Now for the portion of the review that you have been waiting for… performance. To reiterate from the Test Methodology and Specification, after the best orientation is determined we cover a minimum of 3 fan speeds per cooler using a common fan and at least one set of mounts when a fan is supplied in the retail package.
The Cooler Master V8 comes with a fan, and the potentiometer so we have 2 sets of tests with the stock fan followed by our common fan (Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850) tests. Before we start covering the test run data, here are photos of the tested and best performing orientation along with a TIM print from the orientation testing.
If you are familiar with the EVGA X58 Classified, you know the orientation of the CPU socket, if not then this orientation is what I call “Fan parallel to socket arm” which is the best performing orientation for the Cooler Master V8 on our bench and will be used for all logged test runs. You cannot tell in the photo, but the socket arm is just behind that last stick of RAM and under that first set of fins. When looking at the TIM print, you are probably wondering about the spread… have to love MX-3 and its consistency. For those of you who have worked with MX-3 before you know firsthand of the consistency which I can only describe as an oily, clay like combination. When I first opened a tube and started using MX-3, I thought maybe I got a bad batch… but no, each tube had the same consistency. For more info on Arctic Cooling MX-3, check out our TIM Round-Up V1.1.
Kicking us off is the stock fan included with the Cooler Master V8 retail package at full RPM. In the data table you will see the data collected from each of the 3 mounts with the stock fan at maximum or “full” RPM as I refer to it. In the data tables, you will see RPM average for all 3 mounts is in the upper right hand corner of the table. As with all our reviews at Skinnee Labs, we provide as much data as possible and the data tables below should satisfy all your desires for data.
With my half off the table mounting method, mount consistency of the V8 was great on the full RPM tests. The stock fan of the V8 does move quite a bit of air at full RPM, the noise level is a bit higher than I expected but nothing close to a 38mm fan. With that said, the V8 does a good job of handling the load of our high overclock settings keeping 4 Core Average temps in the 65C range when adjusted for an ambient of 21C. Towards the end of the page, you will see a full chart with compiled data and comparison to a Noctua NH-U12P. However, we have more data to cover before comparison time… Time to turn the potentiometer all the way down for our minimum RPM tests.
With the pot adjusted to minimum and the fan header still supplying full voltage, we were able to drop the fan speed by roughly 25% to 1476 RPM. The fan certainly did get a bit quieter, but still audible so I question the dBA rating, but even still the V8 kept the load from our 920 D0 under 70C coming in with a 4 Core Avg. of at 68.02C when adjusted for 21C Air In temperature. Not a bad showing for the Cooler Master V8 and stock fan.
With the stock fan data presented, we can move on to the common fan for all coolers, the Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850 (AP-15), this way we can provide a comparison of every cooler. With the GT-1850 mounted up in the middle of the V8, we see the load temps rise over the stock fan at minimum RPM by just over 1C. Which is somewhat surprising at first glance, but in reality the cooling fin arrangement does pose significant air restriction for the fan. This explains Cooler Master’s choice of fan bundled with the V8 and why the high RPM. Mounting remained very consistent with only some slight variation between mounts, my half off the table mounting methods showing its genius.
Time to adjust the GT-1850 down to 1300 RPM, and as expected, we see a rise in Core Temps up to 72.29C. The system remained stable even with temps reaching 75C on two cores during the test runs. Mounts were still consistent with only minimal variation amongst the three.
Unfortunately, here is where we reach the limitations of the Cooler Master V8 on our bench tests… The V8 with a Gentle Typhoon 1850 at 900RPM just could not handle the watt load of our 920 D0 at 1.275V vcore.
After covering the stock and common fan tests, time to bring the data into one chart and compare the Cooler Master V8 to our chosen cooler for comparisons, the Noctua NH-U12P. For the comparison, we will only include the single fan data from the Noctua since the V8 is a single fan cooler. Okay, time for the comparison chart…
Okay, now that we have looked over the comparison you can see the stock fan of the V8 does hold its own. However, with the GT-1850 the temps jump, which certainly surprised me with the stats on the Gentle Typhoon. With the fan sitting in the center of the cooler having to pull air through two sets (crosshatch even) of aluminum fins and then push through another set, which requires high static pressure and air flow from the fan. I guess the stock Cooler Master fan is more up to the job than the mighty Gentle Typhoon.