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Thread: Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition

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    Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition

    Introduction

    Last year, the German company EKL AG launched under its Alpenfohn brand a Brocken 3 processor cooling system. Now, two special versions of this cooler were presented: White Edition and Black Edition, which are primarily distinguished by color performance. As you might guess, the new items are made in white and black, respectively. In the new editions Black Edition and White Edition , the Brocken 3 gets an additional fan. According to the manufacturer, the new products are able to cope with cooling the processor from TDP to 220 watts.



    Specifications.




    Packaging & Contents

    Package is big and quality materials are used. While this image is typically of the front of the packaging, technically speaking we are looking at the top of the box. Here Alpenfoehn flanks the product name and the features.



    The Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition comes in a predominantly black glossy box. The front features two image versions of the cooler and details some of the key features including 100% Ram compatibility, aerodynamically fins and Wing Boost fans.



    On the back of the box we can see the specifications and CPU socket compatibility.



    One side of the box gives us a detailed explanation of the Wing Boost3 PWM fans that come in the box.



    The other side of the box has a diagram of the cooler with the dimensions so consumers can make sure the Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition will fit inside their case.



    First thing you see is the multi-language installation guide as soon as opening the box. Illustrations are clear and easy to understand.



    Both the fans and the tower are resting in dense foam compartments to isolate them during transit. A valuable screwdriver is embedded there too.



    The hardware is all contained within the thin white box sitting in the end nearest in the picture. In addition to the dense foam used, the cooler is also wrapped inside of a plastic bag. All told, the cooler arrived in great shape, with no bent fins or scrapes to speak of.



    Intel and AMD installation kits are separate but the back plate is single. Thermal paste and a long screwdriver are included too. RockMount2 installation system supports:

    -Intel Socket 2011, 2011-v3, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1150, 775, 1366
    -AMD Socket AM4, AM3(+), AM3, AM2(+), AM2, FM1




    A separate box contains the Wing Boost 3 140 x 140 x 25mm PWM fans, and anti-vibration grommets.




    A Closer Look

    As the name suggests, the radiator comes completely in black. Many systems follow a certain colour scheme, which means that nickel-plated or silver-coloured coolers cannot be integrated very well optically. The black of the Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition, on the other hand, offers ideal conditions for optically harmonious PC systems.



    The asymmetric design definitely feels a little quirky and gives you an impression of speed. It gets even bigger when the fans are mounted. The Brocken 3 Black Edition has dimensions of 146x125x165mm (WxDxH) and weighs 1024g including the fans. That means the mounting kit has to be very strong and capable.



    The staggered cooling tower of the Brocken 3 Black Edition consists of 32 aluminum perforated plates, which form a radiator stacked at a distance of 3 mm from each other. This makes it clear once more that quiet operation comes before performance.



    Brushed and anodized aluminum plates aligned with a specific distance to optimize cooling performance. Heatpipes pass through them but are not visible from the top. The cooler also features a brushed aluminium top plate, with a sort of pearl ascent paint finish.



    In some light, it came across a little blue, and in others a little more pinky purple. It's a very subtle finish which was actually really hard to capture on camera. The hole in the middle will be used for installation with the supplied screwdriver.



    The fans mounting is also well thought out. The series fan carries decoupling rubbers with which it makes contact with the heat sink. The wire clips, which provide for the fixation of the fan, are also hooked in decoupling rubber, so that the fan frame at any point has a direct connection with the cooling tower.



    The Wingboost 3 from Alpenfohn achieves a speed range of over 400 rpm on the Brocken 3 Black Edition in the test system to almost 1,050 rpm.



    The manufacturer equips the fans with the well-known plus function: The plug has a Y-switch, so that two fans can be supplied with power and regulated via a PWM connection if required.



    The series fan comes from the new Wingboost 3 generation and combines steep fan blades with a counter-oriented stator in the fan frame. With this, Alpenfohn wants to optimize the performance of the fan, because it ensures a particularly directed air flow.



    Five pieces of 6mm nickel-plated copper heat pipes are clearly visible. The main attraction here is the asymmetrical base design. The shifted base forces heatpipes to be twisted and the result is 100% RAM compatibility.



    The mounting bracket, fixes the processor cooler on the CPU, held on a screw on the radiator. This makes the installation more comfortable, because this bridge can now no longer slip off the radiator and disappear into the depths of the PC housing. And here is the contact plate, its been made by sanding down the heat pipes into a flat surface so that the pipes have maximum contact with the CPU. This will increase the effectiveness as the pipes will be able to dissipate the heat easier through the pipes.




    Installation Process

    The asymmetric design is pretty intriguing when it comes to how the cooler will mount. As with most coolers, this starts with the backplate. Setting this up is pretty easy, the side of the backplate that touches your motherboard is dependent on whether you are mounting for Intel or AMD, but once you have it oriented correctly, you just need to pass four long screws through the backplate, and secure them with the four included plastic clips.



    The mounting frame is mounted using knurled screws. If the mounting frame is firmly screwed, the heat-conducting paste can be applied and the protective film removed from the base plate.



    Now only the CPU cooler has to be fixed with two screws. The fans has to be fixed and after connecting the fans cable to the fan header on the mainboard the CPU cooler is ready for use.




    Installed - Memory Clearance

    So there are no limitations for memory with high heat spreaders. Owners of LGA2011 systems with left-side RAM should check the compatibility. According to our measurements there are about 45mm space available for the main memory.




    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Processor: Intel Core i7 4770k @ 3.7 GHz & 4.3 GHz OC
    Motherboard:MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
    Memory: 16GB Mushkin
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Chassis: DimasTech Bench/Test Table EasyXL
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda




    Software:

    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime95 v27.1

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
    The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
    Idle temperatures are obtained after booting the PC and idling on the desktop for 30 minutes.
    Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime95′s Small FTTs test for 15 minutes.
    To measure noise levels i disable the two front in-take fans, rear exhaust and GPU fan.
    On the following pages you'll have the opportunity to read what Brocken 3 Black Edition is capable of.



    Results - Temperature

    As you can see, the Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition is a very competent air cooler. When our CPU was left at stock clocks, it came fourth in that test - just 4C degrees shy of first place.



    Once we applied the CPU overclock, it was slightly bettered by the Noctua NH-D15, but still provides very strong performance for an air cooler, comfortably beating the Noctua NH-U14S.




    Results - Noise Level

    As we mentioned, the fans were set to receive only 7.5V for Low RPM level of testing, and spinning at 400 RPM, they delivered 34 dB of noise. Most of that is in the fan hub, as there is a slight hum that can be heard up close, but from a foot away, or with a case door in the way, you will be hard pressed to hear this over a PSU or video card idling. Even once we pushed 12V through the 140mm fans, we found the noise level to be just audible from a foot away, and again it is more of a mechanical hum that is audible rather than fan blade "whoosh" that most fans deliver.




    Conclusion

    The Brocken 3 Black Edition cooler's looks is very stunning. By coating the tower on the Brocken 3 Black Edition, and using black fans, the cooler keeps a professional look to it. The Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition is certainly one of the top air coolers on the market today. In terms of overall performance, it just ever so slightly edges out the Noctua NH-U14S, but can't quite overcome the Noctua NH-D15. To put that into perspective: the difference ends up being 2C in the overclocked FPU load test with the Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition at 65C and the Noctua NH-D15 hitting 63C. Where the Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition makes up a bit of ground is noise. The Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition being just 1 dBA louder than the NH-D15. At this point, it is basically down to splitting hairs when it comes to performance and noise levels. The fan mounting system is simple and effective and because Alpenfohn Wing Boost 3 fans come pre-fitted with anti-vibration rubbers you don't have to worry about vibrations at all. Alpenfohn paired the cooler with its tried RockMount2 mounting system, ensuring firm contact between the cooler and the CPU surface. Furthermore the cooler sports clearance for big DIMM module, which allows you to install high-end DIMM modules. Credit to Alpenfohn for their packaging too, and the fact that all the tools you need to install your cooler are included, such as the screwdriver, thermal paste and more.



    If you want uncompromising performance from an air cooler with low noise levels, take a long, hard look at the Brocken 3 Black Edition from Alpenfohn. The weight and size is an obstacle but it is a given and is something known when you purchase the cooler. So with all these remarks, we will give Alpenfohn's Brocken 3 Black Edition cooler our Awesome award. The Alpenfohn Brocken 3 Black Edition can be found at retail for €60.

    Last edited by testman78; 06-06-2019 at 08:31 AM.

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