Since Cooler Master was founded in Taiwan in 1992, the manufacturer has been developing PC cases, power supply units, CPU coolers and many other PC components from the peripherals sector. Cooler Master has made a name for itself with cases from the MasterBox series and the world-famous Hyper 212 CPU cooler. In the compact water cooling sector, the “MasterLiquid” series in particular is a guarantee of success. In September 2023, Cooler Master expanded its portfolio with the MasterLiquid Atmos ARGB, which is available in both 240 mm and 360 mm versions, but only in black. Today we have the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB for you to test.
As you can already see from the name, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB has a 240 mm radiator. In addition to very good cooling performance, Cooler Master lists the features of the Atmos ARGB as a pump block with a patented two-chamber design, a pump cover that can be customized using 3D printing and is also made from recycled plastic, as well as quiet but high-performance SickleFlow Edge fans. This is complemented by non-sustainable packaging materials and a 30% reduction in the size of the packaging. With a purchase price of € 159.90 *, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB is located in the high-end range of compact water cooling systems, at least in terms of price.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB review: Technical details
|Compatibility AMD||AM5 / AM4|
|Compatibility Intel||LGA 115X / 1200 / 1700|
||€ 159.90 *|
Radiator specifications/ heat sink specifications
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||277 x 120 x 27.2 mm|
|Number of fans||2|
|Fan designation||Cooler Master SickleFlow Edge 120mm|
|Bearing type||Loop Dynamic Bearing (LDB)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Fan speed||690 ~ 2500 rpm ± 10 %|
|Max. Noise level||27.2 db(A)|
|Max. Volume flow||120.1 m³/h|
|Max. Air pressure||3.61 mm H2O|
|Rated voltage (fan)||12 V|
|Nominal voltage (LEDs)||5 V|
|Rated current (fan)||0,2 A|
|Rated power (fan)||2,4 W|
|Fan connection||4-pin PWM|
|LED connection||4-pin (5V-D-coded-G)|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||84.9 x 81 x 53.15 mm|
|Cooling plate material||Copper|
|Pump speed||2000 ~ 10000 rpm|
|Max. Noise level||12 db(A)|
|Nominal voltage (pump)||12 V|
|Nominal voltage (LEDs)||5 V|
|Rated current (pump)||0,2 A|
|Nominal power (pump)||3,84 W|
|Pump connection||4-pin PWM|
|LED connection||4-pin (5V-D-coded-G)|
Packaging & scope of delivery
Cooler Master packs the MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB in a very strikingly printed cardboard box. The packaging consists of a black box without printing and a colorful printed outer sleeve. In addition to the color purple, the removable cover also shows the name of the compact water cooling system and a picture of the pump block. On the back, the manufacturer then places another product image and a table listing all the technical data of the water cooling system.
Inside the black box we find three more black boxes. The small packages contain the mounting material (screws, spacers, backplate etc.) for the supported Intel or AMD sockets as well as the mounting accessories that are required in each case. These include the ARGB controller, ARGB and PWM connection cables and splitters, thermal paste and two cable clamps for the hoses. Underneath, Cooler Master hides the 240 mm radiator with pre-installed SickleFlow Edge fans.
Design & workmanship
Cooler Master has given the 277 millimeter long radiator an unspectacular design and opted for a simple look in the form of a black finish. Unlike many other radiators, however, the paint or powder coating has a matt texture and is significantly less susceptible to fingerprints. Cooler Master has also placed the “Designed by Cooler Master” lettering on both sides, although this remains very discreet due to the black lettering. With a thickness of 27 millimeters, the radiator is average for compact water cooling systems.
The water hoses between the radiator and the pump block are around 370 millimeters long and should therefore allow a flexible mounting position even in slightly larger housings. Cooler Master uses pressed metal sleeves on both the radiator and the cooler block to secure the black-coated hoses. This means that the cooling circuit cannot be extended. However, the pump block has rotating joints to adjust the orientation of the hoses to the position of the radiator.
The housing of the pump or radiator block consists of a total of three elements, all of which are made of plastic. At the top we find a gray transparent cap, which is made of 100% recycled plastic and can be removed. Underneath, Cooler Master has installed a plate showing the manufacturer’s logo and a geometric design with some struts. This panel can also be removed to reveal the milky-transparent ARGB element. To personalize the look, Cooler Master offers templates for 3D printing and has published the exact dimensions of the plate on its homepage. The rest of the pump housing is made of black plastic.
The two Cooler Master SickleFlow Edge 120 fans supplied consist of a black frame and a milky-transparent rotor blade with nine fan blades. Cooler Master has also incorporated a layer of rubber into the frame at all eight corners for decoupling. Both fans have a separate 4-pin PWM and a 5V 3-pin ARGB connection and, according to the manufacturer, rotate between 690 and 2500 revolutions per minute. The 5V 3-pin ARGB connection also has a daisy-chaining option for each fan.
Fully assembled, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB weighs 1164 grams and has a depth of around 52 millimeters. This means that the compact water cooling system should also fit easily into more compact cases. The build quality of the MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB is very good. No sharp edges, paint defects or bent fins were visible. In addition, the pump block looks very interesting even without the lighting activated.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB Test: Assembly
A test system is used for the review, which is mounted on a benchtable. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat build-up in the case. The test system consists of the following components.
- AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ 3.8 GHz at 1.25V*
- ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus*
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT gray 32 GB DDR4-3000*
- Corsair Force Series MP510 960GB Nvme*
- Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1060 6G*
- LC-Power LC550 V2.31 Platinum Series 550W*
Assembly begins with preparing the pump block with the corresponding mounting frame. To do this, turn the radiator block upside down and attach the two AMD brackets to the underside with two screws each. The radiator should then be connected to the housing or benchtable.
The next step is to prepare the mainboard. To do this, the front retaining brackets of the AMD retention module are removed and the backplate is instead fitted with four spacers with threads on both sides. The thermal paste is now applied and the cooler block is placed on the spacers and tightened with four knurled screws. The final step is the cabling and the assembly is complete.
Cooler Master does not reinvent the wheel and relies on a mounting system that is already used in older products and also by other manufacturers in a similar form. Overall, however, the mounting system is very solid and easy to install. The enclosed instructions should also sufficiently clarify all open questions. The extensive range of accessories also allows installation on all modern and a large number of older bases.
Volume and cooling performance
As already shown in the previous chapter, we use an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the ASUS TUF Gaming B550M-Plus as test hardware. The Ryzen runs at 3.8 GHz at 1.175 V. To heat up the processor, it was loaded with Prime95 for 30 minutes. The temperature of the CPU was then read out with the CPUID hardware monitor. The room temperature was always around 20 °C during the measurements.
|wdt_ID||CPU-Kühler||Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C)||Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C)||Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)||Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)|
|77||Enermax AQUAFUSION ADV 360||50,20||50,10||1.460||2.100||2.230||3.200|
|78||DeepCool LS520 SE||51,40||50,00||1.460||2.200||2.100||3.020|
|79||Alphacool Core Ocean T38 360mm||52,20||49,30||1.600||2.500||1.800||3.200|
|80||DeepCool Castle 280EX||53,00||52,00||1.050||1.600|
|81||Raijintek Scylla Elite CA360 ARGB||54,00||51,00||850||1.000||3.200||4.000|
|83||SilentiumPC Fera 5 Dual Fan||55,00||53,00||730||1.300|
|84||ENDORFY Navis F360||55,50||49,40||1.200||1.975|
|85||Thermaltake CNPS10X Performa||56,00||53,00||700||1.500|
|86||ALSEYE Xtreme X360||57,00||53,00||1.100||1.600|
|CPU-Kühler||Temperatur 50% PWM (in °C)||Temperatur 100% PWM (in °C)||Minimale Lüftergeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Lüftergeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)||Minimale Pumpengeschwindigkeit (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 50% PWM (in U/min)||Pumpengeschwindigkeit bei 100% PWM (in U/min)|
As can be seen from the table and the diagram, the CPU of our test system reaches a maximum of 50.4 °C (at 50% PWM fan and pump speed) and 46.5 °C (at 100% fan and pump speed) under full load. These are very good values that show that the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB still has room for a higher overclocking and is also suitable for hotter CPUs.
At minimum speed, which at 540 rpm is significantly lower than Cooler Master specifies, both the fans and the pump cannot be heard from a closed system. At 50% PWM, you can hear a quiet air noise from the fans and the pump remains quite restrained. At 100% PWM, you can hear a clear air noise from the fans due to the speed, but no perceptible bearing noise. The pump also makes a noticeable whirring noise at full speed. However, this whirring is easily drowned out by the fans.
Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB test: Lighting options
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB has numerous ARGB elements that can be controlled via the mainboard. These include the fans, whose fan hub has corresponding LEDs, as well as the pump block, which has additional LEDs underneath the insert plate. The ring around the Cooler Master logo is another RGB zone. Each is controlled via a 3-pin 5V ARGB connector, which in turn is connected to the supplied ARGB control unit. The control board is then connected centrally to the mainboard via a micro USB cable and supplied with power via a SATA power connector. Alternatively, the pump and fan can also be connected directly to the mainboard.
Cooler Master has developed the MASTERCTRL software for controlling and monitoring the lighting and other data (temperatures, utilization, etc.), which was still in beta at the time of the review. In addition to the system information (load etc.), all connected ARGB devices can be controlled via the application. The settings can be made individually for each ARGB zone and there are various modes, effects and color combinations to choose from. No account is required to use the software and the user interface is clearly laid out.
Conclusion of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB test
Overall, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB is an interesting product that is convincing on many levels. This includes the cooling performance of the compact water cooling system and an appealing design, which is rounded off by effective ARGB lighting. The interestingly designed pump cover and the exchangeable or customizable insert plate in particular contribute to this.
Furthermore, the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB comes with an extensive accessory package and is easy to install. Another positive feature is that the ARGB lighting can be controlled either via the MASTERCRTL software and the control unit or directly via the mainboard and other software. The manufacturer also provides the product with a 5-year warranty.
Despite the many positive features, there is one feature of the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 240 Atmos ARGB that can be off-putting. With a price of € 159.90 *, this compact water cooling system is around €80-90 more expensive than many other 240 mm water cooling systems with RGB lighting. In relation to the overall package on offer, this is a proud price that not everyone will want to pay.