Cooling Efficiency Tests
The test results of the two coolers are shown in the next diagram:
The Thermalright Archon is expectedly ahead, but it comes from a difference price category. On the other hand, when equipped with two fans at 1810 RPM, the Prolimatech Panther is as efficient as the Archon with its single TY-140 fan working at 800 RPM. In fact, the second fan helps improve the Panther's performance much at 800 RPM only. When the speed is 1000 RPM, the second fan only lowers the CPU temperature by 3°C. Its benefits are even smaller at higher speeds. Thus, adding a second fan only makes sense if the cooler is going to be used at a low speed of its fan. One fan should be quite enough for the default PWM mode.
Contrary to our expectations, the Panther's efficiency doesn’t depend much on the speed of its fan. We only get a hefty 5°C reduction in CPU temperature by increasing the fan speed from 800 to 1000 RPM. Switching from 1000 to 1200 RPM lowers the temperature by 3°C only. After that, each 200 RPM increase in speed drops the temperature by 2°C only. On the other hand, the total temperature reduction is 12°C in the default PWM mode (800 to 1600 RPM), so the Prolimatech Panther is quite an efficient cooler, even though sets no records.
At the maximum speed of the default fan the Prolimatech Panther could keep our eight-core AMD processor stable at 4.5 GHz with a voltage of 1.3625 volts. The peak CPU temperature was 76°C according to the socket sensor (64°C for the core).
This is a very good result even though the Thermalright Archon (with one TY-140 fan at 1290 RPM) keeps the CPU colder by 6-7°C under the same conditions:
We measured the amount of noise produced by the coolers throughout the speed range of their fans. You can view the results in the following diagram:
The Prolimatech Red Vortex 12 LED remains comfortable until a speed of 1050 RPM and quiet up to 920 RPM, but its heatsink fins start to clank when the fan rotates at 800 to 1200 RPM. This clanking is quite loud, making the otherwise well-made cooler somewhat uncomfortable. We guess it's because of the special interleaved design: the fins start to resonate in the stream of air. It is especially sad because increasing the fan speed in that range has the highest effect on the cooler's performance.
Panther’s attack didn’t really succeed and the cooler left more of an ambiguous impression. Prolimatech Panther seems to have quite a few drawbacks. First of all, it doesn't support old LGA775 and LGA1366 as well as the new LGA2011 platform. The second problem is that its heatsink fins begin to clank in the most useful fan speed range. The high recommended price of $54.99 can also be named among the downsides.
The good news is that the cooler is compact, allows installing a second fan, offers good performance, supports the rest of modern platforms and has a simple and reliable fastening mechanism. It also features attractive red highlighting of the fan.
Still, considering the tough competition in this price category, we guess the mentioned highs cannot outweigh its lows. It's up to you to choose, though.