By Oneslowz28 at 2010-07-27 11:21
|By Charles Gantt
( Oneslowz28 )
Cooler Master is world renowned for their CPU coolers, and for years their high performance coolers have been a staple in the enthusiast community. In the last few months we have seen the release of some very fast and very hot CPUs. Most namely Intel’s Core i7 980x and AMD’s Phenom II X6 line. With these hot CPUs there arose a need for extreme air coolers and today we are going to take a look at one of Cooler Masters answers to this problem… Keep reading…
Air coolers are not the simple finned blocks of the past. Today manufacturers spend countless dollars on R&D to find that small tweak or change to the design that will give them the edge over their competition. Ever since the first tower style cooler debuted, manufacturers have used the same basic design, and added their own signature. Some increase fin placement density or individual fin thickness, some change the number of heatpipes, and yes some even add special "textures" by stamping designs into each individual fins.
Cooler Master was kind enough to send us their new V6 GT which is the high performance version of their V6 cooler. The V6 GT is the latest edition to Cooler Masters Flagship CPU cooler line which is named after the number of cylinders in modern engines. Do not let the lower number fool you though because the V6 GT came to play.
Cooler Master has included several tweaks to the V6 GT including arranging the heatpipes in a new pattern, stacked the fins more densely, and even tilted the fins 5 degrees left to right. Cooler Master claims that all of these changes, make the V6 GT one of the best Air CPU coolers ever. Do these claims stand true? Lets find out!
The V6 GT uses a unique V pattern for heat pipe placement in the coolers fins. This placement of the V6 GT's heat pipes allow for ample airflow into the hottest areas of the cooler as well as better dispersion of the heat throughout the coolers fins. Combine that with the densely packed fins and there is a lot of cooling potential in this cooler with even a single fan. Cooler Master includes 2 120mm DynaLoop bearing fans to further the cooling capacity of the V6 GT.
As you can see the V pattern does disperse heat much better than other designs.
The V6 GT is no slouch in the aesthetics department either. Like the other coolers in the V series, Cooler Master chose to aggressively style the cooler with a top plate, and fan shrouds. The over all design of the V6 GT is akin to something you would see cruising low and slow, down Woodward Avenue in Detroit during the 1950s. A friend commented that the external appearance also reminds him of some of the art deco buildings from his home town of Miami Fl.
The "oil cap" that adorns the top of the V6 GT is actually a button that will allow you to change the LED illuminated strip under it from red to green to blue. This nifty little feature means that the V6 GT will fit right in to almost every PC build. If lights are not your thing you can chose to simply not plug the LED power wire in.
The Cooler Master V6 GT is packaged in a high gloss box that we have come accustomed to expect from Cooler master.
The V6 GT's aggressive styling is reminiscent of the 1950s Art Deco style.
The V6 GT's dense fin count is one of the features that enhance its cooling capability.
Cooler Masters DynaLoop fans allow the fan to provide optimum air flow and quiet operation.
The Fan shrouds make quick work of removing and reinstalling fans. This is a much better idea than those silly hard to attach wire retention devices that adorn so many CPU coolers.
The V6 GT sports 6 thick nickel plated heat pipes and a machined mating surface.
The machined mating surface is sometimes seen as a flaw with some coolers. With the V6 GT I see it as a bonus. The machining marks are so fine it still retains most of its reflectivity.
As always Cooler Master included very well written installation instructions.
The V6 GT is compatible with all the current CPU sockets from Intel as well as AMD.
For AMD mounting the V6 GT utilizes this cleaver bracket. It is one of the more easy to install coolers I have tested that have proprietary mounting solutions. Also notice the tall GEIL EVO one RAM modules. These had to be moved to the second set of DIMM slots for the cooler to fit.
Both AMD and Intel mounting brackets share the same brace. The back of this brace is covered in thick plastic insulation but I noticed upon removal that some soldered leads came close to poking through the insulation. I would check the the motherboard for any excessively long soldered leads that might poke through and cause a short.
The V6 GT looks right at home in Cooler Master's HAF X along with their Silent Pro Gold 800w PSU.
Testing and Overclocking
Testing Methodology - Both mating surfaces are cleaned with Arctic Silver Arcticlean before any T.I.M is applied. I test all CPU coolers with Arctic Silver Lumiere T.I.M. I let the machine run at idle for 30 minutes and take a temp reading using CPUz of all 4 cores and average the results. Load test are done using OCCT on a custom 30 minute run. I then record the highest temperature graphed from each core and average them for a final temp. This is done at several clocks: Stock 3.4GHz, 3.7GHz, 3.9GHz and finally 4.0 GHz. If any of these clocks can not be reached I will report that as a N/A in the results. Ambient room temp is taken from averaging several temperature readings from within the room. Ambient case temp is taken 2 inches from the back of the drive bays, where I feel the air flow is the most significant.
When testing CPU coolers we always use Arctic Silver Lumiere Thermal Interface Material. (T.I.M.) Lumiere is designed for lab testing. It as a cure time of 15 minutes and performs on a level similar to that of Arctic Silver 5.
- AMD Phenom II X4 965BE 140w
- Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5
- 4GB Geil Evo One @ 2000MHz 7, 7, 7, 28
- EVGA 8800 GTS 512MB
- Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800w
- Plextor PX-B320SA Blu-ray combo drive
- OCZ Agility 2 SSD 50GB
- 1x Segate 500gb, 2x WD Green 500GB
- NZXT Sentry 2
- Cooler Master HAF X with 4 230mm fans and 1 140mm fan.
- Ambient Room Temp 19c
- Ambient Case Temp 24c
- Idle Temp 30C
As you can see from the graph, Cooler Masters V6 GT was able to cool the CPU to very a respectable 41.5c at stock clock speed. At 3.7GHz which required a .025v bump in Vcore voltage, the temp only rose by 1.5c. Even at an astounding 4.0GHz and a monstrous 0.175 bump in Vcore, the V6 GT only allowed the temp to rise by 12c topping out at 53.5c keeping the AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE well below its maximum recommended temp.
The V6 GT showed massive improvements over the stock AMD cooler by 11.5c at stock clocks and by 13c at 3.7GHz. It also allowed me to reach 3.9GHz and to break into 4.0GHz land, something the stock AMD cooler would not do.
I have spoken with a few colleagues who have this cooler on their i7 testing rigs and they are reporting astounding temperatures as well. The V6 GT is a very stout cooler that will be able to handle all of the extreme heat dumped into it by today's high end processors.
Cooler Master hit a home-run with this cooler. I have had the pleasure of testing some of the best CPU coolers available in the last few years and I am happy to report that the V6 GT is at the top of my list for air coolers. It looks good, its not your typical bland tower cooler and it has the performance to back up those good looks. It is wonderful at low to mid level overclocking and IMO is one of the best CPU coolers available for those who want to tweak their CPU, and wish to remain on air. Its performance to value ratio is very good and slightly better than its 2 main competitors.
There are only 2 cons that I can find with the V6 GT. The first is that it might not fit in some of the lower end mid tower cases. So before you buy, make sure you have at least 166mm of room from the top of your CPU to your PC door. The second is that depending on your motherboard layout, you may have issues with RAM slot clearance with taller memory modules. This isn't something unique to Cooler Master's V6 GT however. Any over-sized cooler can have space issues with certain hardware If you run normal sized RAM such as Crucial's Ballistix Tracer then you will be fine. Since these are 2 issues that are easily worked around I am awarding the V6 GT a score of 5/5.
depending on your motherboard layout, you may have issues with RAM slot clearance with taller memory modules. This isn't something unique to coolermaster's V6 however. Any oversized cooler can have space issues with certain hardware
You can purchase the Cooler Master V6 GT from Newegg.com for around $70.00
This product was provided free of charge, by its manufacturer for the purpose of review.