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The Coolermaster V8 heatsink is one of the nicer thermal solutions from the company in a long while, and well worth your attention today. Built from four modular sets of aluminum fins, the V8 utilizes no less than eight heatpipes to give it a cooling capability of up to 180W! Each of the aluminum fin modules is set at 90-degrees to the other, so in effect the aluminum fins form a square grid when looking through one side to the other.
At the center of the Coolermaster V8 is a 120mm PWM fan that provides a quiet source of airflow. The fan speed scales from 800-1800RPM, automatically by PWM control or via a manual control dial that can be mounted into a free PCI bracket.
The 865 gram Coolermaster V8 heatsink stands upwards of 160mm tall and should retail for around $50-60 bucks through your favorite online PC store. The V8 is compatible with Intel socket 775 and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2 processors. Curiously though, Coolermaster have neglected to include an LGA1366 mounting bracket. The heatsink is rated by the manufacturer for up to 180W, and with the release of Intel's Nehalem processor so close you'd think Coolermaster would have those bases covered.
Coolermaster have built the V8 with fairly traditional construction methods, eschewing the popular heat-pipe direct touch trend for a whole lot of heatpipes. The V8 heatsink has eight of them, arranged so the central heatpipes are closest to the CPU core, the others along the edge a little further away.
On top of that, Coolermaster engineers have organized the heatpipes so the units which receive the most heat energy take the shortest path. Heat conducts quicker to the aluminum fins, air moves through more expediently, and the V8 is thus able to maintain relatively low temperatures without resorting to a loud fan.
Two vertical towers of aluminum fins flank either side of the 120mm PWM fan, with each set at 90 degrees to the other so as to form the appearance of a grid when viewing the K8 heatsink from the side (with fan removed). The orientation of heatsink fins around the outside of the fan make use of intake and exhaust airflow, and to some extent muffle any fan noise which is present.
Installation Hardware: More Complicated than Necessary
Coolermaster's V8 heatsink is compatible with Intel socket 775 and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2+ processors. The standardized heatsink brackets that Coolermaster use with its products are more complicated than necessary, requiring you to remove the entire motherboard from the case and pop in a special back plate and tighten nuts. The CPU cooler arrives with a variety of brackets, screws and nuts which are all proprietory to this design.
The multi-language manual makes installation pretty straightforward, but is tedious. Coolermaster use this mounting "system" with the majority of heatsinks it sells. We're not fans of it, but it does hold the cooler firmly in position. The PCI bracket is for the heatsink's manual fan speed controller.
This heatsink will be tested on FrostyTech's Intel LGA775 and K8 version of the Mk.II synthetic thermal temperature test platform, and compared against a hundred reference LGA775 and K8 heatsinks. The whole test methodology is outlined in detail here if you'd like to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted.
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