Scythe Samurai SCSM-1000 CPU Cooler

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Like the earlier Kamakaze, the blow up fan orientation of the Scythe Samurai is useful to exhaust the CPU heat from the case through a back panel duct. This can reduce the amount of heat that gets into the PSU and keep the CPU heat from just recirculating inside the case, which is what the common "blow down" fan heatsinks do. Ducting the HS exhaust is a method long used by Dell to help its systems run quietly with a minimum number of fans; it can also work well for the DIY silent PC builder.

Just evacuating the hot CPU air out of the case isn't good enough for SPCR, though, we seek extreme quiet and good cooling performance as well. The Samurai is a very effective cooler. The fan is too loud at full speed but it's fairly modest through the middle range and extremely quiet at the lowest setting. Performance at the lowest setting may be marginal for the hottest CPU's but certainly sufficient for anything up to 80-90 watts, like the 2.8C and 3.0 (non-Prescott) P4 processors.

I like this HSF. It's very quiet at minimum speed, and has a silky-smooth controller to increase fan speed for additional cooling when needed. Yes, the clamping mechanism is a little fiddly but P4 and Athlon 64 CPUs do have a heatspreader to keep the die from being crushed by a ham-fisted installer. (AMD Socket A/462 users probably want to be real careful with this one.) Considering the modest $30 retail price, Scythe has a winner on their hands.


* Rather inexpensive
* Compatible with all current CPU types
* Fan is actually quiet at its slowest speed
* Good performance, even at slow speed
* Very nice fan speed controller
* Fan has tachometer output
* Mounting hardware for all sockets included


* Clamping mechanism not foolproof
* Finish on heatsink base not very smooth

Much thanks to Scythe for the opportunity to review this HSF.

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