Cooler Master V8 GTS CPU Cooler ReviewWaco - August 6, 2013
» Discuss this article (16)
Cooler Master V8 GTS CPU Cooler Closer Look:
Behold: the Cooler Master V8 GTS! Ditching the single-fan design of the prior V8, the new GTS version sports a pair of 140mm fans that should offer great airflow through the triple radiators without a ton of noise. The integrated shrouds direct airflow through the center of the heatsink with very little room for air to escape on its journey of cooling.
Even from the side of the cooler, you can tell that the V8 GTS means business. The dual heatpipes that feed each of the auxiliary radiators stick very prominently out the sides, with the shroud overhanging the top on each side. The whole assembly feels quite sturdy and, while not a super-heavyweight, this cooler is not light. Tipping the scales at over two pounds in full running garb, you can see quite easily why Cooler Master includes a fairly beefy backplate in the box. The top of the shroud sports the Cooler Master logo with a small inset "V8 GTS" stamped into the black plastic. As hinted at by the box, this cooler does indeed have integrated red LEDs to throw off a nice evil glow into your case while running.
Now we come to the most interesting part of the whole cooler: the vapor chamber. The entire baseplate is essentially a flat heatpipe that is more commonly seen on GPU coolers with monstrous TDPs. The sole purpose of the vapor chamber is to wick heat away from your CPU and direct it into the eight heatpipes as fast as possible. The machining on the base isn't great as you can see in the shots below. The machining marks are clearly visible and while the base is flat, the grooves are deep enough that they can easily be felt when running a finger across the surface. Even the Lego man had to scoot up closer to try and see his wonderful reflection. Ultimately he failed; the base of the V8 GTS just doesn't have the same smoothness usually associated with high-end heatsinks.
I'm going to apologize in advance here: this cooler is a pain in the ass to install and it makes me cranky just thinking about wrestling it into place. The test case, a Corsair 650D, is by no means a small case. Even with it being a larger case, the V8 GTS is terribly frustrating to install. After attaching the backplate (easy, by the way), you're forced to somehow place the cooler on your CPU and attach the four hex nuts that hold it in place. This sounds easy, but not only did I have to remove the video card and RAM to install this cooler (which really isn't too unexpected), but I had to remove the top fan in the case too! Even with everything cleared out of the way, just getting the small hex nuts onto the mounting bracket was difficult because of the placement of the heatpipes and the overall size of the cooler.
I've installed a lot of coolers in my time on this planet and I honestly think this is one of the few I'd rather not have ever touched. The included wrench is helpful in tightening things down, but would be entirely useless if the heatsinks surrounding your motherboard socket are tall at all. The only way I can imagine this cooler being easy to install is if you have an open-air testbed or if you install it with the motherboard out of the case (though I'm wary about moving my motherboard with two pounds hanging off of it).