[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

The Alpine 11 PLUS is an inexpensive CPU cooler from Arctic. It has an aluminum heatsink and a 92 mm fan. Let’s test it!

Arctic offers two coolers that are actually almost the same product: the Alpine 11 PLUS (that we are reviewing here) and the Alpine 64 PLUS, which is a similar cooler, but aimed at AMD CPUs.

The Alpine 11 PLUS comes in a small white cardboard box, as shown in Figure 1.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 1: Package

Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: the cooler itself, manual, and installation hardware.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 2: Accessories

Figure 3 displays the Alpine 11 PLUS.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 3: The Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS

This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.

[nextpage title=”The Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS”]

Figure 4 illustrates the front of the cooler. Here you can see the aluminum heatsink and the black frame of the fan.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 4: Front view

Figure 5 reveals the side of the cooler. Here it is clear that the heatsink is a single aluminum piece.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 5: Side view

In Figure 6, you can see the top of the cooler, where the 92 mm fan with white blades is located.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 6: Top view

[nextpage title=”The Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS (Cont’d)”]

Figure 7 illustrates the base of the cooler. The heatsink is a one-piece aluminum block; the base surface is also made of aluminum. The thermal compound comes preapplied on the base.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 7: Base

Figure 8 reveals the Alpine 11 PLUS without the fan.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 8: Without the fan

Figure 9 shows the 92 mm PWM fan that comes with the Alpine 11 PLUS, as well as the plastic frame that holds it in place. This frame snaps the heatsink, so the removal and installation of the fan is a very easy task.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 9: Fan

[nextpage title=”Installation”]

To install the Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS, first you need to install two holders on your motherboard, as shown in Figure 10. These holders are held in place using four pressure bolts.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 10: Holders installed

Install the cooler, screwing it to the holders at the corners, as you can see in Figure 11.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUSFigure 11: Installation finished

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We tested the cooler with a Core i5-2500K CPU (quad-core, 3.3 GHz), which is a socket LGA1155 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 4.0 GHz (100 MHz base clock and x40 multiplier), with 1.3 V core voltage (Vcore). This CPU was able to reach 4.8 GHz with its default core voltage, but at this setting, the processor enters thermal throttling when using mainstream coolers, reducing the clock and thus the thermal dissipation. This could interfere with the temperature readings, so we chose to maintain a moderate overclocking.

We measured noise and temperature with the CPU under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all cores, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the “In-place Large FFTs” option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)

We compared the tested cooler to other coolers we already tested, and to the stock cooler that comes with the Core i5-2500K CPU. Note that the results cannot be compared to measures taken on a different hardware configuration, so we retested some “old” coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read on the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that comes with it.

Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings.

During the tests, the panels of the computer case were closed. The front and rear case fans were spinning at minimum speed in order to simulate the “normal” cooler use on a well-ventilated case. We assume that is the common setup used by a cooling enthusiast or overclocker.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed near the top opening of the case. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the full speed.

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Speed Core Temp. Temp. Diff.
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 18 °C 50 dBA 2850 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Corsair A70 23 °C 51 dBA 2000 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Corsair H100 26 °C 62 dBA 2000 rpm 64 °C 38 °C
EVGA Superclock 26 °C 57 dBA 2550 rpm 67 °C 41 °C
NZXT HAVIK 140 20 °C 46 dBA 1250 rpm 65 °C 45 °C
Thermalright True Spirit 120 26 °C 42 dBA 1500 rpm 82 °C 56 °C
Zalman CNPS12X 26 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 71 °C 45 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 Max 20 °C 51 dBA 1700 rpm 62 °C 42 °C
Titan Fenrir Siberia Edition 22 °C 50 dBA 2400 rpm 65 °C 43 °C
SilenX EFZ-120HA5 18 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 70 °C 52 °C
Noctua NH-L12 20 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 70 °C 50 °C
Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 2550 rpm 71 °C 50 °C
Gamer Storm Assassin 15 °C 48 dBA 1450 rpm 58 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 400 15 °C 44 dBA 1500 rpm 60 °C 45 °C
Cooler Master TPC 812 23 °C 51 dBA 2350 rpm 66 °C 43 °C
Deepcool Gammaxx 300 18 °C 43 dBA 1650 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Intel stock cooler 18 °C 41 dBA 2000 rpm 97 °C 79 °C
Xigmatek Praeton 19 °C 52 dBA 2900 rpm 83 °C 64 °C
Noctua NH-U12P SE2 18 °C 42 dBA 1300 rpm 69 °C 51 °C
Deepcool Frostwin 24 °C 46 dBA 1650 rpm 78 °C 54 °C
Thermaltake Frio Advanced 13 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 62 °C 49 °C
Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition 9 °C 48 dBA 2100 rpm 53 °C 44 °C
Thermaltake Frio Extreme 21 °C 53 dBA 1750 rpm 59 °C 38 °C
Noctua NH-U9B SE2 12 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 64 °C 52 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Pro 15 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 52 °C 37 °C
Deepcool Fiend Shark 18 °C 45 dBA 1500 rpm 74 °C 56 °C
Arctic Freezer i30 13 °C 42 dBA 1350 rpm 63 °C 50 °C
Spire TME III 8 °C 46 dBA 1700 rpm 70 °C 62 °C
Thermaltake WATER2.0 Performer 11 °C 54 dBA 2000 rpm 49 °C 38 °C
Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS 11 °C 45 dBA 2000 rpm 82 °C 71 °C

In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS

In the graph below, you can see how many decibels of noise each cooler makes.

Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

The main specifications for the Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS CPU cooler include:

  • Application: Sockets 775, 1155, 1156, and 1366 processors
  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches (95 x 98 x 70 mm) (W x L x H)
  • Maximum TDP: 100 W
  • Fins: Aluminum
  • Base: Aluminum
  • Heat-pipes: None
  • Fan: 92 mm
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,000 rpm
  • Fan air flow: NA
  • Power consumption: 2.64 W
  • Nominal noise level: NA
  • Weight: 1.0 lb (450 g)
  • More information: https://www.arctic.ac
  • Average Price in the U.S.*: USD 18.00

* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

The Arctic Alpine 11 PLUS is a good replacement for the Intel stock cooler if it breaks. It has a better cooling performance than the stock cooler, although it makes a little more noise.

Of course, this cooler is not aimed at enthusiast users or overclockers, even though the phrase “CPU cooler for power users” is written on its box. It is a good replacement for the stock cooler, but no more than that.