Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review

Introduction And Packaging

Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review

Introduction

Prolimatech are a name that we're all familiar with now thanks to their excellent Megahalems CPU cooler. It was probably the first cooler than genuinely replaced the TRUE as the default weapon of choice and rightly won awards here, there and pretty much everywhere.

Since then it has been superceded in cooling capacity by the enormous Noctua NH-D14, but it's still the go-to 120mm cooler.

Of course when we found out Prolimatech were doing a VGA cooler that looked like a huge version of the Megahalems we were gagging to get out hands on it.

VGA cards have got faster and hotter as time has moved on with them almost making up their own version of Moore's Law in that for every doubling of speed there will also be a doubling of heat despite size of heatsinks remaining the same.

So what do you do if you don't want to be able to roast a chicken inside your case whilst playing a game? Why a third-party cooler of course and the MK-13 is one such beasty. So let's take a look at it shall we. 

Packaging and Compatibility

Normally here we'll run our table of features and technical specifications. VGA coolers are simplistic things though and all we want to know is what it is compatible with. Thankfully the packaging supplies this information so it's as good a time as any to get a look.

The MK-13 comes in a sturdy box that definitely has all the hallmarks of an enthusiast product. Whereas lots of hardware uses the box to sell itself strongly to the shoppers as they pass, enthusiast products tend to be far more simplistic both because the average person wont attempt to swap their graphics cooler, and also because they tend to know what they're looking for.

Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review     Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review  

The box is a flip top style with lots of foam packaging keeping the cooler secure in it's journey home.

As you can see from the side of the box the MK-13 is compatible with just about every graphics card you could ever hope to use. Prolimatechs website also says that they've tested it with the GTX470 and GTX480 and it is capable of being mounted on those although they don't recommend overclocking.

Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review     Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review

Let's pull the contents out then and see what we have to play with.

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Most Recent Comments

30-08-2010, 05:32:50

tinytomlogan
Following the enormous success of their Megahalems CPU cooler, we take a look at the Prolimatech MK-13 VGA cooler.

Continue Reading

30-08-2010, 06:13:15

F-alienware
Quote:
Originally Posted by VB View Post

As if to make matters even more enjoyable, when we moved the card amongst our various motherboards attempting to find one that it would fit into without fouling the chipset heatsink, the RAM sinks fell off. We were really gentle too.
Which just so happens to be the same issue attatched to nigh on every third party GPU cooler on the market today.

And that causes fast death of a GPU. For what they charge for these things you would think that they would get that sorted out. I mean, surely some one some where in testing said "Oi, my ram sinks bloody fell off !".

Thanks again for a wonderfully honest review Mr VB. I shall avoid like the plague.

30-08-2010, 06:32:25

Ari-M.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post

Which just so happens to be the same issue attatched to nigh on every third party GPU cooler on the market today.

And that causes fast death of a GPU. For what they charge for these things you would think that they would get that sorted out. I mean, surely some one some where in testing said "Oi, my ram sinks bloody fell off !".

Thanks again for a wonderfully honest review Mr VB. I shall avoid like the plague.
Actually I have never had that issue with my Zalman stick on heat sinks. I am always sure to clean the chips with denatured first. The heat sinks on my gts250 have been in place through quite a few installs/system builds (gts250 is my test card) and less than gentle handling. Never had one fall off yet.

I have used the same Zalman stick on sinks on a variety of chips (sata controllers. etc etc etc) and have actually never had a single one fall off. I have probably used a few dozen of them over the course of the last year or so (building various systems and outfitting various cards/chips)

As long as you clean the surface you are sticking them to, they seem to work great.

I have certainly heard that others have bad luck with them though. Maybe it's the lack of prep. when putting them on? Or maybe I have just gotten lucky.

As for this VGA cooler in review....why would someone build a product that takes up 4 card slots? Was an intern somehow in charge of product design on this item? I just don't get it. They should have just designed the heatsink itself with an indentation in the middle...and then some clips to mount a fan.....same way as everyone else builds their coolers. Really an odd departure from a company that builds such well though out products.....

Seems like by the time you buy the product and then add 2 fans, you are far beyond the value of some of the cards this item is meant to cool, I mean could you imagine such a cooler on a card like a GTS250? You would have a $200 (US) plus GTS250.

For $20 more you could get a 460 or for about $60 more a pair of 5770's. Neither of which needs aftermarket cooling. *scratches head*

30-08-2010, 08:19:23

silenthill
when you install a third party VGA cooler you void your warranty and the company that makes the cooler doesn't give you a warranty so if anything goes wrong you have nowhere to turn too, doesn't that seem stupid or money just grows on trees these days for some people.

30-08-2010, 09:43:30

Ari-M.
Quote:
Originally Posted by silenthill View Post

when you install a third party VGA cooler you void your warranty and the company that makes the cooler doesn't give you a warranty so if anything goes wrong you have nowhere to turn too, doesn't that seem stupid or money just grows on trees these days for some people.
it makes sense if you have an older card, that you got super cheap. I personally did the upgrade to my gts250 because I couldn't stand the noise that the stock cooler put out....it basically ran 100% all the time, with no option to adjust fan speed (not even building a custom permission in RIVAtuner would allow fan control).....and I got the card for next to nothing. Same with the aftermarket cooler. I think I have less into the combo than the cheapest gts250 sells for on newegg.

So for system building and testing mobo/ram/cpu on builds it's a great solution....this way if I get a faulty PSU or mobo I dont' fry a valuable GPU while burning in other components. Also it's super quiet now and I don't have to hear it screaming on the test bench for a 48 hour burn-in

Would make much less sense if all the items were new, and you were paying MSRP. Then I have to agree with you, it's just silly.

30-08-2010, 09:57:34

hmmblah
Just about every card I have owned since a GeForce 2 Ti has had an aftermarket cooler. (Blorb on the GF2, remember those? lol) Not only do you get better cooling, but you can also clock higher and at lower noise levels than a stock cooler. I still have stock cooling on my GTX470 only because it is actually a good solution.

Worrying about a warranty is silly IMO. If you break the card changing the cooler it's your fault, but if the card happens to die a few months down the road from no fault of your own, just slap the stock cooler back on.

Back in the 9800 pro days, the stock cooling was well past inadequate and caused the cards to die prematurely. Overclocking was out of the question with stock cooling. Attaching an AC silencer (or a 1U copper server heatsink) was the only option.

I usually buy a new cooler WITH the brand new card. I only use stock cooling to test the new card and make sure it's not DOA, then the better third party cooling goes on.

30-08-2010, 10:39:17

AMDFTW
lol fail

03-02-2011, 13:36:20

Navu
It seems you have installed the L-shaped bracket i.e. the fans all wrong: there is a "huge" 2 cm gap between the fans and the outer surface of the MK-13 fins. This gap eliminates the airflow towards the cooler, having installed the L-shaped bracket the other way around and so the fans in direct touch to the cooler would have resulted to much better temps. I'm using the MK-13 to cool my XFX5870 using two rather weak 120mm fans (in "direct-touch mode") rotating at 650-700rpm, the result is I have never seen temps higher than 46 degrees for the GPU (that's 50 for memory and 52 for the VRMs using Thermalright VRM R4). At full throttle of about 1400rpm, CCC/Aida64 Extreme/GPU-Z indicate amazing 38-40 degrees!
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