Reviewed: CoolerMaster’s ML240 Illusion Liquid CPU Cooler

Parts used for this review

CoolerCoolerMaster ML240 Illusion (sent by CoolerMaster)
Comparison CoolersNoctua NH-D15 Air Cooler (sent by Noctua)

DeepCool AK620 Air Cooler (sent by DeepCool)
CPUIntel i9 10900K @ 4.8ghz (sent by Intel)
MotherboardMSI z490 A-Pro (purchased from Best Buy)
Computer CaseBeQuiet! Silent Base 802 Window (sent by BeQuiet!)

Today we’re looking at CoolerMaster’s ML240 Illusion which currently retails for $115 USD at Amazon, NewEgg, and most other retailers. Unlike many other liquid coolers on the market (including others from CoolerMaster), this cooler does not use an Asetek design – it was designed entirely by Cooler Master.

The ML240 comes in a large sized box, with molded cardboard and light foam padding for protection.

Included with the package are the user manual, thermal paste, mounting for AMD & Intel systems, fan splitters, and a 2nd generation addressable RGB Controller which works with Cooler Master’s MasterPlus+ software – which allows for detailed customization of the lighting.

Cooler Specifications

Cooler CoolerMaster ML240 Illusion
Product Dimensions277×119.6×27.2mm
Net Weight1478g
Fan Compatibility120x120x25
TDP (Our estimate)Up to 200w
Warranty3 years

Fan Specifications

There’s more to a cooler than just it’s heat sink. The fans included have a huge impact on cooling performance and noise levels.

Size120x120x25
Fan Speed650-1800 RPM +- 10%
Air Flow47.2 (Max)
Static Pressure1.6 mmH20 (Max)
Noise6-30 dBA
Voltage range12 V

Installation

The installation of Cooler Master’s ML240 Illusion is fairly simple. Press the backplate against the motherboard, screw in the stand offs, and the mount and secure the pump.

Testing Methodology

For the DeepCool AK620 & the Noctua NH-D15, I used the thermal paste which came with the AK620. With the Coolermaster ML240 Illusion, I used the thermal paste it came with.

For AIDA64 and OCCT, I ran each test for 11 minutes. For Cinebench, I recorded the results just before the mutli-core test finished. For games, I used a scripted benchmark and averaged the results of 3x runs. I tested all coolers without any power limits enforced.

Thermal Benchmarks

In AIDA64 all of these coolers ran a bit toasty – but the ML240 Illusion was pushed to its limits, resulting in slight throttling – dropping to 4.74ghz instead of 4.8ghz.

Cinebench r23 also pushed the ML240 Illusion to it’s limits, but in this test it maintained clockspeeds without throttling.

OCCT’s test was the most demanding thermal test I ran, hitting TJMax temperatures with all coolers. This was the most punishing test for the ML240 Illusion, with clock speeds throttling down to 4.57ghz


In gaming, the ML240 Illusion performed decently. In some scenarios it was on par with Noctua’s NH-D15 – in others it trailed by up to ~5c.

RGB & Lighting

I am generally not a fan of flashy, rave like-RGB – but I have to admit these fans looked rather nice. I set them to a static blue while testing this cooler. Each of the fans have 24 individual ARGB LEDs, the liquid pump has 12 included. For those who do enjoy flashy RGB, the downloadable MasterPlus+ software offers a complete suite of customization options. You can change colors, effects, brightness levels, and more with it.

Conclusion

Honestly, I was expecting more from this cooler. At a price of $115 USD I expected it to bring performance similar to Noctua’s NH-D15 – but in the most intensive loads it trailed by up to 16c. I wouldn’t recommend it for most builds. However, I can recommend this cooler in two situations:

  1. SFF builds which support 240mm radiators, especially those wanting an RGB flair.
  2. Builds which are customized for looks, rather than top cooling performance. The lighting is extremely customizable, and I daresay it comes with the best looking RGB fans I have ever used.
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