Prolimatech MK-26 Multi-VGA Cooler

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Load Test Results: Prolimatech MK-26
(2 x Reference 120mm Fans)
Fan Voltage
GPU Temp
CPU Temp
Sys. Power (AC)
SPL@1m
12V
70°C
60°C
297W
18 dBA
9V
74°C
64°C
304W
15 dBA
7V
78°C
69°C
306W
14 dBA
System noise level without GPU fans: 12~13 dBA@1m.
Ambient temperature: 24°C

With a pair of our 120 mm reference fans, the MK-26 delivered solid results. The GPU temperatures were very good, never exceeding 80°C even when the fan voltage was lowered to 7V. At that level, the system noise was only 1~2 dB higher than ambient, so the fans had a minimal acoustic impact. Keep in mind this is an extreme torture test on a ~230W card with very little case airflow. It doesn't get much better than this.

GPU Temperature Comparison
Sys. Noise (dBA@1m)
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
Prolimatech MK-26
(2 x 120mm ref. fans)
-
-
70
-
-
74
78
-
-
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus
-
67
-
-
73
-
84
-
-
GELID Icy Vision
86
-
90
GPU fail
-
-
System noise level without GPU fans: 12~13 dBA@1m.
Ambient temperature: 24°C

When generating noise levels of 18 dBA@1m and 15 dBA@1m, the MK-26 performed on par with the AC Accelero Xtreme Plus which features three 92 mm fans. The MK-26 pulled away by a healthy margin at 14 dBA@1m — it excelled with low airflow. The GELID Icy Vision, which has only two 92 mm fans, wasn't competitive at all; the GPU exceeded 90°C at lower speeds prompting it to throttle to prevent overheating.

CPU Temperature Comparison
Sys. Noise (dBA@1m)
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
Prolimatech MK-26
(2 x 120mm ref. fans)
-
-
60
-
-
64
69
-
-
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus
-
67
-
-
70
-
75
-
-
GELID Icy Vision
68
-
69
GPU fail
-
-
System noise level without GPU fans: 12~13 dBA@1m.
Ambient temperature: 24°C

The MK-26 produced noticeably lower CPU temperatures than the Accelero Xtreme Plus. This is somewhat strange as the GPU temperatures were similar and the MK-26 isn't designed to exhaust heat out through the back panel of the case.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Prolimatech MK-26 is a high performance video card cooler that does especially well with low airflow, making it an excellent choice for a quiet gaming system. Not only is it a superb performer, it offers a fair degree of versatility. Numerous AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards are supported, from old favorites like the HD 3870 and 8800 GT, to the latest and greatest HD 7970 and GTX 680. Considering how well it did with our overclocked Radeon HD 5870, it's overkill for all but the hottest, high power models.

Standard case fans may take up more space than thinner all-in-one solutions but they provide better cooling and give users more options. You can choose whatever model suits you — low speed whisperers or high speed screamers. It's also easy to find replacements if the fans ever fail. Prolimatech has even provided a dual fan adapter to reuse the small 4-pin PWM fan header on most cards, providing fan control and freeing up power supply connectors or valuable motherboard fan headers for other uses.

The MK-26's main drawback is its sheer size. It weighs 590 grams bare. Tack to that another 240 grams or so for a pair of typical 120 mm fans; combined, it's the heaviest GPU cooler we've encountered. All this weight forced the back side of our graphics card to bend downward by an alarming amount putting stress on the PCI-E slot and the card's contacts; it would have been nice for Prolimatech to include something to prop the card up. The dimensions are also massive, taking up four slots total (if you lift up the right side so it's level with the slot). Our only other complaint is that the installation procedure makes it difficult to ensure a centered setup that delivers equal pressure to all four corners.

The MK-26 doesn't appear to available in North America as of yet, but it can be found in the UK for approximately £52 (incl. VAT) as can Arctic Cooling's latest, the Accelero Xtreme III (very similar to the Xtreme Plus). The Xtreme III costs about US$80 on this side of the pond so using it as a reference, the MK-26 should cost about the same. The pricing seems appropriate considering the MK-26 is the best GPU heatsink we've tested thus far, but depending on the fans you choose, the final bill could very well end up over US$100.

Our thanks to Prolimatech for the MK-26 video card cooler sample.

* * *


Prolimatech MK-26 is Recommended by SPCR

Articles of Related Interest
SPCR's 2012 Graphics Card/Cooler Test System
ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II OC
Sapphire HD 7750 Ultimate Edition
Thermalright Shaman 140mm Fan GPU Cooler
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus GPU Cooler
GELID Icy Vision Dual Fan VGA Cooler

* * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



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