The ASUS Silent Knight II performs well against our previously tested CPU Coolers and has taken the crown for acoustic performance. The design is a bit unconventional but it is obvious from our testing that it is efficient. The cost of the cooler seems to be in the same range of similarly performing products, but the availability is limited right now.
Generally smaller fans produce more noise since they need to rotate faster to move the same amount of air as larger fans. The Silent Knight II uses a single 80mm fan and performs just as well and in some cases better than coolers using larger 92 and 120mm fans. ASUS engineers have really done a good job with the design of this cooler.
Fifty Dollars seems to be the going rate for high performance CPU Coolers in the US right now. It would seem that even though heat-pipe technology would make manufacturing heatsinks cheaper since it reduces the cost of raw materials, the reduction in cost has not spilled over to the consumer yet.
The Silent Knight II performs very well against coolers costing the same amount, but $50.00 USD could possibly get a faster processor in your system if you can handle the added acoustics of the retail heatsink and fan.