Skip to main content

Arctic Makes A Passive Cooler For AM4 APUs

Arctic revealed a passive heatsink for low-powered AM4 processors like AMD's low-powered Ryzen GE processors and the Bristol Ridge APU lineup. The new Alpine AM4 Passive heatsink is a silent cooler for low-wattage AM4 processors that can dissipate up to 47W of heat in a tower case with good airflow--although you probably shouldn't push the cooler to that limit, because it’s meant for processors with TDP ratings of 35W or less.

The Alpine AM4 Passive heatsink features a black anodized surface, which helps to improve passive cooling performance, as well as large aluminum fins that help dissipate heat from the processor. Arctic said that the coating creates imperfections in the surface, which increases heat exchange between the aluminum and the air around it.

The Alpine AM4 Passive cooler includes pre-applied Arctic MX-2 thermal compound to simplify installation. The cooler also includes a hassle-free mounting solution, which uses screws to secure the cooler directly to the AM4 mounting holes on the motherboard. Arctic said the mounting system is safe for transport.

Don’t expect the Alpine AM4 Passive to keep up with an active cooler, but it dissipates ample heat for low-end chips. Arctic tested an AMD APU A12 9800E under full load with both the Alpine AM4 Passive and AMD’s stock cooler. The AMD cooler kept the chip at 40 degrees, whereas the Alpine cooler ran hotter at 58 degrees, but it did so silently. You'll have to decide which you value more, cooling performance or noise levels.

The Alpine AM4 Passive looks like a great cooler for low-powered AM4 APUs, but there’s one significant drawback. Arctic’s website lists the cooler for $999, which is simply an outrageous price for a 99mm x 99mm x 70mm block of aluminum. We expect that price is a placeholder or an error, and we’ve reached out to Arctic for clarification.

Processor SupportFX 9830PFX 9800PA12-9730PA12-9700PA10-9630PA10-9600PRyzen 3 2200GERyzen 5 2400GE
Radeon GraphicsR7 GraphicsR7 GraphicsR7 GraphicsR7 GraphicsR5 GraphicsR5 GraphicsVega 8Vega 11
CPU Cores / Threads4 / 44 / 44 / 44 / 44 / 44 / 44 / 44 / 4
Max/Base CPU Frequency (GHz)3.7 / 3.03.6 / 2.73.5 / 2.83.4 / 2.53.3 / 2.63.3 / 2.43.7 / 3.23.8 / 3.2
Graphics Cores886666811
Process28nm28nm28nm28nm28nm28nm14nm14nm
DDR4 Dual Channel Memory Support2,400MHz2,400MHz2,400MHz2,400MHz2,400MHz2,400MHz2,933MHz2,933MHz
TDP35W15W35W15W35W15W35W35W
  • dudmont
    I suppose if it was made out of depleted uranium or some such material....
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    That looks much like a cheap heatsink from roughly a decade and a half ago. Minus the fan. I hope for their sake the MSRP is $9.99 (or less).
    Reply
  • bit_user
    It doesn't even have a copper base? I was sorta hoping for something like a vapor chamber...
    Reply
  • Olle P
    20994069 said:
    I suppose if it was made out of depleted uranium or some such material....
    Uranium is just heavy and no good for cooling.
    Pure silver on the other hand... but then the same size should weigh 2.17 kg (4.8 pounds).
    Copper isn't much lighter at 1.85 kg.
    I admit that a copper base, or even heat pipes, would be nice though.

    We'll see where the actual price end up. It's possible that they charge a lot because they expect to sell only few anyway and need to cover the development cost.

    The product page has at least one obvious error though:
    "No fan means no dust and no maintenance over time."If there's any dust in the case some of it will stick to the heatsink!
    Reply
  • haldunwiz
    Perhaps it made of unobtanium or vibranium
    Reply
  • saint_craig
    Since were talking about current processors that dissipate heat in the Pentium 3 realm Who the eff cares what it looks like.
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    20996785 said:
    Since were talking about current processors that dissipate heat in the Pentium 3 realm Who the eff cares what it looks like.
    It's not about "looks" in the manner you're implying. Nobody truly cares about what shape/color it is or whether it has bling. There's an article touting a new passive cooler for AM4, and then you click on it and go "Wow that brings back memories of coolers from my socket 7 days". It's an outdated, primitive, ultra cheap hunk of aluminum with poor cooling capability, and ultimately there's nothing interesting about it. It can only handle the lowest TDP desktop chips on the market today, and it can only keep them from throttling with the aid of good case cooling (fans).
    Reply
  • Olle P
    One can also compare this to its Socket 115x counterpart, the Alpine 12, which is slightly smaller but cost an additional €9,000...
    Reply
  • alextheblue
    21006490 said:
    One can also compare this to its Socket 115x counterpart, the Alpine 12, which is slightly smaller but cost an additional €9,000...
    Yikes Intel platform tax is one thing but that's a bit steeper than I was expecting! :P

    Also did you look at the cooling data on that page? I don't know whether to be more disappointed with the results of the Arctic Cooler or the stock Intel cooler (both tested with two 120mm unnamed PWM case fans installed).
    Reply
  • Olle P
    There are some serious suggestions that the prices shown are not the actual sale prices once these products become available.
    That seems reasonable given that the Alpine 11 can be found at about €15...
    Reply