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

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

The Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro CPU Cooler




Here we have the Alpine 11 Pro as most of you are going to see it once in use. The 92mm fan sufficiently covers the aluminium fins, while the black plastic cage keeps fingers and wires out of harm's way.




Moving the cooler around for images, I accidentally scraped a bit off with my finger nail. The application of MX-2 is smooth and there is plenty there to cover the IHS of any i5 or 775 CPU. At the top and bottom of the aluminum base you can see the mounting is held in place with the black plastic that is attached to the fan, sandwiching the aluminum main body of the cooler.




Removing two Phillip's head screws from the top side of the Alpine 11 Pro allows for the breakdown of the cooler into its three basic components. First is this; the bracing that is the "glue" of the Alpine 11 Pro. The bracing holds the fan securely at the top, while providing both the mounting holes in the corners and the means of securing the aluminum.




The housing and fan, once removed from the cooler assembly, shows us a couple of things. Not only does the plastic keep fingers out of the fan at the top, but underneath it acts as a shroud to direct air out the open sides of the fins. You can see the right and left side of the "shroud" are closed off, not allowing air to go that way under the fan. Lastly, the information on the swiss built fan. This isn't so important if you keep the packaging, but if you don't, it can be found here or on their site.




For a long time Arctic Cooling has been in the "silence" business and the Alpine 11 Pro is no exception. With this cooler you will find on each corner of the fan, the typical double isolation method of securing their fans. The fan sits on a rubber "nipple" so that the fan and guard stay suspended, vibration free from the base and fins. Then both the "nipple" and the fan are secured with a bit of plastic that stretches to secure over the pin. Once again, it is using the rubber on the fan end to isolate the connection.




With all the plastic and the fan removed, we are left with an aluminium cooler very reminiscent of my older socket 939 coolers from AMD. This concept is simple, but even in the 939 days was efficient. I can remember overclocking a 3200+ on a similar cooler. As I mentioned with the shroud, when placed back atop this, the air is allowed to flow with these thirty fins. The outer edges of this cooler have a lip that allows the clips on the underside of the shroud to lock into place.




Since Arctic Cooling was nice enough to apply MX-2 to the underside of the cooler, I used that application for my test run of the MX-2 in the temperature charts. After that round of testing, I had to strip off the TIM to move on to the next candidate. While I was here I snapped off this image showing the base and its finish without compound blocking the view. The base is very level and flat against a razor. The "milling" of the surface is very basic and contains hills and valleys which I found a bit tough to clean out properly between applications of TIM.




Since there was no paperwork included, nor needed with this cooler, I decided to just display the accessories here. In a baggie inside the box you will find a case badge from Arctic Cooling along with the "sleeves and wedges" that are used in mounting the cooler to the board. Sliding the "sleeves", or the tan bits of plastic into the board from underneath and all the way into the holes in the cooler is the first step. Once those are in and aligned to open in the correct manner as not to spread into the elongated hole, but to the sides of the hole, you simply slide in the "wedges" to lock it into place.


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