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Prolimatech Samuel 17 Small Form Factor CPU Cooler Review

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AkG

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Oct 24, 2007
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Conclusion

Conclusion


Prolimatech hasn’t been around for all that long but during their short time in the market, they have without a doubt made a lasting impression. The Samuel 17 is actually a surprising product from them since it breaks from what was a high performance tradition in order to offer consumers something much more pedestrian in nature. The result is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to testing on our i7 920 but unfortunately in this case, our numbers just can’t tell the whole story.

The HTPC and SFF markets are fickle things that haven’t been all that well served in recent years as companies have continually built bigger and higher performance heatsinks while forgetting other markets exist. Since the Samuel 17 caters to these two segments, our i7 testing can be taken as a worst case scenario since we’re willing to bet most people who are looking at low profile heatsinks aren’t packing processors sporting a TDP of 130W. That being said, Prolimatech’s pint-sized cooler did impress to a certain extent since it was able to soundly beat the stock Intel cooler in nearly every test while being equipped with substantially quieter fans. We’re sure if it was paired up with a lower-end processor the results would have been even more impressive.

Unfortunately, there are several areas where we think Prolimatech should really make some improvements. One of the main issues we came across was the fact that even though the Samuel is marketed towards M-ATX and ITX users, it runs into installation issues even on ATX boards. The heights of your memory heatspreaders and any chipset heatsink could very well come into direct conflict with the low-hanging nature of this cooler. Installation is also rife with frustration as there is far too much wrangling going on between the motherboard and the Samuel 17 to make things easy.

Our final concern is pricing. There is absolutely no denying that Prolimatech’s attention to detail and quality have gone undiminished with the cross over into a more affordable price point but $45 plus the price of a fan is quite a hefty price to pay. Especially when you consider the stock Intel heatsink even with its relatively high noise envelope is basically free.

We believe that with the Samuel 17, Prolimatech is definitely taking a step in the right direction while sticking to their core values. This cooler showed us solid performance in most tests despite its dwarfish size but certain aspects prevent it from being a truly award worthy product.


Pros:
- Small
- Good performance with stock-clocked processors
- Adaptable to 120mm fans

Cons:
- Potential clearance issues
- Frustrating installation process
- Not all that much better than the stock heatsink
- Surprisingly large footprint
- Price
- No options for smaller fans to decrease horizontal size



 
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