Cooler Master V8 GTS Review
Published: 6th November 2013 | Source: Cooler Master | Price: £70 |
Whether you buy into the Cooler Master marketing of the cooler as "Seemingly channelling the power of the muscle cars that inspired its design" or not there's no denying that the V8 GTS is a substantial bit of kit. It measures 166.5mm from end to end and is 154mm deep. Thankfully though that's where the mega measurements cease as the height of the assembly is a mere 149.8mm. A smart move by Cooler Master enabling the V8 GTS to fit into not only huge cases such as the Storm Trooper we use as our heat sink test case, but also a good many more diminutive mid tower cases.
There's a very good reason for this bulk, under the subtle red LED lit top cover and fan fascia can be found no less than three fin stacks. The central stack being the biggest at 40mm thick, with two smaller lateral stacks measuring 25mm thick. A total of eight 6mm heat pipes are split between the three stacks, with four running into the central area while the remaining four are split two each between the lateral stacks. These lateral stacks are also elevated to improve RAM compatibility. Sandwiched between both lateral and inner stacks are a pair of Custom Cooler Master 140mm fans. The 20mm thick fans are rated between 600 and 1600RPM, generating between 28-82 CFM of airflow and 0.3-1.45mmH20 of static pressure. On the down side all this performance comes at a price, a very loud price in fact with the fans generating between 16 and 36dBA. The numbers are pretty arbitrary but believe us when we say that at full chat, which is how we do our testing, this is one cacophonous cooler.
We've fitted a fair few coolers in our time here at OC3D. For the most part mating the cooler to the CPU is a breeze with a few exceptions gaining our praise over the years for innovative fitting mechanisms which make the installer’s job so much easier. The fitting method for the V8 GTS does not fall into this category, in fact it falls a long long way away from this category. It's not that the method is complicated, it's not, it's actually quite simple. It's that in its simplicity it ignores the size of the cooler and the fact that human hands only have one wrist joint and that finger joints only bend in one direction. If ever there was an excuse for developing a slightly more complicated fitting method that overcame the obstacles created by the sheer bulk of a cooler this is it. Our inner Zen prevents us from further ranting but if you want to detail head over to page 5.
With a few choice, some not so choice and to be honest some quite frankly startling swear words out of the way we were able to put the V8 GTS through its paces. Across the board the cooler performs, ticking all the boxes and out performing all other air coolers in the charts aside from the mighty D14. Not only that but it also sees off a good few of the smaller AIOs. Sadly despite our high hopes the V8 GTS failed to make into the hallowed 4.6GHz club.
So the Cooler Master V8 GTS is a bit of a mixed bag. With its black clad Red LED lit fascia it certainly has great case presence. Performance is also exemplary with all but the best of the air coolers having their hides tanned. The cost of all this performance is a fitting experience that will leave you both physically and mentally scarred and a noise level at 12 volts that will have you reaching for the ear plugs. Granted if you step the fan speeds down the noise levels will drop, but then so will the performance. All this brings us neatly to the price. £70 is a fair wedge to pay for a cooler. It also happens to be much the same money as you would pay for a D14. Undeniably the D14 out performs the V8 GTS but it's also easy to argue that the V8 looks a damn site better than the rather dated looks of the D14 with its Prosthetic limb coloured fans. The real competition for the V8 though lies not amongst the great and the good of the air cooler market, but with the current crop of AIO water coolers. You see although the V8 GTS might perform slightly better than the H60, it's also a bit more expensive which coincidently brings it very close to the price of Cooler Master’s own 240mm based Seidon 240 not to mention the offerings from both NZXT and Corsair, and let’s face it cool though the V8 GTS is it's not nearly as cool as having a closed loop water cooling system in your case.
Assuming for a moment that you're stuck with a case that won't support a 240mm radiator, or that you're the sort that isn't prepared to accept he witchcraft that mixes water with electronics, then the Cooler Master V8 GTS is a very viable option, especially if you happen to be rocking a red and black themed build or be lucky enough to be providing lodgings for an ASUS ROG motherboard. Other than that we think we'd point our wallet at an AIO, all of which also makes us wonder that with AIOs becoming ever more popular and affordable that the days of the performance Air Cooler may be somewhat numbered. For the time being, the V8 GTS does provide a viable alternative. The V8 GTS might not scoop our coveted gold award, but for its performance and full on looks we are awarding it our Gamers Choice accolade.