I finally got my hands on the "cooler heard 'round the web". I have seen nothing but praises from reviewers and owners already. This time I get to see for myself what all the hype is about and put this sample through its paces just like the rest and see how it stands up to our T.E.C.C.
The cooler I received to our labs for testing is the Megahalems from Prolimatech. Prolimatech hasn't been in the cooler market long, but in that short time have created quite a hype and presence. This sample, however, did not come directly from Prolimatech, unlike most of our samples which come directly from the manufacturer. This time I'd like to give a big thanks to CrazyPC for donating the Megahalems and a Scythe fan for our testing.
I mentioned that CrazyPC had also shipped a Scythe fan along with the Megahalems. For those who aren't aware, as with a few other premium coolers, the Megahalems also ships fan-less. They do have recommendations both on their packaging and on their web site. In most circumstances this isn't an issue, even if you overlook this on purchase. Prolimatech says that 57 CFM worth of flow is sufficient to keep the Megahalems doing its thing. I think it's time to get some images and strap her up to the T.E.C.C. and see for myself if all the hype preceding the Megahalems is worth it.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Working my way from the bottom up on the Megahalems CPU cooler, there is the base. This base appears to be made of aluminum with six 6mm Nickel coated heatpipes soldered inside it. That's right, I said six! The Prolimatech uses a milled base that leaves sort of an arched pattern in the base. Prolimatech has done this specifically and asserts that is all part of the design and planning of the whole package. The Nickel coated heatpipes then take the heat away from the base and deliver it to twin sets of forty five fin arrangements. Each side of the six pipes gets its own half of all that aluminum to more efficiently remove the heat. These fins are not only in two separated towers, each fin is also two pieces, assembled together, then pressed over the straightly aligned heatpipes, each fin having tabs on the edges to keep them spaced correctly to maximize the use of your fan of choice to cool this 790g tower.
A Scythe Kaze-Jyuni 120mm high speed fan is what we will be using for our testing. I mentioned that Prolimatech suggests 57 CFM; this Scythe will push up to 110 CFM when 12 volts are applied. This should do quite the job of keeping temps at bay, as its 4CFM shy of doubling the recommended flow of air. This Jyuni can run a maximum of 1900 RPM and Scythe says it will be 37dBA when it is at max. Not exactly a quiet fan, but with a case door in place, it's more like a hum.
Availability at this time is good at the e-tailers it can be located at, all of which appear to show stock. There are only about six shops I could find that actually do carry the Megahalems at this point. The Megahalems can be found at Crazypc.com for 59.99 U.S. Dollars plus shipping. And don't forget to add about another $10 for a quality fan like the Scythe I received with mine. Premium coolers do deserve to ask for premium pricing, so let's get to it and see if you should be selling off old hardware to get a Megahalems for your air cooling solution.
For those who run AMD and would like to have a go with the Megahalems, there is an accessory kit made with mounting hardware for AM2 and AM3. Other accessories include extra 25mm depth or 38mm depth fan clips. This allows almost any combination of fans and socket choice. Be aware that all afore mentioned "kits" are all sold separately, which increases the overall pricing for AMD users.
Prolimatech puts the Megahalems in a black box with a light blue top band where they place their nameplate. An all white drawing of the Megahalems centres the front of the package just above the Megahalems name and compatibility.
This side shows the compatibility again, but this time in five languages, so there is less confusion.
Prolimatech keeps it simple on the back. They advise you to look at their site for any questions on installation or compatibility issues.
A small specifications chart flanks the left side. This is enough to sort out most questions about size requirements inside your chassis of choice. Notice it also says "recommended fan". The Megahalems ships without a fan in the package. Plan ahead to order one or use one you have on hand, if it meets or exceeds the recommendation.
Once I open up the black and blue outer package, I saw this plain brown cardboard inner box coved with the bit of foam and instruction pamphlet on the right. The cooler itself is wrapped in bubble wrap before it is set into place and to keep things from banging around during shipping the hardware is contained below the cooler in a separate compartment.
The Prolimatech Megahalems CPU Cooler
I didn't want to give too much away before this section of the review. The Megahalems uses a two part fin arrangement, which Prolimatech protects with extra foam in the middle. Make sure to remove this.
With the foam out of the way, you see the forty-five aluminum fins are in fact two separate sections. This way each set of six, nickel coated, copper heatpipes has their own separated array to cool with after they leave the base.
From here we can see the width of all six pipes as they leave the base. They continue to widen a bit until they reach the fins and are aligned straight and in line with each other to maximize the airflow. The fins edges are bent over on the ends to help add a bit of support to each other. They also keep what Prolimatech says is the best balance of flow versus noise.
Something I haven't seen with other "dual tower" coolers is the Megahalems two piece fin design. Each fin for each tower consists of two pieces fastened together and then pressed over the heatpipes. The pressed design on the fins is to aide with the transfer of heat and reminds me of the Transformers for some reason.
The top of the large, block style base has two round holes. These are to accept the mounting hardware. The cross bar I show in the hardware section locks into those holes to securely fasten the Megahalems in place.
The base is not exactly polished in its finish, or even level against a razor blade. Taking a quick look at Prolimatech's site, I soon found out why. The say they have specifically milled the base in this fashion as it is part of the overall designs efficiency. They do not recommend to lap this base, as it voids your warranty for one, but also lowers the efficiency of the Megahalems.
Since the Megahalems does not come with a fan, CrazyPC sent this gem to test this cooler with. This is the Scythe Kaze-Jyuni, a 110CFM fan. I'm pretty sure this should take the fan out of the equation in cooling the Megahalems!
I think the Kaze is a good choice, as it does a great job of covering the majority of the fin arrangement.
I wanted to give a completely assembled shot to show a couple of points. Prolimatech says from the bottom of the base to the first fin is 40mm; notice the fan hangs a bit lower when centered on the Megahalems, so keep that in mind for memory clearances. The second thing is, I forgot to mention in the previous profile image that the Megahalems is designed to accept two fans for a push/pull configuration.
Accessories and Documentation
Mounting hardware shipped with the Megahalems is pretty beefy. There are the usual suspects as far as the LGA775 and Core i7 back plates, found on the far left and right respectively. In the middle are three lengths of aluminium. The two outer ones are to mount the motherboard to either back plate, while the centre one is the cross bar I referred to earlier that locks into the top of the base and mounts on top of the other two.
Aside from the mounting bits, these are included as well. There are the two wire fan clips at the back surrounding the syringe of included Prolimatech thermal compound. In the front, to either side are the four thumbscrews used to mount the bars to the back plates, effectively clamping them onto your motherboard. Next, four screws you see top the thumbscrews and secure the mounting hardware into position. Once that is done, use the spring loaded screws to mount the locking cross bar to the already mounted bits.
The included foldout pamphlet has an image of the cooler and all the included parts. Prolimatech also includes a parts checklist with a description of each piece of hardware.
The flip side of the instruction sheet shows a very basic step by step on how to apply the cooler. Don't worry, as there are much better instructions on Prolimatech's site if you get stuck.
Test System &Testing Results
Test System & Test Results
TweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
Simply Amazing! The Megahalems keeps up with the best of our dual fan, push/pull, tests and this was tested with only one fan. I can only imagine how well it would perform had I had two 110CFM fans at my disposal.
Our fan noise testing for the Megahalems is completely subjective. It depends on the fan you choose.
By these numbers the Scythe isn't too bad of a choice. Some will be better, some will be worse. Also note the noise levels will increase just a bit if you choose to get dual Scythe fans, but not by more than 5-10 dB.
All the hype that precedes the Prolimatech Megahalems is spot on in my opinion. What else is there to ask for when looking for your next CPU air cooler? Does it keep the T.E.C.C. cool? Yes it does and it does it well. Is it an attractive addition to your rig? I think so. The Megahalems is going in mine. Is it worth the asking price? Considering I have used the Thor's Hammer and the Baram and sold both in the pursuit of better air cooling. Guess what? I found it.
Issues with the Megahalems are nil. I can't find one fault in all the aspects of its testing. Mounting is super easy; an absolute breeze. Choose a back plate and set it behind the motherboard and add four screws. Set the support bars in place and set four thumbscrews. Lastly, lock in the cross bar and screw in two more thumbscrews to secure the Megahalems in place. Prolimatech suggests when applying TIM to coat both the base of the cooler and the CPU with a thin even layer. In my testing this method did produce the best results. Then just apply your fan of choice with the simple to use, but very secure fan clips. Plug in the fan and enjoy the nice temperatures.
As equipped, the Megahalems from Prolimatech is going to run about $60 plus shipping from CrazyPC.com. I think Prolimatech is onto something big and I can't wait to see what is next. Until that day arrives, you need to seriously consider Prolimatech's Megahalems for your cooling solution. In single fan testing it ranks in the top with the best of what I have tested and there is more potential, depending on fan choice or how many. Either way you look at it, there isn't really a better air cooling solution to squeeze out every last megahertz you can muster.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de