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Thermal Performance

Please note that all results here are obtained by testing coolers as they come out of the box. I did thermal tests on 3 systems:

8 core: Intel i7 5960x (4.2 GHz at 1.2 Vcore) with quad channel DDR4 memory
(a) Fans at 50% (Test 1, cooler noise 42 dBA)
(b) Fans at 100% (Test 2, cooler noise 67 dBA)

4 core: Intel i7 4770k (4.5 GHz at 1.25 Vcore) with dual channel DDR3 memory
(a) Fans at 50% (Test 3, cooler noise 42 dBA)
(b) Fans at 100% (Test 4, cooler noise 67 dBA)

2 core: Intel Pentium G3258 (4.5 Ghz at 1.2 Vcore) with dual channel DDR3 memory
(a) Fan at 50% (Test 5, cooler noise 42 dBA)
(b) Fan at 100% (Test 6, cooler noise 67 dBA)

The pump was kept at 100% each time here. Each test was done in a climate controlled hotbox at 25 ºC ambient but the results will still be reported in terms of a delta T (component – ambient) in ºC. The ambient temperature should be nearly the same throughout the box with a +/- 0.25 ºC variability at most but still the ambient temperature sensor was held in front of the intake fan(s) as should be the case with CPU coolers in my opinion. If including the ambient temps into play, you are now introducing another variable into play here- the case/test bench air cooling layout- and this has no role in the review of a cooler. Each test/scenario was repeated three times and the average value taken to account of possible issues with mounting and TIM. Speaking of TIM, the stock TIM provided is not enough for installation demo + these 9 tests and so I used my reference TIM (Gelid GC Extreme) for the tests with cure time accounted for by measuring values after steady state was achieved post burning in with an Intel XTU run. Please note that the stock TIM is very good, and comparable to GC Extreme so I don’t believe this is giving the MasterLiquid Pro 140 any undue advantage. Aida64 was used to measure the core temperatures.

Not a whole lot of scaling with airflow, but those are not bad temperatures at all for a single radiator cooler. Let’s see where this stacks up against other CPU coolers. In order to compare between coolers, I am going to use the results from Test 4 (i7 4770k with all fans/pumps at 100%). I would have preferred to use test 2 (i7 5960x instead) but very soon I will have to use it for a personal project and I don’t have the luxury of having an extra 5960x lying around. On the plus side, I did test out the die to IHS heat transfer of this 4770k in the same hot box, and the internal bottleneck is extremely small here.

Please note that lower is better here.

For those who can’t view the above interactive chart, please click here: CPU cooler comparison on i7 4770k

Please note that these results are for my testing systems and your results may vary. It is not surprising that a lot many other CPU coolers outperform the MasterLiquid Pro 140 given this is a single radiator cooler and there are several larger air and liquid coolers here. Among the single radiator coolers, this currently takes top spot (the discussion here may not be reflective of the constantly updating Google chart, however) which again is not a surprise considering this is the only single 140 mm radiator cooler so far.

Thermals are one thing, and noise is another. As always, I urge you to read the reviews of the individual coolers you are interested in because the numbers at 100% everything may not always be indicative of everything. Some coolers don’t gain much in temps going from 50% to 100% fan/pump speed but noise levels can increase a lot. I am contemplating adding results from Test 3 as well to give more context on how the coolers perform and scale with fan/pump speed as well so if you notice that here then you know why.

Please note that lower is better here.

Again, if you are unable to view this properly then please click here: CPU cooler noise level (100% fans/pumps)

This is one case where numbers don’t tell the whole story as the performance and noise at 50% would make the MasterLiquid Pro 140 look better relatively than here where it has two high speed 140 mm fans coming off very loud and on par with another CLC that has two 140 mm fans too. What a surprise! As such, this at 100% is among the loudest of coolers and as we saw before the performance deficit from going to 50% is minimal compared to the absolutely massive drop in noise levels (67 dBA to 42 dBA). If I ever end up finding spare time, I will make similar charts for the 50% performance and noise as well but in the meantime- run this with the pump at 100% and the fans at 40-50%. It then ends up being a very attractive liquid cooler that performs fairly well and isn’t very loud aka on par with single tower/updraft air coolers.


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