Testing

The Scythe Infinity CPU cooler was tested on an open frame Athlon64 K8 test rig consisting of the components listed below.  This is the same test rig that was used to test the competing products.  The ambient room air temperature was maintained at 24°C ±0.5°C.  The CPU was loaded by running Folding@Home 24/7.  Tests were conducted with three different fans — operating on 12 VDC or 7 VDC.

 

  • 120mm Scythe/Adda (1200 rpm, 46.5 CFM, 23.5 dBA)
  • 120mm Panaflo FBA12G12L1A (1700 rpm, 69 CFM, 30 dBA)
  • 120mm Delta SHE (3700 rpm, 152 CFM, 53 dBA)

 

Scythe Infinity SCINF-1000 CPU Heat Pipe Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling 21

 

  • Asus K8N-E Deluxe nForce3-250 motherboard
  • AMD Athlon64 3200+ (0.13 mm Newcastle core)
  • Seasonic SuperTornado 400 watt ATX power supply
  • (2) Corsair CMX512-3200C2  DDR RAM
  • ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
  • WD800JB IDE HDD
  • Sony 16X DVD, FDD
  • Windows XP Pro with SP1

To facilitate taking more accurate CPU temperature measurements, a very small Omega thermocouple is attached to the side of the Athlon 64 IHS with Arctic Alumina thermal epoxy.  The measurement equipment used during testing included:

 

  • CPU/IHS — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
  • Ambient air — Barnant Model 115 digital thermometer (accuracy +/- 0.4º C)
  • Extech Model 407736 digital sound level meter (accuracy +/- 1.5 dB)

For comparison, I included the results from the three other tower-style, heat pipe coolers we mentioned earlier, along with the stock OEM aluminum cooler that comes bundled with the Athlon 64 3200+.  All HSFs were tested on the same CPU under the same conditions.

 

  • Thermalright Ultra-120 with 120mm Stealth, Panaflo L1A and Delta SHE
  • Zalman CNSP9500 AM2 with integrated Zalman variable speed fan
  • Cooler Master Hyper 6 with 80mm CM fan and 80mm Vantec Tornado
  • Athlon 64 3200+ OEM aluminum heatsink with 70mm fan

The following data is presented for comparative purposes only.  Your actual results may be different depending on the variables unique to your system (CPU, overclock, ambient temperature, case air flow, temperature monitoring, etc). 

 

Scythe Infinity SCINF-1000 CPU Heat Pipe Cooler Review - Cases and Cooling 22

 

CPU — Temperature reported by Asus PC Probe utility (internal diode)

Tc — Temperature obtained with calibrated thermocouple attached to IHS

Delta T — Fully loaded Tc temperature rise above ambient

dBA — Sound pressure level recorded 3′ away (background ~30 dBA)

 

The Scythe Infinity did a very good job of keeping the Athlon 64 3200+ CPU cool with minimal noise!  The bundled low-speed fan is quiet at 12V and virtually silent when operating at 7 volts.  The Infinity outperformed both the Cooler Master and Zalman coolers but couldn’t quite keep up with the Ultra-120 at the lower air flow rates.  When fitted with the high-flow Delta air turbine, the Infinity and Ultra-120 were essentially tied (well within the margin of testing error). 

 

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