CoolerMaster MasterAir Maker 8 Review
Published: 21st February 2017 | Source: CoolerMaster | Price: 99.95 |
First things first, let's get the full name out of the way, Ladies, we give you, the CoolerMaster MasterAir Maker 8, hereafter known as the Maker 8 for obvious reasons. So what do we make of the maker 8? Well in simple terms it's a single tower, twin 140mm Red LED fan tower cooler. It is though unfair to refer to the Maker 8 in simple terms, as it is much more than a simple tower cooler. You see, this chap is mod-able. Yup, you heard us right, it's mod-able. Not only can you change the fans from the included 140mm units to 120mm fans of your choice without spoiling the stunning looks, and thus increasing RAM compatibility, but the Maker 8 comes with a choice of two interchangeable top covers. One of these as seen in the image at the top of the page is made from solid black Aluminium, and the other is a semi opaque smoked Acrylic affair. There is though more mod-able goodness to be had, as CoolerMaster have actually made the plans for the top cover available to be downloaded so the end user can design their own and have them 3D printed by one of the many companies roaming the internet today that provide this service. Now, this might be a little niche, but we're willing to bet there's more than a few out there that would like to have their very own design on their cooler, and possibly even a few systems builders who might spot the opportunity of adding a personalised touch to the customers build.
The Maker 8 is though more than just a pretty face as it's debuting CoolerMaster's new 3DVC technology. What's this exactly? Well we all know that the heat pipes in our air coolers contain a fluid that evapourates when it gets warmed and travels as a gas up the heat pipes until it is cooled and condenses. In doing so it transfers heat away from the contact plate and thus the CPU underneath. CoolerMaster have essentially extended the heat pipes (well for of them anyway) to become an integral part of the contact plate. The contact plate for its part is no longer a solid lump of copper, but actually a hollow chamber (that's the 3D bit) which is filled with the same fluid. This design allows the fluid/gas to travel directly from the chamber up the pipes, and in theory should giver better cooling. Our worry is though that unlike traditional contact plates where the pipes are encased by the copper plate, four of the eight pipes, the ones that aren't part of the vapour chamber are only laid across the upper surface of the chamber and as such are unlikely to be able to conduct much heat from it.
And so to testing. Would the twin 140mm fans and vapour chamber technology give us a Noctua crushing result? Well no, and not even close. We think our fears regarding the split nature of the cooling pipes are most likely to blame. In Kaby Lake testing the cooler only just scraped into the bottom of the 4.8GHz table with the worst performing AIOs, and didn't make the 5.0GHz club. It is though a little unfair to test it with the AIOs, so we whipped out our Skylake chip and tested it with that so as to compare with the other air coolers. Sadly the Maker 8 posted only average figures. Not bad, but then not great either, and certainly not what we were expecting or dare we say hoping for. We should mention that the Maker 8 is one of the quietest AIOs we think we've ever tested. In our own testing, conducted as per the AIO mega test, the Maker 8 gave a reading of just 54.1dB(A). we should stress that this is not the figure given by CoolerMaster, which is much lower, but then all our noise testing is carried out in exactly the same way, so there's no variance from one manufacturer to another.
So what's not to like about the maker 8? Well at 172mm tall, it's not going to fit in every case out there, but apart from that, there's nothing really to moan about. It's a very well made, and well presented cooler that will look great in any case it will fit in. It has the ability to transform its looks by means of interchangeable top covers, and you can even design your own. Or thanks to CoolerMaster they sent TTL a top with the OC3D Logo on.....
And so we come to price. £100 is a lot to pay for an air cooler, especially if you're looking for performance. £70 will get you a top end Noctua or Cryorig, and although the Noctuas are fugly, is has to be said, the R1 Ultimate and universal are stunning rig candy. £100 will also get you a damn decent AIO and a few LED fans too boot. So who's going to buy the Maker 8? Well there are still those who feel they absolutely have to have air coolers, which is fair enough, and we think the ability to design and print your own top cover is also going to have something of an appeal, so provided you've got the funds, and are looking for an air cooler to make your own, CoolerMaster pretty much have you, and that particular sector of the market sewn up.
And so to the awards. For their foray into vapour chamber technology we're awarding CoolerMaster the Innovation award. We don't think the technology is quite there yet though and needs some more refinement. The only real negative is it was released in the USA over a year ago (they stupidly delayed the UK launch) and we are now sat here thinking (yet again with coolermaster) Just red LED's isnt going to cut it and limits your user base. We need white and maybe RGB too? Revision time!