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Cooler Master MasterAir Pro 3 & Pro 4 CPU Cooler Review

Our Verdict

Offering great cooling performance and reasonable quietness at a moderate price, Cooler Master’s MasterAir Pro 4 looks like a spectacular deal for buyers who value longevity more than frugality.


  • Cooling
  • Moderate noise
  • Warranty


  • Price

Introducing MasterAir Pro

Cooler Master continues to cash in on the “Master” part of its name with its new MasterAir series of basic heatsink and fan CPU coolers, yet its mid-market pricing remains. The MasterAir Pro 4 is available for only $45, and the MasterAir Pro 3 for $40. Given the relatively large size difference and small price difference, people with the space for the Pro 4 will likely choose it.

A quick look shows a few other things that Cooler Master devotees will recognize, such as the direct contact heat pipe design. These are flattened on one side to provide optimal surface area, and sanded smooth. The process leaves shallow grooves between the pipes that should be manually filled with thermal compound prior to installation.

The MasterAir Pro 3 has three heat pipes, while the Pro 4 has four. Other differences include a heat sink designed to hold an included 92mm fan on the Pro 3, and a 120mm fan on the Pro 4. The Pro 3 heatsink is also offset half an inch from the fan, reducing fan overhang to ½” forward of center.

Both coolers come with an extra set of fan brackets to ease the addition of a fan on the opposite side of the heat sink, in a so-called (by enthusiasts) push-pull configuration. Both coolers also support the full range of Intel Square ILM mounting patterns (LGA 775 through 2011-v3), as well as the parts to replace the four-bolt cooler bracket of most enthusiast-grade AMD motherboards.

Pin-type mounting brackets are also included for motherboards that don’t support rear-mounted support plates, as I experienced in my June 2013 Compact Gaming PC Build. As a motherboard tester, I also like that they can be removed quickly.

MasterAir Pro coolers come with two different kinds of standoffs and nuts that match one of those sets. Most CPU sockets require placing the motherboard support plate behind the motherboard, and the taller standoffs have a flat side so that they won’t turn when mated to that support plate. Those builders will push the standoff through the motherboard’s CPU cooler mounting holes, into matching holes in the support plate, and attach the nuts behind that plate.

The shorter standoffs screw directly into the integrated support plate of LGA 2011 and 2011-v3 motherboards.

The MasterAir Pro 3 fits with its logo upside-down, and is likely intended to be installed “backwards” using the case’s exhaust fan as an intake. We’re not flipping all of our fans to accomplish that, though I was tempted to pop the cover off the cooler and flip it rightside-up.

The MasterAir Pro 4 fits with its logo rightside-up in our case, when following Cooler Master’s instructions regarding which way to orient the divots near the center of the heatsink’s fins. Being a larger cooler, it also fills up most of the space surrounding our CPU.


Cooler Master gives buyers of the MasterAir Pro 4 and MasterAir Pro 3 an atypically-long 5-year warranty.

MORE: Best CPU Cooling

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • ajpaolello
    Geez I hope you figure out what went wrong with the MasterPro 3
  • DynamoNED
    That's unfortunate about the MasterAir Pro 3. I'm still using a Cooler Master Hyper N520 92mm cooler in one of my older Linux machines, and I was hoping the Pro 3 would prove a worthy successor. I also hope you determine what the issue was with the Pro 3. Also, comparison data from a Hyper 212 EVO or 212 X would be helpful, but I understand you don't have time to bench everything. Thanks for the review.
  • chassmith
    "a spectacular deal for buyers who value longevity more than frugality."

    it is double the cost of the deep cool and dose a worse job, tom call a spade a spade and recommend the deepcool
  • logainofhades
    At that price, I would still recommend a cryorig H5, or h7.
  • chassmith
    just looked up the cryorig H5, DANG is that a pritty cooler \(^_^)

    odd that it was not inc in the test and or no Noctua?
    the price for the BE quite is close to a Noctua.

    I kinda feel like this articular is trying to make this cooler seem ....cooler ;) then it is
  • buzznut
    "So called push/pull"

    I've never heard it called anything else....
  • anghellic
    noctua still seems like the best in line for cpu air coolers
  • 10tacle
    Tweaktown's results with their CM PRO 3:

    This is not a $40 cooler. More like a $25 dollar one. CM is way off on their pricing even if it's geared towards those with limited room and want a more quiet cooler. The low-to-mid range air cooler market segment is getting very busy with competition these days. While the PRO 4 seems like a competitive entry, the PRO 3 falls flat just on pricing alone.
  • logainofhades
    Especially with the Cryorig M9i/M9a, and the Raijintek Aidos usually being so inexpensive, with performance similar to a 212 evo.
  • Crashman
    18805794 said:
    "a spectacular deal for buyers who value longevity more than frugality."

    it is double the cost of the deep cool and dose a worse job, tom call a spade a spade and recommend the deepcool
    It actually cools 1° better and costs 50% more. And the DeepCool already got our recommendations. Furthermore, I wouldn't have even thought to call you that.