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Cooler Grasp MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX CPU Liquid Cooler Assessment

TweakTown’s Ranking: 97%

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The Backside Line

Nearly an ideal mixture of what the market calls for. The MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX is a top-tier performer with model and a ton of goodies. Nonetheless, value and noise could also be sufficient to show some away.


  • + Efficiency
  • + ARGB at each ends
  • + Tons of goodies/{hardware}
  • + Helps the newest sockets
  • + Distinctive aesthetic


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Introduction, Specs, and Pricing

Usually, after we mirror on what we’ve seen in AIO designs from Cooler Grasp, we totally anticipate to see some out-of-the-box concepts. Shifting the pump to the radiator to cope with patent points, having a radiator on prime of the CPU because the cooler, perhaps even including a TEC to it, all issues Cooler Grasp has offered us over time. Nonetheless, whether or not or not it’s a very good factor or unhealthy, it seems Cooler Grasp has gone a bit extra mainstream with this newest cooler to hit the workplace.

In our minds, with testing and utilization already behind us, we will say with certainty that whereas the complete design of this new cooler is a bit over-engineered, we, as clients are higher for it. With ARGB followers and a head unit to match, Cooler Grasp may have stopped there if the efficiency metrics met their wants, however they did not. The pinnacle unit is one thing that we’ve by no means seen on this type or with this styling. To make the deal a bit sweeter, we discover cool little add-ons alongside the best way and even an ARGB controller for many who run techniques with out it but need all the sensible glory ARGB lighting presents.

It appears like some time since we launched you to a more recent Cooler Grasp CPU cooler, but it surely’s like catching up with an outdated buddy. As we’ve an in-depth have a look at the MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX, we’ll discover out what you get for the marginally extreme pricing and see if the goodies and the efficiency are sufficient to wiggle a couple of extra {dollars} out of your account. Whereas making an attempt to not give all of it away, as an example we’re impressed on all fronts, however you will have to maintain studying to seek out out why.

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The MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX is available in black as the one possibility at the moment, however as you may see, the protection of socket help is sort of expansive. With Intel {hardware}, it’s going to match on something LGA115X or newer, and AMD sockets embody the usual choices but in addition contains TR4 {hardware} as properly. The 360mm radiator is fabricated from aluminum and is 394mm lengthy, 119.2mm extensive, and 27.2mm thick.

The pinnacle unit is 89mm extensive, 75mm deep, and stands 40mm tall, and the pump within it’s proven to final almost twenty-four years if our math is correct. The noise emitted from the pump is minor, with a 15 dB(A) score, and is prone to go unnoticed whereas in use. The final bits cowl utilizing a 4-pin PWM connection to energy the pump by way of a 12V line and the 6W energy draw.

The followers are subsequent, and there are three of them on this mannequin. They’re all 120mm followers with ARGB included. These followers can spin as much as 2300 RPM, delivering 72 CFM of airflow and almost 3 mmH2O of strain. Nonetheless, that 32 dB(A) noise score means this can be a loud cooler when the followers are left to spool totally. These followers additionally spin on ORBS bearings, and whereas it’s the first we’ve seen it referenced for PC fan use, it appears to be a hoop bearing, oversimplified perhaps, however that is the best method to clarify it. Utilizing extra 4-pin PWM connections to energy them, drawing 0.15A a chunk, these followers are stated to final greater than eighteen years.

With such an extended lifespan, it’s good to seek out the MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX backed with a five-year guarantee, however that is not the bit which may make for a pause when it comes time to decide on your subsequent CPU cooler. That comes all the way down to value. Usually, Cooler Grasp has all the time saved their pricing aggressive with the market, and perhaps we’re that $209.99 checklist worth and never absorbing every part totally at the moment. Whereas we really feel that it’s a bit on the excessive aspect for an ARGB-lit 360mm AIO, perhaps by the top of penning this up, we’ll really feel completely different, however because it stands, there higher be some candy extra package to sway most patrons to make that leap.

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Cooler Grasp MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX

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The MasterLiquid PL 360 FLUX packaging is eye-catching, with the blended purple backdrop to the illuminated picture of the cooler. On the backside left, we discover the Cooler Grasp brand, and the underside proper is the place we see that there’s an included ARGB controller.

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Spinning the field to view the suitable finish of the field exhibits us extra of the pale purple, and the identify of the cooler is large this time. The underside is the bit that exhibits us one thing new. There’s ARGB Sync help by way of motherboards, however Cooler Grasp additionally has MasterPlus+ software program to make use of with the ARGB controller, must you want that.

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As we get to the again of the field, we discover mentions of the Gen 2 ARGB, the optimum effectivity pump, and the improved SickelFlow followers used on this cooler. Within the high-quality print are 5 extra options which embody the twin chamber pump, superior efficiency ratio, fan enhancement, fan noise calibration, and twin loop ARGB pump lighting.

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The left finish of the field is the place the specs are offered and are under no circumstances condensed. This smaller model of what we coated earlier offers you every part you can see on the product web page whereas guaranteeing {that a} brick-and-mortar buyer will simply see if it matches their wants and chassis.

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One of many longer panels can also be informative to potential clients. On the black backdrop, the high-quality print on the prime tells us that that is the MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX, however we additionally see dimensional renderings of the radiator and the top unit. The corporate info, iconography, product sticker, and QR Code are additionally included.

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After lifting the highest of the field and eradicating the literature and a layer of froth, we discover the cooler and all its bits beneath. The radiator, followers, and head unit come wrapped in plastic for added safety from the recycled cardboard inside packaging. The controller and wiring are close to the followers and tubing, whereas the remainder of the {hardware} is on the suitable. Collectively, these steps ensured our MasterLiquid PL360 FLUx arrived in glorious situation.

Cooler Grasp MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX CPU Cooler

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Within the primary sense, this can be a typical head unit form, however together with the twin chamber inside, Cooler Grasp opts for a white diffuser ring across the machined steel heart. The steel heart additionally presents a backlit portion of their brand, the outer ring a part of it. If that wasn’t sufficient for an added cool level, the complete steel portion spins to that the log could be aligned irrespective of the orientation of the top unit when mounted.

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We noticed the rubber grommet and the wires emanating from the opposite aspect within the earlier picture, however this time we’re trying on the fittings and the groove to the suitable. The fittings are beefy, swivel, and angle fittings with plastic covers on the finish of the sleeve. The groove is the place the {hardware} slots into the top unit however requires screws to safe them.

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On the different finish of 11 inches of sleeved cabling, the top unit requires two connections to be made to perform to its fullest potential. There’s a 3-pin 5V ARGB connector which permits the lighting to light up within the head unit, whereas the 4-pin PWM fan connector powers the ceramic bearing pump inside.

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The chilly plate is fabricated from copper, and we will see seen machine marks left on the floor in a half-circle sample. The mating floor is convex, we see Cooler Grasp makes use of screws to maintain customers out of the top unit, and we will additionally see the additional holes on the prime and backside to safe the {hardware} to the top unit.

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From the top unit to the radiator, we discover fifteen and three-quarters inches of tubing, which is lots for many circumstances. We discover one other pair of plastic covers tending to the sleeving, and we will additionally see the sealed fill port with the sticker over it, once more, to maintain the customers out of it.

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The radiator is fabricated from aluminum however has been painted with a thicker textured paint than most, and that’s the reason there’s a further 0.2mm of thickness within the specs. The one sticker supplied is what you see on the left, which incorporates the half quantity because it begins, and we will solely assume the top is the serial quantity.

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Carried out stealthily, Cooler Grasp places their identify on the aspect of the radiator utilizing shinier paint than what the radiator is coated in. It’s going to take a eager eye to identify it as soon as put in, however we favor this look over the chrome stickers or boldly painted names and logos.

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This 360mm radiator has typical fan spacing for 120mm followers and sports activities a excessive FPI. At 24 fins per inch the place we picked to rely them, it’s going to take a sturdy fan to get essentially the most from it. Fortunately Cooler Grasp redesigned the SickelFlow followers to just do that.

Equipment and Documentation

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The {hardware} offered by Cooler Grasp is all bagged in teams and is how we’ll current them, because it did appear to take advantage of sense. In a big bag stuffed with many different luggage, we discovered the backplates floating free and grabbed them. The LGA 115X/1200 backplate is to the left, whereas the one on the suitable is for LGA1700.

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Within the subsequent set of luggage, we discovered the mainstream Intel standoffs and 4 screws with thread locker to put in the brackets to the top unit. We then see the brief radiator set up screws and the knurled nuts used on all the standoffs are on the proper.

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With regards to the top unit brackets, you’ve gotten three choices. On the left are the common Intel brackets, used with all supported socket varieties. Within the center is the set of TR4 brackets, which leaves the everyday AMD hook and latch setup we’ve seen utilized by everybody.

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As we saved pulling issues out of the bag, we bumped into the Y-splitter cable for the followers, the tube of thermal compound, the HEDT standoffs for Intel, and the fan mounting screws, which may have screws screwed into the heads of them.

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In one other bag is the ARGB hub, which is just for illumination. This field is brushed on the highest of its plastic physique and has three 3-pin 5V ARGB headers on this aspect of it for the followers to attach.

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The magnetically attachable hub wants a pair extra connections to perform correctly, which could be seen on this aspect. A USB cable is included so the motherboard can learn the top unit, and naturally, the hub additionally wants auxiliary 12V energy.

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Wiring can also be vital, and Cooler Grasp didn’t maintain again. On the left is a SATA energy to 2-pin energy connector for the ARGB fan hub, and the USB cable to the suitable is as properly. From the hub or the motherboard header, you join the ARGB splitter cable that gives 5 3-pin 5V ARGB male ends to make use of. The cooler wants 4, and that’s the reason the 4 plastic clips are on the suitable. These clips lock over the ARGB connector to make sure they don’t come other than vibration or a lightweight tug on a cable.

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The trio of followers that ship within the field is these SickelFlow 120 ARGB followers with the FA12025L12LPT half quantity. Utilizing black frames with rubber on all corners, we discover seven white blades within the heart of them, and the blades have a hoop connecting them across the periphery. The fan hubs are coated with holographic stickers, and all of the fan leads are sleeved and twelve inches lengthy.

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The guide on the left is multilingual because it covers info earlier than the elements checklist. As soon as there, every socket will get a set of pictures to clarify the steps and do a terrific job. Even somebody with no expertise ought to be capable of handle its set up. On the suitable is the guarantee details about what’s and is not coated for the 5 years Cooler Grasp backs it.

Set up and Completed Product

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Because the hook and latch system is what we discovered within the {hardware} for the AM4 motherboards, we reinstalled the manufacturing facility bits to the backplate. As soon as the {hardware} is secured to the top unit, that {hardware} will connect to the tabs on the plastic above and beneath the socket.

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First, we’ve to put in the brackets into the top unit. For us, we put in the brackets as proven in order that the latches face down in the direction of the motherboard. As soon as the brackets had been slid into place, we despatched the offered screws by means of the top unit into the brackets.

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After making use of paste to the CPU, we mounted the top unit, which is completely different than most. The nuts are captured on the latches of this {hardware}, so they are going to by no means fall off. Nonetheless, you do want to carry the latch and push down on the nuts to seize threads. One thing to bear in mind.

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Nearly able to energy issues up, we stepped again with the GPU out of the best way to soak all of it in. Cooler Grasp made some daring selections with the brilliant white followers, but it surely matches the diffuser ring, and the metallic shine from the highest of the top unit is agreeable to the attention as properly.

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As soon as we powered the system, we had been greeted with this sensible gentle show. The motherboard sync took over and matched what the motherboard did. The cycle of ARGB spins across the followers and the top unit, in each the diffuser ring and behind the brand within the heart.

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As many potential clients will see the MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX, we’re not mad within the slightest concerning design and aesthetics. There’s loads of tubing to achieve the CPU, the lighting is top-tier, and the shine and reflection off that head unit add a bit of glitz to the middle of the motherboard.

Check System Setup, Thermal Assessments, and Noise Outcomes

Chad’s CPU Cooler Check System Specs

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO [Wi-Fi] (AMD X570) – Purchase from Amazon
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X – Purchase from Amazon
  • Reminiscence: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4000MHz 4X8GB
  • Graphics Card: ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 6GB OC – Purchase from Amazon
  • Storage: Galax HOF Professional M.2 1TB SSD
  • Case: Hydra Bench Commonplace
  • Energy Provide: ASUS ROG Thor 850W – Purchase from Amazon
  • OS: Microsoft Home windows 10 House 64-bit – Purchase from Amazon
  • Software program: AMD Ryzen Grasp, AIDA64 Engineer 6.25.5400, and CPU-z 1.92.0 x64

To see our testing methodology and to seek out out what goes into making our charts, please seek advice from our 2020 CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for extra info.

Thermal Outcomes

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It’s arduous to not like a sixth-place general end in our inventory testing. With lower than a level between the PL360 FLUX at 55.4°C and the highest of the chart, we will say we didn’t anticipate this stage of efficiency from the onset however are happy to see all of it the identical.

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Even when including extra velocity and energy, the MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX would not flinch, sticking to its sixth-place positioning. The temperature averaged 62.1°C, and whereas the hole widens barely from the highest of the chart, this cooler carried out significantly better than we had anticipated.

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We knew that the thermal common would enhance when it got here to letting the followers free on it, however we by no means thought Cooler Grasp would find yourself in second place general. With a close to three-degree drop over the earlier run, it exhibits that Cooler Grasp does a good job of getting essentially the most from the PWM curve and never blasting you needlessly with noise.

Noise Stage Outcomes

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In the suitable situations, 28 dB could be audible, however inside a chassis, it’s nonetheless all the way down to a low hum at most. In fact, we knew after we noticed the noise rankings within the specs that Cooler Grasp was not fascinated with silence with this mannequin of AIO. For reference, at the moment, the pump topped out at 9183 RPM in silence, whereas the followers spun at 1259 RPM.

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As you see, with the followers turning 1318 and the pump at 9246 RPM, the noise will increase barely greater than we anticipated for a further 100 RPM. Even so, at 37 dB, the PL360 FLUX is well into the audible territory, however the efficiency we acquired was spectacular.

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Whereas that further three levels may sound good initially, have a look at what it’s a must to cope with to get it. That’s proper, with the followers now spooled to 2242, the noise stage shoots means as much as 57 dB, which is sufficient to drive you a bit mad if you do not have a headset on or sit subsequent to it for lengthy intervals.

Ultimate Ideas

With a lot of what we’ve seen Cooler Grasp comes up with previously, we by no means anticipated it to slaughter so many good coolers because it handed them by in our charts. Not solely that, however Cooler Grasp delivers the complete bundle. Wanting a screwdriver, we can not consider something you may need that isn’t within the field. As an example, not solely do you get a 360mm-radiator-based AIO, you get one on the prime of our charts. It will not be the perfect, however the perfect will value you extra. There’s the Galahad and S36 blended in there, and whereas extra reasonably priced, they don’t stack as much as what Cooler Grasp dropped at the desk within the MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX.

On prime of significantly better than common efficiency, there are all little issues. An included ARGB hub to help customers with older techniques is cool and one thing many don’t handle. The quantity of {hardware} is insane, and to be blunt, not many cooler help TR4 out of the field. Because the factors maintain including up, we have a look at the lengthy fan screws, with heads that settle for different screws, so you may mount followers between the case and radiator, then screw into these screws to mount the cooler into the case. It is the little issues that get us, although, even one thing so simple as the clips to lock the ARGB connections collectively, the high-quality factors matter.

With a lot supplied, and so some ways to make errors alongside the best way, the literature eases any nervousness and leads you from begin to end, together with varied wire diagrams for the optionally available connectivity. The one more durable a part of the system for us as an AMD consumer was the captured nuts on the latches, and even then, a deep breath and a rethink acquired us in motion and mounted securely very quickly in any respect.

Many may argue that the noise stage is an excessive amount of, however we are saying hogwash. Sure, there are a lot of quieter choices on the market, however with a headset on and a sport going, or with Pandora or Spotify jamming as we write, we would not be bothered within the slightest. Do not push the followers to full velocity. The PWM settings are on level with out leaving an excessive amount of on the desk.

As we all the time are likely to do, we finish with the pricing as a part of our closing, and right here is not any completely different. At the moment, the Cooler Grasp MasterLiquid PL360 FLUX requires $209.99 of your hard-earned {dollars}, however we really feel that they provide sufficient to sway a majority of the consumer relating to selecting between it and the competitors simply above it in our charts. From all angles, it’s simple to see that Cooler Grasp made a push to get recognition for efficiency coolers, they usually have performed so with sufficient model and style to have us prepared to present it the go-ahead to anybody pondering grabbing one.

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