• Home
  • blog
  • Scythe Top-Down Coolers: Kabuto vs. Zipang 2

Scythe Top-Down Coolers: Kabuto vs. Zipang 2

Big blow-down CPU coolers seem to be making a comeback, at least if these new models from prolific heatsink maker Scythe are indicative. The brand also has a reputation for very quiet fans, so will Zipang 2 and Kabuto jostle into the monolithic lineup of tower coolers at the top of SPCR recommended coolers?

August 5, 2009 by Lawrence Lee and Mike Chin

Product
Kabuto
CPU Cooler
Zipang 2
CPU Cooler
Brand
Scythe
Street Price
US$45~$50 US$45~$55

Kabuto and Zipang 2 are Scythe’s largest down-blowing heatsink. This brand has a huge lineup of CPU coolers which seems to be expanding and changing constantly, but so many of its products fare very well in reviews, both ours and those by more pure performance oriented sites. Still, these products appear to be vying for the same market niche at the same price point — big top-down blower heatsink for the enthusiast. We decided to pair them up in a compare and contrast review.

Heatsinks with fans that blow down into the fins produce airflow
toward the motherboard and the various voltage regulation components around
the CPU socket. The additional airflow for these components can potentially increase energy efficiency
and prolong their life spans. Both AMD and Intel assume the use of down-blowing coolers in the thermal specifications of their CPUs and chipsets, and their stock heatsinks are down-blowers. This type of heatsink
sacrifices some CPU cooling performance compared to side-blowing tower designs, which work better in tandem with rear case fans to exhaust hot air
out of the system. Perhaps these big ‘uns from Scythe will reverse the trend.


Both boxes are very colorful for retail display. The Kabuto box is considerably taller, 7″ versus 4.5″ for the Zipang 2, but slimmer. The boxes are indicative of the design differences between the two models.


Both coolers use six copper heatpipes, but the Kabuto on the left is taller, with fins that are some 50% taller than the those on the Zipang.


However, the Zipang 2 fins occupy a larger area when viewed from the top, which allows the use of a 140x25mm fan instead of the 120x25mm fan on the Kabuto.

The photos above show the basic differences between the Kabuto and the Zipang 2. The total cooling surface area of the fins in each is quite similar; we’ll estimate the area later. But their different shapes and dimensions will have some impact on airflow impedance, and the size of the fans will also impact airflow and air pressure, which will have a bearing on cooling performance. Certainly, the fans will make the greatest acoustic difference, but the impedance of the fin stacks may also play a part.

 

Kabuto & Zipang 2: Key Features
(from the product
web pages)
Kabuto
Zipang 2
Our Comment
Top Mount Fan
The Slip Stream 120 mm PWM fan mounted on top of the cooler is suited both
to transport the heat of the CPU cooler away and to cool down sensitive
components of the mainboard.
Scythe Kaze Maru 140mm Fan
By applying an original Scythe Kaze Maru fan, wider area of the components on the motherboard can be cooled compared to 120 mm fans while keeping low noise and high cooling ability for the CPU.
120 vs 140mm. According to the specs below, the latter is quieter but pushes a bit less air.
M.A.P.S. (Multiple Pass-Through Airflow Structure)
A completely new fin structure, where the airflow generated by the
Scythe Slip Stream 120 mm PWM fan can be used perfectly.
M.A.P.S. (Multiple Airflow Pass-Through Structure)
The heatsink has been optimized to fully utilize the ability of the included Scythe original Kaze Maru 140 mm case fan.
There are slits that divide the
fin stack, effectively splitting them into multiple sections. This
reduces resistance to airflow. This feature was first seen by SPCR in Scythe Mugen-2.
4-Way Mounting
By orientating the fixing holes of the mounting clips in a square, users
can mount the heatsink in four different ways.
Versatile Tool-Free Multiplatform System
Newly developed & patented mounting mechanism “VTMS” allows user to install Zipang 2 CPU Cooler without any tools and hassle.
Slightly different designs, same result: Versatile mounting, compatible with all current CPU sockets. Both use pushpins for Intel 775 and 1366, and clips for AMD sockets. Zipang 2 does not allow rotation of the heatsinks on AMD boards, but it is not critical for top-down coolers.

 

Scythe Kabuto & Zipang 2: Manufacturer’s Specifications
Model Name: Kabuto Zipang 2
Model #: SCKBT-1000 SCZP-2000
Manufacturer: Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan
Heatsink
Dimension: 124 x 133 x 132 mm
4.88 x 5.24 x 5.20 inch
(W x D x H, w/ fan)
145 x 149 x 106 mm / 5.71 x 5.87 x 4.17 inch
(W x D x H, w/ fan)
Weight: 730 g (SPCR measured, with fan)
Fan
Dimension: Scythe Slip Stream PWM Scythe Kaze Maru
Dimension: 120 x 120 x 25 mm 140 x 140 x 25 mm
Weight: 115 g n/a
Speed: 300 ~ 1,300 rpm (regulated via PWM) 1,000 rpm (±10%)
Noise Level: 0 – 26.5 dBA 0 – 22.74 dBA
Air Flow: 0 – 74.25 CFM
0 – 126 m³/h
0 – 51.43 CFM
0 – 87 m³/h
Bearing: Sleeve
Compatibility
CPU Socket Intel LGA1366
Intel LGA775 (T)
Intel 478
AMD AM3
AMD AM2+

AMD AM2

AMD 940
AMD 939

AMD 754

KABUTO

The Kabuto looks similar to the Scythe
Andy
, which was, until a year ago, the best down-blowing heatsink to
come into our labs. The Kabuto is bigger, taller, has copper instead of aluminum
heatpipes, equipped with a quality PWM fan, and features the MAPS fin stack design. “Kabuto” is the
name of the traditional helmet worn by Samurai — it’s an apt title as the
heatsink is bulky and top-heavy.


Kabuto with all the mounting clips.


The Kabuto is a massive down-blowing heatsink with six copper heatpipes.
Like the Mugen-2, the fins are separating into different sections by slits.
These air columns are 8.3 mm wide at the top/bottom and 3.4 mm at the
center.

 


The Kabuto is a “C” shaped cooler with heatpipes coming out
to one side from the base and then curving over itself. The fan and main
fin mass is supported only by the heatpipes. The weight creates a bend
to one side.

 


A small series of fins run through all three sections for structural integrity.
There is a small gap between the fan and the top of the heatsink to further
reduce resistance to airflow. MAPS divides the fins into three 10.7cm long stacks, each with fins of 5 x 3.8 cm.

 


Under the fan. The fins around the heatpipes are on average 0.34 mm thick
with 1.94 mm of separation.

KABUTO BASE & INSTALLATION

The most critical aspect of installation is for the heatsink
to be securely mounted. The more firmly it is installed, the better the contact
between the heatsink’s base and the CPU itself. It’s also less likely to fall
off. Ease of installation is also important — a simple mounting scheme
means less time spent installing, and a reduced likelihood of screwing up.


The heatpipes are pressed tightly between the base/mounting
plate and a smaller secondary heatsink with 1 mm thick fins with 2.5
mm separation.

 


The base is very flat with a slightly dull shine resulting in a somewhat
muddled reflection.

 


Mounting is accomplished in the typical Scythe way, with S478, AMD,
and LGA775 mounting frames that use stock retention mechanisms.. The
Kabuto does not ship with a LGA1366 frame.

 


Mounted in our test system.

ZIPANG 2

Zipang is an antiquated name for Japan, meaning “Land of the Rising Sun”. The original Zipang we reviewed last year, also with a 140mm fan, fared very well, losing out by only a couple of degrees to the Scythe Andy for best top-down cooler performance. Zipang 2’s main advancement is the MAPS fin stack design.


Zipang 2 with all the mounting hardware.

One side view…

…the heatpipes side view.


From the top, without fan. Note that MAPS has divided the fins into six 12 cm long segments, each with fins of 2.3 x 3.5 cm. These definitely pose less resistance than the fin stacks of the Kabuto.


The bottom view with well polished, nickle-plated copper base and push-pin clips in place for Intel CPU 775/1366 socket mounting.

TESTING

Before thermal testing, we took some basic physical measurements.

Scythe Kabuto & Zipang 2:
Approximate Physical Measurements
Property Kabuto Zipang 2
Weight
600 g
730 g with fan and clips
750 g with fan, clips and mounting hardware
590 g
730 g with fan and clips
750 g with fan, clips and mounting hardware
# of fins
53 68
Fin thickness
0.31 mm 0.31 mm
Fin spacing
1.94 mm 1.94 mm
Approx. area of main fin stack
6042 cm2 6568 cm2
Vertical Clearance
60 mm (motherboard PCB to heatsink’s bottom fin) 44 mm (motherboard PCB to heatsink’s bottom fin)

 

Comparison: Approximate Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Scythe Ninja 2
0.39 mm
3.68 mm
Thermalright HR-01 Plus
0.45 mm
3.15 mm
Noctua NH-U12P
0.44 mm
2.63 mm
Noctua NH-C12P
0.47 mm
2.54 mm
Thermolab Baram
0.44 mm
2.52 mm
Prolimatech Megahalems
0.50 mm
2.00 mm
Xigmatek HDT-S1283
0.33 mm
1.96 mm
Scythe Zipang 2
0.31 mm
1.94 mm
Scythe Kabuto
0.31 mm
1.94 mm
Scythe Mugen-2
0.31 mm
1.89 mm
Zerotherm Zen FZ120
0.37 mm
1.80 mm
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
0.42 mm
1.50 mm
Thermalright Ultra-120
0.45 mm
1.42 mm

Testing was done according to our
unique heatsink testing methodology
, and the included fan was profiled
using our standard fan testing
methodology
. A quick summary of the components, tools, and procedures
follows below.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform

  • Intel
    Pentium D 950
    Presler core, C1 stepping. TDP of 95W; under our test
    load, it measures 78W including losses in the VRMs.
  • Asus P5Q-EM motherboard.
    A microATX board with integrated graphics and short solid-state capacitors
    around the CPU socket, and a diminutive northbridge heatsink for maximum compatibility.
  • Intel
    X25-M
    80GB 2.5″ solid-state drive.
  • 1GB
    of Corsair XMS2
    DDR2 memory. 2 x 512MB PC2-8500.
  • FSP Zen 300W
    fanless power supply.
  • Arctic Silver
    Lumière
    : Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed
    specifically for test labs.
  • Nexus 120 fan (part of our standard testing methodology; used when
    possible with heatsinks that fit 120x25mm fans)
Nexus 120mm fan measurements
Voltage
Noise
RPM
12V
16 dBA@1m
1100 RPM
9V
13 dBA@1m
890 RPM
7V
12 dBA@1m
720 RPM
5V
11 dBA@1m
530 RPM

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Seasonic
    Power Angel
    for measuring AC power at the wall to ensure that the
    heat output remains consistent.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate
    the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer:
    SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital
    audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber
    with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our
    standard fan testing methodology
    .
  • SpeedFan, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensor. This sensor is not
    calibrated, so results are not universally applicable.
  • CPUBurn
    P6
    , used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most
    real applications. Two instances are used to ensure that both cores are stressed.
  • Throttlewatch
    2.01
    , used to monitor the throttling feature of the CPU to determine
    when overheating occurs.

Load testing was accomplished using CPUBurn to stress the processor, and the
graph function in SpeedFan was used to make sure that the load temperature was
stable for at least ten minutes. The stock fan was tested at various voltages
to represent a good cross-section of its airflow and noise performance.

KABUTO TEST RESULTS

Stock Fan Testing

The stock fan on the Kabuto is the same PWM model that shipped with the Mugen-2,
a PWM version of the 1200 RPM SY1225SL12M from the acclaimed Slip Stream series.


Stock Fan Specifications
Manufacturer Scythe Power Rating 2.16 W
Model Number SY1225SL12LM-P Airflow Rating 74.25 CFM
Bearing Type Sleeve RPM Rating 1200
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 26.5 dBA
Hub Size 1.41″ (35.9 mm) Header Type 4-pin PWM
Weight 110 grams Starting Voltage ~5V
The data in the blue cells is provided by the manufacturer;
we measured the data cited in the green cells

The fan that shipped with the Kabuto was slightly louder than one that came
with the Mugen-2, particularly in regards to bearing noise — it was not
as smooth. This is probably a result of variance or possible damage during shipping.
When we placed the Mugen-2’s fan on the Kabuto, it tested the same as previously,
so it was definitely the fan itself that was slightly “off” —
the heatsink it was mounted on did not affect our measurements.

Fan Measurements
Voltage
Mugen 2 Stock Fan
Kabuto Stock Fan
SPL@1m
Speed
SPL@1m
Speed
12V
24 dBA
1340 RPM
26 dBA
1320 RPM
10V
15 dBA
1020 RPM
17 dBA
1020 RPM
9V
12 dBA
790 RPM
13 dBA
810 RPM
8V
11 dBA
500 RPM
11 dBA
560 RPM

Kabuto Fan Subjective Impressions:

@ 12V: The fan produces mostly turbulent noise with a bit of a low-pitched
drone.

@ 10V: At this level, the noise drops significantly from 26 dBA@1m
to 17 dBA@1m. The acoustics are excellent with only a small amount of benign
turbulence, and slight buzz..

@ 9V: The fan sounds fairly smooth, with some noise emanating from
the bearing at close proximity.

@ 8V: Inaudible at one meter’s distance.

Cooling Results

Scythe Kabuto w/ stock fan
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
26 dBA
35°C
11
0.14
10V
17 dBA
38°C
14
0.18
9V
13 dBA
41°C
17
0.22
8V
11 dBA
46°C
22
0.28
Scythe Kabuto w/ reference 120mm fan
12V
16 dBA
37°C
13
0.17
9V
13 dBA
39°C
15
0.19
7V
12 dBA
43°C
19
0.24
5V
11 dBA
50°C
26
0.33
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (24°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured
78W); lower is better.

The Scythe Kabuto performed extremely well for a top-down cooler, which are
typically perform poorer than vertically-oriented heatsinks. At 12V the CPU
temperature was 11°C above ambient, putting it in league with some of today’s
top heatsinks, though the noise level was much too high at 26 dBA. At 10V, the
fan was considerably quieter and performance suffered by only 3°C. At 9V,
it measured only 13 dBA which is effectively inaudible at one meter in most
environments. Cooling was reduced by another 3°C — the sweet spot for
the Kabuto is between 10V and 9V. At 8V, the fan was completely inaudible in
our anechoic chamber. The CPU temperature increased by an additional 5°C.

When paired with our reference Nexus fan, cooling efficiency was slightly better
(2°C) at the 13 dBA level. At 11 dBA however performance was in Scythe’s
favor, with a 4°C advantage.

ZIPANG 2 TEST RESULTS

Stock Fan Testing

The stock fan on the Zipang 2 is different from the one supplied with the original Zipang. Instead of the usual square boxy frame, the Kaze Maru 140mm fan uses a circular frame, presumably to reduce its footprint and weight. As a result, the mounting holes have the same spacing as on a typical 120mm box fan. The SY1425SL12ML does not appears among Scythe’s other retail Kaze Maru fans, and differs from the 1,200 rpm SY1425SL12M retail model in that its speed is slightly lower at 1,000 rpm.


Stock Fan Specifications
Manufacturer Scythe Power Rating 2.16W
Model Number SY1425SL12ML Airflow Rating 51.43 CFM
Bearing Type Sleeve RPM Rating 1000
Size 140 x 140 x 25 mm Noise Rating 22.74 dBA
Hub Size 1.94″ (49 mm) Header Type 3-pin
Weight 140 grams Starting Voltage ~2.5V (250 rpm)
The data in the blue cells is provided by the manufacturer;
we measured the data cited in the green cells

This fan proved to be one of the quietest ever tested. We believe it is quieter than the original Zipaing fan, but since that unit was tested outside the anechoic chamber and is no longer in our possession, we cannot be certain. We can compare it with the 120mm fan on the Kabuto, however.

Fan Measurements
Zipang 2 140mm Fan
Kabuto 120mm Fan
SPL@1m
Speed
SPL@1m
Speed
24 dBA
1340 RPM
19 dBA
980 RPM
17 dBA
1020 RPM
14 dBA
800 RPM
13 dBA
790 RPM
12 dBA
680 RPM
<11dBA
520 RPM
11 dBA
500 RPM

At ~1,000 rpm, the Kabuto’s 120mm fan measured slightly lower, but at ~800 rpm, the two fans were about the same. Keep in mind that at the same rpm, the larger 140mm fan always pushes a bit more air.

Zipang 2 Fan Subjective Impressions:

@ 12V – 980 rpm: Mostly turbulence noise with minor complexities.

@ 9V – 800 rpm: The noise drops significantly
to 14dBA@1m, which is essentially inaudible. The acoustics are excellent, with no obvious tonalities, ticking or buzzing.

@ 7V – 680 rpm: Audible only from extremely close up.

@ 5V – 520 rpm: Inaudible.

Cooling Results

Scythe Zipang 2 w/ stock fan
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
19 dBA
35°C
13
0.17
9V
14 dBA
37°C
15
0.19
7V
12 dBA
40°C
18
0.23
5V
<11 dBA
49°C
27
0.35
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (23°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured
78W); lower is better.

The Zipang 2 performed very well, a degree or two behind the Kabuto at each cooler’s highest fan speeds. With the Zipang 2 fan at full speed, the CPU
temperature was 13°C above ambient, just 2°C behind the Kabuto but much quieter at 19 vs 26 dBA@1m for the Kobuto. At 9V, the fan was already just about inaudible, and the performance dropped by only 2°C. Even at 7V, at a mere 12 dBA@1m, it performed well, with only an 18°C rise in temperature.

There was no point trying a Nexus 120 fan on this heatsink. The stock heatsink is as quiet or quieter and it moves more air.

COMPARABLES

The performance results of the Zipang 2 and the Kabuto are almost identical when the SPL is used as the reference. The Zipang 2’s cooling performance falls shy at the higher speed, but mainly because of the Kabuto fan’s much higher speed, which comes with a stiff noise price tag. When the fans on the two heatsinks are matched for <20 dBA noise, then the cooling performance is only marginally separated. With these smooth sounding fans, anything below ~ 15 dBA@1m as measured in our anechoic chamber is essentially inaudble; for 99% of users, no further noise reductions will be audible due to the masking effect of other noises in the environment.

Cooling: Kabuto vs Zipang 2 w/ stock fans
SPL
Zipang 2
Kabuto
dBA@1m
°C Rise
°C Rise
26
11
19
13
17
14
14
15
13
17
12
18
11
27
22

 

°C rise Comparison: The Best of the Best
Heatsink
Nexus 120mm fan voltage / SPL @1m
12V
9V
7V
5V
16 dBA
13 dBA
12 dBA
11 dBA
Prolimatech Megahalems
10
14
17
20
Thermalright U120E
12
14
17
24
Thermalright HR-01+
13
15
16
20
Xigmatek HDT-S1283
13
15
18
22
Scythe Kabuto
13
15
19
26
Noctua NH-U12P
14
16
17
21
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
14
17
21
26
Zerotherm Zen FZ120
15
16
19
24
Scythe Mugen-2
15
17
19
23
Noctua NH-C12P
16
18
21
26
Scythe Ninja 2
17
18
20
23
Subject Coolers with stock fans
(some cooling results extrapolated for SPL)
Scythe Kabuto
14
17
18
22
Scythe Zipang 2*
14
17
18
27
* Not tested with reference 120mm fan.

The Kabuto is the best down-blowing heatsink we’ve tested, edging the previous top dog, the Noctua
NH-C12P
. It also is the first down-blower to comfortably compete with
the best tower coolers of today. Using our reference Nexus fan, at 7V and above
it is a serious top 5 contender, almost matching the performance of the Xigmatek
HDT-S1283
and Noctua
NH-U12P
.

At 5V it loses a lot of its performance probably due to its tight fin spacing.
If we were to judge it at that level alone, it falls about 5 spots tying the
Zalman CNPS10X and Noctua
NH-C12P. Fortunately the 5V level is a little unrealistic — for an average
user, the fan would be inaudible at 7V and below unless their system was only
a foot away from their head.

The Zipang 2 essentially matches the Kabuto in noise/performance with their respective stock fans at all levels under 20 dBA@1m. If it was equipped with a slightly faster fan, Zipang 2 would match the cooling performance of the Kabuto at full fan speed. It’s no surpruse, given all the similarities in design. Only the maximum fan airflow is different (in favor of the Kabuto) and the total fin area (in favor of the Zipang 2).

It’s a toss-up as to which is the better choice. Price, noise and cooling are all very similar, with a bit of a nod to the Kabuto for maximum cooling with a very hot CPU. On the other hand, the 1″ lower profile of the Zipang 2 may allow it to be used in smaller cases.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system
inside SPCR’s
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber
, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We’ve listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn’t hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn’t record it either!

The recording starts with 10 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan
at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that
the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don’t change the volume
setting again.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Both Kabuto and Zipang 2 turned in very impressive performances. Kabuto is the first
down-blowing heatsink to displace some of the better side-blowing coolers on
our top performers list. Its cooling efficiency only becomes less than stellar
when the fan speed is reduced to ridiculously low levels. The Kabuto is also
about 13 cm tall, so it will fit in a some cases where a typical high performance 15-16cm tower
heatsink will not. Motherboard compatibility shouldn’t be an issue — if
its heatpipes get in the way of any board components, it can be rotated to avoid
interference.

It is fairly obvious why the Kabuto and the Zipang 2 are the best performing top-down airflow
heatsinks — their fans are excellent and the area of their cooling fins is enormous, greater than any others we’re aware of… except for Scythe’s own monstrosity, Orochi, which is so oversized that we’ve vowed never to review it lest skimming readers interpret the mere existence of the article as our tacit approval (even though we use one in a silent lab PC). The Kabuto is very tall,
and for the fan to work properly, it needs some clearance above, which means it really shouldn’t be considered any “shorter” than the big tower coolers — unless there is a vent in the case directly over the Kabuto’s fan. The height of the Kabuto also places the fan a fair distance above the motherboard components its airflow is supposed to help cool, and at very low speed, this design advantage
may become moot. A tower cooler, which can work more effectively in concert
with a case’s rear exhaust fan may be a better choice.

The 1″ lower height of the Zipang 2 and its virtually identical cooling performance makes it an obvious alternative when the Kabuto will not fit. However, it is slightly wider and deeper, and these dimensions need to be checked, especially where the CPU socket is very close to the edge of the motherboard.

Our real gripe about both of these heatsinks is Scythe’s typical mounting system —
bolt-thru designs are inherently superior. Bolt-and-spring mounting results in better performance
due to improved contact between the CPU and the heatsink’s base,
and makes for a more secure installation as well. We get nervous using the stock retention
mechanism for heatsinks that are heavier than about 600 grams.
The stock mounting systems’ only advantage is convenience, and with the Intel plastic push-pins, it’s really not that convenient either. (Scythe does offer optional bolt-through “stabilizer” kits for socket 775 and AMD K8/AM2 but the price is not right at over $10.)

In summary, Kabuto and Zipang 2 offer superb performance and excellent stock fans. If you believe
in the merits of top-down cooling, then their $45~$55 price-tags are more than reasonable. Even if
you don’t care about motherboard cooling, these coolers still match the performance
of many of today’s top tower heatsinks, at least on our open test bed. Well done, Scythe.

Scythe Kabuto
PROS

* Superb performance
* Quality stock fan
* Versatile mounting orientations

CONS

* No bolt through mounting
* A bit tall

Scythe Zipang 2
PROS

* Superb performance
* Amazingly quiet fan
* Versatile mounting orientations

CONS

* No bolt through mounting
* A bit wide

Our thanks to Scythe
for the review samples.

Scythe SCKBT-1000 120mm Sleeve Kabuto 6 Heat Pipes CPU Cooler
Buy the Scythe Kabuto from Newegg.com

Note: Zipang 2 does not appear on Scythe’s US site and is hard to find in the US or Canada.

* * *

Articles of Related Interest

LGA775 Low Profile Heatsink
Roundup

Scythe Mugen-2 CPU Cooler
Scythe Katana 3: Same slant, new version
CNPS10X Extreme: Zalman’s Extreme Makeover
ZEROtherm CORE92 Direct-Touch CPU
Cooler

Cooler Master Hyper N520 dual
92mm fan cooler

* * *

Discuss this article in the
SPCR forums.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *