Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 Pro: The Alpine 7 Revisited

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January 30, 2008 by Devon Cooke

Product
Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 Pro
Socket 775 CPU Heatsink
Manufacturer
MRSP
US$15.95

The Alpine 7 Pro is the latest in a long line of budget heatsinks from Arctic Cooling. Arctic Cooling built their reputation on these heatsinks, and they remain one of the only manufacturers to bother with the low-end market. With average processor thermals dropping significantly over the last couple of years and improvements in the stock heatsinks from Intel and AMD, there's little reason to upgrade for cooling performance alone. That leaves noise as the main reason to upgrade — and that has improved too. (Editor's Note: I beg to differ on this point — IMO, the sound quality of the stock fans on Intel heatsink remains among the nastiest at any speed.)

That said, one of the reasons for Arctic Cooling's longevity is their reputation for low noise. Although they've had a few duds along the way, they've always paid attention to noise in their designs, and their frameless, soft-mounted fans are unique in the industry.

The Alpine 7 Pro is a refinement of the Alpine 7 / 64 design that Arctic Cooling has sold for the last year and a half. The main difference seems to be the use of Intel's pushpin mounting system rather than a backplate + bracket system, but the heatsink itself has also been changed to make room for the new hardware.

Minimal padding and clear plastic packaging is retail friendly, but not so good for protection or the environment.


Accessories are limited to a sticker and an installation sheet.

Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 Pro: Feature Highlights (from the product web page)
Feature & Brief Our Comment
Optimized Heatsink Design "Optimized" for what?
92 mm PWM Fan PWM makes very precise fan control possible.
Low Noise Impeller Exactly what makes these fan blades quieter than others is unclear.
Patented Vibration Absorption Soft rubber grommets prevent fan vibration from being transferred to the body of the heatsink.
Patented Fan Holder eliminates the Humming Noise ...due mainly to the "Patented Vibration Absorption".
Pre-applied High Performance Thermal Compound Convenient and clean.
Easy Installation via Intel Push Pins Tool-free and doesn't require removing the motherboard from the case.

Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 Pro: Specifications (from the product spec sheet)
Compatibility LGA775 Socket Processors:
- Intel Core 2 Duo
- Intel Pentium Extreme / Pentium D / Pentium 4
- Intel Celeron D
Fan 92(L) x 92(W) x 32(H) mm
Cooler 99(L) x 93(W) x 86(H) mm
Fan Speed 500 - 2000 RPM controlled by PWM signal
Air Flow 36.7 CFM / 62.2 m³/h
Bearing Fluid Dynamic Bearing
Weight 480 g
Service Life MTTF at 40°C: 400,000h
Acoustics 0.4 Sone



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