Scythe Samurai Z CPU heatsink / fan

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With the fan in place, the Samurai Z has a fairly low profile. At a little more than 92mm square, it should also fit perfectly into the heatsink retention bracket without interfering with other components on the motherboard. If it ends up being quiet, it could be an good choice for a small form factor system.

Small it may be, but it doesn't look like it was simple to design or build. It's built in layers. Like most heatsinks, the base is made of a thin layer of copper to ensure rapid dissipation away from the CPU. On top of that is a block of extruded aluminum carved into many small, widely spaced fins. Above this is a small space of empty air, and then a second layer of aluminum fins attached to twin heatpipes that rise from the base. On our sample, this layer wasn't quite parallel with the layer below ° evidence some slight imperfection in the manufacturing process. The fan sits on top of it all, blowing down through the top layer of fins and dissipating air in all directions once it hits the lower layer.

The top layer isn't quite parallel with the bottom.

The fan itself has a Scythe-branded label with no other marks to identify the original manufacturer. Hopefully it is similar to the low-noise fans found on Scythe's Kamaboko and Katana models. It is held tightly to the top layer with two wire clips. These clips required pliers to remove and were bent in the process. Most users will not want to deal with the hassle of swapping the fan. The top layer of fins is slightly wider than the clips are long, so the clips are wedged against the two outermost fins. As a result, these fins are bent outwards slightly. This gives the top layer of fins a slightly flared, sporty look.

The fan is attached with two difficult-to-remove clips.

Overall, the design looks promising for a quiet, low airflow configuration. The bottom fins are quite widely spaced, and the airflow across them should have little trouble carrying the heat away. The top fins are more tightly packed, but they are thin enough that they shouldn't present much impedance for the fan.

The downward direction of the airflow and the open space between the two layers of fins are a good sign for airflow around the CPU socket. Unlike the trendy tower heatsinks, this design should provide plenty of airflow over the VRMs on the motherboard.

The base was smooth, but our sample showed fingerprints stained onto the surface.

The base is a thin copper sheet that wedges the heatpipes against the bottom layer of fins. Our sample was mirror smooth, but it had somebody's fingerprints stained into it. No amount of scrubbing or rubbing alcohol would remove them, but they didn't appear to affect the smoothness of the base, so they were deemed a minor irritant rather than a flaw.

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