Next to the best graphics cards, we place so much emphasis on the best gaming CPUs that it can be easy to overlook the need for a good cooler. Nowadays, air coolers should do a fine job of keeping your processor chilled enough not to throttle because of the heat, but if you want to push your CPU to its limits or quieten things down, you’re going to want a watercooler instead.
Thankfully, watercooling your CPU isn’t as scary as it used to be, with a slew of all-in-one (AIO) coolers getting rid of the need for fiddly DIY solutions. Simply attach the radiator onto some fans and the heatsink over the chip like you would any other cooler, and you can reap the better thermal performance, allowing you to overclock safely.
If this is something that interests you, Cooler Master can get you started with a discount on its MasterLiquid series. First up is the MasterLiquid ML240R, which is currently available at a 12% discount on Amazon US, costing you £114.99, and 17% off over in the UK at £99.98. The MasterLiquid ML360R, however, has been reduced by 16% at $141.99, while you can get 14% off in the UK at £119.95.
Although AIO watercoolers don’t need half as much clearance as their air counterparts, you still need to make sure the radiator fits in your case before purchasing. The ML240R, for example, takes up two 140mm fans, with a slight overhang at either side. The ML360R is slightly bigger, taking up three 140mm fans. Amazon has a great refund policy if you make a mistake, but it’s worth checking the specifications of your case beforehand.
If you have the space for it, the ML360R will always be the better option. Its bigger surface area can dissipate more heat than its smaller counterpart at the same fan speed, or dissipate the same amount of heat with slower fans, lowering the noise of your PC even further.
That being said, the ML240R will prove to be more than enough for most builds, depending what you want to do with it.
No matter which you go for, you’ll be able to personalise your rig with addressable RGBs on both the water block and on the provided MF120R fans – through both the MasterPlus+ software or the included manual controller.