All right, you made it through the Test Specification unharmed; time to get down to business and cover the performance of the Prolimatech Mega Shadow. The Mega Shadow does not come with fans, so we only have testing with our Scythe Gentle Typhoons. Nevertheless, the Mega Shadow does come with enough wire fan clips for push/pull so you will get the see what the Mega Shadow is capable of fully dressed with GT-1850’s.
Before we get to the performance data, some quick shots of our best performing orientation as discovered in pretesting and a photo of the TIM print from one of the mounts during testing. I do not recall which test run the TIM photo was taken from as I just pulled the cooler off for another mount and snapped the photo quick.
If you are familiar with the EVGA X58 Classified, you know the orientation of the CPU socket, if not then this orientation is what I call “Fan perpendicular to socket arm” which is the best performing orientation for the Mega Shadow on our bench and will be used for all logged test runs. For some reason I decided to take the RAM out when getting ready for the orientation photo, so you also get to see a little more of the mounting system and can just see the socket arm if you look closely. TIM spread on the Mega Shadow was excellent, we get great pressure right over the silicon as you can see. For all of our air cooler testing, we set aside the TIM that comes with the cooler and use Arctic Cooling MX-3 for all tests. For those of you who have worked with MX-3 before you know firsthand of the consistency which I can only describe as an oily, clay like combination. When I first opened a tube and started using MX-3, I thought maybe I got a bad batch… but no, each tube had the same consistency. For more info on Arctic Cooling MX-3, check out our TIM Round-Up V1.1.
Starting out with the single GT-1850 at full RPM, we have a very low average core temp of 62.71C across all three mounts. We have all read on how the Megahalems/Mega Shadow is a performance monger, and the numbers do not lie. The other big thing that stands out for me is the 0.14C mount variance, the mounting system is as great as I said earlier in the review.
Ramping the GT-1850 down to 1300RPM we see average core temps jump a bit more than I expected them to. Core average for all three logged runs come in at 67.24C. Again, mount variance is rock solid only swinging 0.1C, which is fantastic to say the least. Only thing that stands out on the chart is the low hot core on the first run compared to the other two. Nothing out of whack, just means we had a slight mount variance.
Slamming the breaks on and tweaking the Gentle Typhoon down to 900RPM, the average core temps rise higher than I expected again. Surprisingly, the core average comes in at 76.25C, but remained stable throughout the runs where other coolers tossed stability out the window over 70C. Even with the temps rising, mount variation remains tight with a 0.12C spread from the three mounts.
Moving on to the dual fan setups, we strap another fan to the Mega Shadow and see our temps drop like a rock. Push/Pull with GT-1850’s brings our core average to 60.15C, so close to dipping below the 60C mark… this toasty little 920 D0 just does not want to give away too much. And sticking with the trend thanks to the fantastic mount system, our mount variation holds steady at 0.14C across all three mounts.
With our GT-1850’s at 1300RPM we see a small rise in average core temps to 62.94C and mount variation staying below 0.2C (0.14C actual) once again. At this point we can already claim that the Mega Shadow loves air flow, which should not be a surprise when looking at the fin design compared to coolers optimized for silence.
In our final test, we adjust both Gentle Typhoons to 900RPM and go through the three mounts just like all the other tests. Core average temps creep up to 68.12C, which does emphasize the air flow scaling we noted in the push/pull 1300RPM tests above. No surprises on mount variation, holding a 0.19C variation amongst all three mounts.
We have covered all of the individual test runs with our Gentle Typhoon’s and remounting of the Prolimatech Mega Shadow, but I am sure you are wondering how the Mega Shadow compares head to head. Luckily, we have such a comparison prepared against our chosen cooler for comparisons, the Noctua NH-U12P. To reiterate from the Test Methodology, the Noctua was chosen as our lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) comparison cooler since the Noctua comes with stock fans and supports dual fans which gives us the best cross comparison capabilities amongst the air coolers we test. So, for your viewing pleasure we plotted the results from the Noctua and the Mega Shadow…
Giving you some time to soak in the chart, we see the aggressive scaling of the Mega Shadow as fan RPM and airflow increases where the Noctua remains relatively flat. The Noctua was designed for lower air flow and silence where as the Prolimatech was after all out performance. Even though we had two different design approaches we see the NH-U12P and the Mega Shadow are equal around 1300RPM with a single fan, but in push/pull configuration the Mega Shadow is in a league of its own. With all the data presented, the conclusion is our final stop…