Scythe is a newcomer to the U.S. cooling market, and is trying to establish itself as the go-to company for monstrous heatsinks that—like Zalman’s—offer quiet cooling. We reviewed the company’s Ninja Plus cooler in July, and were impressed by its silent operation. The Mine runs just as quiet, but suffers several major flaws.
Problem number one: It can’t be mounted on our zero-point system’s Asus A8N32 motherboard. Here’s why: The cooler’s retention mechanism for AMD systems sports two small levers that you must swing around in an arc to lock down the cooler, but one of the arms comes into contact with our mobo’s chipset cooler.
When questioned about this issue, Scythe simply said this cooler will not work with this mobo. We pointed out that the MSI K8N Diamond Plus also has a north bridge heatsink. The response? Mine will work with that board, if you’re willing to cut the locking lever, which seems like an extreme measure to us. This is a major oversight on Scythe’s part, obviously, and we’re baffled that the company neglected to test compatibility with two prominent passively cooled motherboards.
We ended up installing the Mine on an Asus A8N Deluxe, and the fit was just fine, but the installation itself was a pain in the butt. The metal mounting levers are very small and swing within a metal groove, which makes them very difficult to secure. It’s definitely one of the worst retention methods we’ve encountered.
These faux paus are regrettable because the Mine is a fantastic cooler. It’s so quiet you literally cannot even hear it running, and its temperature during our tests was superb. Its “midship” 10cm fan helps move air through the case (and heatsink), and can be replaced with a fan as large as 12cm, if you so desire. Motherboard removal is not required for installation, regardless of platform (it’s compatible with every CPU socket available, including AM2).
Month Reviewed: September 2006
+ MINE: Very quiet, fantastic performance, and no clearance issues.
- YOURS: Doesn't fit on our A8N32 mobo, and it's too hard to install.