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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The Prolimatech Panther is a CPU cooler with a tower heatsink, four heatpipes and a 120 mm fan with LEDs. It seems to be a smaller version of the Armageddon CPU cooler, which we already reviewed. Let’s test it and see how well it performs.

The Panther comes in a black cardboard box with no transparent windows, as shown in Figure 1.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: heatsink, fan, a syringe of thermal compound, manual, and installation hardware. Although the Panther comes with only one fan, it supports two, coming with the clips necessary to install both.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 2: Accessories

Figure 3 displays the Panther heatsink.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 3: The Panther heatsink

This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

[nextpage title=”The Prolimatech Panther”]

Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler. Here you can see that the heatpipes are disposed side-by-side, in a straight line.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 4: Front view

Figure 5 reveals the side of the relatively narrow heatsink. Here (and in Figure 6) you can notice a unique feature of the Panther: the fins are not whole, but are split into two halves and interleaved at the middle of the heatsink.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 5: Side view

In Figure 6, you can see the top of the heatsink, where the tips of the heatpipes are visible. You can also observe the same logo seen on the box, resembling a cat (well, probably a panther).

Prolimatech PantherFigure 6: Top view

[nextpage title=”The Prolimatech Panther (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 7, you can see how the nickel-plated heatpipes are distributed from the base to the heatsink.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 7: Heatpipes

Figure 8 reveals the base of the cooler, which is smooth but not exactly mirrored.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 8: Base

In Figure 9, you can see the fan that comes with the Panther. This fan has red LEDs, and it is compatible with PWM control.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 9: Fan

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

We were surprised with the ease of installation of this cooler. On the other hand, the Panther supports only sockets 1155 and 1156 CPUs from Intel, and sockets AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, and FM1 AMD processors. There is no support for socket LGA775 and socket LGA1366 CPUs, and socket LGA2011 processors are supported through special screws that must be purchased separately.

The first step is to screw both clips seen in Figure 10 to the base of the cooler. There is a pair of clips for socket LGA1155 (that also fit sockets 1156 and 2011) and another pair for AMD sockets.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 10: Clips installed

Then you must locate the backplate according to your CPU (Figure 11 shows the backplate for sockets 1155 and 1156; there is another one for AMD CPUs) on the solder side of the motherboard.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 11: Backplate

After that, place the cooler over the CPU and hold it, fastening the four spring-loaded, easy-to-reach thumbscrews.

Prolimatech PantherFigure 12: Heatsink installed

In Figure 13, you can see the cooler with the fan installed and the LEDs glowing. (The wire clips make this step a piece of cake.)

Prolimatech PantherFigure 13: Fan glow

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and we retested some "old" coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read
in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings. During the tests, the left panel of the case was open.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the case and video board cooler 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.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

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 CPU at idle and at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.

 

Idle Processor

Processor at Full Load

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Speed Core Temp. Noise Speed Core Temp.
Intel stock (socket LGA1156) 14 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 46 °C 54 dBA 2500 rpm 90 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G1 14 °C 47 dBA 2050 rpm 33 °C 56 dBA 2900 rpm 62 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 14 °C 45 dBA 1400 rpm 27 °C 53 dBA 1950 rpm 51 °C
Thermaltake Silent 1156 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 49 dBA 1750 rpm 69 °C
Noctua NH-D14 14 °C 49 dBA 1250 rpm 27 °C 49 dBA 1250 rpm 53 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Performa 14 °C 46 dBA 1500 rpm 28 °C 52 dBA 1950 rpm 54 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems 14 °C 40 dBA 750 rpm 27 °C 60 dBA 2550 rpm 50 °C
Thermaltake Frio 14 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 27 °C 60 dBA 2500 rpm 50 °C
Prolimatech Samuel 17 14 °C 40 dBA 750 rpm 40 °C 60 dBA 2550 rpm 63 °C
Zalman CNPS8000A 18 °C 43 dBA 1400 rpm 39 °C 54 dBA 2500 rpm 70 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse II 14 °C 55 dBA 2200 rpm 28 °C 55 dBA 2200 rpm 53 °C
Scythe Ninja3 17 °C 39 dBA 700 rpm 32 °C 55 dBA 1800 rpm 57 °C
Corsair A50 18 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 33 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 60 °C
Thermaltake Jing 18 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 34 °C 49 dBA 1300 rpm 60 °C
GlacialTech Alaska 18 °C 43 dBA 1150 rpm 36 °C 51 dBA 1600 rpm 60 °C
Deepcool Gamer Storm 18 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 35 °C 48 dBA 1600 rpm 62 °C
Corsair A70 26 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 40 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 65 °C
Deepcool Ice Blade Pro 23 °C 45 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 64 °C
AC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 23 °C 47 dBA 1750 rpm 44 °C 51 dBA 2100 rpm 77 °C
Corsair H70 27 °C 60 dBA 1900 rpm 37 °C 60 dBA 1900 rpm 61 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max 27 °C 55 dBA 1600 rpm 38 °C 58 dBA 1750 rpm 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP 25 °C 45 dBA 1700 rpm 51 °C 49 dBA 1950 rpm 91 °C
CoolIT Vantage 26 °C 60 dBA 2500 rpm 37 °C 60 dBA 2500 rpm 62 °C
Deepcool Ice Matrix 600 25 °C 46 dBA 1100 rpm 41 °C 53 dBA 1300 rpm 69 °C
Titan Hati 26 °C 46 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 57 dBA 2450 rpm 68 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 27 °C 49 dBA 1950 rpm 41 °C 53 dBA 2300 rpm 70 °C
Noctua NH-C14 26 °C 52 dBA 1300 rpm 37 °C 52 dBA 1300 rpm 61 °C
Intel XTS100H 26 °C 49 dBA 1200 rpm 42 °C 64 dBA 2600 rpm 68 °C
Zalman CNPS5X SZ 23 °C 52 dBA 2250 rpm 38 °C 57 dBA 2950 rpm 69 °C
Thermaltake SlimX3 21 °C 50 dBA 2700 rpm 46 °C 50 dBA 2750 rpm 99 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 101 21 °C 50 dBA 2600 rpm 38 °C 57 dBA 3300 rpm 71 °C
Antec Kühler H2O 620 19 °C 52 dBA 1400 rpm 34 °C 55 dBA 1400 rpm 58 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro 20 °C 46 dBA 1100 rpm 36 °C 49 dBA 1300 rpm 62 °C
GlacialTech Siberia 22 °C 49 dBA 1400 rpm 34 °C 49 dBA 1400 rpm 61 °C
Evercool Transformer 3 18 °C 46 dBA 1800 rpm 33 °C 51 dBA 2250 rpm 65 °C
Zalman CNPS11X Extreme 20 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 34 °C 56 dBA 2050 rpm 61 °C
Thermaltake Frio OCK 15 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 27 °C 64 dBA 2200 rpm 51 °C
Prolimatech Genesis 18 °C 49 dBA 1050 rpm 30 °C 49 dBA 1050 rpm 54 °C
Arctic Cooling Freezer XTREME Rev. 2 15 °C 41 dBA 1050 rpm 32 °C 44 dBA 1400 rpm 60 °C
NZXT HAVIK 140 16 °C 48 dBA 1250 rpm 29 °C 49 dBA 1250 rpm 55 °C
Antec Kühler H2O 920 18 °C 41 dBA 650 rpm 29 °C 64 dBA 2500 rpm 49 °C
Zalman CNP7X LED 18 °C 45 dBA 1950 rpm 33 °C 48 dBA 2150 rpm 58 °C
EVGA Superclock 14 °C 43 dBA 1300 rpm 27 °C 58 dBA 2350 rpm 47 °C
Evercool Transformer 4 15 °C 46 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 53 dBA 1950 rpm 52 °C
Xigmatek Dark Knight 18 °C 47 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 53 dBA 2150 rpm 57 °C
Xigmatek Aegir 15 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 50 dBA 1950 rpm 52 °C
Cooler Master GeminII S524 16 °C 45 dBA 1300 rpm 29 °C 53 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C
Enermax ETS-T40-TA 16 °C 40 dBA 1050 rpm 28 °C 48 dBA 1800 rpm 55 °C
Corsair H80 14 °C 42 dBA 2150 rpm 25 °C 52 dBA 2150 rpm 47 °C
Akasa Venom Voodoo 13 °C 40 dBA 1000 rpm 26 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C
Xigmatek Thor’s Hammer 15 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 30 °C 50 dBA 2000 rpm 55 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM 19 °C 45 dBA 1400 rpm 30 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 54 °C
Xigmatek Loki 17 °C 44 dBA 1850 rpm 34 °C 55 dBA 2750 rpm 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 14 °C 44 dBA 1250 rpm 26 °C 50 dBA 1750 rpm 50 °C
Xigmatek Gaia 17 °C 44 dBA 1250 rpm 32 °C 46 dBA 1500 rpm 61 °C
Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 21 °C 48 dBA 2050 rpm 37 °C 54 dBA 2600 rpm 68 °C
Thermalright True Spirit 120 16 °C 41 dBA 1000 rpm 30 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 55 °C
Corsair H100 20 °C 55 dBA 2000 rpm 29 °C 59 dBA 2000 rpm 50 °C
Zalman CNPS12X 20 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 31 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 58 °C
Thermalright Macho 23 °C 41 dBA 1100 rpm 36 ° C 44 dBA 1300 rpm 61 °C
NZXT HAVIK 120 21 °C 55 dBA 1800 rpm 37 °C 55 dBA 1800 rpm 66 °C
Zalman CNPS11X Performa 19 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 30 °C 48 dBA 1600 rpm 57 °C
Enermax ETD-T60-VD 24 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 63 °C
Prolimatech Panther 26 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 39 °C 51 dBA 1750 rpm 68 °C

In the graph below, at full load you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

Prolimatech Panther

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Prolimatech Panther CPU cooler include:

  • Application: Sockets 1155, 1156, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, and FM1 processors
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.0 x 6.3 inches (130 x 50 x 161 mm) (W x L x H)
  • Fins: Aluminum
  • Base: Nickel-plated copper
  • Heat-pipes: Four 6-mm copper heatpipes
  • Fan: 120 mm with red LEDs
  • Nominal fan speed: 1,600 rpm
  • Fan air flow: Not informed
  • Maximum power consumption: 3.6 W
  • Nominal noise level: Not informed
  • Weight: 1.3 lb (570 g)
  • More information: https://www.prolimatech.com
  • Average price in the U.S.*: USD 55.00

* Researched at FronzenCPU.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The Prolimatech Panther is very well-made with the usual Prolimatech construction quality. The installation is simple and it looks awesome thanks to the fan with red LEDs.

It has good cooling performance with low noise level. However, the Panther promised more than it delivered. Apparently, the fan is too weak for the heatsink used, with high fin density and interleaved fins at the center. Putting the hand behind the heatsink when it is working, we cannot “feel” the air flowing through it. Maybe by using two strong fans in a push-pull configuration, the Panther heatsink can deliver all of its potential, but since our methodology is to test all coolers “as is,” doing that test would not be fair to the other coolers we tested so far.

The only problem with the Prolimatech Panther is its low price/performance ratio, which is a big issue for the Average Joe. Therefore, we are giving it the Hardware Secrets Bronze Award.