- Page 1 Scythe Samurai CPU Cooler Review
- Page 2 Scythe Samurai CPU Cooler Review
In the end I decided to test the cooler on an Athlon 64 3200+ machine instead – the mounting seemed to be easier, as you don’t use the mounting brackets, but rather two long screws and a couple of springs. This seemed easy enough to use, but again, there is no way of telling how far you’re meant to screw it in. In the end the springs got a bit damaged, but the heatsink is now firmly attached to the processor.
I would be very cautious to recommend this CPU cooler to anyone using an Athlon XP processor, as if you’re not extremely careful you could damage the bare die. But it’s not all bad – it is a very quiet and efficient cooler and as long as you can get past the installation issues, you’re going to realise that you’ve got yourself a very good product. One last thing before we move on to some test results, the cooler is very tall, so make sure you’ve got enough space in your case to fit it.
To give you an idea of how good the Scythe Samurai performs against a stock cooler I decided to use a standard AMD retail fan for comparison. At idle the CPU produced an average temperature of around 44-45 degrees C. To load the CPU and to produce as much heat as possible I used CPU Burn, which puts a 100% load on the CPU. CPU Burn was run until the temperature stopped rising.
The AMD stock cooler running at around 6,000rpm stopped at 54 degrees C, which is a pretty reasonable result. The Samurai on the other hand reached exactly the same temperature at full speed (3,300rpm), although it is quoted to produce some 37dBa at this speed. At about half speed (2,200rpm) the temperature peaked at 57 degrees C, while at it slowest setting (1,300rpm) it hit 59 degrees C.
But what impressed more than the cooling capabilities was the low noise level, as I could hardly believe how much quieter the PC became after replacing the AMD stock cooler with the Samurai. Even at full speed it seemed to produce less than half the noise of the AMD cooler.
This doesn’t take into account heat produced by other components in your PC and the case that was used had two 120mm case fans as well as a 120mm fan in the PSU, which would create a low ambient temperature. I would expect these temperatures to increase by a few degrees when playing games as the graphics card would generate more heat and the ambient temperature would rise.
With good test results there is only one factor left to take in to account and that is the asking price. The Samurai will set you back £29.38 from QuietPC, which specialises in low noise PC solutions. This makes it a fairly cheap CPU cooler considering how quiet it is.
The Scythe Samurai produced some excellent results both in terms of heat dissipation and noise, but the retention mechanism could do with a redesign – it must be one of the hardest coolers I’ve ever installed. But if you get past the installation, you’ll have a great bit of kit covering your processor.
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