The interesting thing about computer hardware is that things keep changing. While this change is natural and necessary there is a fundamental illusion that most consumers and even hardware enthusiasts forget and is that most “new” products are functionally identical to the previous editions with only insignificant changes. This speaks strongly about how a product has been designed and makes you wonder why bother changing anything?
In this review we will be looking at a new AIO CPU cooler from Cooler Master called the Masterliquid ML240 Illusion. As the name suggest this is a dual 120mm AIO heatsink featuring a 240mm radiator. The Illusion name is what makes this cooler special and might be one coolest looking ARGB AIO coolers I have ever seen.
When it comes to water cooling there are two major variables to consider.
1) How heat is transferred to the liquid.
2) How heat is transferred from the liquid to the air.
The concept is easy enough to understand however the trick is finding a balance that doesn’t negatively impact overall performance.
For AIO coolers the intent is to provide a cooling solution that provides better performance over standard aircooling while offering a cost and labor savings over a full DIY watercooling loop. To accomplish this many of the components are combined and, when distilled down into simply a basic pump block and radiator.
The Masterliquid ML240 Illusion is built on the 3rd generation dual chamber design that features an improved internal impeller to enhance cooling performance and efficiency while offering quieter operation.
You will find that the cooper cold plate features a rough brushed finish that actually helps to ensure an even distribution of thermal compound allowing users a more consistent thermal performance.
On older Cooler Master AIO heatsinks the radiator was densely packed to provide better cooling through more surface area. This required high-pressure fans to be effective and caused the cooler to have excess fan noise. The new ML240 Illusion comes with an expanded radiator design with wider water channels to promote better flow and improve thermal dissipation.
For those of you building in a chassis with tempered glass it is important to find components that preform well while looking good. In addition to the Addressable RGB lighting effects the ML240 comes with fully sleeved rubber hoses ensuring a long and kink free service life.
Of course, fan performance is a deciding factor when choosing a cooling solution and the MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion comes with two Masterfan MF120 Halo 120mm fans. Each fan moves about 47 CFM @ 1800 RPM with a noise level of 30dBA (at full tilt). The PWM controller will spin the fans down based on your chosen fan profile.
In terms of pressure the Masterfan Halo 120mm fans offer 1.6mmH20 of pressure which puts them in the lower end of the scale and I figure this is mostly due to how fast (or slow) the fan spins. Enthusiasts like to argue about the relation of fan speed to pressure and the way I see it each fan is designed for a purpose and these seem to be designed for noise control. (and looking good with two ARGB light rings per fan)
With the Masterliquid ML240 Illusion you will get everything you need to install the cooler on any modern motherboard using the universal installation kit. The included cables are needed for the ARGB control box.
Using the included control box is optional if your motherboard supports ARGB onboard. However, there is nothing stopping you from using multiple controllers for that extra bit of RGB craziness we all enjoy and love.