Cooler Master V8 GTS CPU Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on July 16, 2013
Cooler Master launched today the V8 GTS, a CPU cooler with three heatsinks, eight 6 mm heatpipes, two 140 mm fans, and a vapor chamber. Let’s see if these incredible characteristics really bring an incredible cooling performance.
Figure 1 shows the box of the Cooler Master V8 GTS.
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the cooler itself, a small syringe of thermal compound, the manual, a Y-harness to connect the fans, and installation hardware.
Figure 3 displays the Cooler Master V8 GTS.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 illustrates the front of the heatsink. There is a smaller heatsink in front of the fan, connected to the base by two heatpipes. There is an identical heatsink on the rear of the cooler.
Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler. Notice that the fans are attached to a holder that fits over the central heatsink.
The top of the cooler is visible in Figure 6, where the black plastic “armor” is all you can see.
Figure 7 shows the heatpipes at the base of the cooler. The four heatpipes at the center connect to the central heatsink, while both heatpipes at the edges connect to one of the smaller heatsinks.
Figure 8 shows the base of the cooler. This base is actually a horizontal vapor chamber that works the same way as a heatpipe, having a phase-change fluid that absorbs heat from the side that is in contact to the CPU and releases it in the upper side, where the heatpipes are welded. The point of this chamber is to equally distribute the heat among the eight heatpipes.
Unfastening two screws at the top of the cooler, you can remove the plastic armor with the fans. The heatsink without them can be seen in Figure 9.
Figure 10 reveals the 140 mm PWN fans (model A14025-16CB-4FBP-F1, 1,600 rpm, 82 cfm, 36 dBA, 3.72 W) that come with the V8 GTS. They are partially transparent and have red LEDs.
Figure 11 shows the backplate for use with AMD processors (at the left) and the one for Intel sockets LGA775, LGA 1150, LGA 1155, LGA 1156, and LGA1366 CPUs (at the right). Socket LGA2011 systems will use the stock mounting system.
The first step of the installation is to fasten two holders at the base of the cooler. Figure 12 shows the clips for use with Intel CPUs installed.
Then, place the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, and install four spacers (shown in Figure 13) on the component side.
Finally, put the cooler over the CPU and hold it in with four nuts. Fastening the nuts is not easy because they are hard to reach, especially if your motherboard is already installed in the case.
Figure 14 shows the V8 GTS in action. Besides the red LEDs in the fans, there is also a set of LEDs in the plastic cover, with a nice looking result.
We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.
During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||Speed||Core Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|Intel stock cooler||18 °C||41 dBA||2000 rpm||97 °C||79 °C|
|Cooler Master Hyper TX3||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 ºC||51 °C|
|Corsair A70||23 °C||51 dBA||2000 rpm||66 ºC||43 °C|
|Corsair H100||26 °C||62 dBA||2000 rpm||64 ºC||38 °C|
|EVGA Superclock||26 °C||57 dBA||2550 rpm||67 ºC||41 °C|
|NZXT HAVIK 140||20 °C||46 dBA||1250 rpm||65 ºC||45 °C|
|Thermalright True Spirit 120||26 °C||42 dBA||1500 rpm||82 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman CNPS12X||26 °C||43 dBA||1200 rpm||71 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900 Max||20 °C||51 dBA||1700 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition||22 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||65 °C||43 °C|
|SilenX EFZ-120HA5||18 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||70 °C||52 °C|
|Noctua NH-L12||20 °C||44 dBA||1450 rpm||70 °C||50 °C|
|Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||2550 rpm||71 °C||50 °C|
|Gamer Storm Assassin||15 °C||48 dBA||1450 rpm||58 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 400||15 °C||44 dBA||1500 rpm||60 °C||45 °C|
|Cooler Master TPC 812||23 °C||51 dBA||2350 rpm||66 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool Gammaxx 300||18 °C||43 dBA||1650 rpm||74 °C||56 °C|
|Intel stock cooler||18 °C||41 dBA||2000 rpm||97 °C||79 °C|
|Xigmatek Praeton||19 °C||52 dBA||2900 rpm||83 °C||64 °C|
|Noctua NH-U12P SE2||18 °C||42 dBA||1300 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Deepcool Frostwin||24 °C||46 dBA||1650 rpm||78 °C||54 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio Advanced||13 °C||56 dBA||2000 rpm||62 °C||49 °C|
|Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition||9 °C||48 dBA||2100 rpm||53 °C||44 °C|
|Thermaltake Frio Extreme||21 °C||53 dBA||1750 rpm||59 °C||38 °C|
|Noctua NH-U9B SE2||12 °C||44 dBA||1700 rpm||64 °C||52 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro||15 °C||54 dBA||2000 rpm||52 °C||37 °C|
|Deepcool Fiend Shark||18 °C||45 dBA||1500 rpm||74 °C||56 °C|
|Arctic Freezer i30||13 °C||42 dBA||1350 rpm||63 °C||50 °C|
|Spire TME III||8 °C||46 dBA||1700 rpm||70 °C||62 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Performer||11 °C||54 dBA||2000 rpm||49 °C||38 °C|
|Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS||11 °C||45 dBA||2000 rpm||82 °C||71 °C|
|be quiet! Dark Rock 2||10 °C||41 dBA||1300 rpm||58 °C||48 °C|
|Phanteks PH-TC14CS||16 °C||47 dBA||1300 rpm||58 °C||42 °C|
|Phanteks PH-TC14PE||16 °C||48 dBA||1300 rpm||57 °C||41 °C|
|SilverStone HE01 (Q)||19 °C||44 dBA||1150 rpm||63 °C||44 °C|
|SilverStone HE01 (P)||20 °C||57 dBA||2050 rpm||62 °C||42 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (S)||17 °C||44 dBA||1250 rpm||52 °C||35 °C|
|Thermaltake WATER2.0 Extreme (E)||17 °C||53 dBA||1900 rpm||50 °C||33 °C|
|Deepcool Neptwin||11 °C||46 dBA||1500 rpm||56 °C||45 °C|
|SilverStone HE02||19 °C||49 dBA||2000 rpm||64 °C||45 °C|
|Zalman CNPS9900DF||23 °C||45 dBA||1400 rpm||68 °C||45 °C|
|Deepcool ICE BLADE PRO V2.0||22 °C||43 dBA||1500 rpm||67 °C||45 °C|
|Phanteks PH-TC90LS||24 °C||47 dBA||2600 rpm||95 °C||71 °C|
|Rosewill AIOLOS||20 °C||40 dBA||1600 rpm||94 °C||74 °C|
|Corsair H60||20 °C||49 dBA||2000 rpm||64 °C||44 °C|
|Zalman LQ310||27 °C||51 dBA||2050 rpm||65 °C||38 °C|
|Noctua NH-L9i||24 °C||44 dBA||2500 rpm||95 °C||71 °C|
|NZXT Respire T40||20 °C||45 dBA||1850 rpm||76 °C||56 °C|
|NZXT Respire T20||21 °C||45 dBA||1900 rpm||77 °C||56 °C|
|Zalman LQ315||20 °C||52 dBA||1950 rpm||57 °C||37 °C|
|Corsair H80i (Quiet)||19 °C||44 dBA||1100 rpm||61 °C||42 °C|
|Corsair H80i (Maximum)||19 °C||57 dBA||2500 rpm||55 °C||36 °C|
|NZXT Kraken X40 (Silent)||25 °C||44 dBA||1050 rpm||66 °C||41 °C|
|NZXT Kraken X40 (Extreme)||25 °C||53 dBA||1650 rpm||62 °C||37 °C|
|Zalman LQ320||20 °C||52 dBA||2100 rpm||57 °C||37 °C|
|Corsair H100i (Quiet)||22 °C||45 dBA||1150 rpm||58 °C||36 °C|
|Corsair H100i (Maximum)||22 °C||61 dBA||2500 rpm||54 °C||32 °C|
|NZXT Kraken X60 (Silent)||26 °C||46 dBA||1000 rpm||62 °C||36 °C|
|NZXT Kraken X60 (Extreme)||26 °C||60 dBA||1650 rpm||60 °C||34 °C|
|Prolimatech Genesis Black Series||25 °C||46 dBA||1150 rpm||69 °C||44 °C|
|Phanteks PH-TC12DX||25 °C||51 dBA||1850 rpm||74 °C||49 °C|
|Corsair H90||23 °C||51 dBA||1550 rpm||61 °C||38 °C|
|Corsair H110||27 °C||58 dBA||1500 rpm||60 °C||33 °C|
|Evercool Venti||23 °C||49 dBA||2250 rpm||72 °C||49 °C|
|Thermalright Archon SB-E X2||22 °C||45 dBA||1400 rpm||68 °C||46 °C|
|Scythe Kabuto II||20 °C||41 dBA||1450 rpm||67 °C||47 °C|
|Prolimatech Megahalems Red Series||20 °C||51 dBA||1500 rpm||63 °C||43 °C|
|Zalman FX100 (fanless)||18 °C||NA||NA||98 °C||80 °C|
|Zalman FX100 (92 mm fan)||18 °C||50 dBA||2850 rpm||69 °C||51 °C|
|Gelid The Black Edition||21 °C||45 dBA||1650 rpm||66 °C||45 °C|
|Thermalright AXP-100||22 °C||42 dBA||2400 rpm||76 °C||54 °C|
|SilverStone NT06-PRO||19 °C||50 dBA||2400 rpm||72 °C||53 °C|
|SilverStone AR01||11 °C||46 dBA||2150 rpm||53 °C||42 °C|
|Cooler Master Seidon 120M||16 °C||52 dBA||2300 rpm||58 °C||42 °C|
|Enermax ETS-T40-White Cluster||16 °C||50 dBA||2200 rpm||63 °C||47 °C|
|Cooler Master Seidon 120XL||17 °C||54 dBA||2250 rpm||55 °C||38 °C|
|Cooler Master Seidon 240M||13 °C||59 dBA||2200 rpm||49 °C||36 °C|
|SilverStone AR02||9 °C||46 dBA||2800 rpm||60 °C||51 °C|
|Cooler Master V8 GTS||10 °C||51 dBA||1650 rpm||54 °C||44 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.
The main specifications for the Cooler Master V8 GTS CPU cooler include:
The Cooler Master V8 GTS is really impressive. Its specifications are amazing: three heatsinks, two 140 mm fans, eight heatpipes, and a vapor chamber base. It also looks impressive, with the black “armor” and red LEDs everywhere.
But the cooling performance in our tests was a little disappointing. Not that it performs badly; it actually performed as well as the best air coolers we tested so far. But its design is so very innovative and audacious, that we were expecting an out-of-this-world cooling performance.
With these results, as well as the numbers we saw in the Cooler Master TPC 812, we have a feeling that vapor chamber technology brings no real-world performance gain to CPU coolers, since models with a much simpler design, such as the SilverStone AR01 and EVGA Superclock, reached slightly better results.
Anyway, the Cooler Master V8 GTS CPU cooler is a great product, with a stunning look and excellent performance, so it received the Hardware Secrets Golden Award.