While the Brocken 2 from Alpenfoehn is very aesthetically pleasing to look at inside of the chassis, the hardware is super solid, and installing and maintaining this cooler is a breeze, but we did run into some physical issues, as well as the mental quandary of where this cooler fits into the fold.
First, the physical issue. For this review, we actually tested two coolers. We got into a talk with Alpenfoehn previous to this cooler review going live, and they insisted our original average temperature was wrong and there had to be a defect in the original Brocken 2 that we received for testing. So graciously, we agreed to retest another sample to verify that indeed there was an issue with our original sample. This was easily verifiable as the original cooler averaged 78.25 degrees for the OC run, and the second was 3.75 degrees cooler, easy enough to figure out that something was definitely not right in our first sample. It happens. We are just glad we caught the issue when we did.
Onto the mental quandary is where we are still at this moment a little stuck with what angle to approach this cooler, or just what we think about this design in general. That isn't to say that this is not a good cooler, it is. It is just that in our discussion with Alpenfoehn, we were told that the Brocken 2 should easily beat the ECO, pretty much we were left with the thought that the Brocken 2 should offer much better performance, but still leaving room for the performance of the Himalaya 2. While the Brocken 2 does fall between the Himalaya and the ECO, there is literally only a 0.25 degree difference between the much more affordable Brocken ECO, and leaves almost four degrees to the Himalaya 2. Even when comparing outside of the company, the Thermaltake Nic C5 is cheaper, and performs much better - hence the quandary of where to rate the Brocken 2.
So, at this point, we are left looking at a very aesthetically pleasing cooler design with top tier mounting hardware that should work with just about any system out there, as long as the motherboard manufacturer leaves ICs, resistors and the like off the back of the motherboard near the socket. It does perform very well considering the limited noise levels that come from the Wing Boost 2 fan, but when it all comes down to apples to apples comparisons, we feel that the Brocken 2 just doesn't have what it takes to warrant the jump from their own Brocken ECO's abilities, even if you do lose the shiny top fins.
As much as we like the looks of this cooler, it just does not excuse what we find in testing. Had we not seen all of the rest of the Alpenfohn products previous to this, but in the range of $70 air coolers, it even struggles to compete and contend with older, smaller Noctua designs.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||94%|
|Bundle and Packaging||95%|
|Value for Money||65%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||82%|
The Bottom Line: If we awarded on Bundles and Packaging or on initial impressions alone, the Brocken 2 would win as couple of awards. When looked at in a price versus performance aspect, we just find the Brocken 2 to fall behind a lot of its competition.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Alpenfoehn Brocken 2 CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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