Articles: Cooling

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The new universal fastening system (Versatile Tool-Free Multiplatform System) can also be viewed in this photograph (for more detail on this fastening system see our article called Roundup: Seven High-Performance Coolers for AMD and Intel Processors).

The standard 10cm fan can be replaced with another fan with a diameter from 6 to 14cm. You only need to unfasten the two screws in the bottom part of the cooler. There is only one reservation: the width of the fan must be 25 millimeters. Thus, the Scythe Mine offers you the choice between silence (if you put in a quiet 6cm fan) and efficiency (a 12-14cm fan), but you have to purchase the fan separately in either case.

The cooler’s base is protected against scratches and damage with a strip of polyethylene film:

The cooler’s base is perfectly finished:

You can see the thermal paste and the camera as well as the window frame and clouds reflected in the cooler’s base.

No matter how well finished it is, the base of the Scythe Mine seems too thin to me at only 2mm. This may not be enough for efficient transfer of heat from the CPU heat-spreader to the heat pipes. This relatively thin copper plate with high thermal conductivity will quickly take heat off the CPU but will have nothing to distribute this heat in. The aluminum fastening/heatsink in the bottom part of the cooler contacts with the plate mostly through the heat pipes. Moreover, the pipes just lie on the copper plate, i.e. contact with it with their bottom part only. This fact, and the results of the tests, suggests that the cooler may be improved by increasing the number of heat pipes’ ends in its base and by making the base thicker.

The Scythe Mine’s standard 100mm fan is manufactured in China and rotates at 1500rpm. It consumes about 1.44 watts of power (12V x 0.12A).

Frankly speaking, I was expecting to find the silent version of the fan on Sony’s bearings, but I was wrong. Anyway, the fan is very, very quiet and the Advanced Wave Stack Fin technology implemented in the Scythe Mine makes it an almost silent cooler.

The cooler package contains the following:

  • A couple of clips with locks to install the cooler on LGA775
  • Two steel clips to install the cooler on Socket 478
  • Two spring-loaded clips to mount the cooler on Socket 754/939/940
  • Cable to connect the cooler’s fan directly to the power supply unit
  • Installation guide
  • A pack of silicone-based thermal paste from an unidentified maker

Like the Zalman CNPS8000, the Scythe Mine is not compatible with Socket A (462), but contrary to the Zalman, supports Socket 478. I also don’t think there should be any problems with mounting the Scythe Mine on Socket AM2.

There’s not much sense in describing the installation procedure considering the simplicity of the Versatile Tool-Free Multiplatform System implemented in this cooler. You don’t need any tools, just your own hands. I found it not very convenient to install and uninstall the Scythe Mine on an LGA775 mainboard inside the system case because it was not handy to press on the clips and turn them. The heatsink’s ribs are located too close and there’s just too little room for your hands. It’s all much simpler if you take the mainboard out and then mount the cooler.

So, this is the end of the descriptive part of this review. I guess you’ve got some general notion about the new coolers from Zalman and Scythe, now you may want to have a look at the specifications of the coolers to be tested.

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