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Scythe Mine CPU Cooler

Date: May 23, 2006
Author(s): Greg King

Heat is the enemy of any electronic component and most especially the CPU. If your CPU is overheating you won’t get the performance you should and if your cooler is screaming to relieve that heat you’ll wish there was a better way. Today we look at a cooler that offers good performance without mind numbing noise, the Scythe MINE.



Introduction

There are certain areas I tend to focus more on when it comes to my PC. One of these areas is cooling.

A hot PC benefits no one. It affects the performance of the PC and if left unchecked, overheating can decrease the life of the component itself. I don’t like heat and in saying that, neither should you.

There are ways to combat this problem however. Air cooling is the most simple, and for the most part, the cheapest way to keep your PC cool. When you purchase a processor, an aluminum heatsink is always included. While this approach will work, there are certainly better products out there. One such product is the Scythe MINE cooler. This cooler can be used for Intel and AMD processors alike on sockets 754, 939 and 940 for AMD and 478 and LGA 775 for Intel.

Scythe was founded in 2002 in Tokyo, Japan. In 2004, Scythe opened shop in the United States and has been in LA ever since. They focus on the do-it-yourself types and have done an admirable job thus far.

Now, on with the review!

The MINE cooler came in a colorful box labeled in both English and Japanese. The box is informative and to the point.

There you have the box. Let’s see what it looks like out of the box.

My first impressions were basically astonishment of the sheer size of this cooler. The damn thing is huge! There are 3 heatpipes that run up either side of the cooler and through the fins in the heatsink. As you can see, there is a 100mm fan in between the two stacks of fins that pulls cool air in over one of the stacks and then blows the air out across the other stack of fins.



Installation

The ability to choose which socket you wish to cool ads a lot of versatility to the cooler and the way you can switch the adapters is brilliant. The adapters each have two pieces that stick out and have a small metal nipple on each one as can be seen in the next photo. These two pieces fit into the base of the cooler itself and can been pulled out and switched should you ever change sockets.

I absolutely love this feature as it allows me to take this cooler off of my AMD rig and put it on an Intel rig when I decide to build one.

The base of this cooler is a solid block of copper and extremely reflective. Scythe has taken the time to polish the base to an almost mirror finish.

Let’s take a look at the provided specs on this cooler from Scythe.

Compatibility:

That’s a lot of information to digest there but certainly good to see. The information I am most excited about would have to be the sound. 22 decibels is extremely quiet and when you factor in the fact that almost all GPU fans make more noise than this, it will add very little to the overall sound of your PC.

In the box, there is a manual, the different socket adapters and apparently some small pieces of grass. No, there is no grass included; I just need to vacuum my office floor. Damn it’

Here you can see the different adapters:

The test PC is the same as in my other reviews. I know there will be people reading this who are new to Techgage so please allow me to describe the test PC that the MINE will be cooling.

There you have it in all it’s mid range glory, my PC’

I have reviewed various coolers in the past and I know my PC rather well so I know what the numbers should be. I am going to test this cooler using Arctic Silver 5. The ambient temperatures in my home are hovering around 74’F so that must also be taken into consideration.

To install this cooler, I had to put the s939 adapters on the cooler. Another beautiful perk of this cooler is the fact that you do not need to screw anything down, taking out a step that can harm your motherboard or processor if the installer isn’t careful. The MINE cooler uses the stock cooler mount and there are small dials on the side of the cooler to tighten it down firmly against the CPU.



Testing, Conclusion

Pretty mindless enjoyment when installing this cooler. Scythe has made it that easy. So far, so good but lets see how the cooler performs. Shall we?

For starters, I took down the temperatures while the PC sat at idle and then again when under a full load. Load was achieved by running CPU Burn-In while calculating Pi to 32 million places. That should give the Sandy a hell of a workout so let’s see how the Mine cooler did.

Here it is at idle:

And again under load:

There you have it folks. The Scythe preformed admirably when asked to step up and cool the CPU. Let’s take a look at a comparison of some coolers that I have used in the past. All of these coolers were used in the same case with the same hardware so the results reflect a fair comparison.

When put up against the other coolers, the Mine cooler bests some and lags behind others but keeps pace with them all. All of the numbers above are acceptable, even under load and the difference between them all is 4 degrees idle and only 3 when under load. These are all nice coolers and the Scythe deserves to be up there in the class of coolers at the top.

The most impressive thing about the Mine cooler is the virtual silent operating noise. Using ITE Smartguardian, I was able to slow down the Mine’s fan to 100 RPMs and when I cranked it back up to 1500 RPMs, there was not a noticeable difference in sound. The thing is just that quiet.

That’s it folks. The Scythe Mine cooler is with out a doubt, a cooler that I can recommend to friends and strangers alike. The cooler was easy to install, quiet and light. The copper base was not only smooth but had a mirror like finish. The only gripe that I had with this cooler was the sheer size and dimensions of the thing. This certainly would not fit in and SFF case. This isn’t really a problem though because this cooler is aimed at the DIYers and more often than not, a standard ATX case is used.

Aside from the size concerns, the Mine cooler deserves a very solid 9 out of 10. This was a treat to work with and it preformed as well as almost every cooler that I have reviewed in the past. I am also bestowing an editor’s choice award as well because this cooler isn’t coming off this PC for a while.

It’s just that quiet.

Many thanks to Scythe for their dedication to the PC gaming and modding community. It’s support from companies like theirs that makes this the greatest industry in the world.

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