Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Cooling arrow ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU Cooler
ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU Cooler E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU Cooler
First Look: ProlimaTech Super Mega
Super Mega Awesome Features
Mounting Surface and Hardware
Copper Plate Skepticism
CPU-Cooler Preparations
Heatsink Test Methodology
Part 1: Megahalems vs Super Mega
Part 2: Megahalems vs Super Mega
CPU Cooler Final Thoughts
ProlimaTech Super Mega Conclusion

Part 1: Megahalems vs Super Mega

As indicated in the introduction, this article is a comparison review between the ProlimaTech Megahalems and the updated Super Mega model. The ProlimaTech Megahalems has earned our Editor's Choice Award, and proven itself against the competition time and time again. If you're looking for a comparison between the Megahalems and Thermalright Venomous-X, or some other cooler, please refer to the countless tests we've previously published in our Featured Reviews: Cooling section.

Overclockers are known for being particular to their equipment, which is why Benchmark Reviews changes our format with each new project. Although it's impossible to nail-down which cooling fan is the overwhelming choice for overclocker projects, most enthusiasts would agree that fans with the best static pressure and highest airflow are the most appropriate. To best capture the equipment used by our audience, independent tests were performed by two different review staff: Olin Coles (that's me) and David Ramsey.

Scythe-Ultra-Kaze-DFS123812H-3000-120x120x38-Fan.jpg

In my tests, the Intel Core i7-920 processor was overclocked to 3.8GHz @ 1.40V; not the highest overclock possible, but still perfectly stable. While some enthusiasts may dare to trespass beyond this voltage, Benchmark Reviews needed our test system to remain functional long enough to complete testing for these products under several different conditions. Our readers must remember that every product must pass testing on the same motherboard and processor, and if one of these fail all the testing must be redone completely.

Each heatsink was tested in succession, using fresh thermal paste for each installation. Two different cooling fan models were used in my tests: a single 120x120x38mm Scythe Ultra Kaze (133.6 CFM @ 45.9 dBA) or two Noctua NF-P12 fans (54.3 CFM @ 19.8 dBA) configured in a push-pull set. All fans were directly connected to the power supply. Knowing that this article would stir some controversy, the highest and lowest results were thrown out with the remainder included below:

Heatsink

Thermal Difference Advantage
Test Series #1 (1.375V) Megahalems by 1.40°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 37.06°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 38.46°C over ambient
Test Series #2 (1.375V) Megahalems by 1.27°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 37.19°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 38.46°C over ambient
Test Series #3 (1.375V) Megahalems by 1.26°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 37.39°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 38.65°C over ambient
Test Series #4 (1.40V) Megahalems by 1.20°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 39.45°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 40.65°C over ambient
Test Series #5 (1.40V) Megahalems by 0.77°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems (70LB) 39.41°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 40.18°C over ambient

Megahalems vs Super Mega: High-Output Scythe Ultra Kaze

As you might have noticed, the Scythe Ultra Kaze tests are split into two voltages: 1.375 and 1.40V. The first round of tests were conducted at 1.375V, but when ProlimaTech asked us to re-test I decided 1.40V would show more separation between results. In test series #5, I decided to use the new Super Mega top-plate and 70LB screws on both cooler.

My first round of tests demonstrated that the Megahalems performed better than the Super Mega, yet ProlimaTech felt that I may have received a faulty sample and exchanged it with a new unit for re-testing. This time I wanted to create as much difference as possible between heatsinks, and since I noticed that ProlimaTech's testing used a set of silent-running fans it made sense to duplicate this setup. Our test lab is not stocked with any 'Blue Vortex' 140mm fans, so I chose to re-test their second Super Mega heatsink sample with a pair of Noctua NF-P12 fans to best illustrate cooling performance from a silent computing perspective:

Heatsink

Thermal Difference Advantage
Test Series #1 (1.40V) Megahalems by 2.12°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.43°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 44.55°C over ambient
Test Series #2 (1.40V) Megahalems by 2.42°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.16°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 44.58°C over ambient
Test Series #3 (1.40V) Megahalems by 2.18°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.76°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 44.94°C over ambient
Test Series #4 (1.40V) Megahalems by 1.92°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.62°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 44.54°C over ambient

Megahalems vs Super Mega: Silent Noctua NF-P12 (x2)

Using Noctua NF-P12 fans and a second (replacement) ProlimaTech Super Mega heatsink sample for testing, the Megahalems once again proved itself to be the better of these two models. While the difference favored Megahalems by 0.77~1.40°C using a high-output Scythe Ultra Kaze fan, the new Super Mega version trailed behind 1.92~2.42°C with a pair of silent Noctua NF-P12 fans cooling an overclocked/overvolted processor.

ADDENDUM 23-JUNE-2010: Benchmark Reviews has tested the ProlimaTech Megahalems and Super Mega using a pair of 140mm Xigmatek XLF-F1453 fans in push/pull configuration.

Heatsink

Thermal Difference Advantage
Test Series #1 (1.40V) Megahalems by 1.88°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.16°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 44.04°C over ambient
Test Series #2 (1.40V) Megahalems by 1.70°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.24°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 43.94°C over ambient
Test Series #3 (1.40V) Megahalems by 1.80°C
ProlimaTech Megahalems 42.31°C over ambient
ProlimaTech Super Mega (70LB) 44.11°C over ambient

Megahalems vs Super Mega: Xigmatek 140mm (x2)

Despite the differences, the Super Mega still performed at the very top of our all-time results, and matched the Thermalright Venomous-X. My own tests were now complete, but the project still wasn't finished yet! After all of the benchmarks were conducted, I sent the heatsinks to another technician in our review staff for a second set of independent tests...



 

Comments 

 
# RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerServando Silva 2010-07-21 22:25
OK, Right now I'm feeling weird about this review. I didn't expect the super-mega to outperform the Megahalems by more than 1-2 degrees, but neither I was expecting to see worst results.
If there's a condition where cooper usually shines better than aluminum, that must be at high CFM, but not even with the Scythe's Ultra Kaze fan this new cooler was able to beat the "single" tower king.
I'm glad that I still have the Prolimatech Megashadow, even if I prefer to use the Noctua NH-D14 normally whenever it fits.

I can't really talk about a bad sample or whatever since you tried a 2nd one and you actually re-tested with another writer... Thank you for the review.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU Coolerdouglatins 2010-07-22 06:09
Its amazing how much you wanted for this product to be as good as expected, you really gave promilatech a chance and after concluding is not exciting you still can`t seem to full criticize the HSF. I bet you had to to maintain a good relationship with them and keeping your professionalism
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerOlin Coles 2010-07-22 07:04
I was not pleased that it performed below the original Megahalems, and there was no holding back on that point. But to criticize the Super Mega for being the second-best heatsink didn't make a lot of sense. I had to consider that it still beat out every other cooler we tested, and that's certainly worth a 9/10 rating.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU Coolerdouglatins 2010-07-22 07:12
But still is heavier and more expensive...
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerDavid Ramsey 2010-07-22 07:43
The Super Mega is puzzling: it has the same number of identically-shaped fins as the Megahalems; the heat pipes and base appear visually identical. Placed side by side, the only apparently differences are the copper fins in the Super Mega and the chromed top fin. The mounting mechanism is slightly different, as Olin noted in the article, but both mechanisms are extremely robust and provide excellent clamping pressure. Prolimatech didn't say, specifically, what changes they made to improve performance (other than the copper fins), but it seems as if the original Megahalems is still the best modern technology can do in a product of this type, given the space constraints a CPU cooler must live within.
Report Comment
 
 
# MoreDaniel Mayes 2010-07-22 14:21
I would like to know was there any temp difference between the 2 Super Mega Heatsinks?
Did the temps get better or worse after sanding down the copper fins?
What thermal paste was used in both test?
Have you tried testing the 2 heatsinks on an open test system?
Thanks
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: MoreDavid Ramsey 2010-07-22 14:35
There was a temperature difference, see the results. The original Megahalems was always cooler. Only a fraction of a millimeter of material was removed from the fins, not enough to affect the cooler's performance. I used "M&G Chemicals Non Silicone Heat Transfer Compound" in my testing; dunno what Olin used, but note that each of us tested both heat sinks with the same compound (i.e. I used my compound for both sinks, and Olin used his), so while our results can't be compared against each other (we used different test systems, after all), they're internally consistent. We don't normally test heat sinks in open systems because they're rarely used that way in the real world.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerDaniel Mayes 2010-07-22 16:01
Thanks for answering my questions. It was a good article, I'm sure ProlimaTech had to do more testing than that. Anyways I wanted to say I bought the Thermaltake Frio, Mugen 2 and gelid xtreme based on this sites reviews. Keep up the good work. Just thought of this it would be awesome for you guys to do a cooling per $ like you guys do the fps for $
Report Comment
 
 
# 140mm fans?Farnsworth Worthington 2010-07-22 17:19
The only thing I can criticize this review for is that Prolimatech's specs say they used 140mm fans, while you're testing used 120mm fans. Although I am not an expert, I do believe that a 140mm fan is going to place its fastest moving air in different locations compared to a 120mm fan.

If you could find it in your schedule to do *just one more* test using some 140mm fans I would love to see the results, whether they back up the current ones, or whether it might actually change something. I am just very curious about it!

Excellent review, either way.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: 140mm fans?Olin Coles 2010-07-22 20:11
When I have the chance, I'll test both heatsinks again with 140mm fans. I honestly think it will be equivalent to the Noctua push/pull set, since 140mm fans are generally used to lower noise levels. We'll soon know if that copper helps with 140mm fans or not...
Report Comment
 
 
# 140mm fan test resultsOlin Coles 2010-07-23 22:14
This article has been updated to include test results with a pair of Xigmatek 140mm cooling fans in a push/pull configuration. The update is located in 'Part 1' of this review. If you're wondering why I used these fans, it's because ProlimaTech sent them with the Armageddon.
Report Comment
 
 
# Excellent!Farnsworth Worthington 2010-07-28 12:59
Thank you sir, you are a gentleman and a scholar.
Report Comment
 
 
# Loacation, Location, LocationBruceBruce 2010-07-22 17:28
I wondered why the copper was just on the periphery, but it makes sense, if they optimized it for 140mm fans.
Report Comment
 
 
# 140mmehume 2010-07-22 20:24
When I reviewed 65 fans in 112 setups on the Megahalems (OCN) I included some 140mm fans. A single Kaze Maru 2 1700 rpm did a fine job of cooling, and it wasn't very loud. I was thinking of ordering an Armageddon crossbar and screws so I could better fit 140mm fans to the Megahalems when the Super Mega appeared. I believe 140mm fans will do well on the Megahalems with this crossbar.

I agree with Mr. Worthington and BruceBruce. Those lateral copper fins may make their difference with 140mm fans. I look forward to the extension of your review with 140mm fans.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: 140mmServando Silva 2010-07-22 21:29
I read your 65 fan comparison and I loved it. But, do you really think that 140mm should be able to do the difference? I mean, there were some cases were the Megahalems beated the Super-Mega by more than 1 degree. I don't know... but at least, it could pair things a little more.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU Coolerhalfwaythere 2010-07-22 20:46
Regardless of the fan used this heatsink should beat the Megahalems at least in one situation. It would've nice to see what kind of mounts were you getting by analyzing the paste imprint on both coolers.

The only logical explanation I can come up with is that your Megahalems has a base that works great with your un-lapped cpu while the Supermegas are worse.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerDavid Ramsey 2010-07-23 07:00
Prolimatech is very specific about lapping on their web site: "Prolimatech does not condone any type of lapping done to the CPU or to heatsink base. Every Prolimatech's heatsink base is designed on a pin-point scale of how the base is to be flat and/or curved where it's needed to be. We have programed our machines to machine the surface in a very calculated way. Any after-manufacture lapping or modding done to the base will alter the design, hence negating its performance factor as well as its warranty."
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerOlin Coles 2010-07-23 07:13
I can appreciate your concern, but have no doubts that I've been doing this long enough to understand the importance of contact pressure and mating surface conditions. I've written a few articles about each (which were forwarded to you), and I kept a close watch for inconsistent mounting contact. Both appeared identical, and both were consistent. Additionally, ProlimaTech has maintained that the base design is the same for both (all) models.
Report Comment
 
 
# RE: RE: RE: ProlimaTech Super Mega Heatsink CPU CoolerNick 2010-07-23 14:57
The only other thing I could think of that might have influenced your test results (apart from the fans mentioned) was orientation of the hsf setup. You mentioned in your opening that the megahalems showed a 3 degree preference for mounting horizontally vs vertically (for the heat-pipes). If the materials used in the heat-pipes has changed in the refresh of this cooler, then perhaps this would also have an impact on the result. I realise though that testing every cooler in every combination is not possible, and also that the result might be worse if the heat-pipe construction has not changed, but ths was the only ohter thing that came to mind.
Report Comment
 
 
# 140mm same resultsServando Silva 2010-07-24 00:10
There you have it... The megahalems is still the best with 140mm fans.
Report Comment
 
 
# Best cooler?Ben 2010-07-24 17:06
So what will be the best cooler for over clocking on a 1336 socket?
The V6GT, V10, Megahalems Rev.B, Super Mega or something that I didn't metion?
Report Comment
 
 
# A question of VCORE perharpsJohan Niemi 2010-12-12 09:12
ProlimaTech used a stunning 1.55V to archive a VERY modest OC. If possible, try to crank up your voltage to the same level and see if Super Mega gains territory.

That is the only thing I can think of. But 1.55V on air, seriously...
Report Comment
 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter