Cooler Master ML240R RGB AIO CPU Cooler Review

Cooler Master's claim to fame with the ML240R RGB is, you guessed it, "THE MOST COLORFUL WAY TO COOL." Its Master Liquid series has recently gotten high praise from us when it comes to keeping your CPU cool using an All-In-One cooler. Cooler Master has taken its successful model and adorned it with lots of Frag Harder Disco Lights.

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MasterLiquid ML240R RGB

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Package & Specs

While the packaging itself is standard AIO fare, the printing on the ML240R's box is much more vibrant than it's less expensive brother, with a combination of matte and glossy printing that makes it pop quite well. The front of the box isn't overdone, with a nice picture of the cooler, and lets you know about the addressable RGB lighting and controller. One end of the box gives some more marketing about the lighting, as well as the dual dissipation pump, the other gives mounting comparability and specifications. While the rear of the box is a bit more info about the features of the cooler, as well as some drawings.

Our unit arrived in good condition, with the familiar molded fiberboard insert cradling all the components, and a thin piece of foam over the top, everything was bagged individually. There was some damage to the radiator where the ear for the center fan mounts are. It's unknown if this was caused in manufacturing or shipping.

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Dimensions: (W)277mm x(H)27mmx(D)119.6mm(without fan)

Material: Aluminum radiator with copper water block

Recommended TDP: 230w

Compatibility:

Intel

  • LGA 2066
  • LGA 2011(v3)
  • LGA 115X
  • LGA 1366
  • LGA 775
  • AMD

  • AM4
  • AM3(+)
  • AM2(+)
  • FM2(+)
  • FM1
  • Fan:

  • Size: 120mm x 25mm
  • Speed:2000 RPM (Max)
  • Air Flow: 66.7 CFM
  • Static Pressure: 2.34mm-H2O [LI]Noise: 30 dBA (claimed)
  • Contents

    You get the cooler itself, the MF120R ARGB fans, all the mounting hardware required for the supported sockets, a small, fold out instruction manual for the installation, as well as a warranty card, and the wired addressable RGB controller.

    Then we get to the wiring bag. Included is an internal USB 2.0 to USB type A female adapter, a USB Type A male to Micro USB type B adapter, a 4 pin RGB extension cable, a 3 pin RGB extension cable, a 3-way 3 pin RGB splitter, four 3 pin and one 4 pin RGB connectors, a 2-pin cable that goes to your case reset switch, a 2-pin cable that goes to your motherboards reset header, a 2-pin to 3-pin male and female fan splitter, as well as a traditional 4 pin fan splitter, that is unfortunately not fully sleeved, and a small blurb in the instructions of what all that is for.

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    Fit and Finish

    The finish on the cold plate is what we have come to expect from Cooler Master, not mirror polished, but nicely machined, with the screws well recessed. One thing of note is the plate bearing the Cooler Master logo on the pump itself is very easily removed. It is unknown if this is a flaw with our unit or perhaps something Cooler Master has done intentionally, with the possibility of selling different logo plates in the future. The pump has a 3-pin wire for the fan header which powers it, as well as a 3-pin RGB wire. Neither are sleeved, but this does not detract from it, as it makes the wires themselves smaller and easier to hide. Overall the feel of the pump is very lightweight.

    The baseplate very slightly convex on one axis, again similar to what we have seen from other Cooler Master all-in-ones, but nothing that causes any alarm.

    The radiator has a nice, albeit basic appearance, and is very lightweight. All the screw holes were well threaded and free of any burs or paint. The painted finish is nice, and the Cooler Master logo is printed on the cooler well. The hoses are a very generous length, and are sleeved giving a premium look.

    The fans feel, and are essentially the same as previously tested Cooler Master fans. Stiff plastic frame with well molded blades, as well as rubber inserts at the mounting points on both sides to help eliminate any problem noises from vibrations. The fans have two wires each, a 3-pin RGB wire, as well as a 4-pin PWM wire, both of which are quite long, and are nicely sleeved.

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    Installation & Contact

    Installation of the cooler itself on our AM4 system was very straightforward.

    Installing the fans on the radiator would have been very simple using the provided knurled phillips thumb screws, had it not been for the one fan mount on the radiator being bent. When attaching the fans to that mount, one screw partially stripped, however the other (lower) of the two, actually pulled the plate back up. I did not want to try to bend it back into position prior to installation, as trying to get leverage to bend the plate back up would likely cause a lot more damage to the radiator.

    Mounting the radiator to the top of the case was not quite as simple as it has been on other all-in-one coolers. Our test case, the Corsair 750D Airflow Edition, has rubber grommets on the top of the case at the radiator mounting points to aid in vibration reduction. The screws provided by Cooler Master have a head that is slightly too small for these grommets, as well as they are a hair too short due to the grommets protruding slightly. Some slightly longer screws with a larger head, or some provided washers would go a long way to making installation easier.

    Cooler Master uses the stock AM4 backplate as well as the stock AM4 cooler mounts for installation. Ears containing clips with captive thumb screws are screwed onto the pump assembly, the screws go into the metal of the ears, and not the plastic of the pump which is very nice. After an application of thermal paste, the block is lowered onto the CPU, slipping the clips over the AM4 mounts, then tighten evenly using your fingers.

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    Wiring

    The ML240R is going to get it's own section on wiring, as the wiring is a bit of a chore. Power to the cooler and fans is straightforward, plugging the pump's power wire into the CPU Fan header on our motherboard, and using the included splitter to plug both the fans into the CPU OPT header. Then we move to the lighting. You may notice in the picture of the included wiring instructions, there is a small QR code printed on the image of the controller. Unfortunately that QR code directs us to a web page that does not exist at time of publication, so downloading the ARGB Controller User Manual from the ML240R's product page is highly recommended. Cooler Master also has a video of the RGB wiring process and features in video form, which is not referred to in the documentation in the box. Worth mentioning is that we were finished with reviewing process before Cooler Master made us aware of this, a couple of weeks after asking for clarification. If you are going to undertake this, we highly suggest giving the video a look before you start with the wiring.

    The ARGB controller has 13 connections. On the top you find a SATA connector, something we greatly appreciate over MOLEX or another solution.

    Moving to the right side there are four 2-pin connections, as well as a 4-pin RGB connection. The 2-pin ports are a bit confusing, in the included instructions the top most one is not labeled, and in the ARGB controller user manual that is downloaded from the Cooler Master website, it just states it is "reserved slot." Moving down the next slot, labeled port 7 just has a picture of a fan in the included instructions, and the downloaded manual says this port is for the "Mirage Effect (Software Required)." Port 6 is for your case reset switch to wire into. Port 5 goes to your motherboards' reset switch header, and the final port is the 4-pin RGB port labeled R1 in the instructions and "Fan RGB Port" in the downloaded manual.

    The left side of the controller has four, 3-pin ARGB ports, and the bottom of the unit is where you will find a 4-pin RGB port for connecting it to your motherboard, the micro USB port for controlling everything, and a 3-pin addressable RGB port, for connecting to a supporting motherboard.

    Finally the front of the controller has 4 buttons. The top button switches between the 7 baked-in lighting modes of the controller. One button down switches the unit from standard RGB mode, to addressable RGB mode. When in addressable mode, 4 white LEDs on the right side o the controller will light up, when in standard, a single white LED on the left side will light, the 2 white LEDs on the bottom of the controller are always on when the unit is plugged in. The third button is used to switch colors in standard RGB mode, and the bottom button changes between the unit's 5 lighting speeds.

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    For "simplicity," at first we used the included 3-way, 3-pin RGB splitter to connect the RGB cables for both fans and the pump to the ARGB controller. It was later noticed that the included instructions actually show to use the splitter to connect the fans to the topmost port of the left side of the controller, ARGB Channel 4, and then we used the included 3-pin ARGB extension cable to connect the pump to ARGB channel 2.

    Next, SATA power was tapped from one of the open connections on our power supply to the top of the controller, and we used the included internal USB adapter USB A Female, then the USB A Male to USB Micro B cable to connect to the controller. The final step was removing the wire from the front panel reset switch from our motherboard, and using the supplied cable to plug it into port 6 on the right side of the controller. Then, using yet another supplied cable, go from the 2-pin connection on port 5 of the controller, to the motherboards' reset switch header.

    Once installed the case reset button can be used to cycle between the 7 different lighting modes, preventing you from having to open your case to do so. Holding the reset button on your case front panel for 5 seconds will cause the system to reset.

    After the installation a trip to the ML240R's product page and clicking "download" will allow you to download the ARGB Lighting Control Software, as well as a firmware update for the controller itself, our unit required this firmware update in order to communicate with the software. You will also find a handy 19 page introduction on how to use the software to control the lighting.

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    We made a simple static ARGB profile with alternating red and blue LEDs on the software, and you can see the results here. Note the effect on the pump is much more dramatic in the photo than it is in person. In person, due the the diffusion and the close proximity of the LEDs to each other the results are a much more blended look, at first we tried alternating red and white, and the result was just a faded reddish orange color across the entire pump.

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    Mate Comments

    The mate achieved on our system was very good, you can see the result of the slightly convex shape of the cold plate, which is more pronounced on one axis.

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