Tom's Hardware Verdict
Cooler Master’s new MasterLiquid ML360R RGB provides best-in-class performance with RGB flourish.
Excellent cooling ability
Sleek design and aesthetics
Lower price than other 360 AIOs
Cable / controller management could be better
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Features & Specifications
Change is good. Change is constant. Change is inevitable. But at times, months or years can go by before a new product arrives to dethrone the previous incumbent juggernaut atop our component rankings. Many challenge, few succeed.
The Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R RGB is one of those few. When it comes to keeping overclocked CPU load temperatures in check, it’s the new chilling champ. As the 360 variant of our previously reviewed MasterLiquid ML240R RGB, the newly available MasterLiquid ML360R adds 33 percent more radiator surface area for even more cooling prowess. The result? It cools even better than the mighty NZXT Kraken X72.
Supporting most consumer (including high-end desktops) Intel and AMD processor sockets (sorry, no Threadripper / TR4), Cooler Master ships the MasterLiquid ML360R RGB with a dizzying accompaniment of accessories and mounting hardware. In addition to the usual backplates, threaded offsets and bolts, the packaging includes a syringe of Cooler Master thermal compound, an RGB lighting control module and USB connectivity cabling to allow desktop control of your RGB lighting within the UI suite.
|1.1 inches / 25.1mm (2.3 inches / 57.9mm w/fans)
|4.8 inches / 120.7mm
|15.5 inches / 393.7mm
|2.1 inches / 52.9mm
|2x 120 x 25mm
|1x 3-Pin3x 4-Pin PWM4x 4-pin RGB
|90.5oz / 2567g
|2066, 2011x, 1366, 115x, 775
|AM2(+), AM3(+) AM4, FM1, FM2(+)
Speaking of the RGB lighting module, be prepared to route and configure the plethora of included cables required for full integration of the ML360R RGB. The rectangular control module has a magnetic base, which should let you avoid the double-sided tape needed for most steel-based chassis. USB handles the connectivity and control of the module--either via adapter to a 9-pin USB motherboard header, or a standard Type-A port.
The sleek, rounded Cooler Master pump housing provides an almost-discreet level of RGB lighting by today’s standards, with the chosen lighting pattern illuminated through the Cooler Master hexagonal logo and around the edges of the rounded cover dome. The cover is removable and can be oriented to match your specific installation--no one wants an upside-down Cooler Master logo. Rubber tubing is sleeved beneath nylon braid, which is terminated with heat-shrink tubing at right-angle rotational fittings on the pump.
The ML360R RGB uses a large, single-piece copper baseplate with fine, linear grain milling to mate with the surface of the CPU's integrated heat spreader. The included adapter brackets secure to the housing tabs with four small screws from the accessory contents.
The aluminum 360 radiator of the ML360R RGB offers a good balance of fin density and airflow for the MF120R aRGB (addressable RGB) pulse-width modulation (PWM) fans. Thumbscrew-type fan bolts allow for speedy, tool-free installation of the trio of fans to the radiator housing, but you can also tighten them a bit more with a Philips-head screwdriver.
Turning down the lights provides a bright, consistent glow from the aRGB fans and pump housing. You can choose any shade of color on any component you wish.
As with most 360 AIO coolers, mounting the radiator serves as the biggest hurdle. However, if your case supports a 360 (3 x 120mm) cooler, installation troubles should be minimal. We made good use of the 90-degree rotational fittings on the pump unit in order to get everything into place inside our accommodating Corsair Graphite 760T chassis, although a bit more length in the tubing department really would do wonders.
MORE: Best CPU Cooling
MORE: All Cooling Content
Garrett Carver is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering thermal compound comparisons and CPU cooling reviews; both air and liquid, including multiple variations of each.
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Damn you NZXT! You still look better than the rest!Reply
But it will work just fine without the RGB junk, right?Reply
RGB lighting is simply for color. The cooler can be operated without it configured or just turned off with the controls.Reply
yeah, unfortunately the non RGB models are becoming like some of us computer guys.... ancient .. lolReply
I refuse to use anything RGB and pay twice the price for a cooler for what it is worth.
Besides for an 8700 you only need an H110i with 2 fans on the radiator, to keep it cooled properly. you dont need a 3 fan super long radiator. yes I know maniacs out there that cannot live without overclocking everything and want super duper flashy RGB lights on their disco ball computer.
I rather pay less for hardware with comparable performance minus the " look at meeeeee " statement
For what it's worth, the kraken has rgb only on its cpu block. No rgb fans. Looks minimalistic and perfect, on the rgb-ness thing.Reply
It is also more expensive and doesn't perform as well, but I do prefer the NZXT infinity mirror pump face and lighting over that of most AIO coolers.Reply
Besides, you can opt to just turn the RGB lighting 'off', although a non-RGB version that doesn't carry the LED lighting price premium would be a generous option.
Hell. Just don't install any of that mess. Cabling problems solved.Reply
I have an Antec Mercury 360 on my 8700k @ 5Ghz and it keeps nice and cool even at load ( 38C-42C in games) and 70C-80C under extreme stress testing.Reply
If I am forced to buy something like this because of the good performance of the product, my first action will be to cut down all the RGB crap and curse the producer for forcing me to pay more money for those idiotic lights for idiotic peasants.Reply