I reviewed the Prolimatech Super Mega CPU Cooler and found it to be a big, brash, highly effective CPU heatsink that could easily tame a hot, overclocked Core i7. In fact, it was the best cooler I had seen to that point.
But as is often the case, being the top dog on the block in the tech world can be fleeting, and the newest 140mm coolers gave quite a push to this 120mm monster. In response, Prolimatech went back to the drawing board and released the Super Mega.
At first glance, it looks like just the Megahalems, and in fact, it is almost the same. But there are a few important tweaks that appear to improve upon the predecessor; namely, replacing some aluminum fins with copper ones, greater contact mount pressure, and an improved fan clip design that also allows for 140mm fans in a push-pull configuration.
By spec alone, these upgrades would seem to be an enthusiast’s dream, taking one of the top coolers on the market and making it better. But as I know, paper specs do not necessarily make for a tangible improvement in the real world.
I decided to put the Super Mega to the test, to find out if it can indeed surpass the Megahalems in cooling performance or not.
Specifications and Package
The packaging of the cooler is a fairly standard white cardboard box, with some basic product information on the side. When you open the box you will see that the cooler is packed in dense foam to protect it nicely during transport.
The accessories here are quite extensive. Prolimatech has included a tube of their thermal compound, as well as all the necessary mounting brackets for various Intel sockets, fan clips, an installation manual, and a universal backplate.
AMD mounting hardware is not included here but is optionally available for an additional cost. The installation manual is straightforward and easy to understand.
Closer Look at Prolimatech Super Mega CPU Cooler
A traditional tower design, the Super Mega is very similar to the popular Megahalems, almost identical in fact, with a few distinct differences that I’ll discuss below. If you’re familiar with the Megahalems then you’ll instantly recognize the design of the Prolimatech Super Mega CPU Cooler.
The Susanoo Scythe is an article on CPU coolers that may help you with your search.
It is a fairly typical tower style in terms of technology and use of heat pipes, but the Super Mega continues the space in the middle, keeping an “airway” open and creating two smaller and separate “mini-towers”. It is rather stylish and aggressive-looking but is quite large which may pose problems with smaller mid-towers and it definitely has one of the biggest coolers I’ve seen.
However, where the Super Mega differs from the Megahalems is that this new heatsink replaces a considerable section of aluminum fins for copper ones. As I know, copper is a better heat conductor, so in theory, the Super Mega should have better thermal performance over the Megahalems. How much (or not) remains to be seen in our test results?
Prolimatech Super Mega CPU Features
The Prolimatech Super Mega CPU Cooler features an abundance of heat pipes, six in total, that transfer the large quantity of heat which the CPU produces, but they emanate from the base itself rather than wrapping through the base and directly touching the CPU, as I’ve seen with some recent Heatpipe Direct Touch coolers with that technology.
The cooler’s fins are fairly tightly spaced together, but this shouldn’t pose any problems if you choose a fan with high back pressure which will easily force air through the tower. The Super Mega does not come with a fan, so you have the option of going with a more silent setup or a higher airflow one geared to top performance.
Looking at the bottom of the Super Mega, I see the heat pipes and contact points for the CPU. The base is machined with a reasonably decent finish; you don’t really see a mirror finish, but Prolimatech claims the base has been precision-machined for optimal cooling. The proof will be in the pudding when I test the cooler.
The mounting system on the Super Mega is exactly the same as the Megahalems. The backplate is screwed into two mounting brackets on the front, and then a perpendicular mounting arm holds the heatsink down against the CPU.
Notable Points on Installation
Overall, the installation is very straightforward and not terribly difficult at all, though the backplate rivet nuts are a bit of a pain to get into place and steady while placing the motherboard overtop.
There is one very minor difference, however, as the Super Mega also has included a set of black mounting screws. The silver ones are regular, while the black ones provide additional mounting pressure between the base and the CPU.
Prolimatech does mention in the installation guide that these exceed Intel’s specification for contact pressure, so be sure to exercise caution if you go with them for 24/7 use.
The last difference is that the Super Mega employs a new fan clip design. The clips were probably the weakest part on the Megahalems, jutting out far from the heatsink/fan and causing space issues with memory slots. However, the fan clips are not only smaller on the Super Mega, but also side-mounted, avoiding any clearance problems with the DIMM slots at the bottom.
As you can see in the above photo, the Super Mega is indeed huge, and with a 25mm fan it could overhang the nearest DIMM slot on your motherboard, but it does depend on your particular socket and motherboard design.
However, the new fan clip design is a significant improvement over the previous Megahalems design, and now provides a bit more room to maneuver. There is still the option of installing two fans in a push-pull configuration on the Super Mega.
To test the heatsink, I boot into Windows and let the system sit idle for 10 minutes, then measure temperatures. I then load the CPU cores to 100% using Prime95 for 20 minutes and then again measure the temperatures.
This entire process is done twice and then averaged to avoid any minor discrepancies that might occur. Ambient temperatures are kept at 25°C, and Arctic Cooling MX-2 is used for the thermal interface material.
For the record, I did not use Prolimatech’s included thermal paste simply for the sake of consistency so the results are not potentially skewed due to differing thermal compounds. CoreTemp was used to record all temperatures.
Temperatures are reported to the nearest whole degree Celcius; anything less than one degree can be attributed to slight testing variances. All throttling features in BIOS are disabled.
Since the Prolimatech heatsink does not come with an included fan, I decided to conduct two separate tests. First, I installed a Noctua 120mm NF-S12B fan that would simulate a silent setup and operate as a baseline for a fair comparison against other top LGA1156 coolers I’ve already tested so I could make a fair comparison.
Second, I then installed a single high airflow Scythe Kaze fan that produces 130cfm and tested the Super Mega heads-up against the Megahalems to determine any performance improvement. This high airflow setup should help exaggerate any thermal differences between the two Prolimatech heatsinks.
For the record, I didn’t test this configuration against the other coolers because this is clearly biased in favor of both Prolimatech coolers. Besides, I’m more interested in seeing if the Super Mega can improve upon the Megahalems, not if it’s better than most of the other heatsinks on the market; I already know that it is.
So how does the Super Mega perform? First up, the silent Noctua fan at stock CPU speed.
As I can see, the Super Mega does a very good job of keeping the hot Core i7 under control when running at stock speed, sitting near the top of the performance heap. However, I don’t see any sort of improvement over the Megahalems, as both are running identical temperatures as idle and load.
As described earlier, next I installed a high-output fan, juiced up the voltage, and then overclocked the CPU. Here’s what happened:
When I cranked up the voltage and overclocked the chip, I see that both Prolimatech heatsinks are extremely impressive in keeping a highly overclocked Core i7 under control.
But looking at the performance between the two heatsinks, I see that the Super Mega manages to squeeze out one extra degree of thermal improvement over the Megahalems. The difference is extremely minor, but it is measurable.
The Prolimatech Super Mega is not a revolutionary design when compared to the successful Megahalems. It’s more of a tweak, really, modifying some minor design elements that were weak points in the predecessor.
Most noticeably, the Super Mega takes the design a step further by replacing some of the aluminum fins with copper ones. Further, the fan clip mechanism is a simple but vast improvement as well, still allowing a push-pull configuration while avoiding the previous clearance issues at the DIMM slots.
In terms of performance, there’s no doubt the Super Mega is one of the best heatsinks I’ve tested. It is a testament to the Megahalem’s success that Prolimatech hasn’t changed the design, instead opting to go with minor tweaks.
The thermal performance at stock clocks, particularly with a silent fan setup, is the same between the two heatsinks. When the CPU is highly overclocked and a high output fan is installed, I did see a very minor improvement, only 1°C. That’s not much, but it was measurable in our testing, and for some enthusiasts that extra can be worthwhile.
But the tradeoff is that you have the option of tailoring the noise vs performance fan setup to suit your needs, and you do get a killer heatsink for that price.
The Prolimatech Super Mega CPU Cooler takes the best features of the Megahalems and makes a few subtle, but smart improvements, resulting in what is one of the best CPU heatsinks I’ve seen on the market.