Alpenföhn K2 CPU Cooler Review

Editor: Sahil Mannick  Date: 30-11-11   5 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here
Introduction

Product on Review: Alpenföhn K2
Manufacturer and Sponsor: Alpenföhn
MSRP: ~£65/74.90Euros
Street Price: 69.90Euros

Alpenföhn is a brand we have grown accustomed to here on Vortez having reviewed many of their offerings, from their entry-level Triglav to the high-end Matterhorn. Despite not claiming any top spots on our ever-competitive charts, we have always admired their products for their engineering, aesthetics, and innovation. It’s not often that we see manufacturers deviating from the norm to bring new ideas to the table and Alpenföhn have never shied from such opportunities. We only have to look at Triglav and its 10mm heat pipes to see that such designs can prove very effective. However, the picture isn’t always so rosy when we turn our attention to some of their other ideas. While the features of the Matterhorn might have looked great on paper, it failed to translate well into real world performance leaving us somewhat disappointed. But this is where Alpenföhn hope to make a bigger impact in the cooling world and very fittingly as the case may be, they are doing so with their biggest cooler yet, the K2.

The Alpenföhn K2 is the company’s own attempt at a dual tower cooler. Before they start being accused of trying to copy Thermalright or Noctua, we have to remember that the K2 has been in development for a very long time and the first prototype was first seen back at Cebit earlier this year. So what exactly is the K2? Following their theme of naming coolers after famous mountains around the world, their dual tower cooler very appropriately takes its name after the world’s second highest mountain, Mount K2. Aside the dual radiators, the cooler features an impressive heat pipe array, counting 8 each 6mm in diameter. In many ways, the K2 is a culmination of Alpenföhn’s best designs and innovations so it’s not surprising to see a unique fin array sharing characteristics of the Matterhorn and even the older Nordwand. As with previous heatsinks, the K2 features a perfectly milled base plate for greater contact with the CPU and heat transfer efficiency. To top it off, the cooler comes bundled with two Wing Boost fans, one 120mm in size and the other 140mm. Although akin to the Noctua NH-D14’s configuration, we speculate that it is to allow greater memory compatibility rather than to simply copy the former.

With a feature set to challenge the best coolers on the market, the Alpenföhn K2 is setting its sight on the likes of the Noctua NH-D14, Thermalright Silver Arrow, and Phanteks PH-TC14PE which likewise are monstrous dual tower coolers. It wasn’t long ago that we were proclaiming the latter as our new king but the question is whether the K2 can make that time on the throne short.

Let’s see what Alpenföhn have to say about their K2 heatsink:

For ages, myths and legend surround one of the scariest mountains on earth. Icy winds and heavy snow fall had been the reason all attempts to reach the peak failed…

You might not be surprised that the K2 inspired us to choose the name for our latest creation. By using 8 heat pipes in a twin tower design, dual wing boost configuration and MnTal-Airflow Technology, the new Alpenföhn reaches highest performance at lowest noise.


With looks that puts all of its competitors to shame and a feature set to match the best, can the K2 really deliver and can Alpenföhn’s efforts finally translate to real world success? Let’s find out…

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