Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120 Review: Hands-Down Amazing! - GeeksULTD
Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120 Review: Hands-Down Amazing!
Neutral Black & White Color SchemeExcellent 120mm PerformerEasy AM4 Installation Process
Noise Levels Could Be Uncomfortable If Maxed OutInstallation Process Could Be Better For Intel Systems
8.4Impressive Tiny Nunchuck
Design & Features8.7
Build Quality9
Installation Process8.5
Pricing7.5

Cooler Master has been pushing their lineup of AIO Liquid Coolers for a while now. With the launch of the MasterLiquid Pro series, Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid series of AIOs represent an understated design with great performance. After reviewing their MasterLiquid 240 last month, we got the chance to have a look at their MasterLiquid 120 that seems to be a tiny beast of an AIO with exceptional performance, or is it?

01|Design & Build Quality

The Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120 follows the minimalist design of the MasterLiquid 240. Packed tightly in cardboard and foam, the MasterLiquid 120 is packed pretty well out of the factory.

Inside the box you’ll find everything you need, from the screws to the mounting hardware, it’s your normal everyday AIO package. Inside the box, you’ll find 2 fans for a push-pull configuration, a tube of thermal paste and a y-splitter to add two additional fan headers.

 

Taking a look at the main star of the show, the cooler itself, Cooler Master really offers quite the deal. You get two Cooler Master’s MasterFan 120 Pro Air Balance fans along a radiator that isn’t too bad.

Other than the motherboard setting the fans to auto speed, Cooler Master includes a handy switch right on the fan, giving three RPMs to choose from (Silent, Quiet and Performance). Life Expectancy ranges upto 490K hours for these fans (Handy Fact: That’s About 55 years). Here’s the specifications for the fans:

Cooler Master MasterFan Pro 120 AB Specifications

Model number MFY-B2NN-13NMK-R1
LED Color Non-LED
Dimensions (LxWxH) 120(L) x 120(W) x 25(H) mm
Speed S Mode (Silent)
650-1,300 RPM ± 10%
Q Mode (Quiet)
650-2,000 RPM ± 10%
P Mode (Performance)
650-2,500 RPM ± 10%
Airflow S Mode (Silent)
42.7 CFM ± 10%
Q Mode (Quiet)
66.7 CFM ± 10%
P Mode (Performance)
83.1 CFM ± 10%
Air Pressure S Mode (Silent)
0.96 mmH2O ± 10%
Q Mode (Quiet)
2.34 mmH2O ± 10%
P Mode (Performance)
3.63 mmH2O ± 10%
Life Expectancy 490,000 hrs
Noise Level (dBA) S Mode (Silent)
6 – 20 dBA
Q Mode (Quiet)
6 – 30 dBA
P Mode (Performance)
6 – 36 dBA
Bearing Type POM Bearing
Connector 4-Pin (PWM)
Rated Voltage 12 VDC
Rated Current S Mode (Silent)
0.07A
Q Mode (Quiet)
0.15A
P Mode (Performance)
0.23A
Power Consumption S Mode (Silent)
0.84W
Q Mode (Quiet)
1.8W
P Mode (Performance)
2.76W

The tubing used on the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120 are great. Cooler Master opted for FEP tubing along with great sleeving to give it a neat stealthy look. Kinking these tubes are practically impossible and are able transfer quite an amount of liquid.

Taking a close look at the radiator, we could find how well the radiator is constructed. While not up to par compared to Cooler Master’s Pro series, the radiator looks great with its condensed fin layout to absorb and push as much heat out of the system.

Another point that we would love to add is how easy it is to install Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid series of AIOs onto AM4 systems. The installation process has been a breeze and changed my conclusion about how well Cooler Master’s mounting solutions work on Ryzen systems. However, for LGA 1151, we would still recommend Cooler Master to ease up the installation process.

02| Performance Results

This time around, we had our Ryzen 7 1700 around to test the MasterLiquid 120 with. We know how much AMD has worked on tweaking and improving the performance of their Ryzen 7 CPUs. With a base frequency of 3GHz and a Turbo Boost of up to 3.7GHz, we managed to push our Ryzen 7 1700 to 3.9GHz at 1.35v.

Test System

  • AMD Ryzen 1700 OC’ed to 3.9GHz @ 1.35V
  • Asrock X370 Killer SLI
  • Asus Poseidon GTX 980
  • 2 x 8GB Apacer Panther DDR4 2400MHz RAM
  • SuperFlower 650W Silver PSU
  • Armageddon Xonatron T13

Testing Methodology

Unlike Air Cooler, Liquid Coolers usually tend to absorb heat at a much slower rate. Air Coolers on the other hand find huge jumps in temperature as soon as stress testing begins as Air Coolers use air as a medium to dissipate heat. Liquids such as water found in AIO coolers tend to keep hold of heat far after stressing halted. Therefore, for our testing, we stress our coolers for 2 hours for the temperatures to settle-in and stabilize even though an hour should be enough. Here are the results.


The temperatures are impressive on the MasterLiquid 120 with our Ryzen 1700 overclocked. While playing CS:GO, we found temperatures bouncing from 38°-45°C.

Acoustically, the MasterLiquid 120 is pretty silent. Pushing the fans to full speed and it does get whiny. In fact, with headphones on without anything running in the background, you could hear the fans whine. But overall, keeping the fan on auto really helps it stay silent even under load. There’s basically no use to fully max out the fans unless you really want to barely knock-off another degree.

03| Conclusion

Cooler Master’s MasterLiquid 120 is one of the AIOs that I underestimated when they offered it for review. After reviewing the Cooler Master MasterLiquid 120, I realized its one heck of a cooler if you’re building a new system. We still have to test it with Intel’s Core i7-7700k. Compared to the stock AMD cooler, there’s a considerable improvement.

I think the MasterLiquid 120 should be a great investment due to how flexible it is. 120 is a great size that’s supported on almost every modern PC case what makes it so flexible.

We would like to award this product our Silver Award! An excellent product, indeed!