If you are on the look out for a budget CPU cooler, this newer version of the Ben Nevis from Alpenföhn is a good option alongside our recently reviewed budget king the, Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB.
This marks the 3rd iteration per say of this CPU cooler from Alpenföhn since the “Advanced” superseded the regular Ben Nevis in all areas. Now the final version is this “Black RGB”, which we are reviewing today. It brings, as per the name implies, an all black paint job and LED lighting with RGB functionality and various effect modes.
First about Alpenföhn:
Alpenföhn is a company which manufacturers cooling components for IT systems, which started its activity in 2008. The Alpenföhn line includes CPU coolers, fans and accessories which include: thermal compound, storage cooling systems and fan mounting systems.
The Alpenföhn brand was created by the company EKL AG, founded in 1995, it is a company specialized in manufacturing industrial cooling solutions.
Prices and Availability
Presentation and Specification
* Courtesy of their website
The Ben Nevis Advanced is a more powerful version of the normal Ben Nevis cooler in every respect – now in a new Black Edition and with chic RGB lighting. The heat exchanger has been extended with more fins and an additional heatpipe, which significantly improves the cooling performance. The larger and more powerful fan also reduces noise emissions.
The four 6 millimetre thick copper heatpipes are now in direct contact with the CPU, absorbing the heat directly from the processor and then transferring it directly to the countless aluminium fins. This process ensures superb cooling with conventional heat-conducting paste. The asymmetrical design allows all RAM slots to be fully loaded.
The pre-installed 130 mm fan, with PWM functionality, provides a strong air flow of 95,4 m³/h for a fast and efficient dissipation of waste hate. Despite its fast and efficient 150 Watt TDP cooling, the fan is astonishingly quiet due to its conical design and performs at a max volume of 25,8 dB(A) when spinning at a maximum of 1.500 RPM.
With the help of the Shock KILLER POLE the system is also better positioned to absorb sudden movements or while the CPU cooler is being shipped in the system. Furthermore the Shock KILLER POLE also offers more stability to prevent bending of the aluminium fins.
The packaging makes sure that you know that this CPU cooler has RGB functionality from its multicoloured background with a visual depiction of the product placed in the middle.
The back provides all of the main specs and features.
The remaining sides continue the list of highlights like reinforced structure and overall dimensions.
Here is the all black new version which measures 130 x 159 x 74 mm (W x H x D) and weighs 620g including the fan.
The 130 mm RGB PWM fan is attached via metal clips and we notice that the Ben Nevis comes with the stock AMD AM4 retention clip-on kit.
We have 4 main 6 mm thick cooper heatpipes that form the so-called Heatpipe Direct Touch technology (H.D.T.), basically they are in direct contact with the CPU’s heatspreader, which allegedly significantly improves heat transfer.
We count 49 aluminium fins that are reinforced structurally not only by the heatpipes but also by the middle “shock killer pole” which you can see it better from this angle.
The top has a minimalist finish with matching all black heatpipe caps.
Taking of the fan, we notice that the heatsink has a slight offset which will improve RAM compatibility meaning the fan will not touch even the tallest heatpsreader RAM.
The included accessories are as follows:
1x Instruction manual
1x Thermal paste
1x Intel multi socket kit
1x Molex powered remote for motherboards without 12v RGB header
1x 4-way 12v RGB splitter
As for the RGB fan, it is rated up to 1500 RPM at a max of 25.8 dB(A) of noise output, can push up to 94 m3/h of airflow and runs on hydraulic bearings.
Well, since we are using the AM4 socket from AMD, this will be a very quick and short presentation since the only thing you have to do is secure the cooler to the motherboard using the stock AM4 brackets.
To make things even more interesting, as you can see, we are using an ITX board where space is a premium so that means we will have a lot of components crammed in next to each other thus a perfect test for any CPU cooler. So here it is installed and that is an extremely tall RAM memory stick next to a low profile one.
As you can see, thanks to that offset design, there is no problem what so ever.
Here is everything installed and ready to fire up.
As for the RGB, as you would expect you can control it via the motherboard software or if not you can do it with manually with the included remote.
But I must point out that it’s a bit weird how they decided to implement this. Because you have to install the 4 way spliter even if you don’t plan to use the remote. Their argument is that you can attach extra RGB strips or RGB fans but I find this a further complication since it clutters the WM unnecessarily. The stock fan should have had its own RGB strip connector and then make the spliter optional.
- The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 CPU will be tested at stock settings and then overclocked at 3.70 GHz for 1.325v
- As the main torture test, we will employ a 2 minute run in AIDA64
- Room temperature was recorded at ~ 23°C
- For the noise testing, we used our Pyle PSPL01 placed 30 cm away from the setup – all other fans will will be off or set at minimum RPM
- Thermal paste used – Noctua NH-H2
- We will compare the results to other CPU air coolers close to its price/performance bracket
- All CPU fans will be left on the ‘standard’ auto % rpm curve to simulate real life usage patterns and the side panel is removed and the case fans are off
- Any results over 90° C in any condition are considered a fail
– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 AM4 – 8c/16t @ 65W TDP
– RAM 8GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000 MHz CL15
– Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX B350-i Gaming mITX
– Boot SSD: Crucial P2 500GB NVMe QLC
– Storage SSD: Team Group DELTA MAX RGB 500 GB SATA TLC
– Video card(s): ASUS GTX 1080 STRIX A8G
– PSU: Corsair SF750 SFX Platinum
– Case: Sahara P35 Tempered Glass Mid Tower PC Gaming Case
– Case fans 140 mm: Noiseblocker eLoop X-Series ARGB Black PWM – B14X-P 1500 RPM
– Case fans 120 mm: Noiseblocker eLoop X-Series ARGB Black PWM – B12X-P-BL 2000 RPM
– OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1909
– GPU Drivers: NVIDIA GeForce WHQL 452.06
– Core Temp v1.16 – To see the temperatures in real time
– CPU-Z v1.92 – To verify the CPU’s statistics
– AIDA64 Extreme v6.230 – Another popular total system stability test
– Cinebench R15 – Popular CPU benchmark
– Cinebench R20 – The new revised version optimised for the newer multi-core CPUs
– MSI Afterburner v4.62 – To record the FPS and load/temperatures
Resolution for our test game Desperados 3, is set at 1920×1080 with everything cranked to the maximum quality settings.
Testing, Results & Analysis
Let’s start in order of CPU load difficulty. First up is the Cinebench R15 test. On the left we have the CPU in stock form while on the right we have it overclocked. So far the Ben Nevis scores a win since it beats the BeQuiet! Slim which is double the price.
The Cinebench R20 is a more modern up to date multi core benchmark suite. Naturally we will see a bigger load on the CPU and thus a larger temperature figure than the R15. We have similar results and still the Ben Nevis maintains a small lead over the BeQuiet! competitor.
In AIDA64 we isolated the stress test just for the CPU therefore we should get the highest stress scenario for the CPU. Mind you the R20 proves to be almost as demanding as the stress test so the numbers are very close. The BeQuiet! slightly takes back the lead.
We try the new Desperados 3 game which apparently likes to use multi-threaded CPUs so this will be an excellent test.
Now let’s inspect the noise levels. The Ben Nevis is fairly quite overall but it’s very hard to beat the Noctua and BeQuiet! series here.
This new revision from Alpenfohen for their Ben Nevis, which is a single tower heatsink CPU cooler, is a win because it does the job across the board. Having a TDP rating of 150W we clearly see that it can handle even an overclocked scenario. The RGB and all custom black paint are even more welcomed and all of this for just $30, we can clearly state that the Ben Nevis Advanced Black RGB truly is a bargain.
+ Good cooling results
+ Great value for money
+ Zero RAM interference
+ RGB functionality even with older boards
– Weird implementation regarding the RGB controls with extra wire clutter