Cooler Master V10 Review

gotdamojo06 - 2009-01-22 08:48:20 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06   
Reviewed on: February 16, 2009
Cooler Master
Price: $139.99

Introduction:  

Have you been looking to upgrade your processor's cooling solution? Are you big into overclocking your system but temperatures on your stock or other aftermarket cooler are not where you want them to be? Maybe you are just beginning to start in on the overclocking process and you would like to keep your temperatures in check and not worry about them bottlenecking your overclock. Well, you are looking in the right direction. Cooler Master, one of the most trusted names when it comes to processor cooling, has launched one of its long awaited coolers, the V10. The Cooler Master V10 CPU cooler is not only a large cooler that is going to be able to cool a large amount of heat coming from your processor, it is also going to be able to keep your RAM sticks cool with its extended arm. What makes the V10 different from others out on the market? It has to do with the TEC module that it has installed in it to help even more with the temperatures. I am curious to see how this cooler is going to be able to compare to the others that are out on the market.

 

Closer Look:

When you take a look at the packaging for the Cooler Master V10, a few different thoughts are going to cross your mind; the first one being the fact that the package looks very elegant, as it does not have words and crazy graphics plastered all over the front, all it has is the V10 logo in the lower left hand corner, the LGA1366 logo and the Core i7 logos in the right hand corner with the purple Thermalfusion 400 TIM logo above that. There is a large image of the Cooler Master V10 displayed on the front of the package to keep the consumer interested and allows them to see what the cooler looks like before they purchase it. There is a sentence at the bottom that reads "200+W Air Cooling With Hybrid TEC" at the bottom, which gives you the impression that the cooler is going to be able to cool a large amount of heat. The back of the package is set up very professionally as well; the left hand of the package is where you are going to find all of the main features that Cooler Master wanted you to know about, while the left side is where you are going to find all of the specifications about the V10 cooler. There are a few images and diagrams located at the bottom to help describe how large the cooler is and where all of the features are located. The two sides of the package are extremely simplistic, there is an image of the V10 with a list of the different processors that the V10 is able to cool.

 

 

 

When you open up the package, you are going to see that Cooler Master has taken quite a bit of care in the actual packaging of the V10 to ensure its safety during the shipping process. Inside of the cardboard outer package there is a molded piece of foam that is going to hold the V10 cooler along with all of the accessories in place to ensure they will not move around and suffer any damages.

 

 

Well, now that we know how the cooler is packaged, let's see what goodies come with it. Of course, there is going to be some documentation, such as the installation manual to make sure you know how to install it and which mounting hardware pieces you need to use for which socket. There is also a warranty card, along with the ThermalFusion thermal interface material sample. There is a bag of screws and nuts that you will need to use to install the mounting hardware and all of the brackets to the base of the cooler. The mounting hardware that is included with the Cooler Master V10 is the Intel LGA775 along with the LGA1366 mounting hardware, which makes this cooler something to look for as you will be able to upgrade to the newer Core i7 processor series from Intel and have a cooler to mount to it. There is also the green side of the things, AMD's universal mounting hardware is included, making this cooler able to be installed on virtually any setup.

 

 

Now that we know how the Cooler Master V10 is packaged and what accessories come with it, it's time to take a detailed look at it and see what she is made of.

Closer Look:

Taking the first look at the Cooler Master V10 CPU cooler, you are going to see exactly how large it actually is. There are two sections of the cooler that are very important to its intended usage. There is the main section that cools the processor directly above the base, and then there is a section that extends over the RAM sticks that is going to provide even more cooling to them than their stock heatspreaders. The V10 has an external casing that allows it to look more pleasing to the eyes, but it serves another purpose, directing the airflow inside of the cooler to make sure the air flows over all of the fins and heatpipes located inside of the cooler. The part that extends over the RAM sticks has its own 120mm fan to suck fresh air from inside the case and blow it directly down on them. Sitting on top of the base of the cooler is where you are going to find a black plastic piece that has some wires coming out of it, this is the power supply for the TEC unit that is located on the back side of the cooler that has its own dedicated four heatpipes to add extra cooling when the CPU begins to warm up to temperatures that are not desired and that will harm the processor itself. There are six more heatpipes that travel from the base and go out to the fins that are located inside of the black casing to transfer the heat that is coming off of the IHS and dissipated properly. There is another large 120mm fan that is sitting inside of the V10 cooler right behind the V10 logo that is visible from the back view; this is going to ensure that there is adequate airflow inside of the cooler to cool all of the fins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a look at the base is the best way to see all of the parts that make up the TEC unit that is installed on the V10. There is the TEC itself that is mounted on the four heatpipes that are traveling upwards off the base of the cooler. There is the small plastic box that is sitting atop the base of the cooler that converts the power coming into it from the power supply into the proper wattage needed for the TEC. There is also the large 120mm fan that I wanted to take a look at that covers the RAM sticks. There is a wire mesh-like grill that covers the top of it to keep any dust from collecting inside of it and blocking the spaces between the fins of the heatsink located under the fan.

 

 

The base of the Cooler Master V10 is a copper base that is nickel coated to ensure that it has a flat surface with little to no imperfections to ensure proper heat transfer from the IHS of the processor to the cooler. I installed one bracket from both the LGA1366 and the LGA775 kits to show you the difference in sizes of the sockets and to show you that they are almost the same piece. The one located on the left hand side is the LGA1366 while the smaller one on the right is the LGA775 piece.

 

 

I decided to show you what the V10 looks like without the black casing installed on it; this will give you an idea of how the three seperate fin arrays are steup and how the fans are positioned inside of the casing. There are two fin arrays that stand straight up off of the base that are separated by a 120mm fan, very similar to the design of the V8 cooler Cooler Master launched about a year ago that worked quite well. Instead of having two more vertical fin arrays on either side of the exisiting two, Cooler Master decided to make the fins thicker and add a third laying horizontally to cover the RAM modules and lay a fan on top to add more airflow. Neither one of the fans are screwed in place, the one in the center has spreaders on it to make sure that it does not go anywhere; however, the other one is just sitting there and is held in place by the plastic covering.

 

 

 

 

The two fans that are included with the Cooler Master V10 are both 120x120x25mm fans that operate at 800~2400 RPM and produce 90CFM of airflow with a 2.94mm H20 air pressure. They use Riffle Bearings and operate around 17dBA for an estimated 40,000 hours at 25°C. They are powered up by a single 4-pin PWM power connector that needs to be plugged into the fan header located on the motherboard. The two fans are connected to each other and powered by the same power connector. I am also going to show you a picture of the 4-pin Molex connector that the TEC power supply uses to get power from your power supply, it looks exactly like any other 4-pin Molex connector you may have inside your computer for a case fan.

 

 

 

 

The V10 covers just about the entire PCB of the motherboard from one side to the other, though that just means that it is going to be able to pull off the most heat it can! 

 

Now that we know exactly how the Cooler Master V10 cooler was constructed and how it is set up, it's time to put the thing up to the rigorous testing and see how it compares to the others out on the market.

Specifications:

 

Socket Type

Intel: LGA1366 & LGA775
AMD: Socket AM2, 939, 940 & 754

Heatsink Material

Aluminum Fins; Copper Base

Heatsink Dimensions

236.5 x 129.6 x 161.3 mm

Heatsink Heatpipes

10 @ 6mm diameter

Fan Dimensions

2x 120 x 120 x 25 mm

Fan Speed

800~2400RPM (10% Varrance)

Fan Bearing Type

Riffle Bearing

Fan Noise Level

17 dBA

Fan connector

4 pin PWM

Fan Color

Smoked

Total Weight

1200g

TEC Operation Temperature

25 ~ 75°C

TEC Rated Power

70W (MAX)

TED Rated Current

9.8A (MAX)

 

Features:

 

 

All information courtesy of Coolermaster @ http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=2880

Testing:

To properly test the Cooler Master V10 CPU Cooler's ability to cool a processor, I will need to monitor the processor's temperature. I will break the temperatures up into four different tests. The first test is going to be done at stock settings and at idle, which will have little to no CPU usage. The next test will have the processor at stock settings and at full load, or 100% CPU usage. I will repeat this when the processor is overclocked. To monitor the processor, I will be using Real Temp 3.00 and using the Maximum CPU temperature feature to gather the temperatures and for the stress testing application to simulate a full load of the processor I will be using Prime95 25.7. I will be using the Blend test in Prime95 and run it on all four cores and the four simulated Hyper Threading cores for one whole hour. The settings used during the overclocked tests are going to make the i7 processor run at 25% higher than stock speeds, giving me 3332MHz, with a 166MHz FSB and a 20x multiplier; the vCore for the processor will be set to 1.12V. With these settings the i7 will be producing a calculated 183.12 Watts of heat. Let's see which coolers are going to be able to take such a large heat load and yield some good temperatures!
 

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heatsinks:

NOTE: Some of the listed heatsinks were originally tested using a different processor, however they have recently been retested to gather new data after we switched to the i7 920. The new temperatures are represented in the graphs below.

 

 

 

 

Wow, what is there to say other than the fact that the Cooler Master V10 is a winner? It was able to beat the other four coolers that it was put up against, with the exception of the Noctua NH-U12P SE during the Stock Load test. I was surprised when I saw temperatures around 60°C when the 920 was overclocked to 3.33GHz! With the heat generated by the IMC and CPU cores, an efficient cooling solution is required.

Conclusion:

The Cooler Master V10 CPU Cooler is a very unique cooler in a few different aspects. The first being the actual design of the cooler with the second being the integrated TEC installed on the back of the cooler. When I first took a look at the V10, I was impressed with its size and the actual feel of the cooler, it is large enough to cover the processor as well as have enough room to cover the memory modules you have installed on your board, or it could cover your North Bridge depending on which way you wanted to position it. The TEC that was installed on the cooler makes for a great addition to the large amount of surface area that the V10 was able to provide, which by itself would be able to dissipate the heat enough to cool the processor into the ranges desired; however, the TEC would be able to provide that extra little boost to help cool it even more. The size of the cooler was not only a good thing, but with some setups, the heatsinks on your memory modules could be too tall for use the V10. I personally do not have a problem with the weight of the cooler, but there are a few people out there who may stay away from the heavier coolers as they seem like they could possibly fall off or crack the PCB of the motherboard. Its massive size may be a turnoff for some people as well and makes mounting into a mid tower chassis a more than challenging proposition. The mounting hardware that comes included with all of CoolerMaster's high performance coolers is exactly the same. I love the bolt on mounting hardware for its sturdiness, though I hate it for the fact that you have to pull your motherboard out every time you need to switch CPUs or change your cooler. For the everyday user, however, the mounting hardware would be fine as one would only have to install it once and it would be good.

The temperatures that the cooler was able to produce were great. They were right in line with the others out on the market, but when the heat really kicked in, the V10 was able to give you that extra few degrees to be the "coolest" cooler out there right now (yes, pun intended). The one serious drawback I found with the V10 is the price. For $140, the price for performance equation really does not work. At that price you can pick up two of just about any other top air cooling solutions on the market. Get the pricing more in line with the performance and you have a serious contender for the top air cooling dollars looking to be spent. The multi-platform design that Cooler Master integrated is always a great idea, especially when the company sends you the mounting hardware for the new LGA1366 socket. If you are looking for a new cooler and you are an overclocker, I would suggest picking this one up. It will give you temperatures that you are going to be looking for, it will give you some extra cooling for your RAM sticks if they do not have tall heatspreaders, and it will also give you a great turn around value if you decided to upgrade to the new LGA1366 socket from your LGA775 or even if you wanted to go to the AM3 socket type that will be coming out shortly if you are running on the AM2 or even one of the older AMD socket types. It looks as though the V10 has pulled to the top of our list of heatsinks tested on Intel's socket 1366 platform and it does an admirable job of cooling the processor down even with the increase in voltage. Massive size, excellent cooling! What more could you ask for?

 

Pros:

 

Cons: