Alpenfohn Vs Prolimatech Air cooler Review
Published: 1st March 2013 | Source: Alpenfohn and Prolimatech | Price: |
Conclusion and Awards
Although a "friendly" it looks like the match here today was no less fiercely contested. With both Prolimatech and Alpenfohn standing toe to toe, were we really expecting anything less. The four coolers on test today can be split into two groups. Two big twin stack, twin fan units, one from each of the manufacturers and two of the more classic single stack single fan design, again one from each of the manufacturers on test today.
Prolimatech Magahalem "Black"
It's fair to say we get a good few coolers through our TIM stained hands here at OC3D, and in general build quality varies little from unit to unit, with most companies on the whole producing sound engineering at a reasonable level of quality. The Prolimatech Megahalem "Black" however is a definite cut above the average with regards to build quality and presentation. The sleek satin black colouring of the unit aside the Megahalem simply oozes quality, put it this way, It's rare for us to take a cooler out of the box and just spend a few minutes handling (if not actually fondling) one of the retention brackets. Made from a thick billet of Aluminium with precision cross cuts and black anodised finish we defy you not to have a quick stroke of it before guiltily slipping it back into its plastic sheath. As with all units on test the fitting of the unit was simplicity itself, with a central bar clamping the contact plate in place between 2 parallel retention brackets either side of the CPU. As Prolimatech do not supply fans with either of the units on test we opted to match the "Black" up with a single 120mm, 1600rpm Prolimatech Vortex fan. If you're planning on buying the Black, it's worth factoring in that the cost of a fan, which with a half decent unit costing about £10 brings the cost of the Black up to £60. In use the Black faired reasonably well at the undervolted stock frequency, able to keep the max temp under 50 degrees, the same as the much larger Alpenfohn K2, but with 7v fan speed reducer in place, making the K2 a much quieter option. At 4.0GHz things start to get a bit toasty for the Black, with average max temps hitting 65 degrees, making the highest result of the coolers on test This temp was not entirely unexpected, and wasn't exactly way higher than the competition. It was however a bit of a hint that the Black was not to make it through the much more demanding 4.4 and 4.6GHz tests, maxing out above the 80 degrees limit only seconds into the test and automatically triggering the end of the test period for the Black.
Turning to the first of the big boys now and the Prolimetech Genesis. Eschewing the traditional "Fan sandwich" design of most twin stacks, with the Genesis Prolimatech have chosen to rotate one of the stacks through 90 degrees. In this configuration the vertical stack gives optimum cooling to the CPU, whilst the horizontal stack provides cooling for the Motherboard, RAM and Northbridge areas. In practice it worked better than we expected, fitted with a pair of 140mm 1000 rpm Prolimatech Vortex fans, at stock clock and undervolted the Genesis didn't exceed 47 degrees, which was actually 2 degrees cooler than its main rival in this test; the K2 and considerably quieter. Pushing the clocks and volts up to the next level saw the Genesis hit an average max of 62.5, this time 3.5 degrees warmer than the K2 showing perhaps the limitations of the split stack design. Still, we were hopeful of a pass at 4.4 but sadly it was not to be, with one of the cores exceeding the 80 degree limit about half way into the test. It has to be said that the Genesis was built to the very same high standards as the Megahalem Black, and should you desire something a bit sexier than the naked Aluminium it's also available in black! It's hard to ignore Prolimatech's build quality and finish, however with high prices and the need to buy fans on top of the cost of the cooler it's also hard to ignore the high cost of their coolers, for example pair of £15 140mm fans will bring the cost of the Genesis to an eye watering £90 . Couple this with a level of performance on a par with cheaper coolers and it's hard to justify an award for this cooler. Yes it has great build quality, and yes it provides RAM and mobo cooling, but so do many others, and at nothing like the price of the Genesis.
Alpenfohn Matterhohn "Pure"
The Alpenfohn Matterhorn Pure is a very similar unit to the Black, being approximately the same size and combining the same sort of materials, with both having a vertical stack of aluminium fins and both having 6x6mm copper heatpipes. However, as the "Pure" is a good £30 cheaper than the Black, and comes with a rather sexy rubberised 120mm fan, you're not going to have to part with one of your Kindeys to buy one. Half the price of the Black then , but are you getting half the performance? Well no, actually you're getting slightly better performance, granted not by much, at 49 degrees the Pure is only 1 degree lower than the Black at stock, but at 4.0GHz the gap widens slightly with the Pure shaving 3 degrees of the Black coming in with an average max of 62 degrees. With this slightly lower temp at 4.0GHz we were hopeful of a pass at 4.4GHz but sadly it was not to be. It did get further into the test but like the Black, maxed out over the 80 degree threshold, triggering an automatic fail. We make the rules, and we stick to em as they say.
And finally we come to the mighty K2. Although having an arguably greater physical presence than the other coolers on test here today the K2 is actually only 160mm in height, so should fit easily into all but the smallest mid tower ATX cases. Like the Pure the K2 comes with sexy black rubberised fans, this time however in addition to the 1500rpm 120mm unit we have an added 1100rpm 140mm unit. As the K2 also comes with a 7v fan speed reduction cable we also tested at the full fan speeds of the 12v supply as well as the reduced speeds enabled by the 7v cable, a full 4.5 hours of testing in case you're wondering. From the off it's fair to say we weren't impressed with the K2s performance at the lower 7v fan speeds. the fans at 12v are quiet anyway so little is gained from the reduction in speed, but a great deal is lost in cooling performance, with a max temp of 55 degrees at stock and a max of 71 degrees at just 4.0GHz and with one of the cores hovering around the 78 degrees mark for the majority of the testing the K2 came dangerously close to failing the test. And fail it did at both 4.4 and 4.6GHz. With the full fat 12v supply however the K2 performs substantially better. With a max temp of 59 degrees the K2 records the lowest temp of the testing at 4.0 Ghz, and with a max temp of 73 degrees at 4.4GHz becomes the first of the air coolers tested on the 2011 chipset to pass this demanding test. Although the K2 gave the best performance of any of the coolers on test here, that's not to say it's going to stand well in the charts once they start to fill out a bit. Our experience of the K2 on the old i7 950 chip leads us to believe that by comparison it's performance may well be easily bettered, not least by the D14 reviewed by Tom as a comparison benchmark in the AIO watercooling tests. It scrapes a Broze, but only just.
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