Alpenfohn Panorama review

Home Theatre cooling on the cheap

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Alpenfohn panorama

It's a continual problem with low-profile coolers, and the Alphenfohn Panorama is no different, fitting them can be a pain.

Thankfully it does its best by providing wide-headed fixing screws that are easy to grasp while half-breaking your wrists fiddling around under the main cooler.

The rest of the socket-mounting kit, as is often the case, screws on to the side of the main cooling block. The fan comes pre-attached via vibration dampening rubber mounts.

Sadly though only a paltry single sachet of thermal paste is supplied rather than a more generous tube.

Once powered up the Alphenfohn Panorama doesn't disappoint in the noise department, with a managed fan and a more power-friendly processor it's going to operate relatively quietly.

Personally we've encountered lower-noise units before, the low-profile 100mm square, 15mm high fan has its limitations but it's certainly at the quieter end of the spectrum and would be acceptable for a HTPC and more than acceptable in a standard PC.

When it came to performance testing though the Alphenfohn Panorama did little to impress us, even considering its HTPC design we were expecting more from it than out test stock cooler.

Without any CPU load it did manage to maintain a three to four centigrade advantage, but underload this disappeared and taking into account the 1c ambient difference it was no better than our standard cooler.

Arguably though it doesn't have to be, all it needs to be is quiet and at that job it performs well enough.

We liked:

The Alphenfohn Panorama is a well designed, well engineered, easy to fit, low-profile cooler. It runs quietly enough will provide better or at least as-good-as cooling than a stock copper-core cooler but do so more quietly.

We disliked:

The cooling results were certainly not impressive, you wouldn't be buying this as a performance cooler but doing a no better job than a low-price stock cooler isn't what we'd expect either.

Final word:

A quiet, well-built HTPC cooler that doesn't impress with its cooling but does impress with its low-noise.