Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120

Both Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120 are among the most popular liquid coolers for gaming PCs. You need a capable cooling system in order to overclock your CPU without causing a blaze. These liquid coolers can do that, and they come at relatively affordable price points. Below, you can read more about the comparison and differences between the two.

What we will discuss in this article include:
– The dimensions of each system
– Which model that is easier and more practical to install
– The control features of Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120
– The comparison of their cooling performance and noise
– The warranty information for each liquid cooler
– Which liquid cooler that is generally better and more recommended

Just like Corsair H45 vs H55 that we discussed previously, Corsair H45 and MasterLiquid Lite 120 are AIO (all-in-one) liquid coolers. In other words, these products come with pre-packaged components that are ready for quick and simple installation. AIO liquid coolers have become very popular in the era of PC gaming nowadays because they are much easier to set-up than traditional liquid-based cooling systems.

Nevertheless, we should check the dimensions of Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120 to make sure that they can actually fit inside the available space in your PC case. This becomes even more important if your PC case is a slim and compact one.

Corsair H45’s fan unit measures 120 mm x 120 mm x 25 mm, while the radiator unit measures 168.5 mm x 120 mm x 71 mm. Actually, the size of the fan is similar to that of MasterLiquid Lite 120. But the radiator is significantly bulkier.

MasterLiquid Lite 120’s fan unit measures 120 mm x 120 mm x 25 mm as well. The radiator unit measures 157 mm x 119.6 mm x 27 mm. As you can see, the fan has a similar size, but the radiator is quite smaller and slimmer.

Perhaps this is one reason behind Corsair H45’s more limited compatibility. According to the specs, it is compatible with Intel 2011, Intel 2066, Intel 115x, as well as AMD AM2, AM3, and AM4 sockets. On the other hand, MasterLiquid Lite 120’s compatibility is wider, including Intel 2011, Intel 2066, Intel 115x, Intel 1366, Intel 775, as well as AMD AM2, AM3, AM4, FM1, and FM2 sockets.

Note that these liquid coolers are only suitable for cooling CPUs. Some AIO models out there, including Corsair H55, are compatible with NZXT Kraken mounting brackets for cooling GPUs. Corsair H45 and MasterLiquid Lite 120 are not compatible with such mounting brackets.

In general, both Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120 are easy to install. However, Corsair H45 requires a bit more effort and patience, and perhaps some acrobatic hand maneuvers if you don’t have enough free space. MasterLiquid Lite 120 is relatively easier and more straightforward to set up.

Corsair H45 comes with a backplate which you need to install on the motherboard’s solder side if your socket is an Intel 115x type. Other Intel and AMD sockets can do with the original motherboard backplate. Then, you need to figure out the correct way to put the block on the CPU and install it with four spring-loaded screws. Finally, you can connect the radiator and the fan. Be careful with the elastic tubes, which may come into your way.

MasterLiquid Lite 120 follows a similar procedure. However, the tubes are not as elasticated as Corsair H45 tubes. As the effect, MasterLiquid Lite 120 feels easier to install, as the tubes won’t always get in your way and the radiator has a more compact size. You will find it easy to ensure that the block has sufficient contact with the processor, and that the mounting is strong and solid.

In terms of control, Corsair H45 and MasterLiquid Lite 120 are similar. Both are PWM coolers. PWM, or pulse width modulation, is a method for a computer to control its fan speed. This method enables the computer to adjust the cooling power dynamically according to the current workload and temperature, so the fan won’t run at full speed all the time.

Not all cooling systems in the market support PWM. Some products still rely on a basic 5V, 7V, or 12V voltage and always run at full power. PWM coolers like Corsair H45 and MasterLiquid Lite 120 are often preferred because they are far more efficient – not to mention that they won’t produce buzzing noise constantly.

Corsair H45 and MasterLiquid Lite 120 are connected to the computer by a 4-pin PWM connector. Every motherboard now has at least one 4-pin PWM connector. Meanwhile, high-end models may have four or even six connectors, so that you can install multiple fans.

Cooling Performance
So, how is the cooling performance of Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120? We can say that both are very good liquid coolers, but Corsair H45 is able to provide slightly higher cooling power than MasterLiquid Lite 120.

Let’s check their specifications first. Corsair H45 has a nominal fan speed of 2300 RPM. It can deliver 94 CFM airflow and 3.65mm-H2O static pressure. On the other hand, MasterLiquid Lite 120 ‘only’ has a maximum fan speed of 2000 RPM, and is able to deliver up to 66.7 CFM airflow and 2.34mm-H2O static pressure.

On an Intel i7 processor overclocked to 4.7 GHz at 1.26V, Corsair H45 keeps the temperature at around 37 degrees Celsius when idle, 65 degrees Celsius when working. Meanwhile, MasterLiquid Lite 120 is a bit hotter at 41 degrees Celsius when idle and 67 degrees Celsius when working.

A similar trend is found at higher overclock settings. At 4.9 GHz and 1.3V, Corsair H45 can keep the temperature at around 42 degrees Celsius on idle and 68 degrees Celsius when working. On the other hand, MasterLiquid Lite 120 has an average temperature of 42 degrees Celsius on idle and 69 degrees Celsius when working.

Indeed, Corsair H45 consistently keeps the temperatures of the processor cores lower. But we should point out that the temperature differences are not really huge. At high overclocking, the peak temperature difference is about 6 degrees Celsius.

Of course, the higher cooling power is still beneficial. It gives you some safe space on the ceiling, so that the CPU won’t immediately hit the limit when doing heavy work. This is just to say that MasterLiquid Lite 120 is also a capable liquid cooler that will allow you to achieve a nice overclock performance.

Nobody likes a loud cooling system. It is really annoying to hear a buzzing noise in the middle of intense gaming. Some people are even worried that they are probably overworking their CPUs too much when they hear loud fan noise. You will be surprised by how a quiet cooling system can make your gaming experience a lot more enjoyable.

Corsair H45 is indeed a powerful liquid cooler, but it can be pretty loud. The maximum noise level is rated at 31 dBA. To be fair, this is nothing like the sound of a refrigerator or an electric shaver. But the fan noise is certainly noticeable.

MasterLiquid Lite 120 is a little bit more noisy. The maximum noise level is about 36 dBA. Not a dramatic increase, but still noticeably higher. Even so, it is still quieter than refrigerator or electric shaver noise.

Don’t forget that these are PWM coolers. Their fan speeds are adjusted dynamically, so you won’t hear the fan noise constantly. When not doing heavy work, Corsair H45 and MasterLiquid Lite 120 are completely silent. They only start to generate significant fan noise when your computer is doing heavy processing.

Last but not least, let’s see the warranty information for each liquid cooler here. Nobody wants to get a damaged or defective product. A good warranty will ensure that you can get a replacement easily if you happen to get a bad product.

Corsair H45 is backed by a 5-year limited warranty, which is great. The company has been around for quite a long time, and they do provide good warranty service and customer support. The limited warranty covers all defects in the parts and build quality, but keep in mind that it won’t cover damage caused by improper installation or abuse.

MasterLiquid Lite 120 has a shorter limited warranty. It only goes for 2 years. The company is relatively newer, but they seem to provide good warranty service and customer support. That said, there are many users who say that this cooler won’t last long. The fan wears out quickly. You will need to start planning for a replacement after a year or so.

Corsair H45 vs MasterLiquid Lite 120

- Socket compatibility includes CPC 2011/AM3
- Fan details includes one 120 mm radiator, SP 120L PWM design
- Improved coldplate and pump design: better efficiency gives you lower temperatures with less noise.
- Easy Mounting: quick and easy installation
- Easy and Reliable - An easy install, reliable and low noise all-in-one liquid cooler for Intel and AMD systems.
- Dual Dissipation Pump - Its unique low-profile dual chamber pump design features a low vibration pump for cool and quiet operation.
- Robust FEP Tubing - Robust and extra thick FEP tubing ensures kink-resistance to ensure full liquid flow-rate and eliminates potential evaporation.
- Air Balance Fan Design - 120mm Air Balance fan's silent driver IC smoothens fan operation, reducing fan clicks and vibrations.

Between the two, Corsair H45 is more recommended. It has higher cooling power, so it is a bit better in keeping your CPU safe. It consistently keeps the processor temperatures lower. Also, the fan noise is relatively lower. Corsair H45 seems to be able to last for a longer time, and is indeed backed by a longer warranty.