REVIEW: ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive with AMD Ryzen and Athlon APU’s

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ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive is the CPU cooler that we are presenting today in our review, a product designed specifically for AMD AM4 processors that consume less than 47W TPD. This block of black anodized aluminum has a large number of fins that offer us a large area of heat exchange, something basic in passive solutions. In our tests we will see how it is defended with the new APU AMD Athlon 200GE and with the powerful APU Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G. Let’s see what this heatsink offers us working with AMD APUs and to what extent it can be useful to us.

PRODUCT DETAILS

Specifications

ModelARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive
Basic SpecsMaterial: Black anodized aluminum
Compatible: AMD AM4
Maximum TDP: 47W
Measures: 3.9 x 3.9 x 2.75 inches (99 x 99 x 70 mm)
Weight: 1.2 lb (557 g)
Fan: None, fanless 0db
Contents: Heatsink / 4x bolts with springs / Washers / Manual
Check full specifications

Description

The ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive heatsink comes in a box with the mounting screws and its springs, in an aluminum block machined anodized in black with measures of 3.9 x 3.9 x 2.75 inches (99 x 99 x 70 mm) and weighs 1.2 lb (557 g), in the lower area has an area contact that comes with ARCTIC MX4 thermal paste applied. In the lower part we have four threads that serve to fix this block against the processor.

  • Case materials: Black anodized aluminum.
  • Compatible: Socket AMD AM4
  • Accessories: Heatsink / 4x screws with springs / Washers / Manual

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Testing hardware

In our tests on the ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive we will use all the APU available in the market, on the one hand the new APD AMD Athlon 200GE and on the other the powerful with the powerful APU Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G that we have already seen in their respective reviews with active ventilation. The motherboard and the RAM memories are the same ones that we used before, so the results are going to focus only on the thermal aspect.

To assemble the set we have opted for the following elements:

ComponenteReferenciaPrecio
Processor 1Ryzen 5 2400G$162
Processor 2Ryzen 3 2200G$105
Processor 3Athlon 200GE$60
MotherboardMSI B350I PRO AC$120
RAMGSkill Flare X DDR4 3200MHz – 16GB (8 GB x2)$264
PSUSilverStone SX650-G – 650 W$135
StorageSamsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB$120

Assembly

The assembly of the ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive is very simple, first we dismount the basic anchor system of the AM4, then paste the vinyl washers on the bottom of the base plate in each hole. We mount one of the springs in each screw and we press one by one, each time a little each of the screws in a clockwise direction to distribute the compression effort. At the end as we see the heatsink occupies much of the plate but we have no problems with the installed components.

HARDWARE TESTS

Processors

The ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive processor is designed for processors with a TDP of 47 W, as we see in the detail of the AMD APU the desktop models AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G has a variable consumption between 45-65 W cTPD what surpasses the capacity of this heatsink, the model AMD Athlon 200GE if that fits well since it remains in only 35 W TPD.

Athlon 200GERyzen 5 2400GRyzen 3 2200G
CPU architectureZen 14nm+ FinFETZen 14nm+ FinFETZen 14nm+ FinFET
SocketAM4AM4AM4
FanBasicWraith StealthWraith Stealth
Cores / Threads2 / 44 / 84 / 4
Base clock (GHz)3.23.53.6
Max. (GHz)3.93.7
GPURadeon Vega 3Radeon RX Vega 11Radeon Vega 8
Stream Processors192704512
GPU Max. (MHz)100012501100
L2/L3 Cache (MB)566
RAM GHzDDR4-2677DDR4-2933DDR4-2933
RAM ChannelsDual ChannelDual ChannelDual Channel
TDP35 W65 W65 W
cTDP (Watts)45-65 W45-65 W
Price60$ aprox.$161 aprox.$105 aprox.

Electric consumption

Before seeing the ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive tests we will see the consumption figures that the equipment we have analyzed with the AMD APUs can have in their assembly. These figures are indicative since they include all the hardware and not only the processor, but we can clearly see the difference between the powerful Ryzen desktop models and the new AMD Athlon.

Temperature

We perform several types of tests comparing the ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive heatsink in the AMD APUs with the standard fan and the passive mode heat sink. As we see the temperature difference is substantial, especially we notice a temperature increase when we run some game and starts using the GPU with the GPU at high speeds.

  • Measuring temperature: 24ºC.

In the tests with the APU Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G we can see how we got to 96ºC at full work for example playing the Fornite, this figure is not recommended to keep it for a long time so this heatsink is not suitable for these APU. If we only use a the PC for a desktop apps as we see the temperatures are acceptable because we have lower consumption. The results are logical because, as indicated by its specifications, it is only designed for processors up to 47W TPD and these APU reach up to 65 W TPD.

We perform tests with the APU AMD Athlon 200GE that fits well with this heatsink since it has a consumption of 35 W TDP and as we have seen the heatsink is designed for 47 W TDP. Doing a session of Fortnite the temperature of the APU reaches up to 74º C which can be work with this cooling system, in a desk use the temperatures are perfectly acceptable. As we see in general if we could use this heatsink in a general use in all areas with this processor.

CONCLUSIONS

As we have seen in our review for the ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive is a suitable solution if we need absolute silence, if we have a processor within the design range at 47 W TPD. The assembly is simple and as we see the concept has no mystery, the price is adequate for what it offers, we must take into account the volume it occupies but should be compatible with any configuration or RAM.

In general, as we can see, the ARCTIC Alpine AM4 Passive can be an interesting option if we place it in a box with a lot of ventilation and where silence prevails, it is necessary to evaluate as a alternative use a small semi-passive or classic fan if we are going to play a lot since the temperatures in demanding scenarios will be substantially better. In summary, if we are looking at a product as a efficient passive solution at a reasonable price this can be a good solution.

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Philipe Maciel

It would be interesting to see how the Alpine cooler would fare with the 2200G and 2400G dialed back to 45W TDP, using TDP. Would it be possible to add this to the test?

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