ProlimaTech MK-13 Multi VGA Cooler ReviewRHKCommander959 - April 8, 2010
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ProlimaTech is a name that might be familiar, the company also made the popular Megahalems CPU heatsink. Lapping is not condoned by ProlimaTech (and any other heatsink manufacturer that I can currently think of) and the base is smooth and straight enough anyway so I wouldn't suggest it unless yours isn't and you know what you're doing. For users who want to keep their warranty safely intact on their graphics cards, I would suggest EVGA as I think its warranty covers cards that have had third party cooling systems attached. The ProlimaTech MK-13 Multi-VGA heatsink cooler is massive by most accounts, though the silvery metal doesn't match the added accessories that are black. The fins have an artistic cut to them, like a barbwire look. The end of the base plate comes to the middle of the heatsink so it is offset some; also the heat pipes are angled to come away from the motherboard before doubling back and crossing over the base plate. Each of the six heat pipes are angled slightly more severely from the next and look like dominoes as they are falling. Two bolts hold each of the two mounting plates that are interchangeable for future support. The thickness of the base plate is around an inch and should allow the fins to sit above capacitors and chokes easily, although the heat pipes might get in the way of a few graphics cards. This solution should fit virtually all graphics cards listed in the support of the box - minus the 9800GX2 which has two PCBs. The last fin of the near-80 finned bunch has a small ProlimaTech logo painted on along with a much larger MK-13 in blue and black. This should be a great heatsink for voltage modifiers!
The view of the back of the heatsink shows the staggered heat pipes that get more angled as they go, with the second from the right nearly going straight up. The angled heat fins are viewable and give the heatsink some flair, simple but effective. The last fin has ProlimaTech and MK-13 in blue and black, the only identifier on the whole heatsink kit. The center two heat pipes are grouped closer together than the other four, and will also receive the most heat as they should be centered on the GPU core. The fins have four small holes for mounting as well as two cut grooves for the fan bolts and mounting brackets.
The base plate is protected by a thick plastic sticker that warns users who install the heatsink to first remove it: "Please peel this label off before you use! WARNING." This is also a good opportunity to look at the six mounting holes on the installed mounting plates and the ends of the six soldered heat pipes. The base isn't perfect but the machining marks are minimal and the base is flat. The base plate gets larger after the heat pipes and has its own heat fins underneath the heat pipe-fin assembly to give it a small boost in cooling. Machining marks are more evident on the larger piece, but this isn't visible when the heatsink is installed and doesn't affect performance.
The mounting bracket for the fans has three long slits and four holes (with the other side mirroring it) to allow at most four fans of a size up to 120mm or 140mm to be installed with a preferred depth of 25mm. Grooves run the length of the cast support bracket and help strengthen it and are intended to slide into the grooves on the heatsink fins.
This bracket helps the previous bracket to mount to the expansion slot, which provides the support for the fans in conjunction with the fin slots. It mounts to the chassis and then bolts together with the support bracket once the video card is in place. Zip ties are also included to aid in installation.
Many various screws and additional mounting brackets and a backplate are included. Screws for fans, the main heat sink, the support brackets, and so on are needed and provided to get a smooth installation, four of the screws have springs. Eighteen medium sized black heatsinks and four small and four miniature heatsinks are included for cooling the memory, VRM, and anything else that gets hot - extras are included and the low profile heatsinks should fit on memory under the heat pipes if such an occasion occurs.
Here we see the ATI Radeon HD 5870 with the stock heatsink removed for a size comparison between the two heatsinks. The ProlimaTech heatsink isn't as long as the stock heatsink but it is wider. The individual dedicated heatsinks should cool better than the large clunky base of the stock heatsink as well - the smaller heatsinks are already installed on the PCB of the ATI Radeon HD 5870. With the heatsink installed, it is still easy to see the smaller heatsinks and finned baseplate underneath the large array of fins and six heat pipes. There is extra space to the front and end of the graphics card with the MK-13, users should make sure to have good case cooling also since the heat won't be vented out actively anymore with the ProlimaTech kit.
The ATI Radeon HD 5870 with ProlimaTech MK-13 installed! This heatsink is much taller and wider than the stock heatsink, and no fans are provided. In testing I used a few different configurations of one and two-fan setups. Four-fan testing was not conducted. With it installed in the case with some room to spare, the fan support bracket can be seen in action. The fans sit around half an inch from the heatsink, and the heatsink hovers above the smaller ones with some room to spare. If the fans mated or were sealed to the fins more, then improved performance could be achieved.
After a quick view of the next page of specifications and features, it's time to move then to testing!