Review of Prolimatech Mega Shadow cpu cooler

Prolimatech sent us the Mega Shadow, an improved version of its “Megahalems” with extended compatibility and some aesthetic modifications.


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INTRODUCTION

Prolimatech was created by a group of cooling enthusiasts in 2008. When they released their Megahalems cooler they got a lot of buzz from news and reviews sites all over the world.


The “Megahalems” can be derived from the “Nehalem” chip name (Intel) and the cheer size of the cooler. You should definitely check out reviews of the Megahalems at testseek to see what the buzz was about.


Prolimatech’s latest product will be on display today, the “Prolimatech Mega Shadow”. I’m thrilled to have the work of fellow cooling enthusiasts in my hand and it’s going to be very interesting to see what its performance results will be.


First of all, let’s have a look at the specifications:


Prolimatech Mega Shadow

Dimensions

130 x  74 x 158.7 (mm)

Weight

790 gr

Heat pipes

Ø 6mm x 6

Optional  fan

120 x 120x 25 (mm)

Fan speed

800-1200 RPM

Noise level of the fan

Less than 26 dBA

Air flow of the fan

57 CFM




BUNDLE

The packaging is very good with protective foam around the heatsink as you can see from the images below.


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Prolimatech provides everything you need to mount this heatsink on Socket 775, 1136 and 1156.



The heatsink doesn’t come with a fan which enables the user to choose whatever fan they wish. They have however included clips for mounting two 120mm fans. Prolimatech recommends that you use a fan with a rotation speed of 16000RPM if you want to have the max performance with this cooler. For a balanced performance they recommend a fan with a rotation speed around 800-1200RPM.


Other included accessories are the needed screws and mounting brackets and Prolimatech’s own Thermal Compound, the “Prolimatech PK-1”.


 

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IN DETAIL: PROLIMATECH MEGA SHADOW

The Prolimatech Mega Shadow is a “tower” type cooler of extraordinary dimensions (170mm x 74mm x 158.7mm).


This baby weighs in at 790 grams (without a fan) so you will need to have fastened it good for it not to risk to hurt your motherboard or CPU (if you install it in a tower case).


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Check out Prolimatech’s product page for the Mega Shadow to get some extra details of this cooler.


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The Mega Shadow is made in black nickel which has a very pleasing look and feel to it. Otherwise the cooler’s design is almost exactly the same as the Megahalems’. The cooler is constructed of two independent towers which each are crossed by six heatpipes of copper with a diameter of 6mm.


According to Prolimatech, the distance between the fins has been optimized to produce the maximum heat dissipation.



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In the top part of the cooler we can see the logo stamped into the fins. To me, this is a nice detail which gives me some kind of warm feeling in my chest of appreciation of the product.


It’s actually possible to install two 120mm fans on this cooler, one on each side.


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The base of the cooler looks mean with the massive heatpipes crossing from side to side. It reminds me of the cylinder of a Harley motor cycle.


The heatpipes have been welded to the copper base which is the traditional method and different from the HDT system (Heat pipe Direct Touch) which has won more and more popularity lately.


The finish of the back plate could not be better, the polish is of excellent quality and the mirror effect is striking.


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INSTALLATION AND TESTS

The obvious difference between the original Megahalems and the Mega Shadow is the black Nickel finish of the latter one. Nevertheless, the greater compatibility of the Mega Shadow makes it more attractive. The compatibility with LGA 775, 1156 and 1356 is naturally an extra selling point compared to “Megahalems” which only is compatible with socket 775 and 1366.



There is also a special mounting kit for AMD users which can be bought separately. This kit will make the Mega Shadow compatible with AMD sockets AM2/AM2+/AM3.


I installed the cooler on an Intel 1366 system.


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Because a back plate is needed for the installation, I had to take the motherboard out of my case in order to complete the installation. I wanted to get this cooler secured tightly to the board for maximum stability and contact with the CPU.


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Check out the images below to get a grasp of the installation process.


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I actually had to resort to the manual to get the installation right. With it as support, I didn’t run into any problem at all and the installation process took me no longer than 5-10 minutes.


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I chose to install two fans on the Mega Shadow because I wanted to see what it could perform if I really pushed it.


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In order to analyze the performance of the Prolimatech Mega Shadow I used this test system:


Test equipment

Processor

Intel Core i7 920

Heatsink

Prolimatech Mega Shadow

Motherboard

Asus Rampage II Gene

Graphics card

Sapphire Radeon HD5750 Steam 1GB GDDR5

Memory

3×2 Gb GSkill Trident 1600Mhz CAS 6 (6-7-6-18)

Hard drive

SAMSUNG SPO411N (40 GB, 7200 RPM)

Power supply

AeroCool V12XT 600W

Fans

2 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1450 RPM


In order to load the CPU to the maximum I used the software “Prime 95” during 20 minutes. I tested the fan with both 1 and two fans to get a reliable and relevant result.


The temperatures were measured with CoreTemp. The tests were made in a room temperature of 20 ˚C. I did the tests with the Intel Core i7 920 at 2.7GHz; 3.06GHz (overclocked) and 4.02 (really overclocked).


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I set the voltage in BIOS to 1.16V when I ran the CPU at its normal speed and to 1.26V when overclocked. I deactivated “TurboBoost” but left “HyperThreading” activated.


I used the “Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm” fan in my tests and the rotation speed was set to 1450RPM.


Here are the results of my tests:


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Obviously these are spectacular results. At no moment we reached critical temperatures, not even at 4GHz. This is truly remarkable since the Intel Core i7 920 can be run at 80°C – 85°C without risking anything.


Also, remember that I used software which loaded all four cores to 100% simultaneously. In reality this will almost never happen. Therefore these maximum temperatures are truly the extremes.


The results point to the conclusion that the gains by using two fans are minor. I actually found the Scythe Gentle Typhoon fans to have a great balance between cooling performance and noise level at 1450RPM.


As a little curiosity I also ran the CPU at 3.4GHz without HyperThreading enabled. The result was quite significant. With the HT activated the average temperature was 63°C, with HT deactivated the average temperature was 56°C, which is considerably lower.




CONCLUSIONS

The performance of the Mega Shadow is fantastic; no one can ever claim anything else. Compared to the Megahalems it looks better and has a better compatibility list. The only real competitor has to be the Thermalright TRUE Black (Revision C) which also is a huge cooler with excellent performance.



This is an amazing product no matter how you look at it. The only thing about it is its price at around $80 which is a lot of money to put out for a CPU cooler. If you consider that this cooler can actually compete with water cooling systems, then the price doesn’t seem that high. No matter the prize, I have to give this product my highest recommendations.


Pros:

  • Exceptional performance
  • Mounting system
  • Lovely finish and design in black Nickel
  • Good compatibility list


Cons:

  • High price



Prolimatech Mega Shadow

Packing and accessories

1.5/1.5

Quality and finish

1.5/1.5

Performance

3/3

Noise level

N/A

Price

0.7/1

Total

6.7/7



The final score is 96 out of 100 owls, and we give the “Prolimatech Mega Shadow″ our Editor’s Choice Award.

 

 


TestSeek Labs Editor's Choice 2009 Award


 

 

Thanks goes out to Prolimatech for letting me review this cooler.

 

 


Author: Noel Íñiguez Fernández

Translator: Vince Emiloz Sanderson




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