Prolimatech Armageddon & Coolermaster V8 CPU Coolers

Cooling
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 5~10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Prolimatech Armageddon

The Armageddon is similar in various ways to the Megahalems. The two coolers are constructed in the same manner with similar materials, the weight is within an ounce of one another, and they share the same superb mounting system. They are like a pair of equally sized blocks of clay; the Armageddon was molded into a thinner, wider form. The resulting heatsink doesn't quite deliver the end-of-the-world performance its name suggests, falling short of the Megahalems unless you strap a quality 140 mm fan to it.

Speaking of the fan, the included clips work fine but only if the 140 fan in question has a frame that is flat at the sides. In particular, fans with contours on the inside of the housing like Scythes will not work. There is also no option for a 120 mm fan even though the popular fan makers Scythe and Noctua produce 140 mm fans with 120 mm mounting holes, ironically for maximum compatibility. Two pairs of wire clips that go on the outside, one set for 120 mm fans and one set for 140 mm fans would have been far preferable.

To summarize, there is little reason to choose the Armageddon over the Megahalems especially since the Armageddon is priced slightly higher at US$70. Also, in cases that have the power supply on the ceiling, the Armageddon's bigger wingspan may cause interference depending on the distance between the motherboard edge and PSU and the position of the CPU socket. Still, there's no question it is a top CPU cooler, one that might fit the bill better in your particular case / system.

Prolimatech Armageddon
PROS

* Excellent performance
* Superb mounting system
CONS

* Fan clips incompatible with 120 mm fans and some 140 mm fans
* AMD mounting hardware sold separately
* Expensive



The Prolimatech Armageddon is Recommended by SPCR

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Coolermaster V8

The V8's design precludes it from being a quiet effective cooling solution. It has the look and feel of an impressive cooler, but the heatsink body is more of an adversary than an ally to the fan buried within its core. The fins are too tightly spaced, and the fins of the two smaller structures on the exterior run in the opposite direction, creating even more impedance. The only thing quiet about the heatsink is the stock fan which has very good acoustics, but this is marred by the plastic cover it's attached to. It not only makes the fan louder, but is a pain to remove if you want to replace the fan.

The V8 has a very secure mounting system and allows rotation on AMD motherboards, but getting it on/off is the tricky part. Installation requires the motherboard to be flipped on its side or upside-down so that the final step, securing the nuts the back side of the motherboard, can be completed. This is bothersome, a bit dangerous, and terribly inconvenient. If the case doesn't have an access hole behind the CPU socket, the entire motherboard must be removed to get the V8 off.

On its own, the V8 isn't a poor heatsink, but it underperforms compared to much of the competition. There are many alternatives on the market that do a better job, install with less hassle, and take a smaller bite out of your wallet.

Coolermaster V8
PROS

* Stock fan has good acoustics
* Secure mounting system
* Rotatable on AMD boards
CONS

* Middling performance
* Inconvenient installation procedure
* Poor fan mount
* Expensive

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Our thanks to Prolimatech and Coolermaster for the Armageddon and V8 heatsink samples.

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Articles of Related Interest

Cogage TRUE Spirit & Zalman CNPS10X Quiet CPU Coolers
SPCR's 2010 CPU Heatsink Test Platform [UPDATED: 10 April 2010]
Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-D14 flagship dual-fan CPU cooler
ZEROtherm Nirvana CPU Cooler
Scythe Top-Down Coolers: Kabuto vs. Zipang 2

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Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



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