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Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro CPU Cooler & MX-3 Thermal Paste - Final Thoughts

Arctic Cooling brings us MX-3 thermal goop and a low wattage budget CPU cooler, the Alpine 11 Pro.

| CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Oct 20, 2009 3:14 pm
TweakTown Rating: 86%Manufacturer: Arctic Cooling

Final Thoughts - Alpine 11 Pro

 

Everything considered, the Alpine 11 Pro is a champ for your 95W or lesser processor. Height allowing, this is one of the perfect solutions to SFF or NTPC builds. Not only is the Alpine 11 Pro near silent most of the time, but even under the extreme loads I subjected it to, it was still reasonable to the ears. As I said in the testing, keeping this rig at sub seventy degree temperatures with a 92mm fan keeping things under control is one thing, but doing it quietly and while only rated for 2/3 of that power is a feat in itself.

 

Issues with the Alpine 11 Pro are really non-existent. It is what it is, a simple budget cooler. No thrills no frills, just an easy cooler to use, that all one has to do is pull it out of the box and install it. With pre-applied MX-2 and very simple mounting hardware, I can't find fault anywhere. Around the web the Alpine 11 Pro can be found for around $20 USD plus shipping, but is surely a smaller budget solution to cooling low wattage chips in limited space.

 

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Final Thoughts - MX-3 Thermal Compound

 

I'm a little torn when it comes to MX-3. I was a huge fan of the ease of use of the thinner MX-2. I'm as big a sucker for performance as the next guy, but I didn't like that I have to figure out a means of applying the MX-3. I tried as I said, simply spreading with my fingers and using a plastic bag over my finger. What I found worked best if you don't want to spread it was multiple drops of the TIM and allow the cooler to spread the TIM. If you want to use a minimal amount with less excess, you will need to pull out a credit card or something flat to spread the compound evenly.

 

Aside from the personal issue of it being thick, I found the second hurdle to making me want to run out and buy it, or recommend it. That would be the pricing currently of MX-3. I find it in various locations from $12-20 USD per tube. $12 isn't all that bad for a tube of compound, but once you add shipping you are at the $20 mark anyways. Now, if you don't mind an extra half of a degree, you could opt to locate some MX-2 for about half the price. The decision is up to you.

 

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