Cooler Master MasterLiquid Pro 280 Review: The Strong, Silent Type

A Closer Look at the MasterPro Liquid 280

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 280

All Cooler Master MasterLiquid AiO units share the same new dual chamber pump/block design compared to the more compact Nepton series. This dual-chamber design feeds the cool liquid in from the upper chamber while the warm liquid exits from the bottom chamber directly. In the older model CLCs, there was a tendency for some of the heated up liquid to reside in the chamber because of the smaller space and since everything is on the same level.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 280

The entire area of the new pump block is transparent with an etching of the Cooler Master logo, although users cannot see the actual internal working components of the pump through it.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 280

The radiator on the MasterLiquid Pro 280 measures 27mm thick and has less rounded edges than the previous generation Nepton models. It also has a new 24 FPI square fin design with denser water channels. Together with the increased water channels, the increased fin area contact is for greater heat transfer utilizing a “squarer” fin style. The rest of the radiator body measures 311 x 128mm, supporting up to a pair of 140mm fans per side. There are also mounting holes for 120mm fans as well with 35mm gap between the two fans. The tubing is 350mm in length which is now sleeved with heatshrink on the terminals. There is a fill-port on the edge of the radiator, which is useful for more advanced users but will void the warranty if regular users open it.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 280

The pump connects via 4-pin PWM with a detachable 140mm long cable which can detach completely which makes modders lives easier. Blue LED shines through the clear top and through a sliver of ring around the unit. With the tubes included, this pump block unit measures 80 x 94.8mm with a main rounded part having 68mm diameter which stands 56.9mm tall.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 280

Underneath, the contact surface is exposed copper with a raised surface providing further clearance for the pump and the motherboard’s components. The actual contact square measures 40.10 x 40.20mm which is more than enough for all current desktop CPUs since Intel’s LGA2011 has a 38x38mm IHS surface area.

The pair of bundled fans with the MasterLiquid 280 is the new MasterFan Air 140 Air Pressure. The blade design is similar to that of the previous generation Cooler Master Silencio series having a lower blade count of only five but have very wide tips that curve prominently and steeply as it approaches the hub in the center. The blades have flow-separation tips as well. The hub measures 44.5mm and the struts on the exhaust side are only slightly curved against relative to the blades. The frame is rounded with rubberized corners similar to previous CM JetFlo fan design for noise dampening.

Cooler Master MasterLiquid 280

There are three settings available on the MasterFan Pro 140 AP switch, including a performance mode, a quiet mode and a silent mode. It sounds redundant since Cooler Master decided to call the medium setting the quiet mode. In performance mode, the fan speed supposedly tops out at 2800 RPM, while the quiet mode tops out at 2200RPM and the silent mode caps the fan speed to 1500RPM. This is a good option to have for those using a non-speed control fan-hub.

RPM range as measured by ASUS FanXPert II is displayed below:


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