Prolimatech MK-13 VGA Cooler Review
Published: 29th August 2010 | Source: Prolimatech | Price: 49.90 EUR |
The cooler itself doesn't actually come with any fans at all, allowing you to use any of your choice. However Prolimatech have employed a very strange method of attaching the fans to the card.
Rather than have them attached to the MK-13 itself they are bolted to a bar that is bolted to a bracket that takes up a PCI slot in your case.
Firstly insert a PCI bracket similar to the blanking plates you get in the back of your case. Lightly screw it in. Then place a further plate on the outside and screw the two together. This is fiercely fiddly. The external bracket doesn't fit neatly at all in our ACTS 840. But nonetheless with a bit of swearing it's in.
Next you mount the fans, in this case two Xigmateks, to a bar, and screw the bar onto the bracket. Tighten it all up and Robert is your mothers brother. Here we find the first big flaw in the whole arrangement.
Apart from the bar barely reaching half-way along the second fan as you can see in the picture below, the manual indicates (as much as it indicates anything) that the fans start at the left and then just get screwed in where you have room. Not true. They need to be screwed into big open slots like you find on CD drives.
Then, with the fans in place you bolt the bar to the bracket you installed above. Actually to be truthful with one of the fans in place and the other one wobbling about because it's only mounted with one screw you go to screw the bar to the bracket then realise that it's impossible because the edge of your case gets in the way. So you curse and swear a bit and finally get it installed.
It's Not All Roses
Now that sounds like a fairly pain free procedure. Oh I wish that it were. Let's start with those scarily large screws we used to affix the MK-13 to the board. As you can see here they are actually so big they foul the not-very-large chipset heatsink on our Gigabyte P55-UD4. So it can't be installed in a system with either a large chipset heatsink or a lack of room above the first PCI-e slot.
Of course if you've got a few motherboards laying around that wont be an issue. Size however most definitely is. Here is the Prolimatech MK-13 on our test bench for "ease of photography" reasons. On the right we have the card, a ATI HD5870. This comes with a dual-slot backplate to fit the dual DVI outs. We also have the MK-13 affixed in all it's highly polished glory. Next along is the black bar which you affix the fans to, either two in the standard placings like we have here, or you can use the L-Shaped fan bracket to put two horizontally so they blow air down across the card.
This doesn't work either because 120mm fans tend to foul the cooler. It's not like we're using a massive over-sized number either. Just a standard 120mm tower cooler than you'll find in most rigs. Indeed it's the exact type of cooler on which Prolimatech made their name.
Finally we have our two fans. One of which is fixed firmly and blows air onto the heatsink, and the other is flapping about and blows air in the general direction of the card, and the case, and any sundry items you may have. So if you're counting at home this is a four slot cooling solution. FOUR. We have ZERO free PCI slots. None whatsoever. This isn't a mATX board either.
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.