I brought this cooler in Sept 08 as a drop in replacement for the stock AMD cooler supplied with a new AMD Athlon X2 5000+ (Brisbane core) CPU, itself replacing a single core 3500+ installed on my Asus M2N PV-VM motherboard. I choose this cooler because:
(1) The stock AMD cooler while quiet at idle would ramp up in noise as soon as the CPU got active so as a quiet PC lover it had to go!
(2) Working hard say video encoding I was seeing temps of over 60 degrees C with the stock cooler which I felt was poor despite it running like a whirling dervish!
(3) I have used other arctic cooling products in the past and been happy with them (a VGA cooler, fans and a Pentium 4 cooler)
(4) On the basis of positive reviews re the products quietness in operation (this been more important to me than stellar cooling performance).
(5) Because it was inexpensive to buy (just £12.87 + p&p from the online retailer Scan).
The Arctic cooler positively dwarfed the stock AMD cooler but I encountered no issues fitting it in my case helped by a simple and straightforward instruction sheet. The cooler came with cooling paste pre-applied to its base which saved a little time (as well as money).
With fitting completed I fired up the PC. The fan spins briefly and audibly at full speed (2200 rpm) at boot and then its noise drops to the point where it is typically inaudible from its position in the case under my desk. The reason for this is because it is a PWM (pulse width modulation) fan and so its speed (and therefore noise) can be controlled by my PC's motherboard. Note however that not all boards support PWM (though most modern boards will) in which case you'd need to use a utility such as Speedfan to preform this task for you.
Additionally I have cool 'n' quiet enabled which basically under clocks the CPU down to 1 Ghz (from 2.6 Ghz for the 5000+) when the CPU is carrying out processor light tasks such as writing this review for example! Switching almost instantly to full power if the task demands it. This also helps ensure quiet operation since the cooler has much less heat to dissipate.
Typically I find it spins at an 1000 rpm or lower carrying out light desktop tasks spinning up to around 1600 rpm when working hard. The RPM's you'll get in your own case been dependent on overall airflow, proximity to other hot running components and whether you have cool 'n' quiet enabled.
Temperature wise again at idle or doing light work it keeps my CPU in the mid to low 20's degrees C rising to a max of 48-50 degrees C when working hard (playing a game, video encoding and so on). However even working hard at 1600 rpm I'm still pushed to hear it. Same caveats as above applying re your own PC setup.
In summary then I rate this cooler very highly. It is easy to fit, very quiet, cools more than adequately and is backed by a 6 yrs manufacturers warranty. Whats not to like?