Product Review: Arctic Alpine M1

Product Review: Arctic Alpine M1

The Artic Alpine M1 cooler is designed to enabled quiet computing on AMD’s AM1 platform. At around $10 USD, is it worth your money? I purchased one for my home server a while back and this article will detail my experience so far.

If you run an AM1 platform you probably know that the stock fan is rather noisy. If you have done any research, aftermarket coolers for the AM1 socket are pretty slim. This CPU cooler by Arctic is one of the cheapest non-passive solutions available. There is a passive solid aluminum block you can buy but as this will be for my home server that requires stability, I didn’t want to risk the CPU not being able to be cooled without any fans.

Unboxing and Installation

You can check out my video below that shows you what you get in the box and how to install it. It’s pretty basic and comes with everything you need (except any cleaning compound if you are replacing stock instead of using this as your initial install).

As shown in the video, the heat sink comes with pre-applied thermal compound(MX-2) and it’s required mounting hardware. It’s very easy to install by just applying the two sticky grommets to the back of your motherboard then putting the springs and pins through and attaching the cooler. Simple and effective.

So, how does it perform? Very well. Doubling the stock fan size to a full 80mm greatly decreased the noise as well as its low RPM fan. Finally my server was cool and quiet.

Quality

This is a pretty basic item so there isn’t any major points of failure for quality. The block is solid aluminum and the fan is made of the same sturdy plastic of your common OEM fans. It mounts using beautifully reflective (steel?) metal screws. The rubber stoppers are 3M brand and feel thick enough to actually protect your motherboard so all is well and I feel this cooler will last just as long as any other out there.

Caveats

I did have one issue with this fan. On my MSi AM1 motherboard I found that the low RPM fan would not spin up using the CPU fan header. This may be an issue with my specific motherboard or perhaps this brand/model. My motherboard actually won’t spin any of my low RPM fans and I did try a replacement and had the same issue so clearly it’s something with my motherboard. I found that it did spin up standard RPM fans just fine so I swapped one of the case fans with the CPU fan so the case fan is driven by the CPU and the CPU is 100% from the non-pwm power adapter.

Verdict

It works, it’s cheap and most of all it quiets the obnoxious sound of the stock set up. This is what AMD should have provided in the box. I fully recommend getting this to quiet your AM1 platform. Mine has enabled me to set and forget my server.

 

If you would like to pick one up for yourself, you can find its product page on Amazon here: Amazon – Arctic Alpine M1 Cooling Fan

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