Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO Review: Give the CPU a 0 degree quick freezing

Melvin Jones

Melvin Jones

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December 31st 2020

The development of the processor industry is happening very rapidly and transistor technology is improving day by day. In this process, the power consumption and heat generation of the processor are also increasing. Nowadays, 4-core and 8-thread have become the starting standard for desktop processors. And the big tech company is fighting a war of who can provide the best and most efficient processor. For various manufacturers, the most important point is to suppress the large amount of heat generated by multiple cores.

 Cooler Master recently officially launched the water-cooled flagship product for Intel's tenth-generation Core processor-Cooler Master MasterLiquid 360 SUB-ZERO for the domestic market. This water-cooled product integrates Intel Cryo cooling technology. Through this technology, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling can achieve extremely fast processor cooling, so as to provide a more low-temperature and stable operating environment for the processor of enthusiast players.

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Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO utilizes Intel Cryo overclocking technology to break the limitations of traditional water-cooled radiators and use the characteristics of CPU silicon to achieve extreme low temperature environments. For the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO, Intel officials also specially selected 200 Core i9-10900K to cooperate with the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling to achieve a stable overclocking 5.8GHz water cooling limit level. Due to its excellent heat dissipation capability, the actual performance of the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO has also reached a peak level. The processor can always maintain a low temperature close to 0 degrees under a strong load. This heat dissipation performance also makes Cooler Master. ML360 SUB-ZERO stands out among many water cooling products.

Rocking Review has already received the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO, a flagship water-cooled product priced at 3,299 yuan. What is its actual performance? Let's take a look at the specific evaluation scenarios.

Exterior

Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water-cooled appearance is black, mainly composed of three parts, including water pump, radiator and water cooling head. Currently, this water-cooled device is compatible with Intel's tenth generation Core i9/i7/i5 K and KF series processors.

The three major components of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling need to be fixed in the case, so this water cooling also has certain requirements on the case size. So if you want to start with this water cooling, you must confirm in advance whether your hardware equipment meets the requirements.

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Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water-cooled water pump part, the water pump part has special fixed holes, which is convenient for users to fix on the chassis, and the water pump accelerates the internal water circulation to achieve efficient heat dissipation.

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For the water drain part, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO has already assembled 3 fans at the factory to reduce the actual installation amount of users. The 360 ​​mm water drain and 3 12 cm high-performance balanced fans SF120R rotate at 650-1900RPM In between, greater air volume and pressure can be generated to quickly discharge the huge heat generated by the processor.

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The biggest attraction of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling is undoubtedly this water cooling head with black technology. In order to prevent the extremely low temperature generated by the water cooling head from causing condensation on the motherboard and causing a short circuit, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO uses a plastic sealing ring design, which can completely wrap the entire processor and interface parts.

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Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO adopts a thicker copper bottom design on the side that is in direct contact with the processor. The heat generated by the processor can be quickly conducted to the semiconductor heat dissipation module through the copper sheet, and the temperature difference between the two semiconductors The electric potential achieves rapid cooling.

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In order to better monitor the temperature performance of the processor, the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water block has a temperature and humidity sensor to monitor the temperature and humidity of the environment around the processor, determine the dew point and real-time temperature performance. Since semiconductor heat dissipation requires a lot of power supply, the water block of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO is equipped with a PCIe interface for power supply, and its TDP is 250W. The water exhaust fan and water pump are powered by the SATA power supply line.

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In addition, in order to cooperate with the communication between the water cooling and the motherboard, the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO also has a separate microUSB port, which is connected to the USB 2.0 pin virtual COM interface on the motherboard through the included adapter cable to achieve communication.

On the whole, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO is very low-key in appearance. The fan part of the water exhaust has been assembled in advance, reducing the amount of user assembly work. The installation method is basically the same as that of the ordinary 360 water drain, except for the addition of a fixed part of the pump and the connection of the power supply line and the communication line of the water cooling head. Before starting the formal test, let us first understand the implementation principle of Intel Cryo technology and the compatible hardware conditions of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO.

Intel Cryo cooling technology

The core of Intel Cryo heat dissipation technology is based on the thermoelectric effect (Peltier-Seebeck effect) to achieve rapid cooling. The semiconductor refrigeration chip with P-N structure is the core component of this technology to achieve rapid heat conduction and cooling.

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When a current flows through the thermocouple pair composed of a PN junction, heat transfer occurs between the two ends, and the heat is transferred from one end to the other end, thereby generating a temperature difference to form a hot and cold end. However, the resistance of the semiconductor itself will generate heat when current passes through the semiconductor, which will affect heat transfer. Moreover, the heat between the two plates will be reversely transferred through the air and the semiconductor material itself. When the hot and cold ends reach a certain temperature difference and the two kinds of heat transfer are equal, an equilibrium point will be reached, and the forward and reverse heat transfer will cancel each other out. At this time, the temperature of the hot and cold ends will not continue to change. In order to achieve a lower temperature, it can be achieved by reducing the temperature of the hot end by means of heat dissipation.

We can see from the cross-sectional view of the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water block that directly above the copper heat conducting end of the water block is a thermoelectric technology (TEC) heat sink. Because this technology does not require additional mechanical structure and refrigerant, and has the characteristics of small size, light weight, fast cooling, and high controllability, this makes the TEC heat sink have a good heat dissipation effect in actual performance.

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Through this heat dissipation technology, the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO can achieve efficient heat dissipation in a shorter time than traditional water-cooled and air-cooled products. The most ideal temperature of the processor in the traditional heat dissipation method is nothing more than lowering to Room temperature, and this technology allows the radiator to achieve extreme conditions below room temperature.

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As for the processor, the lower the temperature, the stable and efficient operating environment can be achieved, thereby achieving higher frequency overclocking performance, and then reaching a higher level of performance.

Of course, the Intel Cryo cooling technology supported by Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO is not only as simple as the bottom layer of the hardware. For electronic products, low temperature can bring higher operating efficiency, but low temperature can also cause dew problems on the motherboard. Condensation can cause short circuit damage to the motherboard components. Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling uses thermoelectric effect to create a low temperature environment that can control the temperature of the processor surface to around 0 degrees in extreme cases, so the risk of condensation is high. Intel Cryo technology not only includes hardware technology, but also monitors temperature and humidity, constantly controls the heat dissipation temperature of the water-cooled surface and uses the ambient humidity to calculate the dew point, so that the processor and the components on the motherboard can maintain a safe Electricity environment.

During use, you only need to download and install the Intel Cryo technology drive tool to use Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling products normally. It should be noted that because the water cooling communicates with the motherboard through a special connection line, some systems may not install the special driver of USB to UART bridge virtual COM port by default. You need to check whether this driver is installed in place before actual use. Next, let's take a look at the specific performance of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling.

Performance

Before testing the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO, let’s take a look at the hardware conditions and specific instructions for this water-cooled device.

Currently, the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO is only compatible with Intel's tenth-generation Core i9/i7/i5 K/KF series processor products. In terms of motherboards, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO is compatible with high-end Z490 series motherboards from manufacturers such as ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI. Due to the need to fix the water drain and the water pump, the requirements on the size of the chassis are relatively high. In terms of power supply, considering that Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling requires additional power supply, and the TDP reaches 250W, the official recommendation is to use a power supply above 850W. The official recommended configuration is as follows:

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In order to meet the use conditions of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling, Rocking Reviews chose the following test platform for testing:

Heat sinkCooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO
ProcessorIntel 19-10900K
RamApacer NOX 3600 32GB (8GB*4) RGB
MotherboardZ490 AORUS ULTRA
Graphics CardTUF-RTX3090-24G-GAMING
Power supplyV1000 PLATINUM
CaseMASTER CASE H500M

After installing the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO and the corresponding tools, we can use the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling normally.

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Through the Intel Cryo cooling tool, we can see the real-time power consumption, dew point, and temperature of the water cooling head.

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For different usage scenarios, Intel Cryo cooling tools provide Standby (standby) mode, Cryo (smart) mode, and Unregulated (unrestricted) mode. The corresponding indicators of the water block are blue, green and purple. If the water block is not The system recognizes normally, and the water cooling head indicator will light up in red to remind.

In Standby mode, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling will use ordinary water cooling to dissipate the processor; in Cryo mode, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO can intelligently adjust real-time heat dissipation efficiency through temperature and humidity. ; In Unregulated mode, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO will run at full power. This mode is suitable for extreme overclocking situations.

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Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO system in Cryo mode, the real-time temperature of the processor drops rapidly at a speed visible to the naked eye. Here, the Rocking Review uses Intel's official overclocking software Intel Extreme Turing Unity (hereinafter referred to as "XTU") to treat this i9-10900K is overclocked. Since the tenth generation Core Duo introduced TVB and other overclocking modes in low temperature environments, it is more suitable to cooperate with the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling.

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All-core 5.4GHz easily stable

The Intel Core i9-10900K can achieve a single-core turbo frequency of 5.3GHz by default. With the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling, this i9-10900K  can easily stabilize at 5.4GHz. Through the "CS: GO" game test, the game can run stably at this time, and the frame rate is stable between 380-400 frames.

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In terms of temperature, Rocking Review uses AIDA64's FPU stress test to compare Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO in Cryo mode. The maximum temperature of the traditional 360 AIO water cooling is different. It should be noted that the traditional 360 AIO water cooling is not stable at 5.4GHz. It runs stably in the state, so here we compare the performance of the traditional 360 AIO water cooling in the full-core 5.1GHz state. The maximum temperature comparison is as follows:

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Since the heat dissipation effect of traditional water-cooled equipment can only be infinitely close to room temperature, in the actual FPU stress test, the processor temperature is higher. Through comparison, we can see that the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water-cooled processor temperature is stable in this case At around 50 degrees, Intel TVB technology can even be turned on for turbo frequency at low temperatures.

Two-core 5.5GHz can also run stably

The i9-10900K obtained by Rocking Review is not an official version, so there is still a certain limit in overclocking ability. After many attempts, in the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water-cooled Unregulated mode, this One i9-10900K can run stably under 2-core 5.5GHz and 8-core 5.4GHz.

In this mode, the temperature of Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water-cooled FPU stress test processor is stable at about 52 degrees.

Can it be higher?

Rocking Review has repeatedly tried to achieve higher overclocking performance in the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water-cooled Unregulated mode, but due to the different physical conditions of different processors, its maximum overclocking frequency is more or less different. Among the 200 i9-10900Ks specially selected by Intel, some processors can be overclocked to 5.8GHz with Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling. Although the i9-10900K used by Rocking Review cannot reach the official specially selected 5.8GHz performance , But through the extreme overclocking test, it can be used stably under small load at 5.7GHz, but blue screens will still appear in heavy load scenarios such as games and test tools.

To sum up

As a top-level water cooling product for the enthusiast market, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO allows us to see a new solution for processor heat dissipation. It is not meant to eliminate the life of traditional water cooling products. It provides more The new idea makes the original "black technology" a real and sensible product.

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Compared with the overclocking methods of geeks such as liquid nitrogen and liquid helium, Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO water cooling is a new technology benchmark product for the future water cooling market. Although the theoretical basis of TEC semiconductor heat dissipation technology has appeared for more than 100 years, The Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO is undoubtedly the first application in the consumer desktop DIY product market. For geeks who want to pursue the ultimate overclocking experience, the Cooler Master ML360 SUB-ZERO supported by this TEC semiconductor cooling technology is definitely an easy-to-use and easy-to-obtain choice at this stage.

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