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Installation

The mounting system for both of these heatsinks works with all AMD sockets from AM2 and FM1 on, plus all Intel sockets from LGA 775 on. The foundation for each unit works on the same principle of the MasterLiquid Maker 92: four bolts clip into a universal base and pass through the motherboard and mounting ears on the cooler, while four nuts screw onto those bolts and hold the whole assembly together. This system is quite simple and intuitive to install, but builders will want to use a flat-headed screwdriver to put the finishing twist on the four top nuts.

Once the entire cooler is safe and sound on the motherboard, it plays nicely with most everything around the notoriously tight Z170 socket—we can still use four DIMMs and install graphics cards on motherboards with PCIe x16 slots in the first position. Finding an appropriately-sized radiator mount in your case will be up to you, though.

To cut fan vibrations even further, Cooler Master provides a rubber insulator with both of these coolers that goes between the fans and the radiator. With this insulator in place, the full height of the MasterLiquid Pro stack is about 52 mm (or two inches), while leaving it in the box cuts that figure to about 50 mm.

In either configuration, the MasterLiquids shouldn't run into motherboards in well-designed cases with top fan mounts, but be sure to check your case's owner's manual before buying either of these coolers to be sure.

Now that we've snugged down the MasterLiquid Pro 240 and Pro 280, let's see how they handle the heat.