When it comes to overclocking, a decent CPU cooler is critical. Manufacturers are noting this and coming out with self-contained water cooling systems, inspired by enthusiast overclockers' custom water loops. Of course, this makes sense, as water is more effective than air at cooling everything down. Air cooling manufacturers have started to find unique ways to remove heat from your system, learning some tricks and secrets of heat transfer.
Prolimatech, best known for cooling products for your PC like the Megahalems and Super Mega cooler, brings the Panther to the market geared towards enthusiast overclockers. It is a super simple tower style cooler with one fan, but simply attach a second fan with the included fan clips down the road. It supports up to two 120mm fans.
As originally stated, this cooler comes with one nine blade 120mm fan. It runs between 800-1600 RPM, which equates to 72.67 CFM at 29.91dBA at top speed. There are red LED lights on all corners, adding a little interest in the dark.
The fan functions off a 4-pin header with the ability to use a PWM signal (pulse-width modulation) which adjusts the speed of rotation without changing the input voltage delivered to the fan by way of motherboards that control it. It comes with a 250mm 4-pin cable, assuring it reaches the CPU power header on your motherboard no matter where you plug it in.
There's nothing light about this cooler. Without the fan, it weighs in at a hefty 570 grams. A factor to consider when installing the Panther is space: it's 6.33 inches tall, so it's suggested you assure there's clearance when putting the side panel back on the case after you've installed it.
Cooling the CPU is made possible thanks to four high-quality nickel-plated heat pipes twisted together in a unique way, effectively lowering the temperature. The spacing of these pipes is thanks to a specific mathematical calculation which translates to effective heat transfer.
In test after test, the Panther proved itself to be just as effective as a water cooling loop. Testing was conducted on a system using an AMD Phenom II X3 720 @ 3.6 GHz processor, GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD3 motherboard, 8GB DDR3 PC3-17000 9-11-10-28 Redline memory, XFX HD 6970 2 GB video card, Antec TruePower New TP-750 PSU, 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 RAID 1 hard drives, all running on Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit SP1. It was tested against both the water cooling loop and AMD Stock Heatsink. The tests showed that it is much more effective than the stock cooler, and just as effective as a water cooler.
For the overclocker, this cooler is a great value at $54.99, and its also very competitively priced. The only downfall is the difficulty you face when mounting it. This small shortcoming can be overlooked though because the cooler is such a good buy. So, in short, the Prolimatech Panther Cooler it is still well worth it. Just imagine the Panther's performance after a second fan is mounted!