Testing Results & Conclusion
For our comparison testing, we utilize data from standardized testing methods collected during prior CPU cooling reviews on our six-core, i7-5930k running at 4.2GHz and 1.20v. Data collected during our testing of the MasterAir MA410M TUF Edition will be compared with the be quiet! Dark Rock 4 and a pair of Cooler Master MasterAir MA620P’s; one being the TUF Edition, the other the non-TUF-branded model that costs $5 less.
Everyone has heard the phrase, "good things often come in smaller, quad-heatpipe packages," right? OK, that might not be quite how the saying goes. But it is evident that this can be true in the cooling world, as the MasterAir MA410M TUF Edition goes toe to toe with the larger, be quiet! Dark Rock 4, and outperforms both of the larger, six-heatpipe, dual tower MasterAir MA620P coolers.
All three Cooler Master units run at nearly identical fan speeds, which isn’t at all surprising considering each is using nearly identical fan models. The be quiet! Dark Rock 4 instead uses a slightly larger single, slower-spinning 135mm fan.
Despite having nearly identical fans, there is some deviation on noise levels across the Cooler Master trio, and none come close to the pin-drop silence of the Dark Rock 4. The benefits of a large surface area and slower-moving fans are the bread and butter of the be quiet! Dark Rock flagship line.
Close thermal results and similar noise levels mean our acoustic efficiency chart is sensitive to minor differences in deviation. There are no surprises here, as the be quiet! Dark Rock 4 benefits from both lowest load temperatures and nearly inaudible registered decibel levels.
The Cooler Master trio benefits from coming in just below the average price threshold, while the be quiet! Dark Rock 4 does carry a bit of a cost premium by comparison. Tested noise level ends up being the only hurdle the MasterAir MA410M TUF Edition cannot overcome against the Dark Rock 4.
Thermal imaging of the MasterAir MA410M TUF using the FLIR One PRO shows good thermal control through the center of the cooling tower. We also see limited heat soak into the rear fan at 100% fan speed little indication of "thermal turbulence" in the area around the sides and top of our Corsair Carbide 760T chassis. At full fan speeds, the MA410M seems to be doing exactly what it is designed to do--move a large volume of heat out of the cooling tower. At 50%, the reduced airflow gives us more centralized heat soak within the cooler itself, as well as the rear cooler fan and nearby motherboard components.
Cooler Master have made an impressive attempt to define the standard for small and mid-sized heatpipe coolers with the new MasterAir MA410M TUF Gaming Edition. With excellent performance that beats out larger-footprint solutions, while providing two RGB fans and addressable RGB lighting within the cooling tower itself, it’s almost easy to forget that such an attractive cooler also has a new thermal probe and set of lighting controls. With a current price of $60, the MA410M TUF and its slim waistline performs better than the equally priced, bulkier, MA620P TUF Gaming Edition in a side-by-side comparison, while also being much easier to install. In other words, this cooler is impressive all the way around.
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