Cooler Master V10 reviewed: CPU cooler with Peltier technology
The V10 from Cooler Master isn't an ordinary cooler: It is huge, it cools with two fans and uses a Peltier element.
Cooler Master V10: Technology
The cooling technology of the giant V10 CPU cooler is called "Hybrid TEC System” by Cooler Master: TEC stands for "Thermoelectric Cooling” and describes the integrated Peltier element which works at temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius only and otherwise leaves the cooling to the two fans - therefore "Hybrid”. A Peltier element creates a difference in temperature if supplied with energy. The V10 is directly plugged to the PSU via a 4-pin Molex connector - according to Cooler Master it needs up to 70 watt.
Four 6 millimeter heatpipes are connected to the small Peltier element which is supposed to transfer the heat to four other heatpipes which again are connected to the fins which are cooled by one of the fans. On the overhanging front six heatpipes directly transfer their heat to the second set of fins which are cooled by the second fan. Both fans are connected with a single power cable and also share a PWM signal - maximal speed is 2,270 rpm.
Despite the technology the V10 is also impressive because of its dimensions: A length of 24 centimeter is quite good for the system memory because it is supplied with fresh air by one of the cooler's fans but the size might cause trouble in smaller PC cases.
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||161 x 130 x 237 mm|
|Weight||1,270 grams (incl. fan)|
|Fan size||2 x 120 mm|
|Fan connector||4-Pin (PWM)|
|Fan speed||Max. 2,220 rpm|
|Technology||Heatpipes (10), Peltier element (TEC)|
|Socket AMD/Intel||754, 939, AM2(+), AM3/775, 1366|
Cooler Master V10: Mounting supported sockets
The mounting system of the V10 is complex but guarantees a lot of pressure and is firm - this is really necessary since the cooler weighs 1,270 grams. As already known from Cooler Master the V10 is fixed with a backplate which has to be fixed on the rear side of the motherboard. Thus you should put the board on top of the cooler and fix the nuts. The instructions are detailed and understandable. Mounting sets for the AMD sockets AM2(+)/AM3, 939 and 754 as well as for the Intel sockets LGA 775 and 1366 are included. The fans with their red LEDs are already installed on the cooler.
Cooler Master V10: Performance and Loudness
High weight, huge dimensions, two fast 120 mm fans and the Peltier element of course: Given the facts we expect good cooling capabilities. Cooler Master says the V10 can deal with up to 200 watt, but since there are no CPUs that get so hot, we have to stick to processors that run a lot cooler: Our usual open test setup with a Core 2 Extreme QX6850 reaches a TDP or 130 watt. We heat it up with Prime95 (In Place Large Test) and record the maximal core temperature with the tool Core Temp as soon as the temperatures don't change anymore.
The results reveal it: The V10 is playing in the upper-class of the CPU coolers. If we have the competitors from Scythe, Zalman, Thermalright and the others running at full speed, the V10 is on the same level as the Thermalright IFX-14 which we cooled with our reference fan (Scythe S-Flex SFF21E 1,200 rpm). Only the Zalman's new 9900 beats them.
How big is the impact of the Peltier element? To test this we unplug the TEC module - CPU temperature is increasing instantly but not much. We only recorded a difference of 2 degrees Celsius. It seems like the huge heatsink, the ten heatpipes and the fins are enough to deliver a good cooling performance with two fast fans.
Actually we would have liked a lower speed. At a distance of 50 centimeters the V10 is 5.2 Sone (46.9 dB(A)) - regardless of the Peltier element since this technology is silent. Given the fast fans, the loudness is not surprising but nevertheless annoying. The Zalman isn't really quiet but with 3.9 Sone it is less obtrusive and the two Thermalright models which we equipped with our reference fan don't exceed 0.9 Sone.
Cooler Master V10: Conclusion
The V10 is a high-class air cooler that's for sure - if it fits into the case. But the competitors can reach a similar cooling performance with a lot less complexity and a lot less noise. The Peltier technology is interesting but we don't think it is necessary. We will run some benchmarks with even hotter (overclocked) CPUs soon in order to test the V10's limit.