Date: April 12th, 2004
Article by: Roger (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor)
Purchase a Scythe Kamakaze Cooler Here--> QuietPC
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PRODUCT WALKTHROUGH & PICTORIAL (cont'd)
The copper base is protected by a protective film. Upon removing the film, I was immediately disappointed in the surface area. There were no scratches and no lapping is necessary, however it was far from a mirror finish. I made certain to clean it up as best I could before installing it.
The inset appears to be press-fitted and looks perfect from every angle. The copper base ensures the best heat dissipation. Between that and the aluminum pin, it would stand to reason that even at lower RPMs, this cooler should keep the CPU relatively cool.
The last thing I want to mention before I get into the testing is the horrible marks on the unit. On each corner, there is a very noticeable spot weld scar. Seeing as these units are hoping to attract overclockers and modders alike, you'd think that such ugly mistakes would be avoided.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
We'll start off with an AMD installation. I'll be comparing the Kamakaze to my Thermaltake Volcano 12. The Volcano is a fantastic cooling unit for my testbed. At low speed, I'd use it in a regular system, but I'd never crank it up too high via the speed controller just because I've heard jet engines that make less noise than it does at full speed (5500 RPM). In a testbed though, I care very little about silence… when I'm pushing a CPU to the max, I am far more concerned with protecting my investment.
Albatron KX18D Pro II
AMD Athlon XP2500+ @ 1.84GHZ (when idle) and @ 2.45GHz (when overclocked and under 100% load)
OCZ 512MB Platinum Dual Channel PC3200 DDR400 RAM
ATi Radeon 9600XT
Room Temperature: 27c
The Kamakaze uses the 3 x 3 lug attachment system. This is great as it ensures the unit is secure and will not move around and come loose (and come crashing down on your video card). Installation is very easy. You just have to loosen the screws on either side, sit the cooler onto the CPU, slip all of the lugs into place, then start screwing the unit into place. You want to exert a lot of caution here. Screw evenly on both sides, and do not over tighten or you will risk cracking your CPU.
The problem is that the instructions are not very clear. They state; "Gradually tighten the screws until your feel the bars reach the top." Now, as you can see from this image, the bar is very nearly touching the top, and in all honesty, I probably over tightened it. The CPU was not damaged, but the cooler would have been just as tight on the bracket had I not given it those last couple turns.
The AMD installation is not what worried me however… and you'll see what I mean when we get to the Intel installation.
The point that is imperative for you to get here though is this… do not over-tighten this unit. Don't look at my picture and figure you should keep cranking on yours until it is this high. Like I said, in hindsight, I should not have tightened it this much. I'm a tech and I know better, and I look at this picture and slap myself on the forehead thankful I didn't crack my 2500+.
Onto the testing.
I left the system idle for several hours, checking it periodically and jotting down the temperature (determined via Motherboard Monitor 5.3.6). I then used the average from all the scores.
As you can see, without stressing the CPU, the Kamakaze actually was a degree cooler with the fan on low and high. This was great to see, because with both fans on high, it is very obvious which I preferred! The Kamakaze was barely audible even on high, which is music to my ears (very quiet music, that is).
From there, I overclocked the CPU to add some heat and started up Prime95 and made sure that the system was kept under 100% load. Again, I left it for several hours, jotting down the temperatures periodically. At the lower fan speed, they were dead even. However at higher RPMs, the Volcano kept the CPU cooler… but just by 1 degree.
Any cooler than can compete with the Volcano is fantastic in my opinion. Toss in the fact that it is nearly half as noisy on high, and you have a clear winner!
Onto the Intel side.