by William Kelley on March 18, 2009 in Air-Cooling
Have a huge chassis? Need a huge CPU cooler? Well, Cooler Master has just what you need, in the form of the TEC-based V10. This thing is massive – its almost three CPU coolers in one – but it cools better than any other air cooler we’ve used in the past, and it even matches our previous (and much more expensive) water-cooling setup.
If one things for sure, there truly seems to be a never-ending supply of new and innovative CPU coolers at our perusal. Just when you think they’ve thought of everything, something completely different lands on my desk, just waiting to be punished. Luckily, the excitement of pushing the latest releases to the brink of meltdown has yet to leave me.
I have quite often pondered just how heat removal capacity could be harnessed with air-cooling designs. Cooler Master has established a strong and solid presence in the aftermarket cooling world, and having been around for 10+ years, it is not hard to see their highly-focused efforts in providing strong and dependable cooling solutions. From heat sinks and fans to full-featured PC towers, they have something for everyone.
On my desk today is the V10 CPU cooler. With 10 heat pipes, dual fans and a variable TEC plate (Thermoelectric cooling) there is no doubt as to the purpose of this monster: rip as much heat as possible out of your processor. This is Cooler Master’s first TEC hybrid design and they have taken a different approach by pairing up this potent technology with air cooling.
Considering that I was already well-aware of the specifications of the V10, I must admit that the sheer size of it still makes my eyes bulge. Once out of the box, I got my first glimpse of the beast in all its glory. The large full cover shroud grabs your attention with its chrome detailing. This thing is a monster.
Flipping it around we get a glimpse of the TEC controller and the fan wiring. I really appreciated the fact that the fans are wired together keeping the clutter down to a single 4-pin PWM-capable connector which can find its home directly on your motherboard header. This angle also gives you a better look at the TEC.
Looking down at the top exposes the down-blowing fan which not only blows across 4 of the large heat pipes but also your motherboard. Most if not all motherboard designs place the memory squarely in this area as well as the CPU power circuitry, so the double-duty nature is a nice touch. The fan grill is solid and will protect anything that may try to come in contact with the fan.
Rolling it onto its side we now see the belly of the beast. There is another large surface area section with 2 more heat pipes protruding upwards. A second 120mm fan is ready and waiting to blow across this area and out towards the back of your case. Four of these pipes terminate in the bottom layer of the TEC sandwich. I appreciate the attention to detail and the very good build quality exhibited here.
By adjusting the angle in this next photo you get a better sense of how the heat pipes are oriented. The bends are quite smooth and almost ripple free. The TEC plate gets its power from the control module that resides directly over the CPU contact area.
Moving closer to the front allows us to take a better look at the heart of the V10. The pipes are laminated to the plate on the lower half of the TEC.
Peeling off the protective plastic from the mounting area allows us to check it for flatness and finish. I checked flatness with a metal ruler and found it to be nearly perfect and the finish itself was quite smooth. While it is not a mirror finish by any means I could not feel any imperfections at all. The protective layer did its job very well.
Included hardware was extensive and will allow use on virtually any platform available. The instruction sheets were very thorough. While it would have been nice to get a bit more, you get enough thermal paste to perform a single install.
So with that said, let’s see how this beast will fit into our testing machine, and also check out some results, followed by my final thoughts.