Test Results And Final Analysis
We haven't tested a dual-120mm double-tower cooler in a while, and were forced to find the closest approximations from more recent tests. These include the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 with 120mm front and 135mm center fans, Deepcool (Gamer Storm) Assassin II with 120mm front and 140mm center fans, and the Cryorig R1 Ultimate with dual 140mm fans.
The three comparison coolers are slightly larger than the SCFM-1000, and charts are arranged in order of fan size. Given those differences, it’s easy to see why the temperatures are coolest at the bottom. Still, with full-fan-speed temperatures matching the two most closely-sized competitors, the SCFM-1000 remains competitive.
Part of the reason why the SCFM-1000’s half-fan temperatures were a little higher is that setting its fans to a 50% PWM duty cycle produced an actual speed of somewhat less than half its full speed. On the other hand, that’s certain to benefit Scythe in the noise measurements.
Results below 20db are also below the validated range of my meter, so that even while we know that the SCFM-1000 made slightly more noise than the Dark Rock Pro 3 at the motherboard’s 50% fan setting, questions remain as to whether the noise level was a full 19db. My guess would be a little lower. Regardless, we can call any of these coolers virtually silent once they’re installed in a case.
The larger CPU coolers are all capable of producing a better cooling-to-noise ratio than the SCFM-1000, but they also cost a bit more. Anyone seeking value must decide which device is cool enough, or quiet enough, for their application.
When I said that competing coolers cost a bit more than the SCFM-1000, I meant 50-100% more. That’s going to be a big “ouch” for value seekers.
I also mentioned that the SCFM-1000 is slightly smaller than its competitors, but what does that imply regarding installation? It means that the SCFM-1000 is short enough to fit the recently reviewed Lian Li PC-O11, whereas the others will not. This photo shows why.
I don’t give out many Editor Recommended awards in CPU cooling, because I feel that most enthusiast market CPU coolers are overpriced. Scythe proved to be the fairly priced exception, with its sub-$50 cooler producing an excellent range of cooling at moderate to ultra-low noise levels. Builders who can tolerate the frustration of installing a center fan as clip wires continuously snag the ends of the cooling fins will be very glad they had the patience for the process after reviewing the bill.
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