Cooler Master produces some of the most popular cases and after-market accessories including fans, power supplies and coolers for the enthusiast market and is probably a name most enthusiasts know. The Cosmos S is still one of the most popular cases to mod and personalize, even after being on the market for more than 2 years. Cooler Master is certainly one of the larger companies that cater to our community, and because of that, we were sure to include Cooler Master in our Air Cooling coverage. Once again, there is a CES connection to the V8 showing up for testing… I saw the Cooler Master V8 all over the place, mounted on motherboards in acrylic show/bench cases from lots of vendors on the CES floor. There is a lot more that can be said about Cooler Master in the intro here, but this is not a company profile article.
Just one more quick pause… We have to thank the group at FrozenCPU for sponsoring our Air Cooler testing and providing Skinnee Labs with a Cooler Master V8 for testing. Now without further adieu, lets get to the matter at hand…
At first glance, you will notice the Cooler Master V8 does not look like your typical heat pipe tower cooler although there are heat pipes and fins everywhere. The V8 sports eight 6mm heat pipes in total, with the outside fin sections getting four pipes (two per) and the main towers sharing four heat pipes. The four fin sections are split with the fan sandwiched in between the large main fin towers, and two smaller fin sections on the outsides. Cooler Master refers to the fin sections as “modular sets”, and they are confirmed as aluminum (not that there was any debate). These spider webs of heat pipes all run into a copper base, which is smooth but has a visible spiral pattern on the surface (not sure my photo captured that well). The Cooler Master V8 is certainly an interesting design and presents quite a bit of surface area for heat dissipation. To note, Cooler Master lists the V8 as a 180W cooling solution.
In terms of socket compatibility, Cooler Master has kept the V8 up to date with mounting systems for all current Intel and AMD layouts including LGA775, LGA1156, LGA1366, Socket AM2, Socket AM2+ and Socket AM3. The mounting system did throw me for a few loops in testing though… but let me explain. Just like many other coolers, the V8 comes with arms that attach to the cooler base but no screws to tighten on the top side. Instead, you fasten the cooler using nuts (and included socket) on the bottom side of the board. The mounting system can almost be described as mounting the board to the cooler versus the typical mounting the cooler to the board. I see this system two ways, the mount system is perfectly fine and works well to get consistent mounts, but for a tester it’s a royal pain. In testing, I had to completely remove the board from the bench in order to remount the cooler for each of the 15 test runs. The plus side, I did figure out a slick way to get consistent mounts and this may have been obvious to many of you… I set the cooler on the chip like normal, but I slide the board half off the table and then fastened the nuts from the bottom side of the board. Using that method, I was able to get quite consistent mounts…as you will see on the Test Results page. Now, if I stuck with my original idea of flipping the board over who knows how much variability there would have been.
One of the features that caught my eye when un-boxing the Cooler Master V8 was the potentiometer to control the stock fan, which was nice to see an integrated fan controller, but looks were a little deceiving. Cooler Master does include a PCI slot cover to house the pot, so there is no need to have it dangling around your case either. The stock fan that comes with the V8 is the A12025-20RB-4DP-F1 fan, which is listed for 800-1800RPM/69CFM/21dBA and seems to be the default fan for Cooler Masters heatsink line-up. However, we were not able to hit anywhere near 800RPM by adjusting the pot to minimum. If you wanted to go lower than 1400RPM you would need also need to adjust the voltage coming from the header/power source.
The Cooler Master V8 measures in at 165mm in tall, 126mm wide (fin to fin) and 120mm in depth (fan edge to fan edge). Best way to figure out if the V8 will fit in your case is to measure from the top of the CPU socket and be sure you have at least 165mm to your case window/panel, just be sure to verify clearance as the V8 is one of the tallest coolers we tested.
We cannot proceed without showing some eye candy, doing so is just not acceptable. I was sure to include a photo of the mount system so you have a visual perspective on my explanation above, and yeah the mount system does not crowd the socket area, which is nice, and with the design and footprint of the cooler the bottom side is quite possibly the only way to work the mounting system. Also is a naked shot of the V8 with the top cover and fan removed to see those 4 sets of cooling fins.
To note, some of the photos were taken after putting the V8 through the full test procedure, I do apologize for the fingerprints. I should have verified my photos were of good quality before proceeding to test. Time to cover test methodology before diving into the performance data…