Scythe is renowned for their uber large CPU coolers. These high performance coolers are normally a favourite among gamers and overclockers alike. However, silencing is normally a large problem that is entailed on a large variety of these heat sink and fan combinations. Today though, we have another CPU cooler from the Japanease manufacturer Scythe, the Scythe Zipang. This cooler doesn’t just pack good performance though, but it’s also relatively quiet at its rated 21dBA. Let’s give it a spin…
Aside from sounding like the name of a Pokémon, Scythe was started in Tokyo Japan in 2002 manufacturing PC parts and gaming devices.
Scythe’s first venture was to manufacture a super powerful, yet super quiet CPU cooler (Scythe Kamakaze CPU cooler) and with the great success of this Kamakaze CPU cooler, Scythe became recognized as the leading CPU cooler supplier in Japan. Shortly there after, due to popular demand, Scythe began exporting products all over the world.
- Newest Technology – UPHC!
Newest UPHC (Uneven Parallel Heatpipe Construction) is equipped to maximize the heat dissipation from heat pipes, which eliminates the heat dissipation loss during the heat transfer process.
- Large Sized Silent 140mm Fan
Large sized 140mm fan to provide big airflow, yet optimization for silent operation
- Total of 6 Heat pipes for Top Performance
6 x 6mm diameter heat pipes to provide the top cooling performance
- Wide Range Cooling
Optimized to get its performance from low-rpm to high-rpm to meet the demand from silent users to heavy-core overclockers. All in one solution for your PC system.
|Model Name||ZIPANG CPU Cooler|
|Manufacturer||Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan|
|Overall Dimensions||145 x 148 x 112 mm|
|Fan Dimensions||139 x 139 x 25 mm|
|Fan Speed||1000 rpm (±10%)|
|Air Flow||51.82 CFM|
|Noise Level||21.00 dBA|
|Compatibility||775, 478, AM2, 940, 939, 754|
The Zipang comes in a thick cardboard box. Styled in yellowy green, the product will catch some serious attention. There’s no doubt that the Scythe’s packaging has been designed for the Zipang to be sold on shops shelves as there’s a hanger built into the top of the box.
The front and top of the box is packed full of photos and brief information which should easily gain attention from wondering eyes. The main features which are highlighted on the front of the box are those written above and which sockets the Zipang supports. With the CPU support info; there’s a photo to go with each showing the individual clip mechanisms.
The right side of the box explains the features in more detail whilst the left side lists the Scythe’s specifications in clear table form. At the rear of the box the warranty agreement is listed in two sections: Warranty in Japan and Warranty outside of Japan.
Altogether this box is very informative and provides all the necessary information for any potential buyer. As all the content is written in a variety of languages the Zipang is suitable for shop shelves in a large number of countries.
Opening the box up reveals the interior split into two sections, the smaller of the two containing all the accessories.
The accessories included are as follows:
- Multi-lingual installation leaflet
- Sachet of thermal paste
- Four Screws for securing the mounting clips
- Socket 775 ‘push-pin’ mounting clip
- Socket 478 mounting clip
- AMD 754/939/940/AM2 mounting clip
These are all the accessories you’d need for the installation. I was a bit disappointed that a sachet of thermal paste was included unlike most of the newer coolers, which bundle a syringe of paste for multiple installations.
The Scythe Zipang
The Zipang uses the ‘top-down’ format of design where a fan is mounted horizontally – unlike most CPU coolers which have their fan mounted vertically. This format is uncommon in the computer industry as the classic ‘tower design’ has been proven to produce far better temperatures. However, what is often disregarded is that the ‘top-down’ design – as well as cooling the CPU – helps to cool components around the processor. For instance, RAM modules and chipsets also benefit from the cooling.
Aesthetically, the Scythe is pretty darn impressive. It features shiny copper heatpipes and lots of nickel plated aluminium. This really gives an impression of superior quality about the CPU Cooler.
Atop the many aluminium fins lies a 139mm fan. This is joined at all four corners by two metal rods. Unfortunately this fan cannot be replaced with a 120mm’er as the metal rods don’t reach the holes on a 120mm fan. So no flashy LED’s, as the Scythe doesn’t incorporate any either…bummer. However, as the fan produces a low 21dBA at 1000rpm, if you’re after silence then stick with the stock fan – it’s a gooden.
The highly dense heat-sink which the Scythe fan rests on has many 1mm aluminium fins. These will greatly help to dissipate heat. Threading through these fins are 6 shiny copper heatpipes. They protrude right out of the last aluminium fin and have been rounded off – unlike other heatpipes we’ve seen in the past. These copper pipes are pretty cool, Hot Rod stylie.
Oddly enough, there’s another heatsink beneath all the aluminium fins. This one is much simpler though. Its nickel plated, giving it a shiny metallic finish and features ‘slats’ which have been routed out of the block. Whether or not this block will add any extra performance to the Zipang only time will tell. It does look very nice though but adds some serious weight to the Scythe.
The base of the Zipang is fixed to the nickel plated heatsink and has 6 shiny copper heatpipes coming into contact from above. This isn’t a direct heatpipe solution like many of the newer CPU coolers but should still work effectively. Like many coolers, there’s a plastic label protecting the base from any greasy fingerprints, dirt etc which could interfere with the performance of the Zipang. Removing this plastic label reveals a flat but very reflective surface in which will come in contact with the CPU’s IHS. Unfortunately this base is nickel plated – positive in the way of aesthetics and durability, but could slightly hinder the performance of the cooler. A shiny but flat aluminium surface would have been much better for thermal dissipation.
The Scythe Zipang is powered by a 3-pin adapter, so no PVM technology in use with this cooler. Damn.
For socket 775 installations:
The first part of the install is relatively simple, screw four screws into the base of the cooler securing the Intel Push Pin mounting mechanism.
Then apply some thermal paste to your CPU. We used Arctic Silver 5 with the Scythe Zipang instead of the stock paste.
The next bit, attaching the CPU Cooler to the motherboard did get me quite nervous. As this cooler weighs a whopping 815g, I was somewhat unsure whether the push pins were enough to take the weight of the cooler. Like standard, you then need to push the pins into the motherboard’s holes. As the push pins are below the largest heatsink of the Zipang, this was quite fiddy – making the installation difficult and somewhat lengthy.
Then all which was needed was to attach the 3-pin fan connector to the 3-pin header on the motherboard.
In my opinion, the Zipang’s installation was slightly worrying because of the weight of the cooler. Realistically, Scythe should have used a retention bracket and screw mounting system for the cooler as it adds some serious weight to your motherboard and the Intel Push Pin method isn’t really designed for CPU coolers of this weight.
Needless to say, it didn’t come loose whilst the testing was carried out but it did bend my motherboard slightly.
|Case||Antec Twelve Hundred|
|Processor||Intel C2D E8400|
|Memory||4GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer|
|Motherboard||Asus P5K Premium|
|Graphics Card||Vivikoo 9600GT|
|Power Supply||Kingwin Mach 1|
|Hard Drive||SATA Western Digital SE16 500GB|
|Optical Drive||SATA Samsung DVD-RW|
To test CPU Coolers we simply boot the PC up into Windows Vista and measure temperatures under idle and load states. The temperature is recorded from the CPU’s own diode using SpeedFan.
For idle testing, we leave the PC doing nothing for half an hour and take 3 temperature readings at 10 second intervals after 30mins. We then use the average score from these as the result. When testing at load temperatures, we use a similar method but load both cores of our CPU right to 100% by loading two processes of ‘CPU Burn-In’.
Ambient (testing environment) temperature was 21 degrees Celsius.
We’ll be comparing the Scythe Zipang to the stock Intel Cooler (copper base model). Arctic Silver 5 is the thermal paste which will be used when testing either of the coolers as this is the paste most users will likely apply to their CPU. To ensure an accurate comparison, we set the RPM of the Intel Stock Cooler to match that off the CPU cooler being tested.
The Stock speed of the E8400 is 3GHz with a 333FSB. The overclocked speed we’ll also be testing the coolers with is at 3.6GHz – 400FSB.
*Measured in Celsius
|Scythe Zipang||Stock Intel Cooler
(copper base version)
It’s obvious from the results that the Scythe Zipang is a far more superior cooler than the stock Intel cooler. It manages to cool the E8400 much better than the stock cooler at load and overclocked states. This proves to show it’s good at quickly dissipating heat when cooling the processor under high stress levels.
Noise…what? The Zipang is pretty much silent, yes you heard me correctly…S-I-L-E-N-T – something stated on many products which is usually untrue. However, the Scythe is silent even with my ear so close to the fan that I could be Van Gogh within in a matter of seconds. This low noise level is due to two obvious factors: the fan and the RPM (1000rpm). When we powered the stock Intel Cooler to this RPM, it was much louder and produced much less airflow.
The Scythe Zipang retails at around £30 – 35. This isn’t a bad price to pay for a CPU cooler which gives good performance and silent usage.
From this review I can conclude to say that the Scythe Zipang is a very good CPU cooler in terms of the low noise levels and its performance offering. In regards to aesthetics, it’s a certainly not an ugly-looking piece of kit and would look good inside any PC with its nice shiny copper and nickel plated offerings.
Where the Zipang fails though is in its installation. It’s very fiddly to install and is much too heavy for Intel’s push pins. But once installed, it’s definitely worth the hassle.
For ~£30, the Zipang is a great purchase for anyone wanting a nice quiet but efficient CPU cooler.
- Good performance
- Looks beastly
- Plenty of CPU support
- Nice price tag
- Installation is fiddly
- Bent my motherboard