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May 26, 2014

Unboxing & Review: Prolimatech Samuel 17 Low Profile CPU Cooler




When it comes to small form factor build, huge and tall CPU coolers is usually something small form factor PC builders would want to avoid as there will not be much space available in most small form factor PC chassis that will fit those colossal CPU coolers - This is where low profile CPU coolers come to play. 

We have the Prolimatech Samuel 17 sent to us for today's review, courtesy of Prolimatech. The Samuel 17 is Prolimatech's only low profile CPU cooler that offers an amazing total of 6 heatpipes and 120mm fan support. Let's see how well can this David handles the Goliath of our test rig (i7 4770K) shall we?

*The Samuel 17 is priced at $44.99 from newegg, estimated to be around RM145 after converting to our currency of Malaysian Ringgit.*

Technical Specifications
Fan Compatibility
Standard 120mm Fan
Slim Type 120mm Fan
140mm fans with 120mm mounting holes
CPU Socket Compatibility
Intel LGA 775/1366/1156/1155
AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+
Dimension
121.2mm x 120mm x 45mm 
Weight
410 g 
Heatpipe
6 pieces of 6mm in total


Overview

The Samuel 17 comes in a rather simple and compact packaging, not very attractive from our point of view.


The included accessories are Intel and AMD mounting bracket, screws, user's manual and a generous amount of thermal compound from Prolimatech.


Our first impression on the Samuel 17 is that the cooler is light and compact but very solid in terms of build quality. The 120mm fan frame is seems extended beyond the actual size of the fins, installing a fan will leave an extra space to allow air to be blown down to components below for that extra cooling effect.



140mm fans that has 120mm mounting holes on its fan frame can be installed on the Samuel 17, a good example would be Prolimatech's very own Ultra Sleek Vortex 14.


A quick comparison in height with the Western Digital MyPassport Elements external hard drive.
45mm in height makes it as one of the thinnest low profile CPU cooler available and it's very ideal for small form factor build, HTPC especially.


Moving on to the base of the Samuel 17, we're totally surprised by the numbers of heatpipes available.
Most low profile cooler we've seen only comes with a maximum of 4 heatpipes, the Samuel 17 has a total of 6, much like most large CPU coolers - but will it act like one of the large CPU coolers?


Installing the mounting bracket was a breeze.


While not having any backplate for mounting the cooler, these little guys will do the job.
The plastic spacers act as an insulation layer to prevent any potential electric conductivity on it's contact point with the motherboard.


Mounting the cooler won't be much of a trouble if the motherboard is not yet in the chassis.


We've found out that there's 2 different ways to install the Samuel 17. The first orientation, as shown in the picture above, the fins were very close to the RAM module thus will only allow you to install value RAM at most.


Turning the Samuel 17 around seems to solve the aforementioned issue hence will allow installation of almost any type of RAM with zero clearance issue.


Performance Test
Moving on with the performance test, the following system configuration is prepared for our test:
Test Rig Configuration
CPU Cooler
Prolimatech Samuel 17 (with Prolimatech USV14 installed)
Intel i7 4770k Stock Cooler
CPU
I7 4770K (running at stock clock speed)
Motherboard
ASUS Z97I-PLUS
Memory
Corsair Vengeance Pro 4GB x 2
Primary Hard Drive
Crucial M500 120GB
Power Supply
Silverstone ST60F-P 600W 80 Plus Bronze Certified
Chassis
Jonsbo V4
Display Monitor
Dell U2312HM

CPU stress test is conducted using the Prime95 with the option 'In-place large FFTs' for maximum heat output from the CPU itself and the room temperature where the test is conducted varies from 28ºC to 30ºC. The test that we've ran consists the following different setup:
  • Samuel 17 without fan
  • Samuel 17 with Prolimatech USV14
  • Samuel 17 with Prolimatech USV14 equipped with the Static Booster 14
  • Intel i7 4770K Stock Cooler
The test is done repeatedly for several days so we can obtain the average temperature for each setup and the final result is presented in the graph below:


Fanless setup is giving a pretty high temperature reading even on stock clock speed, but it still beats the Intel stock cooler that runs on a fan. The setup with Prolimatech USV14 installed is giving even better temperatures, an impressive temperature drop of at least 18ºC difference in compared to the Intel i7 4770k stock cooler. Adding the Static Booster 14 to the USV14 yields even better result, giving another 2ºC drop in temperature. Do note that there are wide variety of fans out there that would produce different result from ours.


Final Thoughts
We have our sizzling hot Intel i7 4770K setup installed in the Jonsbo V4 as the example of the imaginable worst case scenario for a small for factor build /HTPC and the result turns out pretty well as Prolimatech Samuel 17 did a wonderful job in keeping the temperature down in such confined space in our setup.

The small but mighty Samuel 17 is definitely one of the best low profile CPU cooler we've tested and we would not hesitate to recommend to anyone who requires good cooling for their CPU (running at stock clock) in a confined HTPC or small form factor gaming rig.


Pros
Ideal for small form factor build or HTPC
Small and solid
Supports 120mm fans and almost any larger fans with 120mm mounting holes
Very generous amount of thermal compound included
Easy to install
Almost no clearance issue with tall RAMs

Cons
No fans included
Screws for slim type fans is rather short but suffice
Clearance issue with motherboard with tall heatsink / armor

The Prolimatech Samuel 17 is a worthy product and is awarded with recommended and gold award from Tech Critter.



  

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