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Scythe Mine CPU Cooler
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Scythe
Source: Scythe USA
Purchase: PriceGrabber
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 4 of 6 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
Scythe Mine CPU Cooler
June 20, 2006

Installation and Operation:

The first thing to consider with the installation is the interesting method of attaching the motherboard mounting brackets. Each side of the heatsink base has two notches and the various brackets have spring loaded clips that slide into the notches. You slide the bracket in, and a slight click tells you it is secure.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The above left image shows the notches in question, while the far side of the heatsink already has a mounting bracket for an LGA 775 motherboard in place. The above right image show both brackets in place, ready for some thermal paste and to be installed.

The test system for this review included the following components:

Intel Pentium D840 (3.2 GHz Dual-Core) CPU
ECS Elitegroup RC410L/800-M Pentium 4 mATX Motherboard
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB SATA 3 Gbps Hard Drive
Buslink DVD R/RW Optical Drive
OCZ 1GB (2x 512MB) Platinum XTC PC2 5400 DDR2 Memory
Allied AL-B500E 500 Watt Power Supply
CentOS Linux 4.3 x64

The image below provides an overview of the Scythe Mine in place on the system described above. Installation was extremely simple, as it only requires that pins be pressed through the motherboard, identical to the design of the stock Intel cooler.

Click Image For Larger View

Many heatpipe based coolers have this general fan arrangement, but there is one drawback I find with this design. When you have the fan mounted so that it blows down towards the processor you get a secondary effect of cooling other items, such as power regulators, the motherboard chipset, or system memory. Any extra cooling on these components is welcome, but in the configuration found on the Scythe Mine you just can't get any. It's not really the processor cooler's job to cool all of these other things, but being able to kill two birds (or three or four) with one stone is a nice bonus.

The Scythe Mine easily cleared all the features in the general vicinity of the processor, including capacitors, power regulators, the system memory, and the chipset cooler. The chipset cooler on this motherboard is taller than most on the market today, but please note that oversized chipset coolers may interfere with the Mine's fins. The Scythe Mine does extend into the chipset cooler's "air space", so a chipset cooler that was about a half inch taller would present a problem.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

With everything installed, the system was fired up and I was immediately impressed at how quiet it was. Actually, I may not have been impressed at first, as I was quite concerned that the fan wasn't spinning. I couldn't hear anything, and my hand placed near the cooler wasn't met with a rush of wind. I actually got a small LED flashlight and looked through the fins to make sure it was spinning. After confirming that it was functional I was then impressed and ready to move on to thermal testing.

The low speed fan (1500 RPM maximum) is definitely great for low noise operation, but at this point I was obviously concerned that the thermal performance would suffer. Many heatpipe coolers on the market include a fan speed controller to allow low speed operation, but they also let you crank it up for the times you need more air flow for better cooling.

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