|by AkG | March 1, 2009|
Well one thing is for certain, this is a beast of a cooler and we don’t just mean size wise. However, you have to remember that it only really, really shines when a massive amount of heat is present and even then it does its job without making a heck of a lot of noise. The funny thing is we have a sneaking suspicion that even our fireball breathing Phenom didn’t push this to its limit as the temperature readings looked almost like razor sharp flat line. It would hit a temperature it liked early in and stay there. The only other coolers which exhibited this kind of behavior were the CoolIT Boreas and Freezone Elite. Even with those coolers, the temperature bounced around somewhat. The only thing which would fluctuate on the V10 was the amount of power being used, and even then it hit nowhere near 70watts above our normal power usage. This means there was still room for it to expand its cooling envelope.
When all is said and done this really is the cooler to beat if you want to go for massive overclocks yet don’t want to use exotic cooling (like Dry Ice) and you don’t want to get your feet wet with water cooling (or WC based hybrids). It is too bad the V10 is autonomous as we really whish we could have fined tuned its TEC so they would kick in a bit sooner. We are sure we had been able to tweak things a bit, Cooler Master's new brainchild would have easily outperformed any HDT air cooler out there at ALL speeds and temperatures. Cooler Master really needs to spend time tweaking its settings more to allow for greater cooling potential across a wider temperature spectrum as right now a HDT costing less than 25% of the V10 beats it on older 775 quad core systems. This should not be possible and this lack of control really makes it ideal for the more inexperienced crowd who will set it and forget it. If you have used other hybrids and/or water based cooling or any non air-based cooling you will quickly wish you could get under the hood and tweak the V10 to properly fit your system. Honestly, it feels a lot like a car with only two gears…forward and reverse.
All in all there really are only three things which you could complain about with the V10. We have already mentioned the lack of control and total lack of refinement the built-in controller has. The second issue is its size and its weight. This cooler is a beast, which may not even fit in a lot of standard ATX cases which has to be the biggest weakness this cooler has. After all, this cooler can be the best thing since sliced bread but if it won’t fit in your case it doesn’t do you much good at all. The weight of the V10 is more of a perception issue as it’s not that big a deal but it does eliminate the LAN party customer from the V10's market niche. This cooler would make a great conversation piece at a LAN party, but as it stands it may indeed break your motherboard if it got knocked around too much in transit. This is a shame and is certainly a big weakness which a lot of other hybrids solved by relocating the weight to the chassis and off the motherboard.
The last issue is more of a morale issue than anything. To be the absolute best, bar none, air based CPU cooling solution out there Cooler Master did have to “cheat” somewhat. To us this controversy is foolish as there are two mottos which perfectly sum up why this should be a non issue. The first is: "In a gun fight the only thing which matters is if you are the one standing at the end or not. How you do it is of no consequence." The second motto is: "If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying." To me it really doesn’t matter how or why Cooler Master built the V10 the way they did, or if it’s a true air cooler or not, we will leave all that drama up to the anal retentive / toilet trained with a shotgun type folks who keep track of air cooling based overclocking “world records” and enjoy the V10 for what it is: an arse kicker of the Nth degree!
To us the V10 is simply the best there is, provided you have the heat to properly activate the TEC unit that is. If Cooler Master can ever tweak this unit to allow it to reach its full potential on lesser TDP systems (like an overclocked Q6600 for example) then this really would become the King of Air Coolers…even if has to “cheat” with a TEC to do it. As it stands and for its interesting first take in Hybrid Cooling we are proud to present the Cooler Master V10 with our Dam Innovative award.
- Great cooling potential
- Very quite under normal loads
- Red LEDs
- TEC Cooling!
- Price (when compared to more exotic options)
- Price (when compared to more mundane Air coolers)
- Cooling potential is only reached w/ insane levels of heat and OC’ing
- Size and Weight
- Not everyone likes Red glows emanating from their system
- 1st Gen quirks
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