Prolimatech have been growing in popularity since they formed in 2008, offering a sturdy range of coolers for reasonable prices and that’s something that certainly caught my attention. Today is the first time I get to review a Prolimatech product, so I’m eager to see what all the fuss is about. Their new Basic 81, as the name would imply, isn’t anything overly fancy, but on the other hand, the Prolimatech range is branded “All for Extreme”, so rather than bargain bin performance, Prolimatech seem to be aiming for the bare essentials of high-end cooling, so it’ll be interesting to see what this cooler has to offer.
“The Basic Series offers competitive solid performance at a budget level price! They are designed to be affordable while still maintaining the reliable quality you’ve come to expect from us. They are an excellent option for replacing stock coolers in any system, for improved cooling, quieter operation, and even overclocking! Check out the 5 different models to find the perfect cooler for your hardware, be it small media centers to massive hungry processors!” – Prolimatech
There are six 6mm heat pipes on this cooler, which is a lot of heat pipe for a cooler of this size. One thing that is super important to point out is that this cooler is for Intel platforms only, sorry AMD fans, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
- Dual tower design offers massive cooling surface area.
- Six high quality heat pipes for superior cooling.
- Quick and easy installation.
- Mounting Kit for Intel socket LGA 1156/1155/1150/2011.
- Includes a PWM 120x120x25mm Double-Ball Bearing Fan for longer life ( 600 to 1600 RPM).
“The Basic 81 features six high-quality heat pipes and one PWM 120mm Double-Ball bearing fan. Its large size offers excellent cooling ability and is capable of providing intensive heat dissipation. Intel-compatible only.” – Prolimatech
In the box you’ll find an Intel backplate, mounting plates, high-quality screws, fan retention clips and a small tube of thermal grease.
The fan seems of a good quality and comes with an 11-blade design.
The fan comes with a double ball-bearing motor, so it should be reasonably quiet. There’s also a braided cable, although you can see the coloured cables on the back of the fan, these will be hidden once it is mounted on the cooling tower.
First impressions of the cooler are very good. The fin stack feels pretty durable and there’s clearly a lot of surface area on offer to help with heat transfer.
There’s a total of 6 heat-pipes with a “U” shaped design that has the pipes pass through each side of the cooling tower.
The cooler has a split design, with a channel through the middle to help with airflow. This means that the leaf and right side of the heat pipes cool relatively independent of each other.
The left and right side of the cooling tower has deep grooves cut into it, these are for the fan retention clips, which fix directly onto the sides of the cooler.
The top plate is very nicely finished with a polished top section and an embossed design; the design reminds me of the Transformers logo.
6 x 6mm is a lot for a cooler of this size, so I would expect performance to be pretty good. You can see the heat pipes give nearly 100% coverage of the copper base plate, so heat transfer should be pretty good.
The copper contact plate is polished to a mirror shine and is nice and smooth, which should mean a nice clean fit over your CPU.
With the fan mounted, the cooler is still quite slim, so ram compatibility should be high. Now, let’s get this thing mounted on our motherboard and put it to the test!
Test System and Methodology
We always use the same test system and tests with CPU coolers that we compare against each other. The full specifications of our test system are as follows:
- ASUS P8Z77-V, LGA 1155 socket, Z77 chipset
- Intel Core i5 3570K with Gelid GC Extreme under the IHS
- 16GB Kingston 1866Mhz DDR3
- 128GB Kingston HyperX SSD
- Antec High Current Gamer 620W
- Cooler Master Test Bench v1.0
- We always use Gelid GC Extreme thermal paste to make sure testing reveals the efficiency of the tested coolers not the efficiency of the bundled thermal paste.
- Prime 95 is run for 10 minutes and then the average maximum temperatures as recorded by CPUID HWMonitor are noted
- The average temperature across the four cores is taken on our quad-core processor
- Fans are mostly left to operate at default PWM profile speeds and with maximum fan speed for reference.If PWM functions are not supported then fixed fan speeds are used and sometimes a low noise adapter if appropriate/provided. If fixed fan speeds or low noise adapters are used it will be clearly pointed out either on the graphs or in the write-up.
- All default result entries on graphs are for PWM performance unless otherwise specified. A variety of fan speed results are done for a particular product review and then removed from the graphs in future reviews of other products to avoid clutter. If you would like to see more fan speed results for a particular product please check its individual review.
- For watercooling tests all pumps have been operated at 12 volts directly from the power supply
- Delta temperatures are always used (Observed temperature minus ambient temperature) and we keep the ambient at 22 (+/- 1) degrees for all testing . Delta temperatures should correct for any marginal ambient differences between 21-23 degrees.
- Acoustic measurements are taken 10cm horizontally away from the CPU cooler with the VGA fan disabled, hard drive in idle and power supply isolated. These are taken at desktop idle and Prime95 load.
- The cooling performance tests are run at stock 3.4GHz (with Intel Turbo up to 3.8GHz) and overclocked 4.5GHz (1.35v) settings. Voltages are fixed to prevent inaccuracy between comparisons.
- All other coolers in the graphs have been tested under identical settings so are fully comparable.
- Each test is repeated 3 times with 3 remounts for consistency of results
- There is approximately a 1 degree celsius margin of error in our temperature recording software CPUID HW Monitor
- There is approximately a 1.5dBA margin of error with our Benetech GM1351 decibel meter
In all these graphs we may have a few “reference” results of particular products that do not fit within that category for comparative purposes.
The Prolimatech 81 performed reasonably well at stock, giving the lovely Cryorig H7 a good run for its money and keeping up with the NZXT Kraken X31 AIO water cooler.
Acoustic levels aren’t too bad either, certainly an audible fan there, but it’s not to the point where I would consider it a problem.
Temps aren’t great here, but still keeping ahead of some very popular and more expensive products from be quiet! but then again, it’s not as quiet as the be quiet! products, so it can’t win every battle here.
What is good, is that the cooler didn’t get much louder, even at full load on an overclocked CPU. It’s about as good as you’re going to get without moving into enthusiast air coolers such as the be quiet! range.
The Prolimatech 81 is certainly affordable, with a nice price tag of just £34.99 from Overclockers UK and relative to the performance we’ve seen today that’s a great deal, just keep in mind that it’s not compatible with AMD sockets.
I really like this cooler and that’s partly because I set my expectations a little lower, as it’s not overly expensive or big, but it’s performance speaks for its self. It cooled our CPU competently enough in both stock and overclocked testing and while I wouldn’t recommend it for a high-end overclock 24-hours a day, those who have their CPU set to boost mode will certainly benefit from its capabilities. It’s also fairly quiet, not whisper quiet, but well within an acceptable level.
The aesthetics are good too, it’s a small, budget friendly cooler, but the overall design is pleasing to the eye. The fan is a little bland looking, but at this price, you could do a lot worse.
Build quality is very good and the fin stack feels pretty durable. The mounting kit is easy enough to work with and it doesn’t take long to install. The only downside is that it is only compatible with Intel branded coolers, and Prolimatech are quickly limiting their market a lot by not including an AMD compatible bracket.
- Competitive price
- Nice overall design
- Reasonable cooling performance
- Not compatible with AMD sockets
“The Prolimatech 81 is a modest cooler with a modest price, in fact, I think it’s also fair to say that the performance is pretty modest too. If you need reliable and quiet cooling performance without spending a lot of money, you’ll love what this cooler has to offer.”
Thank you Overclockers UK for providing us with this sample.