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Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
Posted: August 15, 2006
Supplied by: Scythe USA
Price: About $45
A Damn Big Heatsink and Fan
The Scythe Mine Cooler was shipped directly to my house from its United States branch (Scythe is based out of Japan). The cooler came in a box that was barely big enough to contain its massive heatsinks and fan which was tucked neatly into a plain cardboard box for shipping.
Upon a first glance, I noticed the retail packaging looked like a lot of packages I have seen from Japan. It looked like it was designed with clipart and was covered with Japanese characters. Much of the text was listed with Japanese up top, above English. The usual details cluttered the box with warranty/support information and a list of features. Knowing that with overclocking and cooling equipment, you should never judge a book by its cover, I hurriedly ripped open the box to inspect the contents.
The box is not very padded and looks like it belongs in an Anime store at the mall. Thankfully the cardboard and plastic are thick and the heatsink is relatively durable. Under the heatsink sits a small white box that contains the basic accessories: a black and white installation manual, some thermal paste, and the clips necessary to mount the unit onto various CPU sockets: AMD 754 (Semprons and Athlons 64s up to 4000+), 939 (newer Semprons, Athlons, and Opterons), and 940 (FX, Opterons); Intel LGA775 (Celeron, Pentium IV, D, through Core 2 Duo) and 478 (older Pentium IVs and Celerons). These clips are built of lightweight aluminum. The 939-pin clips have a center-mounted spring and are particularly interesting looking.
The Mine Cooler's approach is simple but effective and holds high the 'bigger is better' mentality. Heat is transferred from the CPU to the Mine Cooler's copper contact plate then on either side, three copper tubes serve as heatpipes. The heatpipes have noticeable pressed bends and acorn style hex end-caps, which in my opinion look rather cheap. There are stacks of zig-zagged aluminum fins on each side of the plate that act as a heatsink and look like a Vegas casino. These fins feel especially flimsy because there is no support on the edges, which from the design of this unit is to be expected (if not preferred) to additionally dissipate the heat. Immediately above the copper contact plate and heatpipes is another aluminum heatsink that resembles an alien ship from Galaga. This heatsink also holds the fan in place.
The fan is a 100mm SY1025SL12M. It puts out 42.69 CFM at 1500 RPM @ 22 decibels and uses a sleeve bearing rather than a typically quieter and longer lasting ball bearing. However, this fan is quieter than many fans because it runs slower and moves less air. This is the middle ground 100mm fan Scythe sells; the others run at 1000 and 2000 RPMs and put out 28.2 CFM @ 14 decibels and 58 CFM @ 30.68 decibels, respectively. If the 100mm fan is not enough, you can put up to a 140mm fan of your choice in this slot by loosening two small Philips-head screws that run through the Galaga-sink. It connects to power with a 3-pin 12-volt motherboard connector.
The whole Mine Cooler stands proudly at 109x105x150mm (think of a CD jewel case, cubed, but a bit taller). My first thought upon seeing this girth was, "I don't think it will it fit in my Antec P180 case."