Many readers have asked for a review of the Scythe Infinity and we recently received the latest version of the famous Infinity heatpipe tower. The Infinity certainly qualifies as something of a legend, but legends have not always performed as expected in our cooling tests at AnandTech. Does the Infinity live up to the performance goalpost set by the Tuniq Tower 120, or like all the others tested so far, does it fall somewhat short? Our goal is to find an answer to this question.

Some early versions of the Infinity were praised for their cooling ability, but criticized for high noise by enthusiasts who value noise reduction above all else. This most recent version of the Infinity proclaims that it includes a "silent" 120mm fan. In our benchmarking, we will definitely examine the low-noise fan claim, but there is always the concern that a lower-noise fan may not cool as well as the highest CFM - and higher noise - fans. The Scythe fan is 120mm, which is large enough both to move a lot of air, and to do so at slow enough RPM to keep noise low.

Another addition to the newest Infinity is support for the AMD Socket AM2. Many kits like the Infinity, which were introduced before the launch of AM2, have not been updated to support the revised AM2 socket. Fortunately the Scythe Infinity is now one of the top-of-the-line coolers that fully supports AM2 - good news for AMD enthusiasts.

We have talked about universal mounting systems in the past, but Scythe comes through where many others have fallen short on that claim. Scythe includes adapters for any CPU you can currently buy.

Another feature of the Infinity is the ability to mount a 120mm fan on any of the 4 sides of the cooler. Some enthusiasts have found new ways to use this feature, by running two fan cross feed, two fan push-pull or even four fan configurations with dual push-pull. Frankly the Infinity is very large and heavy to start with and an Infinity with four fans would be daunting in both size and weight - and it actually would not fit in our case. However, the potential of a push-pull cooling arrangement intrigued us.

Scythe USA was also kind enough to send the latest Ninja Revision B, and the new revision of Ninja will be highlighted in an upcoming review. That gave us the advantage of a second Scythe cooler with the same silent fan. With two fans in hand we couldn't resist testing a dual-fan push-pull configuration, which would fit in the mid-tower case. The main interest was whether the two fans - one pushing air and one pulling air - would make any difference at all in the cooling abilities of the Infinity. The results are very interesting.

With this review of the Scythe Infinity, we are on the downslope of our tests of current high-end air coolers (Ed: with 50 plus inches of February snow where I live I couldn't resist the skiing metaphor). We have the Thermalright Ultra 120 in for review, and we will also be testing the Scythe Ninja Rev. B. Noctua, an Austrian manufacturer of cooling solutions, has also sent us the Noctua NH-U12F which will be reviewed in the near future. We will also take a closer look at the OCZ Vindicator, which is the recently introduced heatpipe tower from OCZ. Once these reviews are complete, plus any late additions to the air cooling Olympics, it will be time to select the best air cooler available.

Scythe Infinity


View All Comments

  • Zoomer - Thursday, March 1, 2007 - link

    Could you try adding more than two fans, or perhaps blocking the sides of the heatsink so that air can't escape and see if it helps?

    I'm very interested. It appears that this unit requires a high(er) static pressure to work well.
  • yyrkoon - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    These coolers, are all fine and dandy, but what about low profile coolers, that dont weight as much as the Golden Gate bridge ?

    Me, my personal case, is an Lian Li PC-G50 (silver, if you must know . . .), and the PSU sits right_above about half of the CPU. Silent is great, higher overclocking potential, is better still, but the bigger question is, why arent these companies working on anything that doesnt require special cases, or at the very least, cases that are so huge, you can not put them any place without having large amounts of room.

    My case: 15" tall, looks great, is very functional, its just a terrible shame, that no one seems to be making low profile coolers, that would help me eek out a 310mhz + CPU on my ABIT NF-M2 nView + AM2 Opteron 1210 (which I have actually achieved, just wouldnt do much other than BSoD within windows).
  • Lem - Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - link

    Have you checked the Thermalright "SI-type" coolers? I have been happy with a Thermalright SI-120 + 120mm 1200rpm fan (PAPST 4412F/2GLL). I am not much into overclocking though. I only raised the frequency of my X2 3800+ to 2.4GHz because it was a nice round number that my RAM could handle.

    The newer SI-128 seems to support AM2-socket as well. I prefer that design over these for obvious reasons.

    My Lian Li PC-61 is somewhat bigger than your case but I do not think that there would be any problems with PC-G50 either.
  • BigLan - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    "why arent these companies working on anything that doesnt require special cases"

    Erm, your case is the special one. These coolers generally fit in standard atx cases, with the regular atx-approved layout (height might be an issue in mid-atx cases.) I think that having the psu above the cpu is ok for micro-atx, but that is still pretty specialized - you might want to look into server coolers (specifically 1-u coolers.) m-atx-style normally requires smaller fans, which have to spin much faster to move the same amount of air, and are very, very noisy (does anyone remember the old 60mm delta screamers?) You're also limited to fin area, which also hurts performance. There are some reasonably good btx coolers which overcome these problems though, but they're often proprietary (built into dell cases etc.)
  • cujo - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    i love big cases. lots more room to work inside and lots more room for quiet 120mm fans. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    Good for you. My case also has silent 120mm fans, the system is so quiet in fact, I have to turn something else on, so I can sleep ( I require white noise to sleep ). Reply
  • arswihart - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    I disagree with using overclocking as a measure of a heatsink's performance. You should focus on noise and temps, it's that simple. I don't know why anyone would even pay attention to that data you are presenting. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    Temperatures at stock speeds are reported on p. 4. However, contrary to your assumption, coolers that perform best at cooling at a stock 2.93GHz are not always the same coolers that enable the highest overclock. Temperature rises as a CPU is overclocked, and coolers that perform well at stock speeds do not always remove heat as well at higher temperatures.

    Since the OC that can be achieved does not matter to you, the data on p.4 - temperature at stock speed - should give you what you are looking for.

  • arswihart - Monday, February 26, 2007 - link

    Idle and Load temps for stock / OC. No need to look at 50Mhz differences to rank the heatsinks is my point. Reply
  • arswihart - Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - link

    To further make my point, you see a 7 C difference between the single and dual fan configs on the Infinity, and only a 70Mhz difference in OC. To me, the 70Mhz difference is negligible, while the 7 C difference is quite striking.

    Relatively speaking, the difference in temps is much more drastic (12%), and much mnore relevant, than the difference you are seeing in OC (2%).

    Do you still want to argue about it?

    Sure it makes for interesting reading, so I guess I can't blame you too much, and the audience at Anandtech surely eats it up. I would just tell you I'd rather not have reviews cluttered up with this rather petty data.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now