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ARCTIC Alpine 11 Plus CPU Cooler - Intel, Supports Multiple Sockets, 92mm PWM Fan at 23dBA
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

3 out of 5 eggs Socket 775: Get the Intel Stock Instead 12/27/2014

This review is from: ARCTIC Alpine 11 Plus CPU Cooler - Intel, Supports Multiple Sockets, 92mm PWM Fan at 23dBA

Pros: Cheap price; can handle hot CPU's

Cons: What a pain this thing was to install (for me, a Socket 775). Since it's made to fit a few sockets, it won't fit any one well. It requires two mounting rails, and each rail requires 2 sets of insertion pin+holding pins. Then, once that's in place, you can screw the heat sink onto this assembly. The heat sink never would fit snugly onto the mounting hardware, even after bending, pushing, pulling, and screw-driving.

This thing's not as quiet as the reviewers say. It makes a medium-to-high pitched whine. After replacing it with a new Intel stock fan, the Intel fan was a bit quieter.

Other Thoughts: For Socket 775 replacement, unless you need a lot of cooling, get an Intel fan. Costs about the same, and the Intel is so much easier to mount, and takes up way less room.

Antec ISK 110 VESA Black ABS plastic / 0.8 mm SECC Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 90W External Adapter, Up to 92% Efficiency Power Supply
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: I traded in an Antek ISK310 for my 2nd ISK110. There is but one fan, the CPU fan, instead of 3 (2 actually...I'd disabled the 310's case fan). The case design is efficient and well thought out. The airflow from the single CPU fan draws air from a generous perforated panel out through two side panels, cooling not only the CPU but the mboard. The cable lengths are just the right length. The fit is tight but not unbearable.

The 90W power supply may seem underpowered, but it's not. I'm powering a Core i3 4130T in my Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI mboard. And I power two 2.5" hard drives (one a 256G SSD, the other a backup 512G mechanical), a pair of USB-powered speakers (Acoustix 2.0 USB DIGI 4330200), a Logitech web cam, an Asus SDRW08D2S-U USB external slim CD/DVD drive. And throw in a USB mouse and my must-have LiteOn SK-1788 PS/2 keyboard. All that powered off a 90W supply: don't believe the naysayers!

This case is small, light, will mount on the back of a monitor or stand by itself. The 90W power supply is about the largest laptop-like power supply you can get, and as such has no fan.

The two 2.5" drives are easy to access; one has only to remove the back panel and they're readily exposed. The power supply dongle has the two SATA power adapters needed for the two 2.5" drives the case can take, and the length of these adapters is just right--not too short, but no extra slack either. The power supply circuit board allows overflow room for cable runs and for air circulation.

A well thought-out case. I only wish the Antec engineers who designed this were here for me to shake their hands and congratulate them personally.

Cons: Needs USB 3.0 front-panel ports, at least on 2 of the 4. There're 4 USB 2.0 front ports, but my mboard can only use 2 of them.

Other Thoughts: Better than the ISK310, although the power supply limits you to a 35W CPU, of which there's presently only one retail version available, the Haswell Core i3 4130T. Intel's desktop offerings, while they appear numerous, in reality lack variety in certain corner-cases. Specifically, there's only one 35W retail Haswell desktop on the market. The other 35W Haswell CPU's are sold to OEM's only. There are no low-power retail Core i5 and Core i7 CPU's for the system builder to select from. Unfortunately, this limits the options of those who wish to build a Haswell-based system using this wonderful case.

Intel Core i3-4130T Haswell Dual-Core 2.9GHz LGA 1150 35W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4400 BX80646I34130T
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Oh, Intel, it has taken years of being pummeled by ARM-based hand-helds for your marketing geniuses to tell your engineers to make this chip. But all is forgiven! Bundling a desktop CPU with a graphics processor, all at a low power is just what I need for my laptop-replacement desktop.

Unlike laptops, where you plug them into a remote monitor and you can't get max resolution, or something weird happens to the display, when I plugged this into my old Hann 1680x1020 it went to max res. And it would've gone higher.

Cons: I wish Intel would package a better CPU fan with their processors. I can hear the bearings creak on this one--loudest part of my new system.

Other Thoughts: See my Gigabyte GZ-2SL3BI Mini-ITX case review for config.

Nice thing about this chip is that you save money on low-end desktop systems by not having to buy a graphics card. Saves space too. Allows for small power supplies. I can build a system for the same cost as an all-in-one. Can't find port replicators for low-end laptops, and they don't have the port options as a desktop, or number of SATA, etc. This processor opens back up the low-end system builder's market. Building a low-end system based on this chip means that the motherboard manufacturer and you use the same h/w platform. So does everybody else. This means that your config of drivers is being shared by everyone else, so unique-system problems are eliminated.

Remember--when you get a chip with an embedded graphics, like this, you are not only buying the chip but you're getting Intel's graphics package, including the driver. Intel drivers tend to have less bugs than other graphics drivers. Problems where the system crashes going into/coming out of standby are most likely graphics driver-related, so your choice of graphics drivers plays a large role in your system stability.


Bernard W.'s Profile

Display Name: Bernard W.

Date Joined: 09/11/06

  • Reviews: 10
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 02/01/08
  • Last Review: 12/27/14
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