The Masterliquid Flux series is the latest entry into the Cooler Master Pro series all-in-one (AIO) cooler that aims to deliver excellent cooling performance while keeping the noise down. Two models are available: Masterliquid PL360 Flux and Masterliquid PL240 Flux with the difference in the fan support where the former supports 3x120mm fans and the latter supports 2x120mm fans. We have the Masterliquid PL360 Flux in our testing lab today that we will take a closer look.
Closer Look at Masterliquid PL360 Flux
The Masterliquid PL360 Flux is shipped in a large box (expected due to the size of the radiator) where there an image of the cooler graces the front of the box and on the rear, we find the specification as well as plenty of marketing information detailing the cooler’s features. I like that Cooler Master includes the dimension of the hardware on the outside of the box as that helps you making the decision if the cooler would fit in your particular case.
Inside, we see that the hardware is protected with cardboard cutouts securing the giant radiator, the tubing, and the CPU block. In addition to the cooler, we have the mounting hardware for both Intel and AMD platform (including the latest Intel LGA 1700), three 120mm PL-Flux fan, one tub of thermal paste, an Addressable Gen 2 RGB controller with necessary cables, and an installation guide. I like the attention to the detail where each pieces is bagged separately and there is a clear label on the outside of the bag. The tube of thermal paste is also preferred over pre-applied where we have more control as to how much paste to use and allows us to reinstall the cooler using the same tube of thermal paste.
The black radiator is low profile and light-weight thanks to the aluminum material. It has a dimension of 394 x 119.6 x 27.2mm. On one of its face we find “Designed by Cooler Master” debossed on the surface. There is a a fill/drain port located next to the tubes but it is taped over with a reminder that warranty voided if removed so it is not meant for user maintenance.
The braided tube that the Masterliquid uses has good amount of flexibility. It is about 14 inches long from the base of the radiator to the base of the CPU block.
The copper cold plate has a raised surface. Instead of just a typical copper plate, the interior of the cooper base contains precision engineered ultra-thin spaded fins. These fins acts like microchannels to provide direct flow of cooling liquid. These ultra-fins increased the total cooling surface area than the region in direct contact of the CPU. According to Cooler Master the “enlarged copper base surface area optimized with ideal base thickness accelerates heat transfer”.
The Masterliquid is paired with a dual-chamber pump. It is powered by 12 VDC vis a 4 pin, 40 mm fan header with a power consumption of 6W. While the specification did not mention the operating speed, it listed the rated noise level is 15 dBA and has a MTTF of greater than 210,000 hours. The motor utilizes a ceramic bearing impeller. Ceramic bearing has good corrosion and heat resistance which should help to improve the lifespan of the pump.
A separate cable with 3-pin ARGB connector extends out of the pump unit so we know that it is capable of giving the pump unit a bit of personal LED effects. There are two zones of RGB lightning: the Cooler Master logo and the region around the top cover. The reflective top cover bears the cooler master logo that can be manually rotated at 360 degrees so the logo can be placed at the correct angle. As expected, it is compatible with addressable ARGB Gen 2.
Cooling the radiator is done via three 120 mm Flux series fans. The fans are rated 0~2300 RPM and has maximum air flow of 72.37 CFM and maximum noise level of 32 dBA. This is an improvement over the SickleFlow fan that came with the MasterLiquid ML360 Mirror where it is able to move 17% more air. However, this is done at expensive of the noise level as the Flux series fan is rated 5dBA higher than the SickleFlow fan as the fan spins at higher RPM.
The Flux fans have interconnecting blades with ORBS bearing and has a rated life expectancy of 160,000 hours. I like that Cooler Master applied noise dampening pad on the corners of the fan which should help reduce any vibration noise from the radiator and the fan. The fans connects to the system via standard 4-pin PWM connector and the cables are all covered with braided sleeves. A separate cable extends out of the fan for the addressable gen 2 RGB. It may seem that the cables are on the shorter side but Cooler Master includes splitter for the fan and the RGB cable that let you aggregate all of the cables into a single connector that you can connect to the motherboard or the included ARGB controller (more on this later). So the length of the cables should not be any issue. With rated current of 0.15A, the 3 fans together draws total of 0.45A, the power draw is not going to be a problem as motherboards’ fan headers typically delivers 1A maximum power.
The ARGB controller included is powered by the 5V SATA power connector and connects to the motherboard via micro USB PORT to the 9 pin USB 2.0 header. It supports three RGB headers and is compatible with Gen 2 RGB and standard RGB. Cooler Master’s MasterPlus+ software allows users to adjust individual LED color choices, lightning modes, and visual effects.
The pump rated MTTF is upped from 70,000 hours to 210,000 hours and the fan retained the same 160,000 hours. We are happy to see the pump’s lifespan is rated three times longer than it was. While the fan still rated with the same operating hours, it is one of the easiest component to replace. Furthermore, we are happy to see that the Masterliquid PL360 Flux upped the warranty from 3 years to 5 years that is found on the older Masterliquid ML360 series.