ProlimaTech MK-13 Multi VGA Cooler ReviewRHKCommander959 - April 8, 2010
» Discuss this article (15)
Overall, the ProlimaTech MK-13 provided solid performance when equipped with any of the three configurations of fans and was able to operate quietly or provide the best cooling out of the three heatsinks tested. Personally, I would equip it with some form of fan control so that it can be adjusted between quiet and performance mode on the fly with a good pair of fans. With higher end cards like the HD 5870 testbed, you will need to use fans since running passively is just not an option in a standard case. If you have a case that is equipped with a large fan blowing over the graphics card you just may be able to make it work as long as you monitor the temperatures. What I found in the testing was that the MK-13 likes airflow and lots of it. The higher the airflow, the better temperatures you will see. This does however, come with one drawback; the MK-13 with the supplied fan bracket and any installed fans will consume the space that is normally reserved for your expansion cards such as a sound card, NIC or another video card, making this a five to six slot cooling solution instead of the two slots occupied by the reference and Vapor-X cooling solutions used on the testbed video card. You can mount the fans in a blow down configuration to combat this but at best it's a three slot solution. The multi position fan bracket is sturdy enough to hold just about any combination of fans from one to four and probably more with some creativity on your part.
The supplied heatsinks were initially tough to keep on the memory modules and VRM but it seems once the card heats up they are not going anywhere and really are large enough to do the job of keeping the components cool. When it came to installing the Prolimatech MK-13, the directions were pretty clear on how the product was installed and there were no surprises as the pre mounted brackets were the ones needed for use with the HD 5870. Prolimatech has included a large number of heatsinks in a multitude of sizes and fin configurations to accommodate the large install base. You get all the screws and mounting hardware you need to get the heatsink installed. It took more time to read the instructions than it did to mount the MK-13 on the card. This large install base should mean that many customers can equip this heatsink with their graphics cards, and provides an upgrade to users who want more cooling but don't want to jump to water cooling but still want a way to reduce the temperatures on the graphics cards. One other item that should be resoled is the size of the heads on the thumb screws used to mount the MK-13 to a video card. These fasteners look and function great but stuck out far enough to make the use of the x1 PCI-E slot above the card useless. Many sound cards are in use with this interface so this can be a real concern. The thumb screws are cool and look good, they just get in the way.
Just like with any product, you get a bit of the good, the bad and the ugly, the trick is to minimize the latter. This is what Prolimatech has done with the MK-13 heatsink. You get a ton of heatsinks, a customizable fan mounting system and a heatsink that looks and performs great. Priced at about $66, it comes in at the high end of the scale, but for that price it does deliver. As the first graphics card heatsink released by ProlimaTech, it is easily one to keep on your radar when looking to upgrade from the "Hoovers" that most high end card come equipped with from the factory!
- Cooling performance
- Compatible with many graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA
- Many extra smaller heatsinks
- Polished flat base
- Customizable usage - can be set up for quiet operation or extreme cooling
- Ease of installation
- Scalable performance
- No fans included
- Three slot or larger size