Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler
The Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler is a very nice budget cooler coming in at a price of only 29,90€ on Caseking.de, that is able to deliver a solid performance, although only if your plans do not include heavy overlocking
- 150W TDP
- 4 High performance heatpipes
- Asymmetrical heatsink design
- Shock KILLER POLE
- 130mm cone PWM fan
- Safe and easy mounting system
Part number - 84000000146
Dimensions - 130 x 74 x 159 mm
Cooling Power - 150W TDP
Weight - 630 g (incl. fan)
Heatpipes - 4 x 6 mm Heatpipes
Fins - Aluminum
Baseplate - Gapless HDC
Dimensions - 130 x 130 x 25 mm
Rated Voltage - 12 VDC
Bearing - Hydraulic Bearing
Airflow - 95,4 m³/h
Noise - 8 - 25,8 dB(A)
Speed - 500 - 1500 rpm
PWM - Yes
- Very good quality materials
- Very good performance/price ration
- Easy installation
- Extremely good compatibility
- Not suitable fo heavy overclocking
Alpenföhn has been known through the years to manufacture silent and affordable CPU coolers that delivered solid performance, but nothing really exceptional. This time around the German brand, created by the german manufacturer EKL AG, came out with the Ben Nevis Advanced Cpu Cooler, which was sent to us by European distributor Caseking.de.
The Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced Cpu Cooler was launched officially today, 12.06.2017 and is immediately available at Caseking and its partners throughout Europe. But what makes this particular cooler so special, you may ask? Well let’s review it together and find out!
Packaging and Accessories
When the parcel arrived some weeks ago, it was a huge carton box, so we were expecting to find something as huge inside. But we were fooled this time around and found instead a relatively small carton packaging with a cool wooden planks look to it, and of course the obligatory product pictures on the front.
One side of the box was showing the dimension of the cooler…
While the other side was showcasing some fake polaroid-style photographs detailing the construction technology:
The rear side of the box had all the information one could need to know to the very finest details the cooler without even holding it…
Once you open the box, you are greeted with the instruction manual under which sits a white container with the accessories
The accessories are kept to the minimum, really: only a backplate, a small bag of unbranded thermal paste, and 4 installation brackets for sockets 115X and 2011.
A Closer Look
Now it comes the turn of the CPU cooler. Even if the body of the cooler itself is not so big, the included fan is actually a bit larger than a standard fan you would find in a tower cooler: with its 130mm per side, it is a strange and unusual choice of a fan, also sporting a cone-like frame. The larger dimension and the frame should make it perform a bit better than standard 120mm fans, but only the tests will confirm this, later in the review.
The body of the Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler is more standard, in the sense that we have 4 x 6mm copper heatpipes spreading upwards from the aluminum base and through the 48 aluminum fins, which are spaced approx. 1.5mm apart one from each other. This should work fine with low pressure fans, as the included coned-frame fan seems to be with an airflow of 95,4 m³/h at maximum speed.
Another strange detail of this heatsink is the presence, right in the middle of the fins, of what seems to be a 5th heatpipe. Actually it is not a heatpipe at all, but a pole (called “Shock Killer Pole“) that from the base runs through all the fins to the top so to make the structure more rigid and avoid damage during shipping when installed atop a CPU, according to Alpenföhn.
Furthermore, Alpenföhn has designed its body so that the heatpipes bend a bit backwards, making it in fact asymmetrical and allowing a greater vertical clearance for memory modules with installed heatspreaders.
The heatsink’s base presents a small aluminum block with the 4 copper heatpipes embedded into it, the latter being exposed and in direct contact with the CPU heatspreader once installed. This direct CPU contact goes by the name HDC – Heatpipe Direct Contact – allows a better heat transfer and is more effective than having a copper or aluminum base to act as a buffer.
The pre-installed mounting brackets are for AMD AM4 / AM3(+) / AM3 / AM2(+) / AM2 and FM1 sockets, while you will find inside the accessories’ box the brackets for INTEL 2011 / 1155 / 1156 / 1150 / 1151 and 2011-V3 counterparts.
The fan included with the Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler deserves a special paragraph all of its own, since it is something we never saw before. As already stated, the maximum dimension of this PWM fan is 130mm, but don’t be fooled since the frame shrinks a bit on one face lowering the dimension down to a more traditional 120mm. This trick not only gives the fan its strange cone looks, but actually allows a slightly larger than usual set of blades to be accommodated in the frame, creating a sort of funnel that pushes the air towards the center of the heatsink body and not perpendicular to the frame itself. We will see later in the tests if this is really effective.
The fan specifications are printed on the hub decal. Proudly engineered in Germany and manufactured in China, the fan sports a current of 0.25A at 12V, which results in a power consumption of 3W at full load.
As stated before, the frame is quite strange, featuring a cone profile which makes it actually bigger getting on only one side up to 130mm, while the “business”side, where the hub is visible, is of a normal 120mm fan. The corners also have rubber pads to reduce vibrations upon contact with the heatsink fins. What I really find strange is that even if installation screws are present on both sides of the fan, they actually do not match… The hub side presents holes typical for a 120mm fan, while the blades’ side distance between the holes is slightly larger. This will preclude installation on heatsinks that use pass-through screws or similar means of fixation.
Comparing the fan of the Alpenföhn Ben Nevis CPU Cooler with a normal 120mm fan, its different frame shape is immediately visible:
A close-up comparison between the two fans shows the cone-shaped frame of the Ben Nevis Cooler fan a bit better.
Another particular feature of the fan are the blades: they have a particular composite design with a pointy relief near the central hub, and a couple of engraved lines towards the tip. This should help with turbulence and noise reduction.
The two engraved lines end on the bottom of the blade in two notches, that are responsible of stabilizing the airflow and make it less turbulent and thus more focused.
A very nice piece of engineering indeed.
Here below a table with all the technical details of the Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler:
|Dimensions||130 x 74 x 159 mm|
|Cooling Power||150W TDP|
|Weight||630 g (incl. fan)|
|Heatpipes||4 x 6 mm Heatpipes|
|Dimensions||130 x 130 x 25 mm|
|Rated Voltage||12 VDC|
|Noise||8 – 25,8 dB(A)|
|Speed||500 – 1500 rpm|
The cooler is rated up to 150W TDP, which makes it the perfect choice for midrange gaming PCs. This leaves not a lot of headroom for extreme overclocking, but some basic frequency upgrade should be possible nevertheless.
Finally we get to the most interesting part… The Performance Tests!
Testing a cooler is a hard task, though, and some attention is needed to do so in the most accurate way possible, not to mislead you, the reader. At HardwareCheck.eu we are keen to achieve the most accurate results during our tests, but at the same time we don’t want to lose contact with our true goal: to give an honest and truthful opinion about a product that we received, just as if we were a normal user buying that product off the shelf of a shop. So even if dedicated and professional instrumentation will be used, from time to time, we focus our attention more on what a normal user would achieve without spending thousands of Euros in technical equipment, which we honestly think no-one would care to do. Having said this, let’s take an overview to our testing methodology.
As with all our other reviews, we adopted what has become the standard for Hardwarecheck.eu in testing procedures: we disable all the motherboard’s CPU fan control and power management features, while the CPU heatsink fan is powered at 12V, 7V and 5V (in the case of liquid cooling with multiple fan radiators, the same applies for all fans). All case fans are also powered similarly, creating 3 cooling scenarios. Only the average values are then taken into consideration and noted down. The system is then loaded using for the CPU Prime95 (using the latest version available) and Unigine’s Heaven 4.0 Benchmark c(if we are testing a VGA cooler). CPU temperatures are read using the latest version of CoreTemp, while GPU temps are read through GPU-z (using always the latest version available). All values are taken when temps are stabilized, no matter how much time it takes (usually some 15 – 20 minutes are enough). Additionally, case temperatures are taken in several spots and averaged, using a thermocouple. This also includes exhaust temperatures of case fans at approx. 5cm from the case.
The test system was our usual test bench system, until we get all the parts for a Ryzen-based one. This includes:
- AMD FX-8350 4GHz Black Edtion – TDP 125W
- AsRock 970 Pro3
- Radeon HD 6950
- Antec True Power Quattro – 1000W
The test results only include stock frequency temperatures, since we were not really feeling comfortable performing even a slight overclock with this CPU cooler. Here the graph:
As it is clearly visible by the chart above, the performance of the Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler is not extraordinary, but also nothing to be ashamed of. Idle temperatures on the CPU are on par to a standard heatpipe cooler that usually costs twice as much. Under stress the story is mostly unvaried, if we keep the CPU frequency at standard values. Recover temperatures are also within what is normally to be expected, but perhaps it takes a bit of time more than expected to get back to normal values. If we go the overclocking way, then the story changes radically: Idle temps are a couple of degrees higher, so actually nothing alarming. Under stress, though, the Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler basically looses it: the CPU we used, which is an engineering sample with 8 core / 8 threads capable of 125W under stress without overclock, is capable of outputting more than 180~190W under stress if overclocked and slightly overvolted, reaching up to 4.8GHz. We would never reach those figures with a normal heatpipe cooler…
The Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler is a very nice budget cooler coming in at a price of only 29,90€ on Caseking.de, that is able to deliver a solid performance, although only if your plans do not include heavy overclocking.
The asymmetric form makes it easy to install and allows to install ram modules with high heatspreaders without any problem. This, together with the more than fair performance and the price that is so easy for the wallet makes it almost the perfect choice for system builders and PC enthusiasts all around. Even gamers will be willing to spend that kind of money so it will be no wonder if it will sell like hot cakes.
In the end, we have to give the Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU Cooler the Silver award. It truly deserves it.
Thanks to Caseking for the sample provided.
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