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Prometeia Mach II GT Phase Change Cooler Review

Prometeia Mach II GT Phase Change Cooler Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you consider yourself an overclocker, then you already know everything about the Prometeia brand of phase-change coolers, and we really don't have to say a single word more.
 97% Rating:   
Filed under: Cooling / Heatsinks Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ECT May 17 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Cooling / Heatsinks > ECT Prometeia Mach II GT

Compressor by Danfoss

We're looking at the North American model of the Prometeia Mach II GT, and at its heart is a Danfoss NF9FX refrigeration compressor. Officially intended to run with R134a refrigerant, the Danfoss NF9FX draws up to 310W of power during peak operation and is rated to work in ambient temperatures up to 43°C.

At the front of the Mach II GT, you can see the small condenser which is actively cooled with a 120mm Panaflo FBA12G12M fan, also known as the Panaflo 'Medium' fan to enthusiasts. This 120mm fan spins at 2100RPM while pushing 86.5CFM of air with 35.5dB of noise.

The air from the intake fan passes through the heat exchanger to cool down the refrigerant, it then passes by the compressor before being exhausted from the rear of the enclosure by another Panaflo FBA12G12M. This fan has its own wire guard, which is a great addition since there are quite a few wires in close proximity.


The intake Panaflo fan and heat exchanger.

Just below the rear exhaust fan we find the Mach II GT's chip controller and control circuitry. As mentioned earlier, the Prometeia Mach II GT can connect to the host PC via USB, and this allows the user to adjust many of the cooler's characteristics using the included software program. We'll touch base on the software in a minute.

Advantages of R404a over R134a Refrigerant

The Prometeia Mach II GT is charged with R404a refrigerant, which is a blend of non-flammible Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gasses Pentafluoroethane / 1,1,1-Trifluoroethane / 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane. R404a is a near-azeotropic 'zero ozone depletion' HFC refrigerant specifically used for low-temperature refrigeration applications. The term Azeotropic describes "a liquid mixture of two or more substances that retains the same composition in the vapor state as in the liquid state when distilled or partially evaporated under a certain pressure." The boiling point at 1ATM pressure of R404a is -46.5°C, whereas the boiling point for R134a is -26.1°C. Vapour pressure at 20°C for R404a is 167.2 PSIG, and for R134a it is 84 PSIG.

The original Mach I/II/II ST models ran with R134a, so the switch from R134a to R404a essentially means that the Prometeia Mach II GT can attain lower evaporator (cold head) temperatures and shorter start-up times. The trade off being that the Danfoss NF9FX compressor has to work a little harder. Compressor noise levels between the two refrigerants are no different, and the added stress is apparently mitigated by changing the working pressure inside the Mach II GT unit; 331 PSIG on the high side, 174 PSIG on the low side.

ECT believe that the Danfoss NF9FX compressor can run with R404a coolant in this very specialized application without problems, and claim not to have had a single RMA case due to the change from R134a to R404a.

Before the Prometeia Mach II GT was released, the 'R404A mod' (as it is known) was a common tactic amongst the higher echelon of enthusiast-overclockers. One of PCSTATS staffers had this mod done to a Prometeia Mach I phase change cooler, recharging the compressor at a licensed HVAC service company for about $230CDN, and that Mach I still runs well to this day.

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Contents of Article: ECT Prometeia Mach II GT
 Pg 1.  Prometeia Mach II GT Phase Change Cooler Review
 Pg 2.  The Showroom Impression
 Pg 3.  Refrigeration Cooling 101
 Pg 4.  Setup and Assembly
 Pg 5.  Inside the Prometeia Mach II GT
 Pg 6.  — Compressor by Danfoss
 Pg 7.  Room for Improvements
 Pg 8.  The Prometeia Mach II GT Software
 Pg 9.  The Mounting Kit
 Pg 10.  Mounting the Cold Head
 Pg 11.  Mounting PC Case to Prometeia Chassis
 Pg 12.  Overclocking With a Mach II GT!

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