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Scythe has been coming out with some of the newest innovations in heat sink design. One of there latest creations is the FCS-50. This Heat sink comes with an adjustable 80mm bearing fan and can be connected to nearly every CPU currently in the market. At first glance I was really impressed with the craftsmanship and design.
We will be implementing this heat sink on the XP class of CPU's by AMD. To be exact we are using the Barton 2500+ XP socket A. The theory behind this heat sink is not new, but it is applied in a unique way. The Heatlane pulls the heat from the surface. Then the fan pushes the air from behind. The side vents allow for fresh air to come in not only from the fan but on both sides as well. You can see a better representation of this in the illustration below.
Rated Performance Heatlane CPU Cooler
Newegg price is $42.99 Link to Newegg
Considering the amount of work involved in the Cooler, I would say you get what you pay for. Scythe makes some unique heat sinks the FCS-50 is not exception. Even though it is a little more expensive then allot of its competitors its well worth the extra you pay.
This has to be one of the easiest install I have ever performed on a heat sink. The 2 piece harness system works wonders. the hardest part of this install is putting the thermal paste on the CPU.
Scythe prides them selves on installation. The documentation though small is more then adequate for such an easy task.
The primary mount is placed on the CPU harness and you just screw the heat sink in place. It's as simple as that. Note: When screwing the sink onto the harness its a good idea to alternate sides tightening little by little to reduce any chance of over pressure of the CPU.
Now this installation is on an XP CPU so the mounts will be different for the other sockets but they are just as easy.
As you can see from the photos the shinny exterior makes for a cool look. It is a little bulky but not to much bigger then the high end air heat sinks. Something to note there is an additional bay to add some extra cooling power in the form of an outtake fan, but I am not convinced it is needed. Nor do I feel that the increase would be drastic enough to warrant the extra power devoted to the fan.
Well as I have been raving thus far the quality is exceptional as well. Considering the multiple sockets this product can be used in, and the quality craftsmanship involved with construction. I have little bad to say.
The only shortcoming I can see at this point is the packaging. The only protection from the postman is a small bubble wrap bag around the heat sink itself. But the product did arrive safe and sound with no dings or bent fins so the bubble wrap might be adequate.
The fan regulation switch is well made. I can't count the number of times I have had dials and knobs fall off mods of lesser quality. It's not a cheepy.
Note: The only concern I have with the FCS-50 is the weight. Most of the mass is placed lower on the sink so its not to alarming but make sure you secure the mounts properly to reduce any unnecessary damage to your PC.
Here is where the fun begins. We ran the FCS-50 through a few of our basic heat sink test and it appears to work well.
This is the base Cool Master heat sink that came prepackage with the AMD 2500+ XP CPU
Our procedure for acquiring the temperature data is simple. We had a base internal case temp of 80F or around 26C, purposely hot. This is called "A zone" for anyone that is interested in testing. We took the temp reading with normal idle usage and 100% CPU usage. These reading where taken after 5 min of run time at 100% giving a pretty accurate reading of extreme situations. Then we took one reading using the Stock Cool Master heat sink and two reading from the FCS-50. The first is at low fan settings. The second is at high. Seeing that the fan is radial and not a step speed control the data will give you worst and best case situations everything in between is irrelevant.
Here are a few screen shots of the ASUS probe used to collect the data. I know they are a bit tuff to read but the resolution is pretty high so you can view them well if you print this at home, or just right click got to properties, copy the URL and paste it in a explorer address window.
Illustration 1.1 Cool Master Idle temp 41C and Load temp 50C
Illustration 1.2 FCS-50 Low Fan setting Idle temp 34C and Load temp 40C
Illustration 1.3 FCS-50 Low Fan setting Idle temp 31C and Load temp 37C
As you can see by the results under a stressed A zone condition the FCS-50 performs exceptionally well. It reduced the temperature anywhere from 14% to 26% over the stock heat sink, depending on the fan setting and CPU usage.
When the fan is on high it gets a little noisy but it is running rather fast. For best results I think somewhere in the mid range is fine. It will push enough air without the extra racket of an overpowering fan.
Installation is the best I have seen.
Cooling performance is more then Impressive.
Look is very unique.
Quality is just that "quality".
Versatility is amazing it fits on all CPU's on the Market.
Packaging could be little better.
Noise could be a factor if you want maximum performance.
Size is a bit larger then some have room for. Depends on chip placement on the motherboard you might not have room for the sink.
This is a well built cooling machine. Weight, size, and packaging are a few draw backs, but these things are minor when considering the performance increase you can get running an over clocked CPU with this heat sink. When all is said and done Scythe has done an exceptional job making an all around cooler that performs top notch.
The FCS-50 is one of those products you need to do a double take when you see it. Marns CDA is proud to give Scythe Heatlane a 5 out of 6 stars Awarding the FCS-50 Marns CDA Blue Ribbon Seal of approval.
Review date 11/4/04
Reviewer Paul (pr101j)
Company Info: Scythe USA
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