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Three Down-Draft Heat Sinks: The Last Of A Dying Breed?

Scythe SCKC-2100: Cooling Performance And Noise

Scythe's SCKC-2100 is big and heavy. It weighs in at 620 grams, which is a lot for a down-draft cooler. The heat sink is split into two parts, with 36 aluminum fins each. Space between the two sections is supposed to allow some air to pass through, cooling the board and surrounding components. The cooler’s base and four 6 mm heat pipes are made of copper. Those alternating crisscrossed heat pipes give the Scythe SCKC-2100 an exotic, muscular appearance.

It's not all about good looks, either. A maximum fan speed of only 1380 RPM is low compared to Enermax's ETD-T60-VD, which beats the Scythe unit by almost one degree at idle and under full load. The tables turn when the coolers are compared using slower-spinning fans, though. At 1000 RPM, the Scythe SCKC-2100 beats Enermax's ETD-T60-VD by achieving a CPU temperature just 28.7 degrees Celsius above ambient. This is a competitive result, even in the high-end tower cooler space.

Not only is the Scythe SCKC-2100 good at cooling, but it also does its job quietly. At a fan speed of 1000 RPM, it produces 31.7 dB(A), which is noticeable, but only barely so in a closed case. The maximum fan speed of 1380 RPM takes noise output to 39.2 dB(A). This is still on the quiet side, though, especially compared to Enermax's ETD-T60-VD, which produces 6.5 dB(A) more at maximum fan speed. This difference is very apparent.