There’s a lot of argument on hardware forums all over the Web about the best air cooler for CPUs. A lot of votes, evidence and refutations, links to reviews and test results – you can find all of that there. More often than not such discussions degenerate into a flame war sooner or later.
But when you come to think of it, there is a different super-cooler for each of us that would meet our particular requirements and match the specific CPU, mainboard, system case, room temperature, etc. I guess there is currently no cooler that would satisfy each and every one of us. It is people who don’t or won’t understand this engage into this purposeless argument.
Yes, there is indeed a caste of super-coolers that differ from others in delivering high cooling efficiency at low noise, but there is generally very little difference between products within the super-cooler category. Replacing one super-cooler with another may help you achieve a higher CPU frequency growth, but not as much higher as to justify the cost of the upgrade.
As for the two heroes of this review, the new cooler from Zalman should be appreciated by owners of CPUs with not just high, but extremely high heat dissipation such as overclocked Pentium D (especially the early revisions of this CPU). I think installing the Zalman CNPS9700 on such processors can help you squeeze an extra 100-200MHz from them.
Talking about the Scythe Infinity, I think it would be better if the box with this cooler contained two fans or at least two fasteners for them. Overclockers would have got a leader among air coolers then.