159 mm tall. This leaves the Cooler Master MasterLiquid Maker 92, which - in its horizontal position - is either 118 mm tall with both fans, or around 95 mm tall with the top fan removed.
A look at the center of this chart shows the intersection of height and performance, with the MasterLiquid Maker 92 coming in as the winner; and you might notice this result is with one of the Maker 92's fans removed (and with the system in its horizontal position, of course).
When we consider the raw performance results above, it's clear that the MasterLiquid Maker 92 isn't going to break any records for a liquid cooler. Its performance is certainly up to the task of even an Intel Core i7-6800K, and having the ability to properly cool even a 140W 6-core CPU (under the stress of Prime95 torture testing, no less) adds value to a product that should still probably be considered for smaller Core i5/Core i7 builds. It is when we take the overall size of the cooler into account that the Maker 92 starts to look much more impressive.
With an excellent size/performance ratio the MasterLiquid Maker 92 is a very nice option when standard liquid coolers just won't work, and can out-perform low profile air coolers as we saw with the Intel Z170 system results above. The ability to change the cooler's orientation is a unique design choice, and Cooler Master has implemented this very well with the Maker 92. It's a very well made product with a lot of potential, but it will require a very specific application to warrant selection over more conventional coolers.
- Excellent performance for its size
- Unique folding design
- High quality construction
- Low noise output
- Ease of installation
- Price tag
- Limited use-cases
If it fits your particular needs the MasterLiquid Maker 92 is an outstanding option considering its compact design, size/performance ratio, and unique transforming design.