Prolimatech MK-26 VGA Cooler Review
By Rafael Coelho on October 1, 2012
The Prolimatech MK-26 is a video card cooler with six heatpipes and can be installed with two 120 mm or 140 mm fans. Let’s test it and compare it to some of the best VGA coolers we have tested so far.
Like the CPU coolers from Prolimatech, the MK-26 doesn’t come with fans. Its relatively small box is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the accessory kit that comes with the MK-26: manual, heatsinks for memory chips and voltage regulator transistors, power adapter, and installation hardware.
Figure 3 displays the Prolimatech MK-26.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 reveals the front view of the cooler, where you can see the name of the cooler printed. Notice the tips of the six heatpipes.
The side of the cooler is shown in Figure 5.
In Figure 6, the rear of the heatsink is displayed.
As you can see in Figure 7, the MK-26 is actually made by two independent heatsinks: a smaller piece at the left, connected to the base by three heatpipes; and a big one at the right, which uses another three heatpipes to receive the heat from the base.
Figure 8 shows the bottom of the heatsink.
In Figure 9, you can see the base of the Prolimatech MK-26, with the pair of brackets compatible with our video card screwed on it.
In order to run a performance test, we installed the Prolimatech MK-26 on our Point of View GeForce GTX 460 video card. Figures 10 and 11 show the card with and without its stock cooler.
The MK-26 comes with a backplate, but it can only be used on video cards with square hole distribution. In cards like ours, with rectangular hole geometry, you must use the stock backplate (if your card has one).
Figure 12 reveals the MK-26 installed on our GeForce GTX 460.
Figure 13 shows the solder side of our GeForce GTX 460 with the MK-26 installed.
The Prolimatech MK-26 is bigger than our video card in both length and height, as you can see in Figure 14.
Figures 15, 16, and 17 show the MK-26 installed on our video card.
Figure 18 reveals the MK-26 with the fans installed. For our benchmarking, we installed two Xigmatek XLF-F1453 (140 mm, 1,000 rpm) fans on this cooler. Using 25 mm-thick fans (the most common type), the video card will use four slots of your motherboard and computer case.
We tested this VGA cooler with a Point of View GeForce GTX 460 card with 1 GB RAM. The GTX 460 GPU has a TDP of 160 W. In order to get 100% GPU usage, we ran the Folding@Home GPU client.
We compared the Prolimatech MK-26 to the VGA stock cooler, the Arctic Accelero Hybrid, the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III, the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II, the Gamer Storm Dracula installed with two Xigmatek XLF-F1453 fans (140 mm, 1,000 rpm), and to the Deepcool V6000 VGA cooler.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the GPU thermal sensors). During the tests, the left panel of the case was closed.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed at the side of the case. We reduced the rotation of all the other fans so they wouldn’t interfere with the results. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which isn’t the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the GPU at full load.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||GPU Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|GamerStorm Dracula||11 °C||47 dBA||45 °C||34 °C|
|Arctic Accelero Xtreme III||13 °C||42 dBA||49 °C||36 °C|
|Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II||11 °C||41 dBA||54 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool V6000||11 °C||50 dBA||57 °C||46 °C|
|Stock cooler||11 °C||58 dBA||85 °C||74 °C|
|Arctic Accelero Hybrid||15 °C||43 dBA||50 °C||34 °C|
|Prolimatech MK-26||12 °C||42 dBA||43 °C||31 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the GPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
The main specifications for the Prolimatech MK-26 VGA cooler include:
Most CPU coolers from Prolimatech that we’ve tested to date presented excellent performance, and the MK-26 video card cooler was no exception. The MK-26 outperformed all the VGA coolers that we tested so far.
Probably, the secret of the MK-26 is the size of the heatsink, not in length like most conservative designs, but in height. The only problem with this design is that it is “high profile” and will not fit computer cases with less than 6.7” (170 mm) of internal width.
Because of its extremely good performance, the Prolimatech MK-26 VGA cooler receives our Golden Award.