Today we are looking at two new products from Arctic Cooling, the Alpine 64 CPU cooler for Socket 754/939, and the Accerelo X1 GPU cooler for Nvidia 6800/7800 series cards.
We shall start with the Alpine 64.
An Alpine 64 Introduction
People often ask me, 'Hey dude, I bought a new CPU, it's OEM, which heatsink should I buy?' I respond with, 'How noisy would you like it to be? Do you intend to overclock? How much are you looking to spend?' For me this is not a great question, because I only look at high end stuff most of the time. Zalmans and Thermalrights are all very well, but they are expensive from the perspective of the average user, and the Thermalrights also need a fan purchased seperately to mount on top.
No, the sort of sink most people are looking for is a quiet one, easy to install and cheap, yet allows the user to dabble in a little bit of overclocking should they decide they want to later down the road. This new CPU cooler from Arctic Cooling, a company we are all familiar with due to their huge success with the Arctic Silencer series of GPU coolers, looks to fulfill all those needs. But does it? Let's see. Hopefully this is one I can recommend to the next person that asks me the question in the opening line. The Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 will be tested against the stock A64 heatsink, as it is a product which will be used in place of the stock cooler by many people. Before we see some results though, we have the specs and photos to get through.
All AMD Sempron, Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 FX CPUs, AMD Athlon X2 up to 3800+. (This cooler does of course support both 754 & 939 sockets since they have the same footprint).
Heatsink Dimensions: 78 (L) x 98 (W) x 56 (H) MM Fan Dimensions: 113 (L) x 101 (W) x 47.2 (H) MM Cooler Dimensions: 113 (L) x 101 (W) x 91.7 (H) MM Fan Speed: 2000 RPM Air Flow: 36CFM Bearing: Fluid Dynamic Bearing Weight: 486g
Extremely Quiet Patented Fan Casing Integrated Cooling of Voltage Converters Patented Vibration Absorption Easy Installation Long Lifetime Six Year Guarantee
Air is drawn in from the top, and then blown out in all four directions in order to cool voltage converters and chipset.
Once you open the box and remove the cooler, these are the remaining parts of the package (instructions not pictured).
The box let's you know exactly what you're buying. It lists specs and features, as well as a stock photo of the cooler itself. The design is subtle, not too eye catching, but most people I assume would be ordering this online so this would not be a problem. If it was in a retail store it may go unnoticed unless you were particularly looking for it.
Inside the box, you'll find the cooler, two clips, two screws, a plastic covering, and the installation instructions.
The plastic covering is to protect the pre-applied thermal paste. This paste is AC's own MX-1, and the installation instructions state that only this paste guarantees optimum performance in combination with the special roughness of their heatsinks. This is where I'm a bit confused. Heatsinks are supposed to be smooth as then the contact and therefore heat transfer will be better. This is why some enthusiasts lap their heatsinks. The bottom of the heatsink didn't actually look rough to me, it's better than some of the finishes I've seen in the past. Running my finger nail along it there were no major ruts at all. Secondly, I think the part about this particular thermal paste being the only one guaranteed to produce optimum performance is marketing. Either that, or they didn't try any other pastes. =P.
The installation instructions are on a single page of A4, they are in English and German, and are good enough for sure. The installation is straightforward anyway though.
Of course, the screws and clips are your retention methods. One screws into the other to attach your cooler to your heatsink and the lug. We will go over that later.
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Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 & Accelero X1 Today we are looking at two new products from Arctic Cooling, the Alpine 64 CPU cooler for Socket 754/939, and the Accerelo X1 GPU cooler for Nvidia 6800/7800 series cards.