Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 – Test and Review

Since the beginning of Scythe, the engineers part of the company always delivered very innovative products in various shapes, sizes and with wide range of performance capabilities. For the past several years we were able to see some pretty serious products, which over time were constantly improved to deliver better performance or appearance. For this review I received one of the latest products recently added to the company portfolio, Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2, which is actually an improved version of the original Kotetsu cooler with asymmetrical design for better compatibility, better performance at the same price.


The cooler itself arrived in the typical for the company pretty tight, very solid and colorful carton package with a big picture of the product itself accompanied by some major details related with the product on the front package, while all other technical details in several languages are described on all other sides of the box. And trust me… there are tons of details regarding this product.

By opening the package, the first thing to notice was a pretty small white carton box holding all of the additional accessories needed for both Intel and AMD sockets. And by removing the accessories box I reached to the cooler itself placed inside Styrofoam sheet formed as a bed and protecting both the heat sink and the fan from every side. The cooler arrived to me in perfect condition so I should say … job done.

Now lets proceed with the article by checking the additional accessories.

 

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES

Scythe is definitely a company which is not cutting costs and for that reason they always include a pretty solid accessories pack featuring everything needed for normal usage both with Intel and AMD processors.  And to maintain the high quality level, all of the additional accessories were packed in separate labeled transparent nylon bags to ensure that all of them will be in perfect condition accompanying the cooler inside on its delivery.

The standard Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 accessories pack features:

  1. Very solid black metal back plate required for all of the Intel 115X, 755 and 1366 sockets
  2. A set of 4 black plastic spacers to stay between the motherboard and the front plates for 115X, 755 and 1366 and all AMD sockets
  3. A set of 4 silver metal screw pillars required for all LGA 20xx sockets.
  4. A set of 4 metal thumb screws required for all Intel and AMD sockets
  5. 2 x front silver metal plates for all Intel sockets
  6. 2 x front long silver mounting bars required for AMD vertical installation
  7. A set of 4 long bolts to support the whole mounting kit
  8. A rubber spacer for 775 socket.
  9. 1 x Scythe Kaze Flex 120 PWM
  10. Two metal clips for attaching one fan to the heat sink
  11. A small bag of thermal compound
  12. Intel and AMD installation manuals

All of the accessories provided with the cooler are part of the patented H.P.M.S. III (Hyper Precision Mounting System III) which is based on a preassembled mounting bar, which features spring-loaded screws to guarantee perfect contact pressure and the best possible cooling performance.

For now lets put the additional accessories aside until they are required and let’s pay some attention to the cooler’s structure.

 

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 HEAT SINK STRUCTURE

As always, to provide the most detailed and accurate review I spent some time examining the cooler’s structure which features a pretty sleek single tower heat sink, a single Scythe Kaze Flex 120 PWM cooling unit accompanied by a very reliable and easy to use mounting system.

The heat sink itself is with dimensions of 154 (H) x 130 (W) x 58 (D) mm and when the Scythe Kaze Flex 120 PWM is added to the structure, the overall dimensions of the cooler are 154 (H) x 130 (W) x 83(D) mm and total weight of 645 grams.

So, first let’s start with checking the contact plate and the heat-pipes.

 The contact plate  The top plate

 

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 is a cute, average sized CPU cooler designed and manufactured with a perfectly milled and very shiny nickel coated contact plate with dimensions of 38 x 38 mm holding in line 4 x Ø6mm nick-coated heat pipes. The contact plate itself is holding on its top side a mounting bar with spring loaded screws for attaching the heatsink to the motherboard. The bar itself is attached via small screw which I assume was fastened before the top fin was sealed on top of the heatsink and is not accessible with a regular screw driver. On the other hand the bottom side of the contact plate is holding the bent to the back 4 heatpipes which will transfer the heat to the aluminum fins stack for heat dissipation.

And as a next step let’s proceed the article with checking the aluminum fins stack.

Front view  Front-side view

 

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 is shaped as an asymmetrical according to the center of the cooler single tower heat sink with fins stack dimensions of 114 (H) x 130 (W) x 58 (D) and offering 56 absolutely identical performance 0.4 mm thick aluminum fins with 2 mm fin gap. On top of the stack there is one 1mm thick aluminum plate which is holding the company logo and overall is improving the appearance of the product.

The cooler is definitely designed for maximum compatibility to allow unrestricted use of all memory slots. It also slides away the heatsink away from the graphics card, leaving enough space for even the most massive VGA heatsinks.

Interesting thing regarding the fins stack is that when I checked the cooler from the sides I was able to see a hole through every fin which is definitely needed so a screw driver can pass through and fasten the screw holding the mounting bar. And to gain access to it, the top fin should be detached from the fins stack.

I believe it is time to check what the fan provided in the package has to offer.

 

The fan delivered with the heatsink is just one Scythe Kaze Flex 120 PWM , which I had the chance to test in the past with dimensions of 120 x 120 x 27 mm designed with an entirely painted in black frame and propeller with 11 pretty narrow but very sharply angled blades working at 300 (±200) ~ 1200 (±10%) revolutions per minute, providing airflow level range of 16.6 ~ 51.17 CFM, with static pressure level range of 0,076 ~ 1,05 mmH²O at noise level range of 4.0 ~ 24.9 dBA.

The connection between the propeller and the frame is done by 4-pin PWM powered and regulated Sealed Precision FDB bearing made to provide extremely quiet, stable and long life operation of up to 120.000 hours.

Front-side view Side view

 

And to do the actual fan installation I just had to add the 2 metal clips to the fan and then press the fan towards the heat-sink and clip the two metal brackets to the aluminum fins stack. The cooler itself is capable to operate with second fan installed on the back of the heatsink but there are no additional fan brackets in the package. And if second fan is added the cooler will grow significantly in matter of dimensions and most probably will interfere with the VRM heatsinks on the motherboard.

With the fully assembled cooler, let’s pay attention to the mounting kit and proceed with the tests.

Based on the official technical details, the cooler is capable to operate with processors working on:

  1. Intel sockets:  LGA2011 / 2011-v3, LGA2066, LGA1366, LGA115x and LGA775 sockets
  2. AMD sockets: AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+ (backplate required)

And as an additional note from the company please pay attention to the following details:

Please note that an original backplate with screw mounting is needed for installation on mainboards with AMD sockets. Please check before buying if the backplate is fixed by screws (example)! If the backplate uses plastic-pins, mounting of this cooler is not possible.

Scythe

In my case, for doing the tests with my AMD FX8350 rig, which is AM3+ socket I will use the provided in the package accessories and these are the parts needed so the cooler can be installed on the motherboard.

But before I proceed with the actual installation I had to check the AMD installation manual, read the instructions carefully and prepare all of the mounting kit parts.

In this case there is nothing much to prepare, since the back plate is the original provided with the motherboard and all I had to do is to install it, place the plastic spacers on the motherboard. After that add the front metal brackets and secure them with the long bolts.

And here I would like to mention that the plastic spacers are actually a structure of plastic tube with inserted rubber core to provide better grip and more rigid connection between the motherboard and the metal bars. I should say it is definitely a nice touch.

The last step was to add thermal compound and secure the heat sink to the processor

And this is what this CPU cooler looks like installed on the motherboard:

 Heat sink seen from the front Heat sink seen from the side

 

As you can see from the pictures above, with the heatsink installed on the motherboard the cooler is not blocking any of the DRAM slots and can be used even with memories with taller heat spreaders.

And this is what the cooler looks like installed on the motherboard and inside the case ready for testing.

As a next step of this article I believe it is time to check the actual cooling capabilities of this product but first, let’s check my testing rig and continue the article.

 

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 TESTS

CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350

  1. At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.368V)

Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3

Video card: Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD

Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Hard drive:  WD Server Edition WD1002F9YZ 1TB

Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03

Power supply: Antec HCP-750W

Cooler: Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2

Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

The tests will be conducted in a closed system with:

  1. 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel of the case putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
  2. 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
  3. Room temperature of about 22 degrees.

Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.

And here I want to describe my testing method.

I will install Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the AIO for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.368V) using the Kaze Flex 120 PWM fan installed on the front of the heat sink, rotating at maximum speed of 1100 revolutions per minute.

And since this is a cooler with pretty tight dimensions focused for normal daily usage inside regular PC and my CPU is not a exactly such type and most of all energy saver I will perform a test just on the default frequency. In fact I also tried a test on 4200mhz but the cooler was able to maintain my system working for about 7 minutes. After that the processor just overheated and crashed.

Now let’s check out the test results:

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 @4020MHz 1.368V  
 
   
   

 

All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:

And the fan speed during the tests:

I believe the time to share my thoughts has arrived

 

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 CONCLUSIONS

1. Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 performance:

After I spent some quality time having fun with Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 and all of the additional parts, there is no doubt that this product is one pretty sleek and very well performing budged CPU cooler.

The cooler itself is with a pretty tight dimensions and still very well designed, definitely focused for smaller form factor personal computers and that also include cubical HTPC systems used for normal daily usage. Still it is able to deliver very promising cooling results and handled to maintain my pretty power hungry processor running stable through the first test on stock frequency at maximum load for about 15 minutes. Sadly it was not able to handle the processor while running with same stress test at 4200mHz but still it was able to hold on the heat for about 7 minutes. I was pretty nervous when my processor was running at almost critical temperature for 7 minutes but eventually the system crashed. I guess only 4 heatpipes, pretty tight dimensions and low revolutions per minute fan might not be the best choice for me and definitely more heatpipes will be needed.

According to what I saw, I believe this cooler is a very good choice to work with low and middle grade processors working at standard frequencies even on high load and still maintain very low noise level. Through the test the fan reached top speed of 1100 revolutions per minute and it was absolutely quiet. In fact my case fans were much louder. For normal daily usage and when the fan is set to work based on PWM regulation it rarely reach its maximum speed, which anyway is still in the low noise level range for 120m fan.

Overall I am pretty happy with this tiny beast and if sometimes in the future I decide to go for smaller form factor PC I will definitely keep Kotetsu Mark 2 in the possible options for cooling my CPU.

2. Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 appearance:

Regarding the appearance, there isn’t much to say. The cooler is actually pretty small, a bit shiny and when it is inside the case in between the other, much bigger hardware it remained pretty stylish and a bit stealthy. The nickel coating and the black/silver colour scheme is definitely a nice touch and add the feeling of reliability and high quality.

According to my review, I think that Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 deserves the following award:

Official price (MSRP) for Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2: 29.50 euro without VAT

Official warranty: 24 months

Special thanks to Scythe for providing us with a test sample.

Scythe Kotetsu Mark 2 – Test and Review
9 Total Score

Performance
7
Noise Level
10
Compatibility
10
Additional accessories
9
User Rating: Be the first one!

Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of www.DVTests.com with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
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