Cooler Master ML240 Illusion – Compact Cooler, Great Performance

Introducing the Cooler Master ML240 Illusion

Keeping your CPU cool is probably the most important thing to consider when building your computer. Sure, all the parts work with each other, but without a CPU, you really just have a paper weight. There are lots of products to choose from. Stock coolers from Intel or AMD, after market air coolers, custom water cooling loops, and All In One liquid coolers. Cooler Master reached out to us and asked if we’d take a look at their latest AIO cooler, the MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion.

Current System Specs:

Custom built PC
FSP CMT 510 Plus tempered glass case
ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4S
AMD RYZEN 5 3600
Silverstone PF-360 AIO liquid cooler – https://proclockers.com/review/silverstone-pf360-review/
ASROCK Radeon RX 5500XT
CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600
Kingston KC2500 M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD
Windows 10 operating system

 

Installing and Testing the Cooler MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion

So, I swapped out my Silverstone PF-360 AIO cooler for the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML240 Illusion. Installation was pretty easy. The only kind of tricky part was holding the radiator steady while trying to start the threads on the first mounting screw. A second pair of hands would be a good idea if someone else is around, but it’s totally manageable for one person. Honestly, the worst part was cleaning up the old thermal paste on the CPU. A paper towel and some isopropyl alcohol makes that job a bit easier. Don’t worry though, Cooler Master includes new thermal paste with the ML240 Illusion. Obviously, feel free to use whatever thermal paste you prefer. Comparing temps was my next step. Ambient room temp for all testing was 73° F. Before removing the Silverstone cooler, I grabbed some temps. First, at idle: The CPU was sitting at 34°C (96°F). Then, I played some CS:GO for 15 minutes and took a screenshot of the temps again. This time, temps clocked in at 58°C (136°F).
Temperatures with the Cooler Master ML240 Illusion came in at 45°C (113°F) at idle, and 60°C (140°F) after 15 minutes of gaming.

Considering the radiator is 120mm shorter than my previous cooler, I’m pleasantly surprised with the temperature after gaming. Obviously, the smaller radiator has a shorter area to dissipate heat. So, naturally I expected the temperature differences to be much more offset. With only a 2°C (4°F) increase while gaming, I’m quite impressed with this cooler. My idle temperature is a bit of a mystery. My Ryzen 5 3600 will thermal throttle at 95°C, so I’m not worried about overheating, but I would expect similar or even better performance while the system is sitting idle. Time for better stress testing.
Using OCCT for more accurate CPU stress testing than gaming, I set the test parameters to auto cancel at 95°C, and ran a test for 15 minutes. This time, the lowest recorded temperature was 37.75°C (99.95°F) and the highest was 92.75°C (198.95°F). What I found very interesting was that within 30 seconds of the test completing, the CPU temperature dropped quickly to 52.25°C (126.05°F). I expected a more gradual cool down over a minute or two. You can see the sharp dip in the screenshot below. Kudos to Cooler Master on this one.

For further comparison, I reinstalled the stock AMD cooler and 3 120mm RGB LED case fans that came stock with my case and let the system sit idle. Same ambient room temperature, no applications running in the background. My CPU was holding steady at 58°C (136°F) after 15 minutes. That’s 13°C (23°F) hotter than the Cooler Master ML240.
No matter what CPU I buy for my next computer (either Intel or AMD), I won’t be using the stock cooler.


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