|Scythe Mine CPU Cooler
If you want near silent cooling for your high end processor, the Scythe Mine CPU Cooler should definitely be on your short list of options. It didn't provide the most extreme cooling of all the heatsinks used during testing, but it did manage to keep a hot dual core Pentium processor at a safe operating temperature, even when both cores were loaded to 100% for a period of 24 hours straight.
What the Mine may lack in extreme cooling potential is easily compensated for in other areas...
The first being the absolutely simple installation. Scythe has used the same twist and lock pins on their LGA 775 mounting bracket as found on the stock Intel cooler. This means you can install (or remove) the cooler in a matter of seconds without having to remove your motherboard. So many high end coolers require you to access the back side of your motherboard that it seems to be the norm, but I still find it to be a tedious, unwelcome process.
The next big positive for the Scythe Mine is the near silent operation. It was so quiet that I initially thought it may not have been working, but the blades were indeed spinning. It was the quietest of the four coolers tested in this review, and if you have room in your HTPC case, this may be the cooler for you. In addition to the 1500 RPM fan generating just about zero noise, the unique design for the fan mount should help reduce vibration and noise too.
While the Mine managed to keep an Intel D-840 seven degrees cooler than the stock Intel cooler, it wasn't the best overall when it came to all out cooling power. While it did well, coolers that threw a bit more airflow at the job did better, even if it was at the expense of silence. The single speed fan on the Mine may make installation simple, but having a fan capable of higher speeds coupled with a fan speed controller might be nice. The Mine would surely be capable of really great things if you were able to increase the fan speed when noise wasn't as high of a concern.
One other issue is that the midship mounted fan on the Mine is not a standard size. The 100mm x 100m x 25mm size is in between the two common sizes (92mm and 120mm) and could prove difficult to replace or upgrade, if you want to maintain the original configuration of the cooler. That said, the unique mounting of the fan means that you may be able to clamp any 25mm thick fan into the Mine, and could probably upgrade to a 120mm fan with more airflow (if you should so desire).
A search of PriceGrabber shows that the Scythe Mine can compete with some of the big guns on price, too. With a price tag of about $40 (US), the Mine actually costs less than many heatpipe coolers, including some included in this review.
Given the overall performance, extremely low noise output, simple installation, and competitive price, it is easy to recommend the Scythe Mine CPU Cooler to anyone. That said, I give it the Bigbruin.com "Recommended" award, as well as a new one, the "Whisper Quiet" award.
» Extremely low noise
» Decent (not extreme) cooling performance
» Extremely simple installation
» Universal compatibility, now including AMD AM2 processors
» Fan mount reduces vibration and noise
» No secondary cooling for motherboard components
» Odd sized fan (100mm) may be difficult to replace
» Single speed fan / no fan speed controller
» Fins might interfere with larger chipset coolers
Special thanks to Scythe USA for providing the Scythe Mine CPU Cooler to Bigbruin.com for review!
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