UK price (as reviewed):£59.99 (inc VAT) US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable
It's been quite some time since we looked at an Alpenföhn cooler, with the Alpenföhn Matterhorn the last to pass through our labs, so we're more than a little intrigued to see what the company's flagship model, the K2 Mount Doom, has to offer.
With its twin tower design, the K2 bears a strong resemblance to other flagship coolers like the Noctua NH-D14 and the Phanteks PH-TC14PE. Consequently, it's absolutely massive and weighs in at 1.05kg before you've even added a fan to it.
The K2 sports a rather unique fin design. The inside edges of the fin towers have a jagged, shark teeth design that's identical on each fin. The outside edges, however, differ from fin to fin, with some more indented than others, creating a strange zig-zag effect that hurts you eyes if you look at it for too long. All of which is meant to increase heat transfer to from the fins to the air. Meanwhile, the fins are mostly sealed off along the sides of the cooler so as to guide air through them.
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Each of the eight U-shaped 6mm heat pipes are spread evenly across the base, rather than being stacked atop one another as with Gelid's GX-7, for example. The resulting baseplate is enormous, and will easily dwarf any of the CPU sockets it's compatible with, although this means some of the centre heat pipes may have to deal with somewhat more heat than those on the outer edges. The copper in the heat pipes and baseplate is all nickel plated, as is the aluminium used for the fins, which gives the cooler its rather snazzy consistent silver finish.
As is common practice for such coolers, two fans are supplied by default with the option to add a third if necessary. Alpenföhn provides a 120mm and a 140mm Wing Boost fan with the K2, with the larger of the two designed to sit in the middle of the towers. The fan frames are fully coated with rubber, removing the need to install any rubber strips onto the fins. The two fans also have nicely braided cables and are PWM compatible, and the smaller model's cable has a splitter built in so that both can be powered and controller by the same fan header. A 7V low noise adaptor is also provided, and this connects directly to your PSU and will run both fans at a constant low speed.
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While most coolers of this size are somewhat fiddly to install, we found the K2 to be particularly troublesome in this area. We made the mistake of attempting to do it inside our case, which made things all the more difficult. In particular, trying to attach the middle fan once the cooler is secured to the CPU is almost impossible thanks to the limited room between the heatsink and the chassis roof, which in turn makes manoeuvring the fan clips into place especially challenging. There's also a disappointingly small amount of thermal paste supplied.
Another minor issue we had when installing the cooler on our LGA2011 rig is to do with RAM clearance, of which there is little. We had to move the 120mm fan up slightly in order to accommodate our modules, which are not over-sized. Ultimately, as always with such a large cooler, checking to make sure you'll have room for it is a must.