Deputy Managing Editor
Raw performance figures do not tell the whole story, though, as good acoustics is a big part of what makes a successful cooler. In my experience, the Maker 8 is an incredibly quiet cooling solution – with our test system idling, the cooler is dead silent, and the fans look like they are barely spinning.
Even when the load ramps up, the two fans work together very well and emit the quietest of hums. Compared to the R1 Ultimate, which we shall be reviewing soon, the difference is night and day.
Cooler Master really is onto something with the Master Air Maker 8. Its cooling performance and noise profile is nothing short of incredible for an air-based cooler; this is a platform that can certainly hold great things for the future. Unfortunately, an overly high price and serious installation problems mar our opinion of what could have been a breakout cooling product.
Given my time with the Maker 8, I don't know that Cooler Master has entirely justified that leap in price. Those willing to shell out the cash will get a handsome, easy-to-install heatsink that delivers solid cooling performance and decent acoustics. All else being equal, though, I'd save a few bucks and buy the biggest all-in-one liquid cooler my case could swallow.
While heatpipe teardowns are exceptionally rare, I've never heard of PC heatpipes using anything but mesh/braid wicks. This is rather logical, as CPU coolers are mounted in various directions, chief of which is with the heatpipes either horizontal (perpendicular to a vertical motherboard) or vertical but with a complex shape (low-profile downdraft coolers with criss-crossing heatpipes parallel to the motherboard, U-shaped pipes that are both horizontal and vertical, and so on). Then there's the various mounting directions relative to the socket (airflow up/down or front/back). In other words, it would be extremely stupid for a CPU cooler designer to use a type of heatpipe that they know will work poorly in 90% of installations.But as previously mentioned, the groove heat pipe, with the
lowest capillary limit, works best under gravity-assisted conditions where the evaporator is
located below the condenser. Fig 3 shows the effect of gravity on groove wick heat pipes.