For testing, we fixed the case fans in our Cooler Master HAF 500 to 1,000 RPM. We then run the Cooler Master Masterliquid PL360 Flux at 1,000 RMP and the max speed of 2300 RPM. We toss in the best air cooler on the market, the Noctua NH-D15, for comparison.
|Cooler Master Masterliquid PL360 Flux||Noctua NH-D15|
|Fans at 1000RPM||Fans at 1000 RPM|
|Max fan speed (2300 RPM)||Max fan speed (1400 RPM)|
The Core i5-12600K used in the test has base power of 125W and during stress testing, AIDA64 reports roughly 124W of power. At the stock clockspeed, the LiquidMaster PL360 Flux is able to keep up with the best air cooler out there. Running the fans at 1000 RPM, the Noctua’s giant heatsink edges out the LiquidMaster PL360 Flux by a couple of degrees . However, running the fans at maximum speed, the LiquidMqaster PL360 Flux is able to lower the temperature by 1C compare to the Noctua NH-D15. One thing to note, while both LiquidMaster PL360 Flux and the NH-D15 yield similar CPU temperature, the LiquidMaster PL360 Flux is able to keep the package temperature 5 degrees cooler than the Noctua NH-D15.
Most user who run water-cooling on their processor probably would want to do some overclocking. We overclock our CPU to 4.9 GHz and AIDA64 reports power consumption of roughly 183 W under load. At this setting and with the fans at max speed, the load temperature reached to 74C and the package temperature is at 91C (vs 61C and 67C respectively at stock clockspeed). This is a rather impressive result.
In terms of noise level, at 1000 RPM, the cooler noise is barely noticeable when sitting next to the system. The noise is easily drone out by ambient noise. With triple 120mm fans blasting under load, you can definitely hear the fan noise. However, sitting about an arm length away, the fan noise is reasonable quiet. I was expecting a little louder noise given to the fact that the fans are running at relatively high RPMs but I am glad to hear that is not the case. Anecdotally, in our day to day use, the fans typically run at 1000 RPM or below when the system is under load and it is almost imperceptible.
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL360 Flux excels in two essential areas that a great AIO cooler needs to do: the cooling and the noise. It kept the processor running cool and the noise level down. Even with overclocking, the cooler still manages to keep our CPU running cool at 72C. While it may not come with flashy digital readout that you found on some models, it does add a bit of flare with the rotating pump and the customizable LEDs. Personally, I feel that the Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL360 Flux is a nice looking cooler. The unit is well built and feels high-quality. I do not feel that lacking of the customizable displays is a major cons for the cooler and I found the MasterLiquid PL360 Flux’s simple design is perfect. It is simple with a touch of flare without going too overboard.
The LED lightning effect is nice, however, the software needs some improvements. It gets the job done and provides good array of customization but it is not the most intuitive to use. While the installation is fairly easy, we do feel that the manual can be improved a bit to make the process easier and clearer. This is not a deal breaker but it’s something that we feel would benefit users especially first timer. We also feel that a little instruction on how to use the MasterPlus+ could be helpful as well.
The MasterLiquid PL360 Flux is retailed at $189.99 at the time of the review, which is priced competitively. It is also backed with a lengthy 5 year warranty, so you know you are covered if there is anything wrong with the unit. All together, it is a nice package AIO cooler and anyone who values performance over anything else should definitely take a closer look at the MasterLiquid PL360 Flux.