Scythe "Summit" Mine Heatsink/Fan

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POSTSCRIPT: WITH A QUIET 120MM FAN
July 17, 2006 by Mike Chin

Naturally, there were cries of outrage in the forum discussion about the lack of comparison between the Ninja and the Mine with the same reference 120mm Nexus fan. This was something Devon and I had discussed briefly. We decided against it for several reasons:

  • The Mine with 100mm fan and the Ninja Plus with 120mm fan are priced exactly the same at US$54.
  • If you add a 120mm fan to the Mine, it will cost you at least $10 more than the Ninja Plus, and it will be even taller than the Ninja (by a few mm). Why wouldn't you just go for the Ninja, which is superb and good enough for any application we know of?

Such was our reasoning, but some forum members thought otherwise. In the spirit of responsiveness to readers and for the sake of completeness, the Mine has been retested with a Nexus 120mm fan. All conditions and ancillary test equipment were the same as in the original test detailed on the previous page.


The Nexus 120 fan added 7mm to the height, making it that much taller than the 150mm of the Ninja or the stock Mine. Width was increased by a similar amount.

 

TEST RESULTS

Scythe Mine with Nexus 120mm Fan
Fan Voltage
Load (°C)
°C Rise
°C/W MP
SPL (dBA@1m)
12V
43 [42]
20 [19]
0.25 [0.24]
23 [26]
9V
46 [46]
23 [23]
0.29 [0.29]
20 [22]
7V
50 [51]
27 [28]
0.34 [0.35]
19 [19]
5V
53 [58]
29 [35]
0.37 [0.44]
<17 [<16]
NOTES:
Original results with stock Scythe 100mm fan shown in [brackets].
Airflow:
Measured in Cubic Feet per Minute mounted on the HS
Load Temp:
CPUBurn for ~20 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient at load.
°C/W MP: Temperature rise per Watt, based on CPU's Maximum Power (79W) (lower is better)
Noise: SPL measured in dBA/1m distance with high accuracy B & K SLM

So it is clear the Scythe benefits from the greater airflow and coverage area of the larger Nexus 120 fan. This is especially evident at very low speeds. The larger fan is also quieter at higher speeds, although there's a touch of metallic whine at 12V that can only be attributed to vibrations from the HS itself. Note that at 7V and under, the Mine plus Nexus 120 is borderline acceptable for cooling with our test CPU.

Heatsinks Compared at about the Same Quiet Noise Level
Heatsink/Fan
Noise
(SPL - dBA@1m)
Fan Voltage
Load Temp
°C Rise
°C/W MP
Scythe Mine,
Nexus 120
23
12V
43°C
20
0.25
Scythe Mine,
Stock Fan
22
9V
46°C
23
0.29
Scythe Ninja, Nexus 120
23
12V
35°C
14
0.18
Thermalright HR-01, Nexus 120
23
12V
38°C
18
0.23
Noctua NH-U12,
Nexus 120
22
12V
42°C
21
0.27
Zalman CNPS-9500 LED, Stock Fan
22
5V
44°C
18
0.23

With the same Nexus 120 fan at 12V, the Mine gets closer to the Ninja, but it's still a distant 6°C away. The Ninja with the Nexus 120 breaks the 0.2°C/W mark, which is truly championship territory. The Mine with the same fan manages 0.25°C/W, which is still excellent, and 3°C better than with its stock 100mm fan. It still does not better any of the other top HSF models except the Noctua NH-U12, which it just noses.

Is the gain in performance worthwhile? If you have to buy another fan, probably not. You'd be better off just buying a Ninja Plus for the same price.

What about AM2 compatibility? Well, Scythe has informed me that they are working on revising the AMD mounting setup for both the Mine and the Ninja to make them compatible with AM2 (and still backward-compatible with the older K8 754, 939, 940 socket HS brackets). This means that instead of 3 holes on each side of the mounting clip for the Mine, it will have just one. I imagine the adapter for the Ninja will be a plastic bracket that replaces the AM2 bracket and provides socket 478 style 4-clip holes. These revised products will be available for sale in the market by this time next month.

* * *

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