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  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 SubZero Review
  • Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 SubZero Review



    The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 SubZero is designed for use on Intel Socket LGA1200 processors ONLY. Below is an overview of the system and testing methodology.

    The System as it was Tested

    EVGA Z490 FTW – Z490 Chipset
    Intel Core i5 10600K (4.1Ghz) Hex Core 6 x 256KB L2 Cache 12MB L3 Cache

    Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360 SubZero

    The CPUID System Monitor was used to obtain and record system temperature data and being that this is a quad core processor we need something that will work across all of the cores at once.  For this task we're using a new version of Prime95 (p95v255a) that will allow you to spawn (n) instances to test with.

    Editors note: Even though the Windows 10 task manager reported 100% processor usage we could never attain a 100% of the rated heat output as documented by Intel when using Prime95 as a basis for that heat production. Knowing this we ran the stress test until the maximum temperature was attainted and stabilized.

    Other things to consider when judging software induced heat output.
    a) Clock throttling by the processor at high temperatures.
    b) Normal software isn't designed to produce maximum heat output.
    c) Variances of cooling temperature.
    d) Variances in CPU load.
    e) Inaccuracies in thermal diode readouts.
    Of course the list goes on..

    Our testing methodology is aimed to provide a real world look into this heatsink given the test system provided.

    Default Speed

    A C/W rating can quickly be calculated using this formula.

    C/W = (CPU temp - Ambient temp)/(Variance(%) * CPU Watts)
    Allowed variance for this test = 85%
    CPU Watts = 125W (or 137W due to turbo clock)

    0.38 C/W = (53C – 8.2C)/(.85(137W))

    For this next test the CPU speed was cranked up to 4.8Ghz and 5Ghz.  From there the test was re-run.

    To calculate a new C/W rating for this test we will need to factor in the increased processor wattage. The formula and constants for this are listed below.

    ocC/W = dCPU Watts * (ocMhz / dMhz) * (ocVcore / dVcore)2
    ocMhz = 4800
    dMhz = 4500 (boost)
    ocVcore = 1.25
    dVcore = 1.25
    The variance still applies for our C/W calculation
    Allowed variance for this test = 85%
    CPU Watts = 146W

    0.36 C/W = (57C – 12C)/(.85(146W)) @ 4800Mhz
    0.46 C/W = (82C – 22C)/(.85(152W)) @ 5000Mhz

    Benchmark Conclusion

    In our heatsink and waterblock tests we don't really focus on overall load temperatures but rather how well the product can remove heat given a specified heat load. Since this is a real world testing method we need to take into consideration real world variables and estimate tolerances. This is why we normally only apply 85% of the total wattage output to our heat calculations.

    The resulting C/W number is used to rate how efficient a heatsink or waterblock is based on the given heat load. These numbers can be used to determine heat capacity, the larger the difference the less efficient the heatsink is. (aka not good for overclocking)

    There are a number of variables to consider when looking the performance of the ML360 SubZero and the most notable is that there is no direct connection between the CPU and the Radiator.  By this I mean for heat to exit the CPU it must pass through a thick copper cold plate and a TEC before making it to the waterblock.  This is a huge thermal resistance that completely changes when the TEC is active.  Since there is no direct connection, I used the cooler temp in these calculations.  Per the usual, lower C/W numbers are better and you can easily see when the TEC could no longer support our CPU overclock.

    Keep in mind these calculations are provided for demonstration purposes only and may not reflect the actual lab tested C/W rating, but we're pretty close.