Prolimatech MK-26 VGA Cooler Review

Prolimatech MK-26 VGA cooler is especially designed for AMD’s flagship Radeon HD 7970, it measures 245mm*100*42mm, weights 530g, boasts six 6mm heatpipes, 70 aluminum fins covering cooling area of 3500cm2.

Specification

Specification of Prolimatech MK-26 VGA Cooler

Prolimatech MK-26 Cooler Previewed

Prolimatech MK-26 VGA cooler is smaller in size than Dracula and Xtreme Plus along with less cooling area, but its compatibility is not so decent as we think.

MK-26 cooler is equipped with six 6mm heatpipes, its cooling fin design is the same as that of other Prolimatech coolers. Though the cooler we have got is an engineering sample, but it has been nickel-plated.

The same with most graphics cooler, MK-26 cooler features relatively bigger bending degree, which may have some influence on its heat-transmission capability. In addition, its structure is not suitable for case with vertical air flue design, as the condensing side of heatpipes will be lower than evaporation side when the cooler is installed in those cases, it will be bad for liquid reflow in heatpipes.

MK-26 cooler is especially designed for AMD Radeon HD 7970, the bump of bottom base is to match up with the special Tahiti GPU design.

Bottom base of Prolimatech MK-26 VGA cooler

The bottom base of MK-26 cooler is made up of three layers, apart from the common copper base and aluminum cover, there also adds a piece of rhombic copper.

The copper piece is 1.4mm in height.

The clips of MK-26 are close to that of MK-13, in addition to cooler’s clips, there includes memory and mosfet chips. Moreover, the fan’s bracket is independent, while the fan is not installed in the cooler directly, which is the same with MK-13.

It’s noteworthy that the FMK-01 fan bracket at the right side is purchased additionally.

MK-26 VGA Cooler Installation

The installation of MK-26 VGA cooler is quite simple as there only come with a pitch hole. But we should be careful with the unique bottom base design upon installation.

There are two layers of soft plastic in baseplate faced to PCB. In addition, the clips are very user-friendly.

The rear panel is compatible with various pitch holes.

There are just 12 memory cooling chips in accessories, which is the same with that in HD 7970.

As the cooler is an engineering sample, the mosfets can’t be in place upon installation.

The fan installation of MK-26 is the same with that of MK-13, it’s fixed in case PCI slot.

After installation, MK-26 takes up the space of five PCI slots, there left not many slots for motherboards. As we could see from our test platform, the mobo only left a PCI-E x1 slot and a PCI slot. In addition, it will be bad for fan intake if we install expansion card in PCI slot.

The FMK-01 fan clips bundled with MK-26 is capable of up to four fans installation. However, it’s unrealistic to install four 12cm fans of high-tower cooler. Finally we could only installed two 8mm fans.

Benchmark Platform & Settings

Our test used reference Radeon HD 7970 graphics card which kept with default frequency. In graphics driver we turned up power management setting by 20% to increase graphics heat, and compared the cooling efficiency between Prolimatech MK-26 cooler and reference cooler of HD 7970.

The test platform was installed in Lian Li case, the indoor temperature was about 24℃. MK-26 installed two Scythe S-FLEX SDD21F fans, the fan rotation speed was set at 1200RPM. In addition, we would test the temperature upon four fans installation. At the same time, two 8cm Coolink SWiF2-801 fans were installed. In out test, we recorded GPU core temperature and graphics PCB temperature.

PCB temperature was got from temperature probe, the probe was set at the back of PCB where mosfet for GPU power supply laid.

Test Platform Previewed

GPU Temperature

When MK-26 installed two 12cm fans, GPU full-loaded temperature was 72℃, 9℃ lower than 81℃ of reference cooler, along with much lower noise.

Two more 8cm fans in MK-26 didn’t make the temperature lower, while temperature was even higher, which was supposed to be caused by hot air flow changement due to two added fans.

PCB Temperature

As for PCB temperature, as the attached mosfet of MK-26 was not in place, the mosfet pipe featured no help in cooling. While reference cooler had a decent overview of various components in graphics when designed, so the two temperatures was in a great gap.

When we used reference cooler, PCB temperature was only 60℃, but 82℃ with MK-26 cooler (dual-fan). The temperature even reached 92℃ with quad-fan setting.

Conclusion

Judged purely from the cooling performance, Prolimatech MK-26 cooler is really better than the reference cooler of HD 7970, featuring 9℃ lower temperature, for overclocking players, lower temperature means higher frequency.

In addition, players are able to choose other silent fans, avoiding the noise from turbo fan of reference cooler, as well as facilitating for setting up a noise-free high-performance gaming platform.

However, MK-26 takes up the space of five PCI slots, there leaves not much room for motherboards to install other expansion cards, let alone CrossFire setting. Moreover, the current HD 7970 doesn’t feature rear panel or protective bridge design, and MK-26 weights 50g, the long-term use of it will lead to graphics PCB deformation. The pricing of MK-26 is supposed to be set at RMB199 (US$32), expected to launch one month later, the cooler is believed to become mature in workmanship and accessories.

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