V8 GTS Detailed Features
The main story here is the use of a horizontal vapor chamber in a CPU cooling application. Vapor chambers are similar to heat-pipes, in that they use a fluid that evaporates quickly to hasten the transfer of heat from one location to another. Several manufacturers have used them on graphics cards, but this is the first time a horizontal (the Cooler Master TPC 812 used a vertical vapor chamber) version has been used for cooling a CPU.
The advantage of using a vapor to dissipate heat is the ability for it to rapidly heat and cool, preventing any “hot spots,” as a gas will rapidly expand to fill a cavity with equal pressure on all surfaces (thus transferring heat evenly), whereas metal will leave a “trail” of heat as it transfers heat much more slowly (please excuse my colloquial definition, I’m sure my college mechanical engineering friends just glanced up from their thermodynamics books in horror – anyone with a more academic knowledge of this process, feel free to comment!).
This uniquely addresses the recent trend of shrinking heat-spreader surfaces and die sizes of CPUs, and essentially provides a larger cooling surface with a more even distribution of heat. Theoretically, it will create a “buffer” of sorts to allow a small CPU to transfer heat to a larger surface. This cooler might be a good fit to overcome some of the “hot” Haswell and Ivy-Bridge CPUs, which due to their small die size might have some trouble transferring their heat. Unfortunately I don’t have a Haswell platform to test my theory on, but it might be worth looking into.
The AMD and Intel mounting brackets included allow for both vertical and horizontal installations, which is a nice feature for a cooler as big as the V8 GTS.
The base isn’t as polished as I expected for a $99 cooler, but perhaps the HVC technology doesn’t necessitate a polished surface. In either case, the mounting surface is probably sufficiently smooth, it’s just nice to see manufacturers take that additional step. The brackets pictured above are the AMD “vertical” brackets, and were the only ones that caused some clearance issues with the heat-pipes (it was hard to get a screwdriver on the bolts using these brackets – you can probably see how some of the heat-pipes would get in the way).
With a cooler this massive in dimensions, you’ll probably want to make sure you’re using a full ATX board. Even with two 140mm fans there’s still a decent amount of clearance, but it’s going to be difficult to work around regardless (to make your life easier, I would advise taking the motherboard out of the case to mount the V8 GTS). Once the V8 GTS is installed, the unique split arrangement of the heat-sinks allows for adequate RAM clearance even for taller heat-spreaders.
Not so much in the horizontal configuration, as the central heat-sink is wide enough to encroach on the DIMM slots of an ATX motherboard. Honestly, I’m not sure how much of an issue this is as the performance of the cooler didn’t change significantly between the two orientations in my test-bed, and anyone looking at a twin 140mm fan cooler should be aware that tall heat-spreaders on RAM could potentially be an issue. You should be able to find an orientation that works for you, and clearances overall are better than I anticipated (the raised heat-sinks on the outsides are positioned high enough to clear most RAM sticks).