Cooler Master presents a RGB light show to the CPU near you with the new MasterLiquid ML240R RGB AIO cooler. Facing the closed-loop liquid cooling support market, the ML240R RGB offers enough value, performance and visual appeal to carve out a respectable place among other AIOs, both in and above its class.
Great cooling performance
RGB fans and lighting
Lack of software for USB connectivity
Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid ML240R RGB offers performance that rivals larger 360 liquid coolers in a smaller, more-affordable package.
With concrete performance that shows for 240mm AIO class, we were surprised to really see the MasterLiquid ML240R RGB also provides better thermal figures (spoilers: only 0.1 degrees Celsius) than the bigger ones, Raijintek Orcus 360 AIO in direct comparison. When you pause and consider the price of the ML240R RGB is less than $ 300 and has a smaller footprint, while the solution is bigger and pricier, it's easy for us to be impressed.
With the installation of included devices for most Intel and AMD processor sockets, MasterLiquid ML240R RGB offers support for almost all modern CPU desktops, saving Threadripper. With PWM fans and pump controls, Cooler Master has chosen to rely on motherboard fan curves and user controls rather than providing their own software to manage all aspects of this AIO.
Users can choose to connect the cooler to the RGB 4-pin motherboard header, or the included Cooler Master RGB lighting controller for control of the light show. RGB controller connectivity internally to the motherboard using a 9-pin header or via a male USB adapter physically possible. But the documentation included does not offer any information about what software you will use if you follow that route.
The top of the ML240R MasterLiquid RGB pump is a removable and matte black dome lid, which shows the frosted line of the Cooler Master logo. The lid can be rotated to reflect the orientation that was installed. The cooling pipe enters and leaves the housing through a rotating fittings 90 degrees, and the entire length of the hose is covered with black nylon braids and sealed with heat shrinking.
The ML240R base utilizes a cold copper plate milled on the lateral side, which is inserted into the pump housing. The integrated installation tab allows the installer to swap the appropriate retaining plate to provide a relatively proportional voltage along the way around.
12-tube aluminum, the 240mm radiator is cooled by a dual dual MF120R ARGB fan, which uses individual ICs per LED for individually controlled modules to enable 'waves', 'cycles' and other effects, rather than all that operate simultaneously (check the previous link for animated demo 120mm fans were rated up to 2000 RPM and had 4-pin PWM and RGB cables.
Control of 16.7 million colors (actually, 16,777,216 to be exact) can be done only from RGB motherboard integration. However, for those of us who do not have a compatible board can still use the included controller to call the display and lighting patterns that have been previously set.
Be careful when installing, though: Even though some extension cables have pins formed into them, most of the connections between the control unit and the fan point themselves are rather loose and only the weight of the extension cable itself will cause them to pull free of connections. Most of the RGB connectors we have seen are used for CPU cooling using thin cables (due to very low current usage) and offer stronger terminal contacts.
Mounted to our Corsair Graphite 760T top panel, Cooler Master Master Liquid ML240R RGB provides integrated RGB lighting from both the fan and the LED ring in the round face of the pump unit. Having a removable face plate allows the pump to be installed with the best orientation for the installer, while still allowing the Cooler Master logo to be displayed according to your choice. This is a simple, elegant solution for various installation possibilities, we are surprised that this is not more common. Until manufacturers start making full-face interactive LCD displays for AIO coolers, this is the next best way to make sure the logo is displayed correctly.