Scythe Infinity Conroe HeatPipe CPU Cooler Page: 1
Introduction

The Scythe SCINF-1000 is a huge cooler. Scythe themselves have a huge reputation to live up to. Will the Scythe Infinity match that reputation and perform well when used with a Conroe CPU? I take it to the test in the following review and see how it fares.

Scythe have made quite an impression of late in the cooling market. Their line of CPU coolers are really (pardon the pun) "hotting up" the heatsink market. With some great designs and more than a couple of heatpipes, enthusiasts are really digging what Scythe are all about.

Packaging

The packaging from Scythe was pretty typical from a lot of PC manufacturers. Instead of the understated box, Scythe have put as much on their box as possible. This gives the external a rather crowded feel, though I would imagine this would stand out on the shelves and grab your attention. Luckily for scythe, most PC enthusiasts will be buying this from an online store who will let the gargantuan heatsink speak for itself in it's pictures.

scythe infintiy

As you can see, this has quite a bit of information, and this is just the front of the box!

scythe infinity

The side of the box takes the same approach, as does the rear. Still, the box is reassuringly large, hinting at the monster inside.

scythe infinity packaging

Scythe package the cooler up very very well. cardboard inserts are used effectively to keep the heatsink in place. Perhaps the more environment conscious of us will notice that all this can be recycled (ok, that was my fiancée speaking). Let's just say that the cooler will not be damaged on the trip to your house - good news for those who use the less reliable couriers!

Package

When we open it all up we see what Scythe have included in the bundle:

scythe infinity bundle

We have mounting for LGA 775, socket 478, 754, 939, 940 and AM2. Now THAT is a very nice compatibility list. I was impressed with all that is included, especially seeing as 478 is a dying breed. The instruction manual is kind of obtuse, but the diagrams and hints get you there after a re-read. Thermal paste is included in the bundle, which is a nice touch.

The fan is an AD1212DS A73GL(6TCL3) 120x120x25mm 23.5dBA @ 46.5CFM@ 1200RPM. Pretty nice specs. I'm glad Scythe have decided to include a decent-specced as well as quiet fan in the bundle. Starting up this whirrs a bit but as it is 3pin it gets throttled down to a nice level.

scythe infinity clips

The clips, manual, paste and the clips that hold the fan to the cooler.



Scythe Infinity Conroe HeatPipe CPU Cooler Page: 2
A close up of the Scythe Infinity

We've seen the packaging, now is the time to take a look at the cooler itself...

scythe infinity packaging

Even when compared to a 120mm fan, this cooler is very big. You can again see the cardboard protecting the cooler fins from damage.

scythe infinity

The base is protected by plastic shrink-wrapping - no scratches here.

scythe infinity side view

Here we see a side view of the impressive fins on the cooler. Notice 5 heatpipes peeping up through them? I'll come to those later.

scythe infinity front view

This view allows us to see a bit more through the fins. Also we can see the "tool-less" installation mounting pins.

scythe infinity base

Not content with just a load of heatpipes, Scythe include a hefty heatsink on top of the base for even more cooling power.

scythe infinity heatpipes view

There we have them. Five per side, the Infinity has 10 heatpipes to dissapate the heat from even your most heat-ridden CPU. Going through the fins to really exhange heat, the Scythe Infinity has a factor of 10 going for it.

scythe infinity top view

Scythe have finished off the top of the cooler in style. The screw-top polished holders give a real impression of money well spent, with the Scythe logo sitting in the middle of the brushed top.

The base

When I first ripped of the plastic covering on the base I was a little disappointed:

scythe infinity

It looked "OK" but not amazing. However with previous experience of other heatsinks in my mind, I got out some TIM cleaner and cleaned the base up with it.

scythe infinity

There we go. Excellent shiny and smooth. I also tested the base with some glass to make sure it was flat and the cooler is very flat - no lapping needed here.

Specifications

Taken from Scythe's site:

Specifications for Infinity CPU Cooler

Model Name:

 

Infinity CPU Cooler

 

Model Number:

 

SCINF-1000

 

Manufacturer:

 

Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan

 

Compatibility:

Intel:

 

Socket 478 all speeds

Socket T / (LGA)775 all speeds

 

AMD:

 

Socket 754 all speeds
Socket 939 all speeds
Socket 940 all speeds
Socket AM2 all speeds

 

Combined Dimensions:

 

125 x 116 x 160mm

 

Fan Dimensions:

 

120 x 120 x 25mm

 

Fan Noise Level:

 

23.5dBA

 

Air Flow:

 

46.5CFM

 

Fan Speed:

 

1200rpm (±10%)

 

Weight:

 

960g

 

Installation Manual:

 

Infinity CPU Cooler Manual (English / French / German)


Fan and Noise

 

As I don't have a dba meter at the moment, I will have to judge the noise by my own ear. As stated in the testing procedure in the following pages, I am using an Antec P180b for the review. The fans are set to medium which is audible, but only a whisper.


With the fan going full pelt, the Infinity is just audible over the rest of the system when overclocked. At idle you cannot hear it. To me this is awesome for a cooler boasting the cooling prowess that the Infinity does, as you can see in later pages.


If you're a fan of quiet in your case, then you will be happy with the Infinity sitting in there, I am confident of that.




Scythe Infinity Conroe HeatPipe CPU Cooler Page: 3
How we tested

For my testing I setup a system in an Antec P180b.

This comprised of:

Intel C2D E6700
Abit AB9 Pro Motherboard
Mushkin HP2 5300 RAM
Sapphire X1600Pro
Hitachi Deskstar 160gb SATA drive
Sony DVD-ROM/CD-RW
Silverstone Strider 560w

OS: Windows XP Professional

The Temperature was at a pretty constant 23°C room temperature and the system temperature was 29°C.

Artic Silver 5 was applied onto both of the heatsinks to give as fair a comparison as possible. Please note that as AS5 "cures" (about 200hours and at least 2 cycles), the temps are likely to drop 1-3°C. Due to time constraints neither cooler had this luxury, and this was a fair comparison.

For the testing I had the E6700 clocked both at stock settings of 266 x 10 (2.66GHz) and 330 x 10 (3.3GHz). For the stock clocks the Abit board gives the CPU 1.3v. To get the CPU to run at 3.3GHz it needed 1.375v.

Temperatures were logged using Abit's uGuru monitoring software. Temperatures were checked with a thermal probe and found to be fairly accurate.

For idle temperatures I left the PC for 15mins then recorded the idle temperature every 10 seconds for 5 minutes, making sure I did not use any program that was not already running at windows startup.

For the load temperatures I ran an instance of prime 95 with in-place large FFT's for maximum heat and power consumption, as well as an instance of Folding@Home set to take up any spare cycles of the CPU. Once again I left this for 15mins then recorded the temperatures over a 5 minute period.

For comparison I used Intels stock cooler.

intel stock cooler

intel stock cooler



Scythe Infinity Conroe HeatPipe CPU Cooler Page: 4
Installation

The cooler was not the easiest to install due to it's sheer size. The press-in clips were easy to use but hard to get to as the cooler obstructs them somewhat.

scythe infinity

The fit is kind of tight, but I had no problems getting the cooler to fit on the board at all. I will say that you should check that the pins are in securely as I had to reseat the cooler after one came slightly loose.

scythe infinity installed

The cooler dominates the board. Fitting the fan was very easy and I won't insult your intelligence by going through this.

scythe infinity

Just enough clearance by the OTS Heatpipe solution used by Abit on this board. Note that I set the fan to blow though the heatsink, OTS solution and out of the rear exhaust.

scythe infinity

It looks like it should be a tight fit in a case, but it is actually not too bad. Please ignore the wiring in my test setup.

scythe infinity installed

There were no clearance issues in the case at all, even when I test fitted a 7950GX2 (as in the above picture). You can see that the positioning of the cooler only aid extraction through the top and rear fans in this case. The P180b has decent airflow, with an added front fan so this should not be a problem.



Scythe Infinity Conroe HeatPipe CPU Cooler Page: 5
Testing - Stock Speeds

I first set stock speeds on the E6700 to see how the Scythe coped with the normal heat output of a C2D at 2.66Ghz.

scythe infinity

As you can clearly see, the Scythe report awesome temperatures at both idle and load. This far outperformed the Intel stock cooler - as was expected. Another good thing about this low temperature was that the fan on the Infinity didn't really ramp up at all - a must for quiet PC enthusiasts.

Testing - Overclocked Speeds

To stress the Infinity out a bit more I ramped the E6700 up to a nice 3.3Ghz, which meant increasing the voltage to 1.375. This test will see how the Scythe deals with more heavy loads.

scythe infinity

As you can see the Idle temperature stayed the same. I checked this with a thermal probe and the reporting software was pretty much spot on. Very impressive work from Scythe.

At load the Scythe manages a huge margin better than the Intel cooler. 13°C is nothing to sniff at. It's also worth mentioning that the Scythe's temperature was stable, whereas the Intel stock cooler's temperature varied wildly from 56°C to 63°C.

The fan does ramp up a bit at load at this temperature, but I would never put the fan down as a loud fan at all. It's also worth mentioning that you can always add your own fan (or more than one), meaning you can choose how load you want your air cooling.



Scythe Infinity Conroe HeatPipe CPU Cooler Page: 6
Conclusion

Having tested and owned a lot of heatsink coolers in my time, I have to say that the Scythe infinity tops them all. The quality of the heatsink build is second to none, whereas often you get some shabby workmanship at some point on a heatsink. I could not find any on the Infinity - this thing really is top notch.

Did I have any criticisms of the Scythe? Well: it's a little too big so that has to be taken into consideration if you have a small case or a tight setup in your case.

Listed at £32 @ SpecialTech, it could be considered expensive to some, but I think this is awesome value for a cooler that represents today's pinnacle of air cooling. This cooler will easily outperform a low-mid range watercooling setup...it's that good.

I am giving the Scythe Infinity an Editors Choice Award for absolute top quality and awesome cooling. Highly recommended.

scythe infinity editors choice

Pro's

+ Awesome Cooling
+ Great build quality
+ Gorgeous looks
+ Easy to install

Con's

- Big
- Could be considered expensive

Thanks to Scythe for providing the cooler