In the automotive market there are the top of the line cars that have huge V8, V10 and even some V12 varieties. With these huge amounts of horsepower that is associated with the larger engines, there is also quite the price associated with such autos. Don't get me wrong, most of us would love to have a Bugatti Veyron to drive back and forth to work, but practicality and our wallets usually limits us to a sedan of some make to fill this slot.
In between the point A to point B, utilitarian vehicles, there are a few that offer both sound economics, but can surprise your buddies at a stop light, or more responsibly, on the track on the weekends. These cars are not only cheaper to get a hold of, but in some cases are actually designed and engineered to keep up with their more expensive competition. So again what do fast, high performance cars have to do with CPU coolers?
It's all in the naming. Cooler Master has given us the opportunity to look at their newest addition to the "V" series. The V10 with its onboard TEC still tops the charts today, but came at quite a cost. Then there was the slightly smaller V8. Now we get to look at the V6 GT. Just in the naming, I would assume it to be a tweaked, smaller version of the V8, but with the ability to keep in contention for the prize when we cross the finish line. Let's put the V6 GT up against the rest and see who finishes in the finals.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The V6 GT is aptly named based on how they have been named so far. Not only does this cooler utilize six, 6mm diameter, Nickel plated, copper heatpipes, but after they exit the copper base, the form a "V" shape as they pass through the fins to maximize the air flow that can get to each pipe. The pipes are held into their "V" formation with the fifty-five, densely packed, aluminum fins. These fins are a bit different, as they aren't exactly perpendicular to the heatpipes as one would expect. These fins carry a slight angle, and I actually took a double take, as it on first glance appears as if the cooler is leaning. This is a design feature, to aid again in maximizing the available air flow passing over them.
For a dual fan cooler it is relatively small, and only 165mm tall, so it should fit inside most cases, even mid towers. Due to the high density arrangement of the fins, Cooler master has chosen to use two fans that can provide up to almost 94 CFM of air, and have descent static pressure too. The combination of these two fans in a push and pull arrangement should have no problems dealing with the heat of today's processors, but let's let the T.E.C.C have the last word there. These two fans can be plugged in separately, but Cooler Master does send a 4-pin PWM connector that splits into two more connections, so you can still use the PWM feature for both fans. You will find one other connection coming from the base of the cooler, a 4-pin Molex connector. This is specifically to power the lighting in the top of the cooler.
Since we are getting a sneak peak at the V6 GT and the actual launch isn't until the end of June, I have to say you must sit and wait a little bit while stock is shipped and starts to arrive on shelves. I am pleased to say that I do have some pricing figures for you. Cooler master is setting a MSRP of the V6 GT at $69.99 USD. While the cooler does creep well over that $50 mark I like to see them try for, it is less than half of what the V10 released for, and is slightly more than the V8, which I didn't get the opportunity to test. How about we get a look at the packaging and the V6 GT, and let the testing decide if the pricing is right against the many, many coolers we have listed.
Sticking with the red on black packaging I am used to seeing from Cooler Master, they pack the V6 GT in a box with a pop-open top. Great marketing with the naming, it really invokes the feeling of getting something seriously capable of giving you the best results.
The front just repeats the logo and text found on the top panel.
Both of the side panels are the same, and show a top down view of the V6 GT, and again repeats the "Muscle Cooling" status.
On the bottom of the box is where you will find all the specifications and features found in and on the Vg6 GT. With all the features listed with images, dimensional drawings, and the specs chart, there should be no question about what is inside the box.
Lifting the corners on the top of the box releases the two Velcro pads. This allows you, while you are in the store, to get a little preview of the top of the V6 GT. You can see the name plate, which is also a button for the lighting, and the plastic cover over the LED lighting running down the center of the cooler.
Cooler Master uses a combination of high density foam to secure the cooler during shipping, however, the top uses a plastic tray to keep the cooler centered and still offer a view through the box. The hardware is keep separated in the white cardboard box, and all the paperwork is folded and tucked in down the side of the packaging.
The Cooler Master V6 GT CPU Cooler
Looking at the V6 GT from the top, you can see a bit of what it has to offer. There is a cap on the cooler that not only acts as a cover for the fans, but has a strip of lighting to accent your case. To give that extra needed boost, the V6 GT ships with two fans already clipped onto the cooler.
From the side you can see that these two fans that simply clip on for easy cleaning have the task of cooling the six pipes and the tight array of fifty-five fins.
The intake looks clean, and with the use of the shroud for each fan, there are no messy screws to mass with or to take away from the sexy, translucent, and black, seven blade fans.
The exhaust side keeps the same attention to detail, and looks just as clean. You can also see the model number of these 93 CFM monsters that Cooler Master chose to compliment the V6 GT.
The base still shows a bit of the milling process, but is still a good flat surface to work with. The two holes above and below the base will be used in a bit to mount either AMD or Intel mounting hardware,
Just to prove, that a mirror finish isn't everything. To me as long as the razor reads true, the base is level and flat, finish aside, the V6 GT is very "square" in this respect.
The top of the base has a special key way cut into it. Plan ahead and make sure you install the Intel hardware in the right direction; the final install will be determined by this.
Wiring from the V5 GT comes as two 4-pin, PWM connections, and a two into one fan connector, so they can both be run off of the CPU PWM header on the motherboard. You also see a 4-pin Molex connection. This is used to add power to the top, without it plugged in there are no lights functional.
Going back to the top, this time not inside the box, we can see the Cooler master badge and the lighting strip much better. Once the Molex is plugged in, the logo is also a workable switch.
Mine started in the off position, and one push of the logo brings a red LED near the top of the band. Depending on the angle you are seeing the lighting, it will make the whole strip appear red, versus the more specific LED you are seeing here.
Push the logo again and you get a blue LED.
Push it again, and you get purple, or violet lighting. If the lighting is too bright to sleep to, with one more push, the LEDs can be turned off during operation as well.
Accessories and Documentation
In the white box you will find these six pieces of the mounting hardware. In the back are the AMD back plate to the left, and the Intel back plate to the right. On an angle, on both sides, you will see the multi-socket Intel mounting legs, the retention ring in the middle, with the cross bar to secure the cooler just above.
The rest of the hardware consists of the four screws on the left for mounting the AMD retention to the cooler, and the four on the right for use with the Intel retention plate. Behind the screws are the four rubber spacers to isolate the cooler from the motherboard, and the four nuts to mount the cooler.
With a bit more focus we can see what is in the back. You will get a syringe of Cooler master TIM, a Hex wrench, and a socket for the nuts that uses a Phillip's head driver to turn.
The paperwork consists of a multi-lingual, large fold out of very thorough instructions. The step by step is very good, and the illustrations will get any install done in no time. There is also an all English fold out included, along with Cooler masters warranty information.
Test System & Testing Results
Test System & Test Results
TweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
Not a bad start for idle temperatures. Just behind the V10, and just ahead of a well respected Noctua cooler.
Under load the V6 GT falls a couple of spots, but is still quite the performer, considering there are only two other coolers cheaper on the top ten, the results are pretty good.
Noise levels are a different story. As we all know, once you get near 100CFM, noise is hard to keep away. With our testing at idle, the choice of fan from Cooler Master acts similar to the Yate Loon, hi speed fans I used for my testing on the Thor's Hammer and BARAM coolers. No surprise to me really.
At full speed with 12V to the fans, again they performed as I expect; a near 100 CFM fan to perform in the audio testing. It isn't exactly ear numbing, but you definitely know it's on.
What I was left with was an attractive looking cooler that is easy to mount, but may have some clearance issues depending on the coolers and RAM positioning on some motherboards. It has the cool option to customize the lighting to match your interior lighting, or boldly contrast it, or you can leave the lights off all together. It handles its business and placed pretty well on out charts for both idle and load temperature levels. With most dual fan configurations, especially those boasting the CFM of Cooler Master's choice of fans, there is a bit of noise associated with them, and it is heard in the V6 GT.
Taking a six pipe cooler and tweaking the arrangement of the pipes, the fin density, and the way they are positioned, all aided in making the V6 GT perform as well as it does, but It also has a lot to do with the fans, and the complete coverage and mass amounts of CFM with good static pressure. The shrouds have spaces behind the fan to allow the fans the needed room to perform well, and they easily remove for cleaning, while the top cap stays solidly in place with four screws. I did not remove it prior to the images in fear if I didn't get it back together correctly I may make it rattle or vibrate; none of which was heard or felt during the V6 GTs operation.
Are there better coolers on the list? Sure there are, but the majority of them want $20- 30 more, and the V10 was almost double the V6 GTs price. Are there cheaper solutions? Yes, two of them. While there are two that do fall into better, and cheaper, there is one major thing that they both lack; flash or character. The Performa does better, but is a simple looking cooler with no sex appeal. The Yasya falls into the same boat.
The V6 GT may demand a $69.99 USD asking price, but offers sexy black looks, customizable lighting and good performance very close to those above it. If you are looking to make a statement while keeping temperatures at bay, get down to your Cooler Master distributor and test drive one for yourself.
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