Well, I'm reasonably impressed here. I was really expecting to see the mighty Gladiator fall into the #2 position, but the results were less than a single degree off. And considering that the low-pitched drone of a high output 80mm fan is so much easier on the ears, I feel pretty confident in recommending the Alpha. Though it is a bit pricey (approx US$40), the combination of cooling and quiet make it worth it.
I am always hearing people ask for some sort of HSF that can cool well but remain quiet. This has always been a very tough order to fill since the good coolers always had the 38-CFM Deltas blowing. Anyone who has heard these small airplane motors running will be able to attest to the fact that they really are annoying. Well now there is another alternative. The Alpha PAL8045 HSF provides a high level of cooling without the high level of noise.
Actual cooling potential will depend on the fan that you use. If you're willing to accept a bit lower level of cooling, then you can get a near silent 80mm fan for the task. If, on the other hand, you want to try to push your system to the limits, then you can go for a fan like the 68-CFM Delta, or the new 80-CFM Delta that is just now beginning to hit the streets (if you can find one that is). There are just a world of choices available for you, and with the ability to get fans with Rheostats built in, you can even adjust the levels of noise and power to fit the current needs of your system.
There are just too many alternatives to be able to list them all off here, but it's nice to see that a company has stepped up to the plate and provided a cooler that fits the needs of the "Power User".
Bottom line...If you want cooling that is both outstanding and quiet, then get yourself one of these coolers. You will be very pleased with the results
Outstanding cooling capabilities
Copper insert in base
Designed to fit boards with capacitors close to socket
Mounting screws can't be over-tightened
Have to remove motherboard to install
Rating - 9.5/10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice Award
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