Prolimatech Super Mega Review

airman - 2010-07-10 08:59:03 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: airman   
Reviewed on: July 20, 2010
Price: $79.95

Introduction:

Founded in 2008, a relatively new company known as Prolimatech has been producing some of the highest end CPU, GPU, and RAM cooling available on the market. Though Prolimatech may not have such a wide range of products available compared to other manufacturers, it is easy to say that probably every one of its products have been a hit to computer enthusiasts worldwide. Many seasoned users have probably heard of the Megahalems cooler, a massive cooling tower that certainly competed with the best of other brands' coolers back when it was released last year.

Today, Prolimatech has brought its Super Mega CPU cooler to the table. Out of the box, this cooler is only compatible with Intel 775/1156/1366 processors, however a separate mounting bracket should become available for the more recent AMD sockets. If anyone is familiar with the Megahalems, the Prolimatech Super Mega will be quite a familiar sight. The form is almost identical to the Megahalems, but some improvements to the cooler have been made, which I will be exploring in further detail. This review will evaluate the Super Mega's looks, installation, features, and performance, then compare it to the latest coolers on the market. This is the first time I have had my hands on a Prolimatech product, and I'm looking forward to seeing all that it can do.

 

Closer Look:

The Prolimatech Super Mega is packaged in an elegant white box with a gold logo and the words "Prolimatech" in the top left corner, and "Super Mega" across the top. The rear of the box is identical. The left side of the box has a short list of features offered by the cooler, and the right side of the box has a list of specifications, such as the dimensions, weight, and materials used in construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top of the box is unfastened by releasing the two tabs from the box that are cut into its design. The top of the box has a small plastic window allowing you to get a peak at the top of the cooler, which has the same design as the gold logo stamped on the box. According to the spec sheet, the top is nickel plated, which gives it a unique look. Removing the top reveals the way the Super Mega is packaged - wrapped inside a bag and secured between two styrofoam pads. Next to the two styrofoam pads is a white box with the Prolimatech logo that contains all the mounting hardware, thermal paste, and the instruction manual. I will admit, it's not obvious how to put this together just by looking at the mounting hardware, but that's what the user's manual is for.

 

 

With the cooler unpacked, it is now time to start taking a closer look at its construction, materials, build quality, features, and specifications.

Closer Look:

The Prolimatech Super Mega is absolutely one huge cooler. Even with no fans, it tips the scales at almost two and a half pounds. The massive weight may be a little nerve wracking for some users, but Prolimatech is employing the same mounting hardware with the Super Mega as packaged with the Megahalems (the older sister to the Super Mega), but with a few improvements. Just as with all of Prolimatech's other coolers, the Megahalems were a huge hit and I expect the same out of the Super Mega. The main aesthetic difference between the Megahalems and the Super Mega is the addition of four sections of copper fins along the length of the cooler.

Since the Prolimatech Super Mega is not packaged with any fans, none will be pictured with the cooler. The cooler itself, without any fans, is rather plain, but the four sections of copper fins accent the cooler very nicely. Since copper has a higher heat capacity than aluminum, the addition of the copper fins here could pull a slight performance increase over the Megahalems. The fins on this cooler are quite thick, definitely attributing to the weight of the Super Mega, but will allow for more heat to be stored in the cooler before backing up into the processor. This means, with a higher heat capacity, the Super Mega should be able to hold up under an overclocked load better than the Megahalems. I will be exploring that once I get it installed and onto the testbed. The side profile shows that the cooler is relatively thin, but it makes up for it with its height and six 6mm heatpipes. However, once two 120mm or 140mm fans are added, it turns into a massive cooler in all directions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a look at the bottom of the cooler offers a glance as to how the heatpipes are laid out through the Super Mega. The six 6mm heat pipes run through the base and up through each side. Each half is independent, as there is no connection in the middle, and is held together by the heatpipes and the overlapping of the fins. The top of the cooler has the same design pressed into it that appears on the packaging, which is nickel plated and polished to a mirror finish. Taking a look at the quarter view of the Super Mega shows the slits that are cut out of the fins, which allow the fan clips to be secured. It also reveals a subtle imprint of the similar design pressed into the top of the cooler.

 

 

 

The base of the Super Mega is probably the flattest and best-finished of all the coolers I have tested in quite some time - I could not detect any concavity or other imperfections in the finish. I read a few places that the Megahalems were known to have some slight rippling in the base, so this looks like one of the Super Mega's improvements over the Megahalems. One thing that I like to do with copper pieces in products that I test is do the scratch test to see if a component is solid copper or is only plated or painted. I did a scratch test on the copper fins that accent the Super Mega so nicely, and discovered what appears to be aluminum underneath. Discovering this is a little bit disappointing, as it is probably the main feature that really sets apart the Super Mega from the Megahalems.

 

 

As I stated on the previous page, users new to Prolimatech will probably have to refer to the user's manual to get it installed properly. With such a heavy cooler, it's important to make sure that it is installed correctly in order to avoid damage to the heatsink, and more importantly, the motherboard and CPU. The first step is to stick the rubber piece onto the backplate and use the four thumbscrews and "rivets" that pop into and secure the backplate through different positions, depending on the socket of the motherboard. The thumbscrews are hand-tightened to snug, and then the two aluminum strip adapters attach to the top of the thumbscrews with the supplied nuts. These are also hand-tightened to snug, which then have the main crossbar screwed in, holding the heatsink in position. There are two "barbs" sticking out of the bottom of this crossbar that fit into the top of the base, which ensures that the heatsink is in the correct position relative to the socket. The screws used to attach the crossbar are spring loaded. The Super Mega offers the users a choice between the silver screws, which use a lighter spring, and the black screws, which use a heavier spring, claimed at 70lbs of compression. I went ahead with the black screws.

 

 

 

Although the cooler weighs in at almost 2.5 pounds, once mounted to the board, the mounting hardware does a great job at causing little or no warp on the board. I had no discomfort in tightening down the screws that are said to apply 70 pounds of pressure to the board after seeing how well it works. I did notice that the backplate does stick out a little bit more than some coolers, so if short standoffs are used in a case with no cutout in the motherboard tray under the CPU socket, there could be clearance issues. This is not confirmed, but is still a possibility. The Super Mega manages to squeeze in a 210mm (8.3in.) wide case with just less than an inch of clearance between the top of the cooler and the side panel. The only thing that would cause an issue in this case is a fan installed on the side panel above the location of the processor. After installing the motherboard back into the case, I will be testing it in stock and overclocked conditions. The next page contains Prolimatech's list of specifications and features for its Super Mega.

Specifications:

Heatsink Dimension
130mm(L) x 74mm(W) x 158.7mm(H)
Heatsink Weight
945.3g (without fan)
CPU Support
Intel LGA 775/1156/1366
Material
Aluminum and Copper fins
Lead-free Solder
Nickel plating (fins, heatpipes and base)
Heatpipes
6x6mm
Fan compatibility
120mm x 120mm x 25mm
140mm x 140mm x 25mm
Suggested fan speed
800 ~ 1200 rpm

 

Features:

 

All information provided courtesy of Prolimatech @ http://www.prolimatech.com

Testing and Setup:

Testing of the heatsink will involve loading simulated by Prime95, using small FFTs in stock and overclocked scenarios. Both idle and load temperatures will be recorded. Load temperatures will be the maximum value displayed in RealTemp after running eight threads in Prime95 for one hour, and idle temperatures will be the minimum recorded value by RealTemp with no computer usage after one hour. The temperature values for each of the four cores will be averaged and displayed on the graphs below. The ambient temperature is held at a constant 25 °C throughout testing of the Super Mega, as well as the comparison heatsinks. All the data shown in the graphs is in degrees Celsius. The included thermal paste from Prolimatech will be used during testing, and thermal pastes as packaged from the other coolers were used with each heatsink respectively. Since the Super Mega is not packaged with any fans, I will be using two generic 120mm fans that operate at 1700RPM.

Testing Setup:

Comparison Heatsinks:

 

 

 

 

 

As far as my expectations went with the Prolimatech Super Mega, the results definitely met them. It slightly bettered Cooler Master's latest sensation, the V6GT, in the stock scenarios, and managed to pull ahead by seven full degrees in the loaded overclocked scenario. This shows where the Super Mega shines, and certainly impresses me - surely impressing many others as well. I will wrap up my conclusions on the next page.

Conclusion:

The Prolimatech Super Mega certainly exceeded my expectations after taking a close look at it and handling it for a while, but I did find the lack of real copper fins a little disheartening, as Prolimatech markets it in a way that would make it seem that they should be solid copper. I suspected this by looking at the color of them, which was a bit of an orange tint and seemed a little unusual for the way copper typically looks. Taking away the copper sections, the Super Mega is nearly identical to its older sister, the Megahalems, but weighs close to 200 grams more. This extra weight makes it clear that the Super Mega uses thicker fins, probably more copper in the base, and overall has more material, leading to an overall higher heat capacity. The Super Mega was not packaged with any fans, which can be both a good and a bad thing. The bad side is that the user has to supply the fans on his or her own, which adds to the overall cost. On the other hand, the good side is that the user may choose exactly what fans he or she desires and take control over noise, size, and airflow. I did discover that with the included fan mounting clips, at least on the fans that I used, I had to play with their position in order to not interfere with the movement of the fan blades. I was able to stretch the clips to the corners and grab ahold of the mounting holes, but wider clips like the ones provided with the Megahalems would have been much more convenient. Overall, the Super Mega does a great job at keeping up the heat from an overclocked i7 processor and maintains some of the best temperatures compared to what is currently available on the market. The MSRP of the Super Mega is a hefty $79.95, though there is no doubt that it does an outstanding job managing the heat on an overclocked processor and would certainly fit the needs of any user with the itch to perform extreme overclocks, taking their hardware as far as today's top-of-the-line air coolers will allow.

***** Update*****

We have confirmed with Prolimatech that the cooler is all Copper not part Aluminum as we first suspected.  After the process of oxidation and baking that gives copper the darker shade so when you scratch the surface with a sharp object or even with a sand paper, the scratched/sanded spot will appear to be brighter (in comparison to the non-scratched area) thus giving the effect of silvery color.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: