Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer: Cooler Master Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB CPU Cooler Review

Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB is an update to the existing 240 mm ML240L liquid CPU cooler that, along with its 120 mm counterpart the ML120L V2, offer design changes intended to increase performance and longevity.

Cooler master lists these improvements to the new V2 versions of the ML240L and ML120L:

  • New Generation Dual Chamber Pump
  • Enlarged Surface Area on Radiator
  • New SickleFlow 120 RGB
  • Reinforced Sealing for Anti-Leaking Prevention

In today’s review Kent explores this new cooler, struggles with an RGB aversion I just invented to add drama to the review, and takes us down the insidious path to liquid cooling. I for one am curious to see the changes Cooler Master has made with this, having reviewed a 240mm MasterLiquid model myself in the past. Enjoy!

– The Editor

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  1
Product Specifications
  • Product Number: MLW-D24M-A18PC-R2
  • Series: MasterLiquid
  • Cooler Type: Liquid Cooler
  • Exterior Color: Black
  • CPU Socket
    • Intel: LGA2066, LGA2011-v3, LGA2011, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366
    • AMD: AM4, AM3+, AM3, AM2+, AM2, FM2+, FM2, FM1
  • Radiator
    • Radiator Size: 240 mm
    • Radiator Material: Aluminum
    • Radiator Dimensions: 277 x 119.6 x 27.2 mm / 10.9 x 4.7 x 1.1 inch
  • 3rd Gen Dual Chamber Pump
    • Pump Dimensions: 79.9 x 76 x 47.1 mm / 3.1 x 3 x 1.9 inch
    • Pump MTTF: 70,000 Hours
    • Pump Noise Level: < 15 dBA
    • Power Connector: 3-Pin
    • Pump Rated Voltage: 12 VDC
    • Pump Power Consumption: 2.36W (LED 2.21W)
  • SickleFlow 120 RGB Fans
    • Fan Dimensions (L x W x H): 120 x 120 x 25 mm / 4.7 x 4.7 x 1 inch
    • Fan Quantity: 2 PCS
    • Fan LED: RGB
    • Fan Speed: 650-1800 RPM ± 10%
    • Fan Airflow: 62 CFM (Max)
    • Fan Noise Level: 8 – 27 dBA
    • Fan Pressure: 2.5 mmH₂O (Max) (mmH2O)
    • Fan Life Expectancy: 160,000 Hours
    • Fan Power Connector: 4-Pin (PWM)
    • Fan Rated Voltage: 12VDC
    • Fan Rated Current: 0.15A (LED 0.2A)
  • TDP: 200 W
  • Warranty: 2 years
Pricing

$79.99 USD list

Manufacturer Description
  • New Generation Dual Chamber Pump
  • Enlarged Surface Area on Radiator
  • New SickleFlow 120 RGB
  • Reinforced Sealing for Anti-Leaking Prevention
Hear the tale of the dark path of the AIO

Long ago, liquid cooling your PC was difficult, risky, and something only the hardest core (you mean [H]ardest|Core – Ed.), half-mad, PC enthusiasts dared even think of attempting.  Then manufacturers started releasing self-contained closed loop, or all in one (AIO) coolers.  Early on, most of these products were based on either the Asetek or Cool-It designs.  Due to patents, almost everything in the AIO market is still an Asetek design.

Many of those hard-core liquid cooling enthusiasts turned up their noses at these simple solutions to liquid cooling.  Personally, my first experience with liquid cooling was a 120mm AIO in an attempt to tame my AMD Phenom II 955 quad core.  Air coolers were not yet as capable as the titanic Noctuas and Be Quiets that rule the world today, so that little 120mm AIO cooler did an admirable job.

It was such an admirable job that I was drawn towards that dark path of madness.  The path was a slippery slope that ended in hard line tubing, $120 waterblocks, and $15 fittings.  As one who has fallen into the madness, I must give warning to be wary of the siren’s call of the radiator and pump, and the cooling that they bring.

The ML240L V2 Cooler

Which brings us to today’s review of the new Cooler Master Master Liquid ML240L V2 RGB (manufacturers believe that long product names will help to stave off the madness).

Unlike that first, single fan, 120mm AIO I tried so many years ago, this is a 240mm radiator with two 120mm, static pressure optimized RGB fans, and a pretty fancy, third generation dual chamber water pump.

The pump has several new features aimed at decreasing pump noise, but probably most important among those is a new impeller design. The new radiator itself has a very attractive, textured finish, which gives it a high quality feeling and appearance.

The inlet and outlet tubing is thick, flexible, and has a very nice braided covering.  The tubing does seem to be a little on the shorter side, so if you have a larger case, you might be limited to mounting the radiator in the top as I did. (The tubing was too short to mount the radiator as an intake in the floor of my test system, which would have been my preferred location.)

Cooler Master also extended the radiator fins, which they claim increases surface area over the original ML240L by 25%.

More surface area means more heat dissipation, but with more fin area, more static pressure from the fans is needed, which is why this new cooler comes with a pair of new and improved Cooler Master Sickleflow 120mm fans. The seven-blade profile and square frame make it obvious that this fan was designed to go on a radiator.

On top of all of these improvements, the new Master Liquid ML240L RGB is offering all this for the MSRP of $79.99 USD.  Many competing products can be found over $100 US, so, if it performs, the new Cooler Master AIO could be a steal.

Installation Notes

Mounting the ML240L V2 was very straightforward, and mostly easy.  Honestly, I love the knurled fan screws that allow hand tightening without the need to creatively fit a screwdriver into tight confinements, as is so often the case with mounting radiators and fans.  Using the provided screws also means you will not need to worry about damaging the radiator core, as there is no shielding to prevent screw damage on the radiator.

Mounting the pump assembly on Intel was as painless as can be, and one of the best systems I’ve encountered on an all in one.  I cannot say the same for mounting to an AMD system.  I understand the choice to utilize the stock AMD plastic bracket as this allows for AMD compatibility going back at least 10 years.  Unfortunately, mounting the pump in this way can be a bit difficult and the pump just never seems as secure as it would if it used four mounting points instead of two.

One thing that I’ve always loved about liquid cooling is how clean and free of obstruction it keeps your motherboard.  The ML240L is no exception here.  Once it is mounted, you still have unfettered access to almost the entirety of your motherboard.  As someone who likes to tinker, I can’t express how nice it is to be able to access motherboard headers and plugs that you simply can’t get to with a large tower cooler.

RGB Lighting

As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I am definitely not an RGB hater.  I use plenty of RGB in my personal system.  I am, however becoming a hater of how complicated and messy adding RGB to a system has become.

Cooler Master does include a nice little controller unit which the pump and fans can be connected to easily enough.  The controller can shift color, effect, and brightness, but the effects are limited as the RGB implementation here is not addressable, and only one color can be displayed at a time.

Cooler Master also includes three nicely designed plastic clips that keep the 4-pin RGB connections from pulling apart accidentally.

Aside from the additional wiring, and cable management, which is just part of RGB, I’ve got one major gripe with Cooler Master’s choices: a 4-pin Molex connector.  Seriously, SATA power has been a thing for a while now.  Why would any manufacturer still use Molex in 2020? (Because vintage computers – and their connections – are awesome. – Ed.)

Cooler Master does include a nice little controller unit which the pump and fans can be connected to easily enough.  The controller can shift color, effect, and brightness, but the effects are limited as the RGB implementation here is not addressable, and only one color can be displayed at a time.

Cooler Master also includes three nicely designed plastic clips that keep the 4-pin RGB connections from pulling apart accidentally.

Aside from the additional wiring, and cable management, which is just part of RGB, I’ve got one major gripe with Cooler Master’s choices: a 4-pin Molex connector.  Seriously, SATA power has been a thing for a while now.  Why would any manufacturer still use Molex in 2020? (Because vintage computers – and their connections – are awesome. – Ed.)

Cooler Performance

Once past mounting the cooler, and getting the cables for the RGB managed, it was time to see if the ML240L V2 actually performed well in its primary purpose.

Thermals

For testing, I ran the OCCT small FFT stress test for 20 minutes on an open test bed.

Cooler Test Platform
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 3600X (4.3 GHz all cores @ 1.4 volts)
Motherboard MSI B350M Mortar Arctic
Memory 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
GPU EVGA GeForce GTX 980 SSC
Storage WD Black Edition 256 GB NVMe SSD

IC Diamond Graphite Thermal Pad used on all coolers for consistency in testing. All tests conducted at room temperature of 23 C.

Happily, I can report that it performs very well.  During a twenty minute test under load, CPU temps were within margin of error of the best performing cooler I have personally tested (Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3).

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  2
Noise Levels

The new dual chamber pump is extremely quiet, spinning along at a full speed of 2500 RPM, and never emitting more than 30 dB.  I cannot praise the new Sickleflow fans quite as highly as the new pump.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB CPU Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling  3

At their limit of 1850 RPM they generated only generated 44.5 dB, which is not bad, but at idle the rifle bearing design emitted an audible humming. At the 800 RPM idle, the ML240L produced 32.3 dB, which is the loudest of any cooler I’ve tested to this point. It is not just the volume, but it is the tone of the noise that the fans produce that I find problematic.

Conclusion

The new ML240L V2 RGB punches above its price when it comes to raw performance.  At $79.99 USD, it really is a bargain, and competes with more expensive liquid and air coolers.  It’s just not pleasant on the ears.  There are much quieter, higher speed, fans on the market that would make this a world class cooler if substituted for the Sickleflows, but that would have also made the price quite a bit higher.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240L V2 RGB: $79.99, Amazon

If you’re looking for a 240mm AIO, and don’t mind the sound of rifle bearing fans, then the Cooler Master Master Liquid ML240L V2 RGB is a good performer at a very good price.  Just beware that path to liquid cooling madness that so many before you have followed.

Review Disclosures

This disclosure statement covers the way the product being reviewed was obtained and the relationship between the product's manufacturer and PC Perspective.

How Product Was Obtained

The cooler is on loan from Cooler Master for the purpose of this review.

What Happens To Product After Review

The cooler remains the property of Cooler Master but will be on extended loan to PC Perspective for the purpose of future testing and product comparisons.

Company Involvement

Cooler Master provided the product sample and technical brief to PC Perspective but had no control over the content of the review and was not consulted prior to publication.

PC Perspective Compensation

Neither PC Perspective nor any of its staff were paid or compensated in any way by Cooler Master for this review.

Advertising Disclosure

Cooler Master has not purchased advertising at PC Perspective during the past twelve months.

Affiliate Links

This article contains affiliate links to online retailers. PC Perspective may receive compensation for purchases made through those links.

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1 Comment

  1. Corey B.

    Nice review.

    Would you recommend this as good upgrade to the stock Wraith Spire on a 3600X? Or should I get a good air cooler? I’m not looking for anything super crazy, but would like a little lower load temps and noise levels.

    It seems like this would provide both improved thermals and noise levels over the Spire.

    Installing it in my build would also replace two older 140 mm fans I transferred over from my last build, so noise levels might decrease even more.

    Thanks!

    Reply

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