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Alpenfoehn Brocken ECO CPU Cooler Review

Alpenfoehn Brocken ECO CPU Cooler Review
It's time to see the next tier of Alpenfoehn CPU cooling, the Brocken ECO - a more compact version of Alpenfoehn's bestselling Brocken 2 CPU cooler.
By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 11, 2014 5:15 am
TweakTown Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Alpenfoehn

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing




To understand the cooler we are about to show off from our box-o-coolers from Alpenfoehn, you are going to need to know a bit of the history behind this cooler. First, Alpenfoehn started off with one of their original cooler designs, the Brocken. The original Brocken used a 120mm fan to cool the tower; in this cooler, the fins were solid from side to side. After some time, Alpenfoehn released a second generation of Brocken that utilized a 140mm fan and a split tower design, which they named Brocken 2. We happen to have that cooler as well, but we will save that for phase three of our Alpenfoehn cooler reviews.


Today we will be looking at the third cooler in the Brocken line, the Brocken ECO. There must have been some feedback with concerns surrounding the dimensions of the Brocken 2 following its release, because the newer Brocken ECO is a more compact design. In addition to reduced dimensions, the Brocken ECO is also aimed at reducing cost, and features a 120mm fan rather than a 140mm fan. Despite being more compact than the Brocken 2, the Brocken ECO is intended to stay within the same thermal range as the Brocken 2.


Alpenfoehn opted to keep most of what made the Brocken 2 such a hot seller, so the Brocken ECO has a lot of the same things that the Brocken 2 offered. There is still a split tower design to the fins, and it also still uses the tightly spaced layout that eliminates aluminum between the pipes in the base. The coolers even use the same type of fans.


The major changes to the design are more subtle. For instance, the Brocken ECO has one less heat pipe than the Brocken 2. The ECO also has a lack of any plating to the fins, and the lack of a top cover, so the pipe tips are exposed on the ECO. On top of these changes, the Brocken ECO is shorter, thinner, and it's not as deep as the original designs were.


Now that you have a good sense of how the Brocken line has progressed, we should jump into our review, and see just what sort of performance this cooler doles out. We can also see what a much larger cooler design than the Sella will offer in terms of audio and thermal results, so we can determine if it is worth the cost increase to get a larger Alpenfoehn cooler. Let's get to it.


The chart provided below shows us that the Brocken ECO is 65mm thick, and once you add 25mm more for the fan, it's 90mm in total. The ECO is 126mm wide, and it stands 150mm tall from bottom of the base to the tips of the heat pipes. This cooler is comprised of four 6mm diameter copper heat pipes that run from the aluminum base that help secure them, up into the stack of 45 aluminum fins on either side. Each fin is 0.40mm thick. The base of the cooler where it makes contact with the CPU uses what Alpenfoehn refers to as "Gapless Heat pipe Direct Contact," or "Gapless H.D.C." This is where the heat pipes are laid right next to each other, rather than having bits of aluminum between them.




To cool the pair of towers in the Brocken ECO, there is a single 120mm fan shipped along with the cooler. Alpenfoehn was also kind enough to send along another 120mm fan to match it, so we could do some dual fan testing, and see how much more efficient this design can be. These 120mm PWM fans are capable of speeds of up to 1500 RPM, and deliver 111.14 cubic meters of air flow. For those not willing to look up the conversion, that is roughly 65 CFM pushing through these stacks. We see no audio measurements in the charts, but rest assured, Alpenfoehn coolers are designed with silence in mind.


At the bottom of the chart, we see the Brocken ECO is capable of mounting to all the Intel sockets still worthy of a new cooler, from LGA775 through LGA2011. In terms of AMD, anything from AM2 through socket FM1 are fair game. The last bits on the chart cover the supplied TIM, four fan clips, anti-vibration measures, and the manual.


Again, with all of these Alpenfoehn samples, cost is not a prohibitive factor; it is availability that kills things for North American buyers. Using a bit of Google-fu and looking at other sources, we were able to locate current pricing on the other side of the pond. Just like the Sella, we found the ECO at OCUK, where they list the cooler for a measly £24.95. At this time, currency conversion places the cost around $42; it is hard to look past a cooler like this. It may not be the most compact cooler Alpenfoehn offers, but the Brocken ECO has definitely raised an eyebrow with the performance it offers.

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