The Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler
The newest offering to the cooling community from Cooler Master is simply called V8. With a name like V8 it is almost a given that the cooler would have a style to match the strong name, and looking at the top of the cooler one would think that they are looking down on a car engine. Let’s take a quick look at the specifications for the V8 before we get too far:
- CPU Socket
- Intel Socket : LGA775 LGA1366 (With optional mounting hardware)
- AMD Socket : AM2+, AM2, 940
- Intel : Core i7, Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium Extreme Ed., Pentium Dual-Core, Pentium D, Pentium 4 Extreme Ed., Pentium 4 HT, Pentium 4,Celeron Dual-Core, Celeron D
- AMD : Phenom, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon X2, Sempron
The V8 comes in a simple box with a dramatic posing of the V8 cooler.
Out of the box we can see that the cooler comes held snuggly in place in a plastic clamshell.
Looking from the top of the cooler we can see the top of the fan mount and shroud.
The shroud is held in place with 4 screws and 4 of the 8 vertical heatpipes.
Looking at the cooler from the side we can see that there are 4 separate sets of cooling fins. The outer sets of fins are 90 degrees to the inner sets. The fan is center mounted and solely supported from the top plate.
With the fan removed and the cooler on its side we can get a real good look at the almost crazy bends of the heatpipes. There are 2 separate pipes for each outer fin set. The inner fin sets share 4 ‘U’ shape pipes.
Here is a look from the top with the fan removed.
Speaking of the fan, the fan for the V8 is a 9 blade 120mm fan. The fan also has a hard wired fan controller and 4 pin fan power connector. I would have personally liked to have seen a fan controller that wasn’t hard wired to the fan. Seeing that the fan is not wired in a typical way, replacing the fan could be interesting.
The fan is mounted to the top plate/shroud. It is clipped in place, and to help reduce noise there are foam pads between the fan and the top plate/shroud.
The base of the V8 is good, but not a mirror finish.
Installing the V8
Everything needed is provided to mount the cooler to your LGA775 or AM2 socket. There is also an optional LGA1366 bracket kit that will allow the V8 to be used with the new Core i7 CPUs.
I’ll be setting the cooler up to be used on our Intel test system. The first step is to install the mounting studs to the LGA brackets. The mounting studs attach to the brackets with a left hand thread, so you're not crazy when you have to turn the screw the “wrong way” to tighten it.
Once you have the mounting studs installed you have to install foam insulators on each.
Then you have to attach the brackets to the cooler base with 2 screws each.
Then, all that is left is to mount the cooler to the board, place the backing plate, and secure it all with 4 hex nuts. Now this is the one part that is similar to installing a real V8; you might want to get a second set of hands. It can be done without help, but it gets very interesting balancing the board on the cooler and all while trying to start 4 hex nuts.
At first I thought that the provided socket would not work as it is wider than the backing plate. With a little patience it does tighten up and there is just enough engagement between the nut and socket to get the job done.
Here we have the V8 installed in our Intel test bench. The V8 clears all the motherboard components with ease and room to spare. The fan control also mounted easily into the expansion slot just above the video card.
The Test System
To test the V8 cooler we ran it on our Intel Core 2 Quad test platform, which was then run at default and overclocked settings. As a baseline all coolers will be compared to the stock Intel cooler; we will also compare it to the other recently tested air coolers. All the temperatures were obtained by using Core Temp 0.95 after sitting at idle for 30 minutes and then again under 100% load for 30 minutes. To obtain 100% load, I ran four instances of Super Pi 32m calculation with the affinity of each set to a different core. I used two profiles to test all of the coolers and they are listed below. The room temperature was kept a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22c) for all benchmarking. All of the coolers were tested with Arctic Silver Lumiere as the thermal interface material.
The rest of the system is as follows:
- Motherboard: Intel 975XBX2
- CPU: Intel Q6600
- Ram: Kingston Hyper-X DDR2 KHX9600D2/1G
- Hard Drive: Western Digital 250gb SATA
- Case: Ultra M998
- Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750 Quad
Profile 1: The Normal User (No Overclocking)
- CPU Multiplier: 9x
- CPU voltage: 1.2000V
- FSB Voltage: 1.20V
- FSB: 1066MHz
- Memory Voltage: 2.20V
- Final CPU Frequency: 2.4GHz
Profile 2: The Average Enthusiast (Mild Overclocking)
- CPU Multiplier: 9x
- CPU voltage: 1.435V
- FSB Voltage: 1.30V
- FSB: 1336MHz
- Memory Voltage: 2.24V
- Final CPU Frequency: 3.0GHz
Results and Final Thoughts
First, we will take a look at the results with the test system running at the stock settings. The V8 cooled our Q6600 quad core to an average core temp of 44.75*C under full load with the fan on high. With the fan on low the V8 cooled the Q6600 to an average core temp of 47.25*C.
Now with the test system overclocked to 3.0GHz, the V8 is still doing very well with the fan on high. With the high setting the V8 cooled the Q6600 to an average core temp of 46.75*C, and with the fan on low, an average core temp of 48.25*C was achieved.
The V8 from Cooler Master is a very unique looking cooler that performs quite well. In the cooler world today it is getting harder to tell one tower cooler from another. This is not the case with the V8. With its crazy heatpipe bends and the fan shroud it makes the cooler stand out. Combined with the fact it really can perform, to me this makes the V8 a very attractive cooler.
The fan for the V8 is a love/hate type of setup for me. I like the fact the fan has a controller for it; hate the fact that it is hard wired to the fan itself. This makes replacing the fan difficult, if needed. The LEDs on the fan shroud are nice as they draw your eyes to the cooler if you run a side window, and you should as it’s too cool not to show off, but I would be just as happy if they were not there. With the fan on high the sound level was noticeable if my head was right next to the case. On low the fan was not noticeable at all.
The V8 is a very nice cooler as you can use it for both LGA775 and LGA1366 with an optional mount bracket kit. Why is this nice? Well, if you drop $55-70 (depending on where you shop) on this cooler you’re going to want to use it as long as you can. With the availability of the LGA1366 bracket kit from Cooler Master you can buy the cooler for your current rig and transfer it to your Core i7 rig.
We have to give the Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler the innovation award as we have never seen a design like this. It also seems that this unique modular fin arrangement has something going for it as the V8 CPU Cooler did better than most of the coolers we have tested in the past.
Legit Bottom Line: The V8 CPU cooler from Cooler Master is one of the most unique looking coolers I have looked at in the last year, and it performs as good as it looks.