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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

Today we are testing the Prolimatech Samuel 17, a low profile CPU cooler with six heatpipes and room for a 120 mm fan. Let’s check it out!

The name of this cooler refers to the chapter of the Bible that tells the story of David and Goliath, alluding that this small cooler can be more powerful than a big one. In our tests, we will see if this idea holds true.

The Samuel 17 box is very small and simple, as you can check in Figure 1.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 1: Packaging

In Figure 2, you can see the box contents: the cooler (that doesn’t come with a fan), manual, installation hardware, and a tube of thermal compound.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 2: Box contents

In Figure 3, you can see the Samuel 17.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 3: The Samuel 17

In the next pages, you will see this cooler in detail.

[nextpage title=”The Samuel 17″]

In Figure 4, you see the front of the cooler. Note the tips of the heatpipes and the small heatsink above the thick base.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 4: Front view

In Figure 5, you see the cooler from the rear side (note curves of the heatpipes).

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 5: Rear view

In Figure 6, you see the side of the cooler.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 6: Side view

In Figure 7, you see the top of the cooler. Note how the heatsink is smaller than the area reserved for the 120 mm fan, so part of the fan will be directly above the chipset heatsink on most motherboards.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 7: Top view

[nextpage title=”The Samuel 17 (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 8, you can see the base of the cooler. Note that the base is nickel-plated and doesn’t have a perfect mirror-like looks.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 8: Base

Before installing the cooler, you must attach the clips compatible with your CPU.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 9: Clips installed

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

The installation of the Samuel 17 is simple: you just need to put the cooler on the CPU and attach four screws from the solder side of the motherboard. Of course, if your case does not grant access to the solder side of the motherboard, you will need to remove it before installing the cooler.

In Figure 10, you can see the cooler installed on our motherboard. With the motherboard we used, the fan blows air directly on the chipset heatsink. Pay attention because the tips of the heatpipes can interfere with tall memory modules.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 10: Installed in our case

In our test we used the Silverstone FM123 fan with the Samuel 17, which is a high speed fan. Of course, if you use another fan model you may get  results that are different from ours.

In Figure 12, you can see the fan installed, using four screws that come with the cooler. There is no vibration absortion mechanism.

Prolimatech Samuel 17Figure 11: Fan installed

[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 (in this version, the software uses all available threads) with the "In-place Large FFTs" option.

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.

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 is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

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, we set the fan at the minumum 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 5> °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

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 Samuel 17

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Prolimatech Samuel 17 CPU cooler include:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, 1156, 1366, AM3, AM2+, and AM2 processors
  • Fins: Aluminum
  • Base: Copper
  • Heat-pipes: Six 6 mm copper heat-pipes
  • Fans: 120 mm (not included)
  • Nominal fan speed: NA
  • Fan air flow: NA
  • Maximum power consumption: NA
  • Nominal noise level: NA
  • Weight: 14.46 oz (410 g)
  • More information: https://www.prolimatech.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 47.00

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

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Some time ago, high-performance computers had to use huge cases, and small cases were seen as a signal of a "weak" computer. Nowadays, however,  Home Teather PCs (HTPCs) are getting more and more common, and high-performance computers can be easily built using SFF (small form factor) cases, making this old notion "wrong".

If yo
u are going to build a small yet powerful computer, you will need a good slim cooler, as the well-known, high-performance coolers will simply not fit. If this is your case, the Prolimatech Samuel 17 is a good choice.

The cooler is small, nicely constructed, and easy to install. It is not inexpensive, but its price is lower than most high-end CPU coolers.

Its performance is obviously not like the top-notch coolers we’ve reviewed so far, but it performed better than a mainstream tower cooler, which is a big deal considering its size.

The fact it doesn’t come with a fan is a double-edged sword: while you will have to spend more money buying a fan, you get the advantage of choosing the exact fan you want, focusing on performance or on silence. Anyway, there are tons of good 120 mm fans on the market.

As it is a low profile CPU cooler with good performance, and will help to cool your motherboard chipset as well as your CPU, the Prolimatech Samuel 17 cooler receives the Hardware Secrets Silver Award.