Prolimatech Panther ReviewBluePanda - November 8, 2011
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With the heat sink out of the box, we will see the four heat pipes – uniquely, they are twisted together, holding up the mesmerizing fins. From the front and the back, you will really see four pipes extending to the top on each side (8 total). Similar to the Megahalems, the tips poke out above the top fin. From the sides, you will see that the pipes line up perfectly and start to get a perspective of how this is going to fit in your case. It’s pretty tall, but not very wide – at least without a fan attached.
Taking a look at the top, you will again count the 8 exiting heat pipes. Here, the panther’s face from the front of the box is also displayed – almost like the beast within this heat sink peeking out at you. In terms of mounting, you will find brackets for both AMD’s 2/2+/3/3+ and Intel’s LGA 1156/1155 processor sockets – just make sure you line them up in the right direction on the motherboard bracket. One thing to note, the screws are a little difficult to install due to their close proximity to the fins – just be gentle with your screw driver. Thankfully, you will be using larger holes later to actually fix this heat sink to your board.
Looking at the important face – where the cooler meets your CPU – we are reminded to remove the red plastic sticker before use. I wonder how many people would think to leave the plastic on – I guess that’s why we’re warned here. Either way, it provides a nice protective coat to the surface, so you can manhandle the heat sink before putting it onto your CPU. Taking off the warning label, we find a machine-finished base. Although it isn’t really a clear, shiny finish, it is enough to give a nice reflection of light. Beside the contact point, you will find larger holes for mounting screws – these are a good distance away, so you can easily access them.
To give you a good idea of the finish, I set a little toy panda next to the contact base. While you can see a reflection of the panda, it is much less detailed than the actual thing. However, a lot of people lap their CPU coolers before use, so it isn’t really a big deal. In all honestly, such situations are the sole reason for thermal paste – to fill all microscopic voids on the base surface and provide a better thermally-conductive surface.
Now that we’ve considered mounting the cooler, we can’t forget that it also comes with a fan. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to dig out a fan from the closet or buy one to use the Panther out of the box. The 120 mm, red-bladed, red LED fan attaches onto the heat sink with two simple metal clips. The cable is fully sleeved, to prevent tangling of wires on the fins and adjacent components.
Now comes the fun part; mounting the CPU cooler. In reality, this was probably the most difficult CPU cooler that I have mounted in a while. While mounting a heat sink has never been “fun”, the screws here just seem like they are too short to reach the back plate without using a ton of force. When you finally get one corner to thread, the second becomes even more difficult – it feels like you are about to break your board! Slightly longer threads on the screws would have made mounting a non-issue. If you finally get two screws threaded, then you’re home free – just tighten down the other two and attach that red fan! Overall, it didn’t look half bad in my 600T. Heck, the red even matches my 6970!