Scythe Kamakaze Heatsink Review

Admin - 2007-02-22 13:15:50 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: January 4, 2004
Quiet PC
Things have changed a lot since the past regarding good CPU cooling. Not to long ago I remember to have a good performing heat sink you needed a very loud high rpm fan to go with it. Then overnight the silent pc trend took over. The heat sink market was flooded with passive and low noise heat sinks, fans, and psu’s. One of the low noise heat sinks well be looking at today is the scythe kamakaze; scythe is a newcomer in the silent heat sink solution market. Let’s see what this heat sink has to offer.

 Compatibility Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 up to 3.2 GHz
AMD Athlon XP Socket A up to 3400+
Fan Dimensions 80 mm x 80 mm x 25 mm
 Heat sink Dimensions 70 mm x 70mm x 57mm
Combined Dimensions 90 mm x 85 mm x 90 mm
 Fan Speed 1300-3400 rpm (w/ rheostat)
Air Flow 13.6 CFM @ 1300 rpm ~ 34 CFM @ 3400 rpm
 Fan Noise Level 16dBA @ 1300 rpm (lowest); 37 dBA @ 3400 rpm (highest)
Weight 690g (1.44 lbs)

In-Depth Look

Inside the box neatly packed were the heat sink, pentium4 bracket, fan controller, instructions, and a bag with some white thermal paste and plastic clips to hold the p4 bracket in the place. For the Pentium 4 user’s some parts must be disassembled in order to attach the p4 retention mechanism.

When I first opened the box I noticed that one of the retention screws for the heat sink was missing. I later found it inside the metal reducer for the fan, upon removing the fan. After removing the fan I noticed that a side of the heat sinks pins where pushed together more then I would have liked too seen. I feel as thou took every step possible in shipping the heat sink; this seemed to of happened on the manufactures side. Since the kamikaze is made in Japan a lot of things could happen in the shipment from there. I contacted scythe and they were more than helpful with this situation. I did not mention I was with occ, or the reseller I received the heat sink from. They offered to replace the heat sink, after I returned the damage product. In-Depth Look

Included was a standard black 80mm 2 ball bearing fan which was labeled by Sycthe. The fan is rated at 13.6-34cfm, and between 16-37dba, it also adds a rheobus to control the fan speed. It can only be mounted in an empty pci slot which might be a turnoff to some people. The fan connects thru a 4 pin Molex connecter, and has a 3pin fan connector to the motherboards fan heard to monitor rpm.

The base of the heat sink came with a protective plastic sticker to ensure no damage to the base during shipping.

Scythe decided to take the copper/aluminum approach with this heat sink, with copper being able to absorb the heat better, and the aluminum being able to disperse the heat faster. There are a total of 490 aluminum pins measuring 2x1.5mm each pin.

The base had a dull shine to it and running your fingers across it you could still fell the ridges from the milling process. More time lapping the finish would have resulted in less milling marks and a smoother finish.

The Kamakaze uses a new type of clipping method; the clip itself is installed to the heat sink by screws. It uses a 3 lug type clip to attach to the Ziff sockets 6 cleats, and uses screws to tighten the retention mechanism down on the Ziff socket.

While a little tricky at first: until I figured out to put light pressure on the retention clip. I was then able to gently snap the retention brackets to the Ziff’s cleats. The instructions where very vague but they did mention not to over tighten the retention mechanism as it would cause damaged to the heat sinks retention screws. I feel that there is more of a chance to crush or kill your CPU applying to much pressure while tightening the retention screws. Extreme care must be taken installing this heat sink as to not damage your CPU.

Testing Method
Temperatures for the testing were taken via a CompU Nurse thermal probe located next to the CPU die. Artic Silver 5 (thermal compound) was applied to the cpu and each heat sink according to the directions located on Arctic Silver's web site. The compound was given 72 hours of use before the testing was done on any of the heat sinks. To achieve the "idle temperature" reading, the computer was allowed to set idle for 15 minutes then the reading was taken. To achieve the "load temperature" Prime95 was run for 15 minutes and then the reading was taken. The overclocked temps were taken in the same manner only the fsb was changed to 200 and the Cpu voltage to 1.70v. This is giving us a 366 MHz over clock. All fans were tested at the full and slowest speeds. Also the fan for the Kamakaze was turned upside down sucking air up thru the heat sink. I was getting temps 4c higher over the aero7+ with the fan blowing down.

Testing Setup
  • AMD Athlon XP 2500+ 11x166 / overclocked to 2800+ 12.5x166
  • ASUS A7N8X-DLX Rev 2.0 (nforce2 ultra chipset)
  • 1x512 Hyperx pc3500 cas2 2-2-11
  • Chieftec Dragon case, 5 80x80x25mm Antec fans 7volt mod
  • Artic Silver 5 thermal compound
  • Running windows XP pro service pack 1

    Testing Results
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    The fan speeds varies greatly. Scythes fan has more rpm, but use’s a traditional axial fan. Aero7+ on the other hand uses a squirrel type cage blower fan: this helps to eliminate the dead spot caused by axial fans.


    We can see here that all the fans a pretty close in noise level. While the Kamakaze has them all beat in its lowest setting. The aero7+ does seem to be louder than the Kamakaze at full speed.


    We can see here that the Kamakaze really shines at stock speeds, leading the aero7+ by 4.9c load and 5.4c idle. The low fan speed temps are very nice besting the aero7+ by 9.9c load and 9.2c. I was amazed at the temps gotten with the fan set to low. Testing

    The most important part the overclocked test; this can make or break a heat sink. I was really impressed by the temps the Kamakaze was getting with the increased speed and. Voltage. The aero7+ just couldn’t keep up, with the Kamakaze taking the load test by 3.3c load and 4.6c idle, using the lowest fan setting the Kamakaze showed great results. 4.6c load and 7.4c idle. From the temps taken you can see that the Kamakaze is a very efficient heat sink at no matter what fan speed you use.

    Well for a heat sink marketed towards silence the Scythe Kamakaze sure hit a bull’s eye with this one. Even at full speed the fan is fairly quiet, much quieter than the aero7+ it was up against. The look and build of the heat sink is not the best I’ve seen, but the performance more than makes up for that. Considering some of the other silent heatsink prices, this heatsink is a great deal for the level of performance you get. I would like to thank Quiet PC for sending me this awesome heat sink to review; it will now be replacing my aero7+ for silence and cooling.



    Thanks to Quiet PC for providing us with this heat sink to review.