Scythe Kabuto 3 CPU heatsink creates a breeze on its underside

There's nothing quite like a brand that specializes in doing a particular thing and doing it well. Scythe is such a company, and it's just released an improved version of its top-down heatsink, the Kabuto 3.

The Kabuto 3 eschews the familiar tower form factor for a more compact design. A 120-mm fan pushes air straight down on a healthy number of fins and heatpipes. A nickel-plated copper plate connects to two 6-mm and three 8-mm heatpipes to get the heat flowing around. The fan is a GlideStream 120 PWM model that can spin at speeds from 300 to 1400 RPM. It can move a rated 13 to 79 CFM (22 to 113 m³/h) of air, too. While I can't speak for this exact model of fan, I do have three Scythe spinners in this very system I'm typing on, and I like my computer noise to sit somewhere between "almost silent" and "is this thing even on?". Take that as you will.

The whole raison d'être of the Kabuto 3 is its odd shape, which leaves an almost completely open void underneath. Scythe claims this space lets the air coming from the fan cool VRMs and memory modules. Speaking of which, the clearance should be good enough for even the tallest DIMMs, so you don't have to worry about that in your spankin' new eight-DIMM Broadwell-E system. The Scythe Kabuto 3 is available today in the European market for 38€ (roughly $43).

Comments closed
    • Qrash
    • 4 years ago

    Conversion error: 1 m³/h is equivalent to 0.59 CFM. The maximum flowrate quoted above is direct from the Kabuto 3 webpage, so Scythe got it wrong, not Tech Report.

    79 CFM = 134 m³/h and 113 m³/h = 67 CFM

    I expect the maximum is 79 CFM (134 m³/h) since the value on the Scythe webpage is 113.34 m³/h which is probably wrong because of a typo.

    • Coyote_ar
    • 4 years ago

    so this new cooler … is basically a 12 year old thermalright XP-120?

      • DrCR
      • 4 years ago

      Maybe, but looking the design, I would speculate this to be a notch better and maybe more at very low CPM — but even so perhaps not worth considering if you have an old XP-120 in the closet.

    • Khali
    • 4 years ago

    Looks like another take on the Cooler Master Gemin II Series. I have been running a Gemin II for a while now and have been very happy with it aside from having to replace the fan when the stock one died.

    • faramir
    • 4 years ago

    Would this be a better choice than Cryorig H7?

    I will be buying new computer very soon and am looking for a SILENT cooler for Skylake i5-6600K/i7-6700K (can’t make up my mind … i7 appears to eat way more power for marginal increase in performance for some reason) running at STOCK clocks and using the iGPU. I won’t be doing any overclocking.

    My plan is to go with fanless Seasonic platinum PSU and CM Silencio 352 enclosure and uATX motherboard.

    H7 is supposedly great value for the money, plus it is very quiet, but it’s a tower design which doesn’t cool the motherboard (VRM FETs and the 512 GB 950 Pro I’ll be using as the boot drive). This one falls in the same price bracket.

    Any advice from personal experience with different CPU coolers would be greatly appreciated!

      • blahsaysblah
      • 4 years ago

      Your case probably wont work with fanless PSU. Their intake must face up for air convection to work(actual becomes exhaust), which is critical.

      You would instead be having it have hot air off GPU and or general case air pushed through it and out its exhaust. Which may or may not be OK depending on air flow.

      FYI, you could look at many hybrid fan PS with your no GPU config. My SF450 never turned on fan up to 200-ish watts(i actually didnt have anything to push it higher, dont know when it would kick on). However, i had it in fanless/intake facing up as exhaust inside a Silverstone SG13B case. Combined with one 140mm Noctua 3000rpm PWM fan(which hits silent 900-ish rpm with just CPU under artificial stress). But my CPU is i3-6300 and everything is properly configured after much testing to find best settings. (CPU and front fan both set to 0%@30C to 100%@65C, with front fan off MB temps and because of how small case is, they feed off/help each other to keep RPMs low)

        • faramir
        • 4 years ago

        My PSU of choice is this one:

        [url<]https://seasonic.com/product/platinum-400/[/url<] My reasoning being that the CPU will eat up to 90W, uATX motherboard another 10W, SSD 5W and HDD (I plan to use one) another 10W for less than 120W peak total power consumption. If I were to ever add a discrete GPU it'd be something along the lines of RX 460 (up to 75W as it is slot-powered, less than 200W combined total) ... But integrated graphics will most likely work well enough for me anyway. The case itself has two fans (front & back). I was counting on those to expel the hot air coming from the PSU at the bottom of the case. Is this really unrealistic? Seasonic are selling fanless PSU models from the same series with much higher nominal wattage than the one I'm going for ...

          • blahsaysblah
          • 4 years ago

          The Season came out in 2010-ish and was refreshed in 2013-ish (FL2 ending instead of FL).

          I decided going with good hybrid because in all likely hood, even if i were to put a GTX 1070 and i7k in there, it would rarely if ever come on.

          Side note, my i3-6300 is 65W CPU, but only around 35W is for CPU, 30W is for GPU, which does not get used except a little for browsing videos, definitely not 30W. Ofcourse OC heavily increases power when increasing Voltage.

            • faramir
            • 4 years ago

            Thanks for the heads-up! I’m going with SS-400FL2 F3, not the earlier model.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      I’m not so sure the power consumption difference between an 6600K or 6700K is enough to worry about. The 6600K does seem to be more efficient in most reviews but it’s insignificant in a desktop case with room for a large cooler.

      Both the i5 and i7 stay within their TDP at 70-85W for normal loads using the IGP, and only go above that for AVX workloads. Even an 85W chip can be cooled almost silently with any sensible cooler.

      I’d go for any 120mm tower you can find on sale that has direct-contact heatpipes. Don’t worry about cooling motherboard components, they’ll be fine unless you either overclock or remove all your case fans. The best tools in the fight against system noise are a motherboard with good fan control (ASUS) and a case that has an indirect airpath with filters and baffles between your ears and the fan blades – This means both the intakes AND the exhausts.

        • faramir
        • 4 years ago

        I gave both of you guys +1, thanks for your input! 🙂

        You got me thinking – I won’t be doing any overclocking, why not go with the non-K i7-6700 instead?

        It’s 65W TDP rather than 91W, only 100 MHz slower base clock than 6600K but 100 MHz higher turbo clock so I’ll get marginally better single-threaded performance and identical multi-threaded performance for heavily threaded loads with HT offsetting that 100 MHz deficit.

        Decisions, decisions …

          • Chrispy_
          • 4 years ago

          If you’re going non-K you can save money on the motherboard too. Get an H-series rather than a Z-series chipset for another $20 or so of savings.

            • faramir
            • 4 years ago

            I need support for DDR4 XMP because I intend to go with one of those 2666 MT/s 1.2V kits … Faster for better iGPU performance while still working at stock voltage.

            It is my understanding that I need Z series chipset for speeds above 2133 MT/s and XMP support.

            I’ll be paying through the nose for that 950 Pro anyway so $20 doesn’t mean that much in the grand scheme of things 🙂

            • Chrispy_
            • 4 years ago

            Aye, the Z170 board is needed to go beyond 2133 MT/s but I do wonder whether it’s worth it. Have you found any benchmarks comparing how the HD530 compares with RAM faster than 2133? I’ve only found DDR3-1600 vs DDR4-2133 in reviews.

            I know you get some non-trivial gains moving from 1600 to 2133 but Kaveri, for example, sees diminishing returns which meant that 1866 was the sweet spot and there was almost no point whatsoever paying for faster than DDR3 2133

            • faramir
            • 4 years ago

            Yes, here you can see a comparison between 2133 MT/s and 3000 MT/s DDR4 – approximately 10% FPS gain:

            [url<]http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1478-page3.html[/url<] I expect 1/2 of this gain (= 4-5%) with 2666 MT/s which isn't significantly more expensive than 2133 MT/s RAM and still runs at 1.2V.

      • DrCR
      • 4 years ago

      Will you be sitting the CM Silencio 352 on top of your desk or off the the side?

      I personally wouldn’t go with a passive PSU, just look for the most efficient PSU route and do a fan mod. I run into coil noise issues before ever getting to passive.

        • faramir
        • 4 years ago

        Yes, on top of my desk with approximately 15-20 cm (6-8″) clearance above the enclosure and way more room front and back.

        The above mentioned Seasonic is up to 93% efficient (Platinum rated). However in my case (with up to 120W maximum load being way below the 50% point of PSU’s 400W rating) I expect it to do 80-85% based on reviews I have found.

    • anotherengineer
    • 4 years ago

    I barely see an scythe products available in Canada any more. I miss the Kama Flow 2 fan @ 900 rpm.

    • CuttinHobo
    • 4 years ago

    That does indeed appear to be a great cooler.

    …That being said, I still prefer my Kabutos to be of the “Giants: Citizen…” variety. 🙂

    • chischis
    • 4 years ago

    Scythe Kotetsu is the best air cooler I’ve ever invested in. Silentpcreview posted fantastic results in their review for it, and it only cost about 27GBP…
    Edit: I probably should have elaborated a little and said that I’ve had good luck with Scythe products (I have another in an older system but can’t remember which model), so have a lot of faith this new Kabuto will also be a great performer.

      • Takeshi7
      • 4 years ago

      I love my Scyth Mugen 2 as well. They really make great products.

    • just brew it!
    • 4 years ago

    Product link in the article appears to be broken.

      • morphine
      • 4 years ago

      Fixes, thanks for the note.

        • blahsaysblah
        • 4 years ago

        Missing key number, max height w/fan. Had to click link, oh noes. 🙂

    • biffzinker
    • 4 years ago

    Not to sure about Scythe using Intel’s plastic push-pins for mounting the heatsink. Wouldn’t the heatsink cause a weight issue for the push-pins leading to the heatsink unexpectedly dismounting?

    [url<]http://www.scythe-eu.com/en/products/cpu-cooler/kabuto-3.html[/url<]

      • just brew it!
      • 4 years ago

      Well, the fact that it isn’t a tower design will put less stress on the mounting. I’d still be concerned about moving the system around though; probably want to lay the case on its side (assuming you have a tower), so that the motherboard is at the bottom.

        • nanoflower
        • 4 years ago

        I don’t think you will find there is much difference in stress between this and a tower design unless you are talking about one of the massive towers. There isn’t much difference in weight between the Hyper 212 EVO and the Gemin II S524 (both from Cooler Master) that I have used in my current system so the stress put on the MB is about the same.

          • just brew it!
          • 4 years ago

          A tower with comparable fin area and same size fan probably puts more of the mass further away from the socket. This means more leverage, and this in turn means more stress on the pins at the top edge of the socket, and greater risk of the HSF breaking loose if the system is getting moved around.

          Edit: OTOH, given how much clearance they’ve left underneath the fins, maybe not… the fan is already pretty far from the base.

      • Convert
      • 4 years ago

      I had to buy some Arctic Cooling tower heatsinks for design reasons a while back, turns out they use similar plastic retention pins. I was skeptical but they work really well and saved my bacon from having to dismount the board.

      I don’t think I would ship it with it on like this but I trust it to sit there and not move.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      If the CM TX3 Evo can comfortably hang off a board with Intel’s push-pin design, I very much doubt this will be any different.

      For horizontal motherboards, it’s a moot point.
      For vertical motherboards, the distance to falcrum here and total mass are pretty reasonable for push pins.

      • bhtooefr
      • 4 years ago

      I’m using a Kabuto II with the pushpins, and haven’t had a problem with that.

      (That said, the Kabuto 3 is a bit heavier – 720 g instead of 695 g. It’s worth noting that Intel’s spec for the pushpin interface is 500 g max, although in my case (NCASE M1), it worked perfectly to unclip the fan from the heatsink, and mount it to the chassis, reducing weight on the mount by 115 g (plus a few more for the clips), for a total of 580, maybe only 575 g.)

      • DrCR
      • 4 years ago

      You could mod the retention method if you were really concerned but liked the core design. Bonus points if it includes zip ties — one of the favorite tools of choice by connoisseurs of cooling.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This