It seems everyone is jumping in the all-in-one water cooling market these days, and Cooler Master hopes to make a splash with their recently released Seidon 240M. Today is official launch day for the new Seidon 240M AIO, and Overclockers is here to provide you with a look at this new offering from Cooler Master. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
Specifications and Features
Often times, when we review items that are yet to be released, we don’t have fancy graphics and charts to use for this section because they are not yet available on the manufacturer’s website. This is the case today, so we’ll have to rely on a pictures from the box, and a snippet taken from the sales kit to get the points across.
Here is the list of specifications pulled from the retail box. You may notice that the radiator is made from aluminum construction, and the cooling block is made from copper. Traditional wisdom tells us this is not the best scenario for a water cooling system, but potential problems can be greatly minimized with proper anti-corrosive additives. The mixture of copper and aluminum is certainly not unique to the Seidon M240. In fact, almost all the other AIO units on the market (except Swiftech) also employ this design. The Seidon 240M fits all current platforms, both AMD and Intel.
The Seidon 240M is completely sealed and maintenance-free. Cooler Master claims a 2X greater surface area via their UltraFine Micro-Channel design, which is applied to the interior of the cooling block. Cooler Master also wants you to know that this cooler was designed for overclocking; we’ll be testing this out!
The box also has a five-point list of the major specifications, along with schematics of the radiator and pump/block assembly.
Here is cropped image from the sales sheet that was provided late in the review process. There isn’t much in here that isn’t already covered above, but I thought it best to at least include it. For an easier to read glance, click on the image.
Packaging and Accessories
As you can see by the above pictures we used to provide the features and specifications, the attractive box does a great job of describing the product within. If you’re able to actually pick the box up and look at it before purchasing, you should find all the features, specifications, and dimensions needed to make an educated decision.
Once the box lid is opened, you find the Seidon 240M extremely well packaged with all the parts in plastic bags. The formed cardboard bed keeps everything securely in its place, which will prevent any damage to the unit during transport. All and all, the packaging is informative, well-presented, and does a great job of protecting the product.
Included accessories are two 120 mm fans, a detailed user guide, and all the hardware needed to install the unit to any current (and some not so current) platforms. Cooler Master added a PWM capable fan splitter cable to the mix, which is a nice touch. Also, of note is the inclusion of a rubber anti-vibration gasket to help ward off any potential irritating rattles once the radiator is installed in your chassis.
The two fans included with the Seidon 220M are 120×25 mm in size and operate anywhere from 600 ~ 2400 RPM. The fans feature a rifle bearing design (meaning self lubricated) and are outfitted with 4-pin PWM capable power leads. The fans can push up to 86.15 CFM or as low as 19.17 CFM. The noise level isn’t bad either, with ratings of 40 dBA on the high side and as low as 19 dBA on the low side.
A Closer Look
While the design of the Seidon 240M looks strikingly similar to an Asetek manufactured product, Cooler Master tells us this unit is made by them and that it’s not a re-badged Asetek/CoolIT unit.
The 240 mm aluminum radiator is 27 mm thick and has the typical industry standard fan spacing, making it compatible with just about any case that has a dual 120 mm fan opening. The hoses are permanently attached to the radiator; and best I can tell, they have a 1/4 inch inside diameter. The hoses are flexible enough to allow for easy positioning of the block and radiator. I measured the length of the hoses to be right at 12-3/8 inches, which should be more than adequate for any installation under the top deck of a case. If you have designs on installing the Seidon 240M in the front of your case, you might want to double check the length of hose that will be required, especially if a full tower case is in your plans.
The factory fill port is sealed off and has warnings to not remove it, or the warranty will be voided.
While the hose ends attached to the radiator do not feature a swivel design, thankfully, the ends attached to the pump do. While I much prefer the ability to manipulate the hoses from both ends, it’s not a deal breaker by any means. The 12 V pump itself comes with an impressive 70,000 hour life expectancy, draws a mere 1.8 watts, and operates at a noise level less than 25 dBA. The power cable has a 3-pin design that should allow you to control the speed of the pump through your motherboard’s BIOS, if equipped.
You won’t find a highly polished or mirror finish applied to the base of the copper block, but it does feel very smooth to the touch and is very flat.
Installation begins with installing the fans to the radiator. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to run into a problem with the bolts used to mount the fans. The 16 included 30.5 mm long bolts have a shoulder on them that bottoms out on the threads of the radiator. But, the problem is that the shoulder bottoms out before the bolt head reaches the fan. I think the intention here is to force you to use the included rubber noise dampening cover. If you use that dampening cover, the bolts will tighten down; just barely. And, they will become much more “snug” if the bolts are also run through the chassis. However, using the rubber noise dampening cover won’t be practical for all applications. For example, you will have to find a way to fill the gap if you decide to add fans for a push/pull setup because you’ll no longer have the dampening cover or case thickness to fill the gap. Given Cooler Master includes mention of the push/pull setup in the installation guide and provides extra bolts to accommodate it, this appears to be a big oversight. To confuse matters even more, there are 8 more bolts included that are of the same design, but 3 mm longer. These are too long to use when taking advantage of the rubber dampening cover and obviously not long enough for 38 mm fans – color me confused.
One other bone of contention I have with the installation instructions is that they show the fans being mounted on the interior side of the radiator. This means the bare side of the radiator will be what’s attached to the case. I don’t like this method for a few reasons including: fan wire cable management, aesthetics (I’d rather look at fan blades through the opening than a bare radiator), and non-restrictive air flow to the fans.
In Cooler Master’s defense, they do provide eight short 5 mm screws that can be used to attach the bare side of the radiator to the case. You could then use the rubber dampening cover and the shouldered bolts on the other side of the radiator. However, these shorter screws are not long enough to mount a fan directly to the radiator, even if going through just one hole. Suffice to say, I think the whole fan mounting system could stand to be revisited and improved upon. The good news – the problems can easily be taken care of with a quick trip to the local hardware store for adequately sized bolts or washers to fill the gaps.
Moving on to the installation of the block, we find a very easy method has been employed. On the AMD platform, you will need to remove the retention brackets and the stock backing plate. Then, it’s just a matter of using the backing plate included in the kit and screwing the block down. It’s really that easy!
Installation on Intel platforms is a bit more detailed, but again is extremely easy to accomplish. The backing plate is adjustable to fit all the different Intel hole spacings. After attaching the backing plate, you need to secure it in place by using the standoffs that screw over the threaded legs of the backing plate. Once that is accomplished, you simply set the block in place and secure it to the standoffs. In the last picture below, you see eight standoffs. The uppermost four are for socket 2011 installations, which require no backing plate installation. Cooler Master also includes a nifty little socket to help attach the standoffs.
The test bench for this review includes an ASUS Maximus V formula, so the pictures below show the Seidon 240M installed on a Z77 platform.
- ASUS Maximus V Formula Motherboard (Overclockers Approved!)
- Intel i7 3770K CPU (Overclockers Approved!)
- G.Skill F3-2400C10D-16GTX TridentX 2X8 Gb DDR3 2400 Mhz Kit
- Sapphire HD 7770 Video Card (Overclockers Approved!)
- Kingston HyperX 3K SSD 240 Gb SSD (Overclockers Approved!)
- Corsair HX1050 PSU
- Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme AIO Water Cooler
- Corsair H100i AIO Water Cooler
- Noctua NH-D14 Air Cooler
- Cooler Master Seidon 240M AIO Water Cooler
For comparison data, I recruited the help of BMWBAXTER to provide data on the Noctua NH-D14 and the Corsair H100i. We did our best to ensure testing was performed at identical voltages across the board, including VID, memory, and all the rest that we could match up. Undoubtedly, there will be subtle differences when using two different CPUs for data collection. I think we got both CPUs dialed in almost exactly the same; and we felt it important to bring additional comparison data to the table, even though there might be minor variations. We also both used CoreTemp to monitor temperatures. Thanks for the help Benjamin!
We tested all the comparison coolers a few different ways. Each cooler was tested with the CPU at idle and 100% load. These test were performed with the motherboard at its stock settings, except for adjusting the memory speed and timings to meet manufacturers’ specifications. Then, the tests were run again with the CPU voltage set to 1.3 V and overclocked to 4.5 GHz.
The above settings were run twice: once with the motherboard handling the fan speed through it’s PWM function, and again with the fans running at 100% constantly.
All testing was done in a room at 74 °F; and we chose Arctic Silver Ceramique2 as the thermal interface material. Each comparison cooler was used with the fan that came packaged with it. For the load testing, LinX stress test was run for 10 passes and the average temperature of all cores was recorded. For the idle results, I let the system sit idle for 30 minutes and again recorded the average temperature reading from all cores.
The test results were pretty much as I expected with not much difference between all of the comparison coolers. It’s no great surprise that the Noctual NH-D14 was able to keep up with the other AIO coolers; it’s long been known to be the best of the best in air cooling solutions. Something else to keep in mind is the different fans that each of the coolers use, some run faster than others and also have a higher CFM rating too.
The first set of results below are with the CPU at its stock settings. We tested with the motherboard controlling the fans via the PWM function and again with the fans set to 100% speed. Here are those results.
As the above graphs indicate, the Cooler Master Seidon 240 performed right on par with the other coolers in the chart. Everything is as expected there.
Next up is the overclocked results. The same PWM and 100% fan speed tests were run. Here are those results.
The above results again show the Cooler Master unit holding right in there. The Corsair unit did have a sizable win under load conditions in this test. Still, nothing out of the ordinary, good or bad.
In my opinion, Cooler Master didn’t really bring much at all new to the table in the way of design or performance with the Seidon 240M. With that said, it does perform on par with other units in its class. Cooler Master has told us the unit should sell for right around $99 USD, but it’s currently listed at Newegg for $104.99. I do expect that price to drop a tad; I’m pretty sure Cooler Master will see to that.
There’s nothing to complain about as far as compatibility goes, it will fit every current platform out there. I like the rubber noise dampening cover, but I don’t like being forced to use it for proper fan attachment. The included PWM fan power splitter cable is a nice touch, as well. The fans themselves are of good quality, and I like the self lubricating rifle bearing design.
I’m sure you know after reading this review what my main gripe is – Yes, the fan mounting system. It’s not a deal breaker as it’s easily rectifiable by using washers or different screws to eliminate the gap. If you’re in a situation with this cooler that makes using the rubber noise dampener a viable option, then you are good to go out of the box. Hopefully, Cooler Master will revisit this issue and provide correctly sized bolts. Other than that, you have a cooler here that performs on par with other AIO units in its class and is actually $5 to $10 less than the Corsair H100i (depending on where you look). So, in the end, we have good performance at a great price, which makes it worthy of consideration if you are in the market for an all-in-one water cooling solution.
-Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)