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Athlon XP HSF Mini-Roundup - Scythe vs. Vantec vs. Thermaltake

By: Mike Wright | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Mar 28, 2004 5:00 am

Scythe Arctic Cooling 2L



Though Scythe isn't an old name in the enthusiast community, they began making a name for themselves when they brought out the Kamakaze HSF a while back. It was a performance cooling solution that made many stand up and take notice. Their latest model appears to have moved more to aesthetics than performance, but it is still rated for processors up to the Athlon XP 3400+. It is pretty good since there isn't a processor of this caliber available yet, but it should be able to handle the stress we're going to put it through.



The fan of the Scythe unit is not attached in a conventional manner. Instead of being mounted with screws (allowing for us to remove it properly), it is adhered to the heatsink itself with what looks to be a silicon compound similar to what you would use in your bathroom.


The fan is an 80mm type that sits 37mm in height, mainly due to the design and lighting effects that are built in. Yes, this is a lighted fan so will set off an enclosure with a windowed side panel. The fan spins at a maximum of 2800 RPM and emits less than 24 dBA at full power. And as you can probably tell by my description, you can control the fan speed.



This is accomplished by means of a simple 3-way switch that occupies an empty PCI slot. Since I like it when manufacturers keep things simple, I was happy to see nothing more complicated than HI, MEDIUM and LOW speed settings.



The heatsink itself is made of aluminum and has a copper base melded to the bottom. While the base didn't appear to have any flaws, it also didn't have much of a shine either.



The clipping mechanism looks to be pretty standard fare, but it attaches at an unusual angle. With the mainboard already installed in my system, I had to attach the clip from the back side (which also has a lip for a screwdriver). There was simply no room in the case to hook it up from the proper side of the cooler. But even so, there were no issues with slippage or seating when it was installed in this manner.


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