Scythe Zipang 14cm fan "blow-down" CPU cooler

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On paper the Scythe Zipang is a brute force attempt at improving performance. However, some thought to improving key design elements is evident as well.

Both ends of the six heatpipes act as condensors, which means there are 12 heatpipe pathways between the base and the fins.

The Zipang's heatpipes, for example, have a unique shape. They are longer than most, and run through both sides of the base, with the shorter portion curving in toward the longer section. The six heatpipes have both ends connected to the fins, at the condensor end. The middle section of the heatpipes that run through the base is where the coolant in the pipe gets evaporated to expand and travel to both ends of the heatpipes. This design means that the six heatpipes act like 12, like in the tower heatsinks where the heatpipes are U-shaped, with the evaporator section being the portion at the bottom of the U. It should mean much greater cooling power than the simple C-shape heatpipes employed in previous top-down heatsinks.

One end of the heatpipes runs through friction-fit holes in the fins. The other end curves around and appear to be pressed tightly in grooves on the bottom edge of the fins. Whether solder is present in the grooves is difficult to tell; pressure might be enough to form a strong thermal bond.

One end of the heatpipes run through the fins normally. The other end appears to be press-fitted tightly in grooves on the bottom edge of the fins.


At an angle.

The aluminum block sitting above the base is a common element among Scythe's heatsinks, most notably the Ninja line. However, this one has slits on all four sides, exposing more surface area to open air.

From above.

The large 14 cm fan is a fairly typical for Scythe with a design similar to their Kama line, although the struts have been correctly reversed to make them more perpendicular to the trailing edges of the fan blades. This change should result in lower turbulence noise, especially of the tonal kind. Aside from that, it's a typical seven blade sleeve bearing fan — if you can call a 140 mm fan 'typical'. Incidentally, this fan also has 120mm mounting holes if you wish to use it elsewhere. Keep in mind, it has closed corners, so they can't be used with rubber fan isolators without modification.

Fan removed.

The spacing between each 0.23mm fin is quite tight at 1.55mm, which may suggest poor performance with low airflow. Inexplicably, manufacturers always seem to make the spacing very narrow on top-down coolers. It seems counter-intuitive as the denser fin count makes it harder for airflow to reach the components around the socket. Still, the depth of each fin is just 30mm, which is far for the airflow to pass through.

Note the asymmetry in the photo above. It appears that the heatpipes are deliberately off center. This is probably to ensure that the overhang beyond the top edge of the motherboard is kept small; otherwise, the wide span of heatsink may run foul of the power supply that's usually the side closest to the CPU in most PC cases.

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