Cooler Master V10 Hybrid T.E.C. Cooler
The Cooler Master V10 certainly does earn its moniker, garnering as much attention about its size as what is under the hood. There isn’t much that is subtle here; the V10 is big and brash about its looks and performance, boasting considerable horsepower in a beefy package.
From an aesthetics standpoint, the V10 does sport a rugged look that will look sharp in just about any case with its black palette, accented with chrome details and red LED fans. No doubt, it is unique. Functionally speaking, the V10 occupies a massive volume inside a case and will leave some people out of luck in the space requirement department, but the airflow across the motherboard, mofsets, and memory slots is considerable, there is no question. The cooler is not quiet though, and does generate a substantial amount of noise that won’t be entirely drowned out inside a case; it rivals a 38mm / 85cfm Panaflo I have sitting on the desk, if that’s any indication.
From a performance perspective, the results are somewhat bipolar; on one hand, the V10 posts some excellent temperature results, beating a top HDT air cooler, though not by much. From a purely numbers standpoint, the V10’s performance is very good. However, on the other hand, the TEC unit does not make a significant difference in lowering temperatures, only aiding the drop by about 3 degrees Celcius on a hot Quad Core CPU. The margin of improvement is not surprising given the size of the Peltier, but a 3 degree Celcius improvement is very respectable on a highly overclocked Core i7 that outputs a tremendous amount of heat.
The crux of the matter, however, is the price; specifically the cost of the performance difference. The V10 is scheduled to sell for over $100, while a top air cooler will only set you back $60. For a $50 minimum cost difference, you’re only getting 3 degrees Celcius improvement, costing a whopping $16 per degree improvement. That is clearly problematic. Cooler Master has produced a quality unit that does indeed put up some great raw performance numbers, but the cost benefit analysis here is a tough pill to swallow. There are those who are willing to pay an extra $50 for the 3 degree improvement that also offers improved cooling on the RAM and motherboard as well, but they’re likely more in the minority.
The bottom line here is that the Cooler Master V10 offers excellent quality and cooling performance, but the TEC unit is not terribly effective and the total package comes at a very steep price when the performance is taken in context. The V10 looks great and has matching performance, but the cost may well be a stumbling block for most people.
Cooler Master V10
Our thanks go to Cooler Master for providing the V10 for this review.