Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite ML240L & ML120L RGB Review: Page 8 of 9

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Posted by Mark Taliaferro on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 8:00am

Testing Environment & Equipment

Testing Hardware

CPU: Intel Core i7-7700K

Motherboard: Asus ROG Maximus Code

RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX 3200Mhz

GPU: EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 ICX

SSDs: Kingston KC1000 480GB

Chassis: Corsair Spec-04 Carbide Series

EVGA 74.83 CFM Fans Extra Testing

OS: Windows 10 Professional X64

Testing Setup

We pondered what software to use for stressing the CPU 100% and OCCT and Prime 95, as well as Intel Burn, just produce an unrealistic amount of heat. Some of the CPU stress programs are designed specifically to generate heat which has no real bearing on real-life computing. We tested a host of software from Realbench to never heard of programs and finally landed on CPU-Z and the Stress CPU utility. It's easy, free and available to everyone and during test selection; it consistently kept 4 cores 8 threads at 100% and generated enough heat to convince us of the validity of the Stress Test. 

EVGA_Closed_Loop_CPU_Cooler_Stress Test

Notice the Stress CPU Button, we used 4 Core 8 Thread testing

We went with a worst case scenario, no chassis fans, no ambient air movement. Lab temperature was kept at 72oF or 22oC throughout testing. We disabled Intel's Turbo feature and locked the CPU to a steady frequency and CPU voltage for each clock speed on the CPU. We went into BIOS and set OC profiles for 4.5GHz, 4.6GHz, 4.7GHz, 4.8GHz and 4.9GHz. We cut off at 4.9GHz as the CPU voltage required to reach 5GHz stable with a stress test load running for an hour were just unacceptable and liable to degrade the CPU. To sustain a 5GHz OC we were well over 1.42v and Asus recommends triple radiator cooling for 1.35v (which we exceeded). We fired up the test station and let it Idle for 30 minutes and recorded the idle reading. We then ran the test at each CPU speed for an hour then recorded the reading.

Between tests, we shut the machine down for 30 minutes then went to the next CPU speed.  Each test at each speed was repeated 3 times then we report the average of the 3 readings. Every test was run using the pre-set profile in BIOS without any changes to maintain test consistency.

We used the provided thermal material on the CoolerMaster coolers for testing. The thermal material which we recommended replacing earlier well we can eat our words on that one. We did each test with Arctic Ceramique and the readings didn't change so use the included pre-applied paste if you want it's pretty good. Thermal measurements were taken using RealTemp.

Testing Results:

The results in Red are done with the Stock MasterFan 120AB RGB at full speed, the tests in blue are the result of swapping out the CoolerMaster Fans for EVGA 77.82 CFM with a static pressure of 4.04 mmAq (MAX). The Cooler Master 120AB RGB hit 66.7 CFM with a static pressure of 2.34 mmH2O (Max) so the more powerful EVGA fans might give us a little better results.

4.5GHz Test

Chart_4500_Cooler_Master_ML240_120

Idle temperatures are always well within acceptable limits so we’ll deal with load temperature in our testing. Idle temperatures are listed for your convenience. The ML120L got us a 65oC under load at 4.5GHz and an hour’s run of the stress test. Replacing the fan with the EVGA Higher CFM and Pressure fans dropped us down to 64o.

The ML240 kept us at a cool 62oC with stock fans while the EVGA fans gave us a load temp of 61oC.

4.6 GHz Test

Chart_4500_Cooler_Master_ML240_120

At 4.6GHz the stock fans on the ML120L hit 65oC and change out to the EVGA fans we dropped one degree to 64oC.

The ML240L kept the line at 62oC and stronger fans dropped it to 61oC.

4.7GHz Testing

Chart_4500_Cooler_Master_ML240_120

Things start to heat up at 4.7GHz and the ML120L hit 70oC and tack on the EVGA fans it hits 68oC.

The ML240 hits 67oC with the stock fans and the EVGA fans pushed that down to 66oC.

4.8 GHz Testing

Chart_4500_Cooler_Master_ML240_120

Voltage wasn’t too bad here at 4.8GHz requiring 1.312v for stability on the CPU and the ML120L gave us a 75oC and adding the EVGA fans it hit 64oC.

The ML240L hit 69oC and with the EVGA fans dropped to 68oC so yes higher CFM higher pressure fans are helping.

4.9GHz Testing

Chart_4500_Cooler_Master_ML240_120

Here at 4.9 GHz, we cut off testing at 85oC on the ML120 with both sets of fans it was obvious after just a couple of minutes temperatures were getting out of hand quickly. That’s to be expected with a 120mm cooler they aren’t designed for extreme overclocks.

The ML240L hit 83oC after an hour’s test at 4.9GHz and 1.36V and tossing on the EVGA fans dropped it to 79oC so it seems at higher temps the stronger fans become more important.

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