Prolimatech MK-26 ReviewRHKCommander959 - February 4, 2013
Category: VGA Cooling
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Prolimatech MK-26 Introduction:
Most graphics cards that come out now are designed to cool the card enough to keep the temperatures safe but not run optimally, while the blower or fans make tons of noise. It costs more to make larger coolers with quieter/higher flowing fans. Some higher-end cards come with improved solutions but the price reflects the change – they cost more and some still leave room for improvement.
For aftermarket graphics card cooling there are two real options. Air cooling systems are isolated to the card itself and increase the weight while watercooling kits have tubes and radiators ran elsewhere and weigh less on the card itself. Both are very viable options for cooling off the latest cards that have stock cooling with room for improvement. It is important to make sure if swapping cooling solutions whether or not the warranty would be voided, and decide if it is a risk you are willing to take on. Up for review this time is the Prolimatech MK-26 cooler. The MK-26 uses a large heat sink with six heat pipes for air cooling on the GPU core and smaller heat sinks to cool the other components. The cooler doesn't come with fans so Prolimatech also provided two Ultra Sleek Vortex 14 fans that are only 15mm thick will double ball bearings, 60,000-100,000 mean time between failures dependent on temperature, and push air up to 98 CFM / 0.9mm H2O at up to 18 dBA on a 17-blade impeller! These are great statistics that should allow the cooler to run very quietly.
The design is similar to the MK-13 while weighing slightly more, likely due to the more complicated plumbing of the heat pipes and increased size. The MK-26 has grown to 257x146x47mm over its predecessor the MK-13, which measures out at 205x100x43.5mm approximately.
Prolimatech MK-26 Closer Look:
The top of the box has the heat sink shown in white in an isometric view. The primary colors are the same as the company logo – white, blue, and gray. The model MK-26 is at the top right while the Prolimatech logo is at the bottom left. The bottom of the box lists some of the main features. The main points are: up to 320 watt TDP support, the six 6mm sintered copper heat pipes, lead-free Nickel solder, support for two 120/140mm fans, Omni-Mount Retention system for highly compatible tool-free installation, and Prolimatech PK-3 thermal paste is included. At the left is a picture of the Omni-Mount Retention System. The back of the box has the Prolimatech MK-26 logo and model at the top left.
The front of the box lists specifications of the cooler. The heat sink design type is called Dual Radiator, because of the two separately finned sections. The max TDP is rated up to 320 watts. The heat sink is intended to be a universal tool-tree mounting system Prolimatech calls Omni-Mount. The heat sink uses six 6mm sintered metal powder wick heat pipes that are Nickel-soldered to 0.5mm Nickle-plated Aluminum heat fins. Recommended fan setup is two 120mm or 140mm fans for cooling the heat sink with at least 87 CFM. The back side lists compatibilities ranging from AMD 7-series down to 3-series, and NVIDIA 600-series back to the 7-series. The first end of the box matches the top styling with the Prolimatech logo and MK-26 model. The other end has the bar code and says Made in China. In eight languages it suggests visiting their website for more information.
Upon opening the box, the first thing to be found is the instruction manual. For better installation details it is best to go to the Prolimatech website and find the MK-26; there is a tab there called Installation that shows in better detail how to get it installed. Immediately under the foam padding is the heat sink, protected from dirt by a plastic bag. Underneath that are the rest of the accessories needed for installation. Included are heat sinks, Prolimatech PK-3 thermal paste, mounting parts, and other instructions including a parts list and smaller instructions for heat pad and smaller heat sink installation.
Continue on to the next page to see the cooler in detail!