Introduction

When it comes to PC Cooling and Chassis, Cooler Master needs no introduction. Ever since its foundation in 1992, the company rolled out their first CPU Cooler in 1993 with major breakthrough coming in 1999 when their first all-aluminum-based handmade chassis was launched. There was no stopping to the continuous innovation that took the company to the new frontiers of introducing liquid cooling solutions, power supply units, gaming peripherals, etc. Cooler Master is making strong come back in recent times with their cooling solutions and chassis.

We recently did a round-up content on the high-end air coolers. It was quite a success and based on the community’s feedback we are planning another round-up content. This time the round-up content is on the best 240mm AIO coolers. We have chosen this size of the liquid cooler as it is still the most commonly used size in the liquid cooler category out of other available sizes which are 120mm, 280mm, and 360mm. We have reached out the over 30 brands and set ourselves a minimum of 15 coolers for the test. We are nearing our mark as the deliveries have started. We reached out to Cooler Master and they have joined with their ML240L V2 ARGB cooler.

The ML240L V2 ARGB is from their Master Liquid Lite series with a focus on optimal performance and budget-friendliness. The cooler is using a new pump design with upgraded internal components for improved resistance to wear and tear for longer-lasting performance. Specially Formulated Industrial Grade EPDM is used for reinforced sealing for prevention of leakage. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA 1200/115x and 20xx sockets. On the AMD side, it is compatible with AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1 sockets. The cooler features an ARGB backlit pump housing, as well as, 2x new designed SickleFlow ARGB fans.

  • Third Gen Dual Chamber Pump
  • PPS-Fiberglass Housing Pump
  • Tri-Phase Motor with Silent Driver
  • Triple Industrial Grade EPDM Rubber
  • Enlarged Radiator Surface Area
  • Reinforced Sealing
  • Sleeved FEP Tubing
  • Dual SickleFlow 120 ARGB Fans
  • Air Balance 2.0 Fan Blades
  • ARGB Illumination & ARGB Controller
  • Certified with ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE & ASRock ARGB Feature

Item:                   ML240L V2 ARGB

Manufacturer:  Cooler Master

Price:

US $79.99AMAZON
£69.98Scan UK

 

Specifications

 

Packaging and Unboxing

The product is shipped inside a cardboard box in the black/purple color scheme.

We have a picture of the cooler along with its model printed. The obviously highlighted feature is the compatibility with:

  • ASUS AURA SYNC
  • ASRock POLYCHROME SYNC
  • GIGABYTE RGB FUSION READY
  • MSI MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC

The cooler features a third generation of the dual-chamber pump technology.

The features are printed in 9 languages.

The dimensions of the unit are provided in the diagrams.

The specifications of the cooler are printed in tabular format.

There are pictures highlighting the features:

  • Increased radiator surface area
  • Bundled ARGB Controller
  • Third Gen Dual Chamber Pump

The contents are placed inside an egged carton for safe shipping.

Contents

Let’s take a look at what is provided in the box.

We have:

  • 1x Backplate with pre-mounted dual-sided adhesive
  • 2x Intel Mounting Brackets
  • 2x AMD Mounting Brackets

We have:

  • 4x screws for the mounting bracket
  • 4x thumb nuts
  • 4x Intel LGA20xx standoffs
  • 4x other sockets standoffs
  • 8x small size radiator screws
  • 8x long fan screws

The user manual is included.

Cooler Master Master Gel thermal paste is included.

We have:

  • Y-Splitter cable
  • ARGB Sync Cable
  • ARGB Controller
  • ARGB SATA Cable

A PWM Y-splitter cable is included which allows the users to connect both fans to a single fan header.

Cooler Master has provided a SATA powered ARGB Sync cable. The 5-pin connector is to be connected to the included ARGB controller. The SATA connector is to be connected to the PSU. This way the controller will be powered.

We have an ARGB sync cable. One end has three 3-pin headers. The fans and the block’s ARGB cables will be connected to these headers.

The other end of the ARGB Sync cable has two connectors. One is for the GIGABYTE motherboards whereas the other one is for the other brands’ motherboards. The user can connect the ARGB devices either to the controller or on the digital lighting header of the motherboard.

Cooler Master has provided a dedicated controller in the accessory of the cooler. This will allow the users who don’t have compatible motherboards to still enjoy the ARGB light show. The controller has a single button that simply switches among the pre-defined modes.

Reset is printed against the 2-pin port on the controller’s side. The user can connect the PC Chassis Reset cable to this port and can control the lighting using the Reset button of the chassis. The controller has a magnet on the backside for a convenient placement inside the chassis.

The above picture shows the two ports on the controller. One is the proprietary 5-pin header to which the connector on the SATA cable is connected. The other is the 2-pin header to which the Reset cable of the chassis can be connected.

Closer Look

It is time to take a closer look at the components. Before that here is what Cooler Master is saying about the cooler. “CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML240L ARGB V2 is a refreshed design from the popular MasterLiquid Lite Series that elevates the exterior design elements. The Pump of the ML240L ARGB V2 has been enhanced with the newly designed 3rd Gen. Dual Chamber Pump that improves the overall cooling efficiency of the AIO water cooler. The radiator surface area has been enlarged to increase the surface area for heat dissipation for optimized cooling performance. The ML240L ARGB V2 will include the latest SickleFlow 120 ARGB fan with a brand new design and Air Balance fan blades that is quieter than before without compromising on airflow and pressure.”

RADIATOR

The COOLER MASTER ML240L V2 ARGB is a 240mm CLC cooling solution. It has a 240mm radiator with 2x SickleFlow 120mm fans. The cooler is rated for 200W TDP.

The dimension of the radiator is 277 x 119.6 x 27.1mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27.1mm. With 25mm fans, the overall thickness would be 55mm including the heads of the mounting screws. Cooler Master is using screws with thicker heads. The radiator has a 20 fins per inch one (FPI). There is a gap of 105mm between any two fan mounting holes on the radiator. The assembly is in the black color finish.

The radiator is made of aluminum hence it is lightweight. This is COOLER MASTER’s own design. The blocks on both ends of the radiator are rectangular. The fin stack is dense with 20 FPI and taking into account the left and right side channels, it has a total of 12 channels for water flow.

There is no protective plating under each mounting hole to prevent damage to the fins from excessive screwing. Take a note of that and it is suggested to use the bundled long screws only for the installation of the fan.

There is a Cooler Master branding in white on the sides of the radiator housing.

The far block has a rectangular design. There is no sticker pasted here.

The tubes are installed using straight barbs. The heat shrinks are used to further secure the tube installation on the fittings.

There is a sticker pasted on the block side showing the part no or serial no of the unit.

The COOLER MASTER is using sleeved FEP tubing. The tubing has an approximate length of 360mm.

Pump/Block

Let’s take a look at the block of the cooler.

We have a black color circular shaped housing featuring the Cooler Master’s third-generation dual-chamber pump. Cooler Master is saying that the new pump design improves the efficiency and the cooling performance. The top of the block has a backlit Cooler Master brand logo. There is nothing else on the top of the block. The dimension of the block is 79.9x76x47.1. Here are the pump’s specifications:

Rated Voltage12VDC
Rated Power2.36W (LED: 2.21W)
Rated Noise Level< 15 dBA
MTTF70,000 hours
Connector3-pin

 

Cooler Master is using reinforce sealing to prevent leaking.

The top section of the block has a dark black color finish which is quite a fingerprint magnet. The lower section has a grayish shade. The tubes are installed on rotary barbs in 90° orientation. The user can rotate the tubes to the left or right as permitted by the design. The barbs are not in the center but more towards the right side.

There is some sort of a port here that has a warranty void sticker on it. It seems like this port is reserved for factory use only.

The left and right sides of the block are identical. The left side has two cables coming out of the middle.

One is a 3-pin connector cable to power the pump. It has an approximate length of 325mm. the other is a 3-pin ARGB connector having an approximate length of 325mm.

The cooler has a copper base measuring 49x57mm. It has a protective cover cautioning the user to peel it off before the installation. The area towards the base has a protruded frame with 4x mounting holes. This is where the mounting brackets are installed.

FAN

COOLER MASTER has provided two SickleFlow ARGB fans with the cooler. We have a black color frame of the fans with rounded slopes on the border. The frame is quite sturdy and comes with anti-vibration pads on the mounting corners. We have 7 specially designed white translucent (almost) blades. These almost have the same layout as the ARCTIC P12 fans! There is a colorful sticker with the Cooler Master branding on the center. The ARGB LEDs are housed in the center.

There are two arrow symbols on one side of the frame. These are there to help the user identifying the direction of airflow and the blades’ spin direction.

The backside of the fan shows the 4-arms assembly on the mainframe. The cables are routed on one arm towards the exterior of the fan. There is a COOLER MASTER branding on the sticker in the center. There are two cables coming out of the fan.

We have a sleeved power cable for the fan with a 4-pin PWM connector. It has an approximate length of 310mm. the second cable is the ARGB cable with a 3-pin connector having a length of just 56mm.

The specifications of the fans are:

Dimension120x120x25mm
Type4-pin PWM Connector
Speed650~1800 RPM ±10%
Airflow62 CFM
Air Pressure2.5 mmH₂O
Noise8~27 dBA
Life Expectancy160,000 hours
Input Voltage12VDC
Input Current0.15A (LED 0.20A)
Input Power1.8W (LED 1.0W)

 

Installation

We have tested the cooler on the X99 platform using the Intel LGA2011-3 socket. Installation is simple and as under:

Install the Intel LGA20xx standoffs.

Install the Intel mounting brackets on the block using 4x screws.

Install the fans on the radiator.

Apply the thermal paste on the CPU. Peel off the protective cover from the base of the block. Place the block on the CPU by aligning the standoffs to the holes on the mounting brackets. Use the thumb nuts to secure the block on the socket.

Connect the fans to the fan header(s). You can use the Y cable and connect the fans to a single fan header. Connect the ARGB 3-pin cables of the fans and the block to the ARGB sync cable. Connect the lighting cable’s SATA connector to the PSU and the 5-pin connector to the controller. Alternatively, you can connect the sync cable to the digital lighting header on the motherboard and use the motherboard software to control the lighting.

There is no clearance issue with respect to the DIMM slots and first PCIe slot. Make sure your chassis has clearance for 240mm radiator.

Here are some light up pictures of the unit:

Testing Methodology

Following test benches have been used: –

  • Asus Rampage V Edition 10
  • Intel i7 6850k
  • CORSAIR VENGEANCE RED 16GB @ 2666MHz
  • Colorful GeForce GTX 1050Ti Vulkan
  • Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD
  • Cooler Master MWE 650W Gold
  • Custom open-air test bench

The software used for testing and monitoring include:

  • Asus Real Bench v 2.56 (Intel)
  • Real Temp GT v 3.70 (Intel)

Here is the settings table for testing:

OC Clock (MHz)4000
OC Voltage (V)1.21
Turbo BoostDisabled
C-StatesDisabled
Speed StepDisabled
Thermal PasteNoctua NT-H1
Test Run Time60 minutes
Idling Time15 minutes
Fan SpeedTested using Integrated Hub on the radiator at Auto/PWM

Manually set to run at 100% speed.

Auto PWM using CPU Fan Header

Pump SpeedConnected to the AIO Pump header to run at 100% speed

 

We are using Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste for coolers testing. Using the same thermal paste for all coolers would ensure standardization. Delta temperatures are reported on the graphs. The testing is done on an open-air bench system. Once inside the chassis, the temperatures are expected to rise and would largely depend upon the optimal airflow inside the chassis.

Not every run of the stress test may yield the same result. This could well be due to many factors like mounting pressure, thermal paste application, varying ambient temperature. Not to mention the silicon differences even among the same category of the chips. Hence, it is pertinent to mention the testing methodology along with the specifics.

Results

100% PWM Duty Cycle

Auto PWM

The COOLER MASTER ML240L V2 ARGB has performed quite well for being a budget cooler. On Auto PWM settings the fans were rotating in the 940 range RPM.

Acoustic

The Cooler Master ML240L V2 ARGB at 100% PWM duty cycle was giving noise output of 49 dBA with an ambient sound level of 32 dB(A). This is quite a good performance.

Conclusion

We have tested ML240L V2 ARGB cooler from Cooler Master in this content. This is the next iteration in the Master Liquid Lite line up of the coolers. This time Cooler Master is using reinforced sealing in the pump to prevent leakage addressing the leakage complaints from the previous generation. The cooler is compatible with Intel LGA115x/1200/2066 and 2011(-3) sockets and AMD AM4/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2/FM2+/FM2/FM1 sockets and it is their own design. The cooler is available in two variants with the only difference being RGB vs ARGB lighting on the fans and the block. It seems like the ARGB variant is for a certain region though the pricing is the same for both variants.

The ML240L V2 ARGB has an aluminum radiator measuring 277 x 119.6 x 27.2mm. The thickness of the radiator is 27.2mm. The overall thickness would be 54mm after installing the fans. The radiator has 20 FPI. The radiator housing has a black color finish which is a fingerprint magnet. The radiator housing has a COOLER MASTER branding on the sides in the white color. We have 360mm length sleeve FEP tubes on this cooler which are somewhat flexible and do not kink.

The Cooler Master is using their third generation dual-chamber pump in this cooler. The pump has more reinforced sealing to prevent leakage. The top of the block has a backlit Cooler Master brand logo. This is a simple yet stylish finish from the Cooler Master. The block has circular black color housing in two-tone colors. The dimension of the block is 79.9x76x47.1mm. The cooler has a copper base measuring 49x57mm area. The base is flat. There is no pre-applied thermal paste on it. Cooler Master has provided Master Gel thermal paste with the cooler.

Cooler Master has provided two newly designed SickleFlow ARGB fans with this cooler. These are rated for a maximum of 1800 RPM ±10% at 12VDC. Their airflow rating is 62 CFM, air pressure of 2.2 mmH₂O, and noise level of 8-27 dBA. Their life span is rated at 160,000 hours. They are using a sleeved power cable with a 4-pin PWM connector and flat 3-pin ARGB cables. The ARGB LEDs are housed in the center. the blades and the center are almost translucent to produce some vivid light show.

Cooler Master has provided a dedicated controller which is a plus in this price range. The user can connect the fans and the block to the controller for the lighting control or connect them to the digital header on the motherboard. There is also a Y cable which allows the user to connect both fans to a single fan header on the motherboard. The installation is easy for this cooler.

The Cooler Master ML240L V2 ARGB is listed at $79.90 (AMAZON pricing) and £69.98 (Scan UK pricing) at the time of the review. Cooler Master is offering 2 years warranty. This is a budget cooling solution from the Cooler Master and despite being that, it has performed admirably well on our test bench beating another budget cooler from the ID-COOLING. Hoping that we would not see any leakage complaint on this generation cooler, the Cooler Master ML240L V2 ARGB is one heck of a complete solution in wallet-friendly pricing and comes recommended by us.

Many thanks to Cooler Master for sending in their ML240L V2 ARGB cooler for our 2021 AIO cooler roundup comparison. We’ve reached out to most major brands in an effort to compare the best AIO coolers of 2020 against each other and let you know which ones come out on top. Please make sure to check out our 2021 AIO COOLER ROUNDUP and again, thanks to all the companies taking part. Below is the listing of the coolers confirmed so far.

Brand Website Cooler Review
AZZABlizzard 240
SilverStoneIceGem 240
Fractal DesignCelcius+ S24 PRISMA
CORSAIRH100i RGB Platinum
AntecNeptune 240
XPGLevante 240
ARTICLiquid Freezer-II
EK Water BlocksEK-AIO 240
ID-CoolingAura Flow X 240
Cooler MasterMaster Liquid ML240L ARGB V2
ASUSROG RYUO 240
EnermaxAquafusion 240
DeepCoolCastle 240EX White
AeroCoolP7 L240 or Mirage 240
ReevenNaia 240
Lian LiGalahad
be quiet!Pure Loop 240