Photos and Features
The Masterliquid ML360 Sub-Zero isn’t your standard run-of-the-mill water cooling kit and that shows right from the start with the packaging that Cooler Master went with. The ML360 Sub-Zero’s box is much larger than your standard 360 AIO cooler would come in for one. The front of the box has a white background and then blue on the bottom section. I was expecting some purple to be used but it looks like they switched what would normally be purple to the blue to show that this is an Intel exclusive design. I like that the front also has a picture of the entire cooler, it's always good to be able to see what you are getting. Around on the back is another picture and this time they have a few of the key features highlighted with descriptions. There is also a full specification listing which is nice because you can find out the dimensions to make sure this is going to fit in your system.
The white part of the packaging is a slide off cover and under it is a blacked out box with the Cooler Master logo on top as well as the Intel logo. This opened up and they have a layer of foam covering everything, then inside the cooler is spaced out with thick foam keeping everything protected with cutouts for each component. The pump and water block both come wrapped up in their own plastic as well and in the top right corner, there is a small black box with accessories and hardware. I love that the radiator comes with the fans pre-installed though this makes installation a lot easier assuming you don’t need to mount with the fans on top. If you do, then you will need to take them all off to get started.
When you pull the ML360 Sub-Zero out, being an AIO cooler everything comes together, and with the detached pump which I will talk more about later, it is a lot to get under control. The holes want to get all looped up and push things around.
So here is where the action is and what sets the ML360 Sub-Zero apart from the normal ML360 coolers. This looks a lot like your standard pump block combo but the water cooling pump isn’t in this housing at all. The Sub=Zero part of this cooler comes from the TEC or Peltier cooler built into it. TEC stands for thermoelectric cooling which uses the Peltier effect to pull heat from one side of the cooler to another. Basically using electricity to cool one side of the cooler and heating the other. Cooler Masters design here is interesting though and to help I have included a diagram that they made showing inside of the cooler. At the bottom, the D portion is one of the most important parts of their entire setup. They have designed a seal that goes around Intels LGA socket with flexible rubber seals at the bottom to prevent moisture from getting past it. Running at sub-zero means condensation, this is avoided with overclockers with putty, protective coatings, and even petroleum jelly along with towels to keep condensation from getting on to your motherboard and frying everything. This is also at least part of the reason this entire setup is Intel exclusive, this needs to fit the socket perfectly and they have a list of motherboards that work as well. Above that, the C labeled portion is the contact surface and has sensors to send information back on the cooling, humidity, and CPU temperatures. The B labeled section is a 52mm squared TEC. You can see that below it pulls heat from the CPU and above it, they have the contact surface for the water cooling to pull the heat from the TEC and keep things cool. Then A is mostly a normal waterblock with the water lines going in and out but up on top is a PCB for the circuitry for the whole system as well as built-in sensors to help with the overall dew point so it knows how cool it can go before dew forms.
I like this first picture because it shows how much of the overall housing is dedicated to the water cooling and you can see where the TEC is because you have the wires running from it up to the top where the PCB is. This also shows that to power everything you also need to hook a full 8-pin PCI power up to the cooler. Cooling with electricity takes power. The next side over has ventilation on it and a micro USB port which is the communication port for your PC. Up on top, they have the nameless Cooler Master logo which has a machined surface, I’m surprised this didn’t end up being RGB given the USB connection is already there and the top-mounted PCB.
Even just the water block portion of the assembly is taller than a lot of the AIO kits available, but adding the PCB up top and the thick contact surface on the bottom puts the overall height around 95mm but they have it listed at 89mm which I assume is when bolted down and the seal is compressed.
Here is a closer look at the bottom of the ML360 Sub-Zero. You can see the Intel-specific deal which fits perfectly around the hold down arm and has the rubber seal at the bottom. But the shape of the contact surface caught my eye as well because in Cooler Masters diagrams it looked thin and flat but it's clearly much thicker. The pyramid shape is a lot like an Ln2 pot which I would bet isn’t a coincidence. This thick portion helps absorb heat spikes a lot better and the pyramid shape uses less material and I’m sure it helps with condensation but I’m not going to pretend to know for sure.
Now without a pump inside of the main water block housing Cooler Master went with an inline pump design. This layout helps with litigation as there are a lot of patents on the “standard” AIO water block/pump design. But it also means they can go with a larger pump as well, much like custom water cooling. The pump has hoses coming in at the top which is the intake and on the front which is the output with the pump down at the bottom of the housing like a smaller D5 pump. Then the back of the pump has a wide mounting bracket made out of a thick steel. It also has a layer of rubber to cut down on vibration as well. The pump then has one cable running out of it that is sleeved in black sleeving with a small proprietary plug that plugs into one of the included cables.
The ML360 Sub-Zero comes with a triple fan 360mm radiator which has boxed in ends much like a lot of custom radiators. Overall though this is your standard AIO 360 radiator. Then for fans, you get three 120mm fans. They don’t have the mid fan branding, but they look like Cooler Masters Sickleflow 120’s but are set to run 100 RPM less and with that have a touch less flow. I do like that without the stickers they all have a blacked out look.
The accessory box that comes with the ML360 Sub-Zero isn’t that large which is mostly due to not having to pack in multiple mounting brackets and having the fans preinstalled. Overall you get a user manual and a warranty paper for documentation. Then there are two cables. One is a micro USB to USB internal header cable for the data connection and the other is a combo cable that hooks up to a SATA power plug for power, has all three fan connections, one plug for the water pump, and then a female fan header to plug into your motherboard for signal. There are two bags with mounting hardware. One is full of short screws for mounting the radiator. Then the other bag has all of the hardware for the water block mounting. You get four large standoffs that screw into the included backplate and a screwdriver adapter for installing the standoffs. Then two thick screws for mounting the pump.