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dashbarron
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CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:04 am

I'm (Finally) building a new PC to replace my 10 year old machine. I'm stepping up to liquid cooling, and kind of narrowed down to a Masterliquid 240. Seems a few people have had some duds, but otherwise it's a decent piece of hardware.

For what reviews exist out there on liquid coolers, I've noticed CoolerMaster has largely been ignored in roundups. Do any gerbils hovering over a keyboard have any opinions out here?
 
Kougar
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:07 pm

dashbarron wrote:
Do any gerbils hovering over a keyboard have any opinions out here?


Ask a silly question... :P

I'm a DIY watercooler so I'm not a fan of the sealed liquid coolers that abound. Seems silly to buy an expensive CLC setup that has a finite time limit before water loss kills the pump or hardware it's cooling overheats. But I suppose as long as whatever model you are looking at is capable of having more coolant added to it then go for it. I don't have a clue anymore what models do, but that'd be my suggestion.
 
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:40 pm

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dashbarron
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:53 pm

Kougar wrote:
dashbarron wrote:
Do any gerbils hovering over a keyboard have any opinions out here?


Ask a silly question... :P

I'm a DIY watercooler so I'm not a fan of the sealed liquid coolers that abound. Seems silly to buy an expensive CLC setup that has a finite time limit before water loss kills the pump or hardware it's cooling overheats. But I suppose as long as whatever model you are looking at is capable of having more coolant added to it then go for it. I don't have a clue anymore what models do, but that'd be my suggestion.


Never done them before, so I guess I don't know. Water gets lost over time?
 
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:53 pm

Asetek have a patent on the only sensible layout for an integrated CPU pump/block.

The only other manufacturer that licenses this patent is CoolIT, so to get a sensible design that doesn't do stupid things just to avoid some lawyers, you need to buy an Asetek-licensed product

That means Corsair, NZXT, and Silverstone.

If you buy another brand, it'll likely do some silly stuff like have dual-chambers between the pump and the block, connected by extra unnecessary hoses/pipes and the water flow will be hampered by these tight kinks, making the whole system less efficient. That means noisier pumps or lower flow rates and there's no cheating physics so that's your compromise unless you buy an Asetek-design system.

The biggest problem with AIO coolers is not actually leakage, it's the electroplating of the waterblock - corrosion within the sealed system slowly dissolves aluminium from the radiator and deposits it between the fins of the waterblock until your system is completely useless. How long this takes varies depending on how well the corrosion-inhibitors in the coolant do their job, but 3 years is a decent run for an AIO, and if it's still working at 5 years old it's likely to be offering significantly degraded cooling performance compared to a new one (or an air cooler, for that matter!).
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MOSFET
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:46 pm

I'm not a reviewer, just a user of CLC AIOs, but for what it's worth, I tend to keep up and read a lot of reviews (both journalistic and user-based). I have two Corsair H80i units from 2013 that have not leaked, squeaked, or cooled any worse yet. Also, Corsair fans are a known quantity - if you don't like the sound profile of what's on there, step up to Corsair SP or ML fans. In 4 years, I haven't bothered to replace the fans, and there is still no noise, gurgling, water loss. During their existence, I have never once heard the water pumps or coolant.

CoolerMaster usually does not get a lot of praise for fans, build quality, AIO silence, performance, lack of gurgling, or tubing quality. You get what you (didn't) pay for.

When CLC AIOs first hit the market, I preferred CoolIT to Asetek.
Last edited by MOSFET on Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DancinJack
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:49 pm

Yeah, Kougar can hate all he/she wants, but I like my H80i (can't remember which version it is tbh). It works great and keeps my 6700K under 30C at idle all da time. I have zero issues with the CLC itself. I'm picky so I installed some Noctua fans on it and it's wonderful.

Also, I am not even close to willing to spend the money on a full custom water loop. Nor the time. No thank you sir.
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Kougar
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:06 pm

It's my personal preference, five years is the exception rather than the rule for CLCs. Top-end air coolers cost less and can generally perform just as well, assuming the case can fit them.

Water loss or galvanic corrosion, either one is going kill CLC's eventually. Pump and intake placement relative to the rest of the CLC are also going to determine how fast water loss affects the CLC. If the pump intake is at the highest point where air would accumulate first then obviously water loss will affect the CLC quicker than if the radiator was inverted with the intake at the bottom. Water loss is why most CLC's use half-decent tubing formulations and not the cheapest PVC junk. Most CLC manufacturers do add anti-corrosion additives to the loop as well, but that only slows the corrosion rate and won't prevent it.

dashbarron wrote:
Never done them before, so I guess I don't know. Water gets lost over time?


All plastics are water permeable to varying degrees, denoted as the Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate. Meaning even given a perfect seal on the cap, if left alone long enough water would still eventually evaporate out of HDPE milk jugs and even PETE soda bottles. Not that milk jugs last long anyway, HDPE likes to crack and I've seen jugs of distilled water cracking at stress points and leaking after a year of being left alone in a cool dark closet.

CM's masterliquid pro uses FEP plastic tubing, which is almost a third lower MVTR than the typical clear, cheap soft PVC tubing you'll find at the local hardware store. It's a decent rating. But the water content will still drop over time inside the loop. Most DIY watercoolers still have to add water to their loops after a year or two and many use compression fittings with lower MVTR tubing formulations.

This one has a pretty good plastic comparison table for anyone curious https://static.thermoscientific.com/images/D20826~.pdf
 
dashbarron
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:17 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Asetek have a patent on the only sensible layout for an integrated CPU pump/block.

The only other manufacturer that licenses this patent is CoolIT, so to get a sensible design that doesn't do stupid things just to avoid some lawyers, you need to buy an Asetek-licensed product

That means Corsair, NZXT, and Silverstone.

If you buy another brand, it'll likely do some silly stuff like have dual-chambers between the pump and the block, connected by extra unnecessary hoses/pipes and the water flow will be hampered by these tight kinks, making the whole system less efficient. That means noisier pumps or lower flow rates and there's no cheating physics so that's your compromise unless you buy an Asetek-design system.

The biggest problem with AIO coolers is not actually leakage, it's the electroplating of the waterblock - corrosion within the sealed system slowly dissolves aluminium from the radiator and deposits it between the fins of the waterblock until your system is completely useless. How long this takes varies depending on how well the corrosion-inhibitors in the coolant do their job, but 3 years is a decent run for an AIO, and if it's still working at 5 years old it's likely to be offering significantly degraded cooling performance compared to a new one (or an air cooler, for that matter!).



Thanks for the info. I was comparing CoolerMaster to Corsair the cooler.

This seems to be something that if I have a 10 year old system, I'll be expected to replace it halfway through the life cycle, at least*...?
 
juzz86
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:35 pm

Another 'custom looper' here mate. Kougar is spot on the money with regards to water vaporisation and galvanic corrosion. Won't be an issue if you're expecting a service life of just the warranty period, but they all dry up eventually.

What's the budget?

The bigger names in watercooling (XSPC, EKWB, Koolance) offer a huge range of kits at usually stupid prices, but of particular note is EK's latest release - the FluidGaming kits. This is EK's first real go at mainstream OLC kits, and it's worth a look if budget permits. It's Aluminium-based, so you'd not want to mix it with 'regular' EK blocks (mostly copper) or other manufacturers' gear, but they'll sell you a kit with a 240mm radiator, CPU block, reservoir/pump combo, fittings and tube pretty cheap. They even offer GPU blocks in the same family so you don't have to mix metals. There's expansion packs with more radiator, as well.

If you stuck to FluidGaming products and used a corrosion inhibitor in your coolant, it seems like a solid option, especially if GPU temps are a consideration. You're getting a decent pump, a reservoir you can top up, the ability to cut your tubes to whatever length you need/want, and some appropriate coolant. I wouldn't normally point you in the direction of Aluminium for custom loops (and I'm not alone), but EK seem to have 'done it right' and you can build just as good a loop out of Aluminium as you can out of Copper now - it's a pretty big deal and I've been doing a lot of reading and giving it a lot of consideration myself. You will lose the 'all-in-one' monitoring convenience of a CLC, though.

if you're the sort of person who transfers gear over between builds and doesn't necessarily have to have brand-new-everything each time you update, there's merit in taking the custom approach, even compensating for my bias - if the budget permits. It's gear you just keep bringing forward with you - you only swap blocks as you swap sockets, and you top your fluid up once a year, tear-down and clean your blocks every two years or so - that's it. Oh, and you save 30C+ on the CPU and GPU load temps. It's also nowhere near as hard as it was back when we used garden hose and custom blocks of copper and stuff - if you can put fittings on a garden hose, you can set up a custom (soft-tube) loop.
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mcarson09
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:59 am

Kougar wrote:
dashbarron wrote:
Do any gerbils hovering over a keyboard have any opinions out here?


Ask a silly question... :P

I'm a DIY watercooler so I'm not a fan of the sealed liquid coolers that abound. Seems silly to buy an expensive CLC setup that has a finite time limit before water loss kills the pump or hardware it's cooling overheats. But I suppose as long as whatever model you are looking at is capable of having more coolant added to it then go for it. I don't have a clue anymore what models do, but that'd be my suggestion.



DancinJack wrote:
Yeah, Kougar can hate all he/she wants, but I like my H80i (can't remember which version it is tbh). It works great and keeps my 6700K under 30C at idle all da time. I have zero issues with the CLC itself. I'm picky so I installed some Noctua fans on it and it's wonderful.

Also, I am not even close to willing to spend the money on a full custom water loop. Nor the time. No thank you sir.



I am another custom water looper. Your question Kougar not silly it's 100% valid. DancinJack I purchased a 1060 6GB used that had an AIO kit attached to it. I wanted to have something so I could take my time building my custom 1080 ti water loop. They are not refillable in a user serviceable way. The Nzxt manual for their water coolers tell you that as long as the water temperature doesn't exceed 40C the AIO cooler should last six years. Their cam software has a water temp sensor the whole thing pulls power and reads the sensors(fans and pump) from the internal usb header. The whole thing is designed to fail because under load certain AIO water coolers can't keep the water temps low enough to last without failing. You can do searches of pump failures. Also l A car's liquid cooling system can't keep the system it has full for one year, so how can these AIO kits hold On to their liquid Jack? Answer They can't and the AIO makers know it. Jack you get what you pay for and those AIOs are a ticking time bomb.

Kougar in case you were wondering

The AIO kits are filled with propylene glycol same as cars. I googled my model of NZXT leaking and people learned the hard way when was inside. You can do searches of water cooler leaking The irony is I started using propylene glycol when i built my 980 ti because i was worried about the water freezing up during the winter while I slept because the gpu temp would get close to zero and my flow meter was slowing down during this time. The propylene glycol fixed the flow rate and it doesn't evaporate as quickly as distilled water and of course works as an anti corrosive agent.
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mcarson09
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:06 am

juzz86 wrote:
Another 'custom looper' here mate. Kougar is spot on the money with regards to water vaporisation and galvanic corrosion. Won't be an issue if you're expecting a service life of just the warranty period, but they all dry up eventually.


if you're the sort of person who transfers gear over between builds and doesn't necessarily have to have brand-new-everything each time you update, there's merit in taking the custom approach, even compensating for my bias - if the budget permits. It's gear you just keep bringing forward with you - you only swap blocks as you swap sockets, and you top your fluid up once a year, tear-down and clean your blocks every two years or so - that's it. Oh, and you save 30C+ on the CPU and GPU load temps. It's also nowhere near as hard as it was back when we used garden hose and custom blocks of copper and stuff - if you can put fittings on a garden hose, you can set up a custom (soft-tube) loop.


Your first comment is so true but I've found if I use propylene glycol blocks and tubing stay pretty clean and you don't have to take the blocks apart. I tend to sell the custom parts with the hardware they are installed on and they pay for themselves'.
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juzz86
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:54 am

mcarson09 wrote:
Your first comment is so true but I've found if I use propylene glycol blocks and tubing stay pretty clean and you don't have to take the blocks apart. I tend to sell the custom parts with the hardware they are installed on and they pay for themselves'.


Yep, automotive coolant gets a good rap over this way (Australia) too from the long-time users. You get the benefits of a corrosion inhibitor (prolonging the onset of galvanic corrosion) and lower freeze/higher boil point, which is good for the fluid itself but makes no difference to acetal/delrin/tubing, which usually tops out at a safe working temp of about 55C. You can also make an awesome radioactive green, blood red or even kerosene blue in the newer coolants. There's a scientific trade-off in heat transfer efficiency, but it's not appreciable for real-world use - I find pre-mixed automotive coolant sits about a Degree or two higher (coolant temp, not die temp) than a straight Liquid Utopia/DI Water blend in the same loop. Who cares. Same with the staining after long-term use - not a real issue.

If someone comes to me and says "I want it to look cool, but I don't want to be pulling it down often", they get pre-mixed Nulon Red.

I second your on-sale thoughts too mate. I find that if you sell the card with the block, you generally do alright. Even better if you retain the stock cooler, too.
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:18 am

dashbarron wrote:
Thanks for the info. I was comparing CoolerMaster to Corsair the cooler.

This seems to be something that if I have a 10 year old system, I'll be expected to replace it halfway through the life cycle, at least*...?


I've personally seen Corsair AIOs fail through galvanic corrosion in under 5 years and there is ample evidence of that happening all over the 'net. In saying that, it's not just a Corsair problem, it's an AIO problem. It doesn't matter who makes it, these AIOs degrade over time because they're sealed and there's no way to service them.

You have three options:

1. Buy a good air cooler that will last you until the manufacturer stops making socket adapters to fit new platforms.
2. Buy an AIO but expect to replace it in 5 years. Maybe sooner, maybe not. All I can guarantee is that they have a finite lifespan.
3. Spend the money on a custom water loop that you can clean. This is honestly only for those willing to tinker and in search of either extreme performance or extreme silence.
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mcarson09
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:12 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
dashbarron wrote:

3. Spend the money on a custom water loop that you can clean. This is honestly only for those willing to tinker and in search of either extreme performance or extreme silence.


There's really only the maintenance of adding liquid to it if you don't change your components. You don't tinker with your cooling system in your car other than to add more liquid do you? You may have to replace a heater core in 20+ years or so. When it comes to gpu coolers water is the best because the fans you need to replace are standard sizes like 120mm 140mm or 180mm and up. The air coolers that come with the gpus have custom fans that is most cases that are not easy to source after the product has been out for a year. The asus strix fans can bend with the slightest of touch too. I won't bring up the triple slot designs that are getting out of hand.


juzz86 wrote:
mcarson09 wrote:
Your first comment is so true but I've found if I use propylene glycol blocks and tubing stay pretty clean and you don't have to take the blocks apart. I tend to sell the custom parts with the hardware they are installed on and they pay for themselves'.


Yep, automotive coolant gets a good rap over this way (Australia) too from the long-time users. You get the benefits of a corrosion inhibitor (prolonging the onset of galvanic corrosion) and lower freeze/higher boil point, which is good for the fluid itself but makes no difference to acetal/delrin/tubing, which usually tops out at a safe working temp of about 55C. You can also make an awesome radioactive green, blood red or even kerosene blue in the newer coolants. There's a scientific trade-off in heat transfer efficiency, but it's not appreciable for real-world use - I find pre-mixed automotive coolant sits about a Degree or two higher (coolant temp, not die temp) than a straight Liquid Utopia/DI Water blend in the same loop. Who cares. Same with the staining after long-term use - not a real issue.

If someone comes to me and says "I want it to look cool, but I don't want to be pulling it down often", they get pre-mixed Nulon Red.

I second your on-sale thoughts too mate. I find that if you sell the card with the block, you generally do alright. Even better if you retain the stock cooler, too.


I wasn't a big fan of all these coolant additives for PC watercoolling I always just ran distilled water with a bio-cide.
The odd thing is I've been water cooling since the Athlon x2 days and i could figure out why I hadn't used propylene glycol before my 980 ti. I live in the desert southwest of the USA so the advantages of water cooling over air are known to me. I guess I didn't expect the liquid choice to affect a PC setup like it did. The stock cooler really isn't worth the extra cost of the shiping weight these days.
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dashbarron
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:57 am

I'm going to stick with a ridiculously large push/pull air cooler then :)
 
Kougar
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:50 pm

dashbarron wrote:
I'm going to stick with a ridiculously large push/pull air cooler then :)


As I said before, if you got the space then go for it. They cost less, perform just as well, and don't have the expiration date problems. I have a really old Noctua NH-D14 that's been an excellent cooler for a very long time. Noctua is one of several companies that will even offer updated mounting kits free to its customers if needed. I think the D15 is their current super-sized model, but even that is overkill unless you are overclocking an 6+ core chip.
 
dashbarron
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:39 am

Kougar wrote:
dashbarron wrote:
I'm going to stick with a ridiculously large push/pull air cooler then :)


As I said before, if you got the space then go for it. They cost less, perform just as well, and don't have the expiration date problems. I have a really old Noctua NH-D14 that's been an excellent cooler for a very long time. Noctua is one of several companies that will even offer updated mounting kits free to its customers if needed. I think the D15 is their current super-sized model, but even that is overkill unless you are overclocking an 6+ core chip.


That's my fallback choice. Thinking going with Neptimum v2 from Deep Cool because I'm going extra nerdy with a few color choices this time. Seems to be preforming close to Noctuna's levels, with less cost.
 
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Re: CoolerMaster Liquid Coolers

Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:55 am

dashbarron wrote:
I'm going to stick with a ridiculously large push/pull air cooler then :)

The decade-old Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme on top of my i-4790K would agree with that assertion, especially since adapter mounts for modern boards are readily available.
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