Cooler Master MasterLiquid PL360 Flux Review
Published: 24th February 2022 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: |
Picking an AIO has always been a little bit difficult. They all look so similar, and promise similar things, that it's not that simple to choose the right one off the bat from pure aesthetics. Equally, as our testing over the years has shown, not all coolers are created equal. What this is all about then is giving you some information with which to make a shortlist and, perhaps, an informed choice. Let's get the clear and obvious things out of the way first.
The Cooler Master range now contains a dizzying myriad of choices, all of them with slight variances. Until now their best one was probably the ML360, with the infinite mirror pump design and the triple fan goodness we all love. If there was an issue it was one that was fairly consistent across the Cooler Master selection, namely that the fans are excellent at shifting air but not necessarily with the same hushed whispers of which other fans are capable. The PL360 Flux addresses this with a new fan design which has greatly reduced the noise generated. As you saw from our testing we tried at 4 different speeds, 600, 1000, 1500 and 2200 (the maximum) RPM. At 600 and stock the temperatures on our Core i9-9900K were higher than we'd like, but moving up to 1000 RPM we saw a significant drop in temperatures with no perceptable increase in fan volume. Clearly for those who like a quieter system that's a boon.
Indeed, moving up to 1500 RPM was still around the same level of noise we got off the old Cooler Master fans at around 900 RPM, so they instantly get our seal of approval. The temperature reduction was nice and linear too. Pushing to their maximum of 2200 RPM you could definitely hear them, but then find us a fan you can't hear at 2000+ RPM and we'll find you someone that needs to visit an audiologist. The sheer amount of air being moved will create some noise even without taking the fans into account, but thankfully the newest Cooler Master design does a fantastic job of keeping things tolerable. As we saw from our overclock results it also does it keeping the hot Core i9 nice and cool too under the harshest loading. Performance wise it's fantastic.
Aesthetics are largely a matter of personal preference, although all AIOs look very similar just by the nature of their design. We've seen a lot of fancy ideas on the pump lately, whether the infinite mirror RGB, or the new displays which are appearing on some manufacturers models. If those are all too high-faluting for you then the simplicity of the PL360 Flux pump design might be just the thing for you. For us it's a bit too simple, especially when the pump is the focal point of your rig. Lastly the PL360 Flux comes with a simple version of the Cooler Master control box, and how this will fit into your rigs ecosystem is, again, going to be specific to you.
If you want a new radiator that has got excellent cooling performance and a much lower volume price to pay than previous Cooler Master AIOs, the MasterLiquid PL360 Flux could be the very thing, thanks to its flexible socket support and fine build quality, and wins our OC3D Performance Award.
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