With our Mini-ITX build packed nicely away inside the Elite 130 chassis, it’s time to start testing out some cooling units for the CPU within.First, on the agenda is the ML120L RGB, part of the Master Liquid Lite series. Now recently we have reviewed the Master Liquid Lite series but today is an upgrade into an RGB version. We also had our last review in a different chassis with different components so today we are expecting some new results!
Packaging, Contents, and Pricing
Cooler Master never seems to forget about the value of retail sales. With that comes design and rarely will you see something that isn’t a chassis, arriving in something that doesn’t catch your eye from an aisle away. Today is no different with ML120L RGB; a gorgeous yet simplistic front face gives you a great look at the unit as well as the beauty of the LED’s with a purple outlook.
Upon removal of the contents, you’ll notice everything arrives very carefully packaged and in perfect condition, as is to be expected. On an initial glance and without installing the ML120L you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference compared to the ML120L (non-RGB)
Included with the main unit is a MF120R RGB fan as well as a 1-to-3 RGB splitter, wired RGB controller, hardware to support intel and AMD sockets, yes that includes AM4.
Some of the specifications that stick out the most to us and are top considerations when looking at AiO coolers are ensuring it’s compatible with our build, as mentioned above and sizing.
This unit is very stylish and it’s size is outstanding; the radiator and the fan stacked are only 52mm in height ensuring it fits almost anything and stays clear of your other components where some larger radiators may interfere.Fan speed, airflow/pressure, and Mean Time To Failure (MTTF), which is essentially how long the product should work in hours. MTTF on the Pump is estimated at 70,000 hours and the fan at 160,000. Now to put that into perspective the pump at 70,000 hours is the equivalent of 2,916 days or 4.4 years. If you actually run one of these to the MTTF, its way past time to upgrade.
Fan speed runs between 650-2000 RPM’s+/-10%. Air flow and pressure are 66.7 CFM (Max) and 2.34 mmH20 (Max). Noise with the ML120L RGB is not really an issue as the spec read dBA lower than 30.
The ML120L RGB has an MSRP of $59.99.
Setup & Installation
Setup of the cooler was super easy and took very little time. Just ensure you don’t over-tighten the pump. As you can see from the photo above the pump doesn’t have any blocks it sits on and rather is just tightened down on the pin.
Installation of the rad and fan was a little tricky than it usually would be but what was due to the way the Elite 130 chassis has you install it. Nothing to complicated just the rad and the fan are placed on opposite sides of a mounting panel then tightened into place.Installation was a breeze in this chassis most of the innards were removable for ease of access.
The Air Balance fan makes a good finishing touch to lighting up this case, giving it a sharp look in our opinion.Once we were all setup it was time to get our stability test on the go. This is our always our first test once we have the system set up to ensure that before we try to overclock we have a stable system that can handle max loads in its default settings.
We are using Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility for our performance testing today. Our i7 default runs at 4.5 GHz. We run this test for an hour at 100% load on the CPU.Running for an hour and as you can see the heat jumped around quite a bit with a max temperature of 72C and a median temperature of 65C this device runs quite warm, but that is just an overall issue with the i7’s.
Where we ran into heat issues was when we tried over clocking. the lowest we could get this cooler to keep the CPU cool enough to even overclock, was boosting the multiplier to 50 and adjusting our core voltage to 1.375 and it took us a while to get there because anything above that was too hot and shut down the system.Running much more hot, the OC peaked into warning categories at 85C with a median of around 75C this is quite hot and over longer periods of time could be less than desirable. Yet it made it through.
Final Thoughts & Analysis
The ML120L RGB would be a great addition to a build especially at the price of $59.99 with a RGB fan is a pretty good steal. We would not really recommend that you use it on a processor as powerful as an i7 especially if you are going to be gaming or overclocking as it may push a little too much and you’ll end up restarting your computer more times than you’d actually want to.We ran the same tests with an i5 after this review and the cooler kept it down to a reasonable 35C at max load with default settings and 60C while overclocking, which is more acceptable and reasonable.
Also, keep in mind this is Cooler Master’s “LITE” series of Master Liquid category and are by no means their top of the line. A Silver Seal given for this budget option while keeping aesthetics appealing.