Well, the new Cooler Master V8 proved very confident in our tests. Yes, it did lose to its main competitor in the quiet mode as well as at maximum fan rotation speed. However, the difference is not that dramatic. On the contrary, it is great to yield only 1-3ºC to the performance leader among contemporary air coolers. With an insignificant cooling efficiency difference like that we have to consider other factors when deciding between the two coolers, such as availability and price. As for the availability, Cooler Master solutions are way wider spread than Thermalright ones. However, as for the price, the current retail pricing may scare away some of the potential buyers. Besides, from the overclocking standpoint, Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme may accommodate a second fan and retain its high efficiency at a low level of generated noise. However, modifying Cooler Master V8 may be hard to accomplish (replacing the fan doesn’t count).
Nevertheless, I personally liked the cooler a lot. This is a product of extremely high quality, with reliable retention, smart design (so there won’t be any compatibility issues), very quiet operation at minimal fan rotation speed and moderate level of noise at maximum fan rotation speed, and with its own unique extraordinary looks. Is there anything that could be improved about it? It is really hard to tell, I would probably try repositioning the heatpipes inside the heatsink arrays, so that not only the two middle ones but also the next two heatpipes could bear the maximum thermal load – they would have to go into the main heatsink arrays, and not into the additional ones. Moreover, keeping in mind the plates density and intersecting heatsinks, I would suggest that they should experiment with 38-mm fans featuring higher air pressure than 25mm ones. Although in this case they will have to push the central heatsink arrays a little more apart.
And one more thing I have to point out in our today’s review. Everyone knows that this November Intel will launch Core i7 (Bloomfield) processor in LGA 1366 form-factor. As I have found out, the LGA775 coolers will not be compatible with the new socket, so we should at least see new modifications of existing models and maybe even a new span of competition between cooling solutions for the new processors. So, if you already own a certain cooler of those we have tested at Xbit Labs and are planning to upgrade your platform in the near future, the new solutions like Cooler Master V8 may be of purely theoretical interest to you, unfortunately. Anyway, as always, the choice is yours :)
UPDATE: As we have just learned from Cooler Master, V8 cooler will be one of the recommended cooling solutions from Intel for the new Nehalem / Core i7. The incoming shipments will include a bracket for socket LGA 1366.