Alpenföhn K2 CPU Cooler Revisited

👤by Sahil Mannick Comments 📅04-02-12

So there we have it, the Alpenföhn have finally delivered to us what we were originally anticipating of the K2. Before going any further, I have to highlight and stress that this sample is no different visually to the initial prototype we received, the only difference being the fact that it came from the retail production line as opposed to being ‘hand-made’. As such, it is demonstrative of the actual performance users can expect. In the original article, I concluded that the K2 was easily the best looking cooler on the market and this has not changed. The eight heat-piped monster still boasts an impressive matte silver finish that typifies Alpenföhn’s superb attention to detail. With its two black and white fans, one Föhn 120 and one Föhn 140, users not only have a versatile cooler to match any colour scheme they might opt for, but they are also ensured quiet operation with brilliant performance to boot. The mounting kit I also praised highly thanks to its ease of installation and robustness to cope with the K2’s weight without flexing the motherboard.

Where the K2 began to falter previously was in the performance department. Thankfully this time, we observe a drop of around 1-2C across all fan configurations on the K2. While this may not seem like much, it paints a much more positive picture compared to other coolers in its class when we realise just how close the performance difference is at the top of our charts. The K2 finally manages to not only enter the realms of our ‘super-coolers’ but also fare favourably against the likes of the Noctua NH-D14, Thermalright Silver Arrow and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE. Looking back to the performance at stock CPU speed, we see the K2 vying for the top spot in many cases. Its efficiency with various fans proves to be class leading and only losing to the Phanteks and Noctua in two cases out of five. This performance is maintained even at 4GHz, where the K2 constantly swaps positions with the other three dual tower coolers. Very little differentiates those four dual tower coolers which is testament to their sheer performance and efficiency despite sharing little else in design features. The Phanteks still remains the overall best cooler but this is where Alpenföhn have an ace up its sleeves. As from last week, Alpenföhn have reduced the price of their K2 to 69.90Euros/£59.99 in order to compete with its rivals on price. Previously, my recommendations mostly went to the cheaper and quieter Thermalright Silver Arrow but now that the K2 can be found for a similar price, Thermalright should be sweating. Thermalright’s solution still remains the quietest solution of the three thanks to its two brilliant 140mm fans but despite that, the K2 has more to offer in response. The front 120mm fan allows taller memory modules to be installed and its aesthetics will undoubtedly appeal to more people. We should also note that an extra set of fan clips are provided to mount an additional fan at the back and the K2 now comes with LGA2011 mounting screws as standard.

So with three of my previous cons addressed, can Alpenföhn go the full fold and fix my last complaint? That depends; the fan clips still prove to be a bit of a pain to use but this may be reserved to the fact that the CPU socket on my Rampage III Extreme is positioned further up that on traditional boards leaving me with little space to work with above the cooler. However, for most people this may not be an issue and even if it is, it’s a one-time annoyance.

Looking back, I’m glad Alpenföhn sent us this second sample to demonstrate the potential the K2 always had reserved inside. I’m still somewhat puzzled as to why they sent me a prototype originally but it highlights the trust manufacturers have in us to give them an honest feedback and their conviction to top our notorious charts.

+Brilliant performance
+Aesthetics and broad colour appeal
+Very well packaged
+Two quality PWM fans included
+Low noise
+Rich bundle
+Support for Intel and AMD sockets (including LGA2011 mounting kit)
+Ease of installation
+Excellent support
+Support for three fans

-Small clearance for very tall memory modules (Easily fixed by buying lower profile modules)
-Fan wire clips are tedious to install

The Alpenföhn K2 can finally claim our Vortez Gold Award.

Click here for an explanation of our awards at

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