It's a tough call really. The Silent Knight II has aesthetics and design going for it. The base machining and mounting method, the clips in particular, could use some revamping all around. Granted, it's not entirely necessary to have a polished copper base. But why chance losing performance when a few more minutes can seal the deal? And the clip just doesn't quite follow a clean balanced look. Since most Intel users are going to have to remove the motherboard anyway, why not consider a different method? New AMD users may end up having less of a hassle no matter the method.
Despite the copper base, the Silent Knight II still cools quite well. It may take six heat pipes, but they are really nice heat pipes and flow well in the design of the cooler which is one feature that may tilt buyers in the direction of the Silent Knight II over many of the other choices. It simply looks cool! It looks aggressive, yet maintains composure especially in the area of its weight. Despite its size, it's still lighter than many other solutions that can come close to matching performance and mounts securely enough that you don't have to worry.
Heat pipes have really saved the CPU cooler market, not to mention given it a whole new look that far surpasses anything from the past. If you've been doubting heat pipe performance, all you have to do is browse ASUS' Gaming Thermal Solution page. Without some sort of new aggressive engineering, there won't be anything replacing heat pipes any time soon. You got to admit, heat pipes can look down right sexy when they are properly machined. We'd like to thank ASUS for yet another good thermal solution.