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

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The Scythe Zipang is an excellent top-down cooler. It doesn't quite catch the best of the biggest tower heatsinks, but it comes close. Slightly wider spacing between the fins would probably have helped to maintain better cooling as fan speed was reduced, but for most CPUs today, the Zipang's performance with its fan at 7~9V is already good enough. The challenge of matching the best tower heatsinks now falls to the impractically large Scythe Orochi which we will review at a later date.

The Zipang's performance is only a tiny step behind the Scythe Ninja Copper. Like the Ninja Copper, the Zipang ships with a great fan that remains quiet throughout its range and exhibits excellent acoustics. This is one of the quietest "stock" heatsink fans. In many systems, the 140mm fan at full speed will be the quietest component. That means for casual silencers, no fan replacement, control or modding is necessary. Just install and forget! For silent PC fanatics, a slight undervolt will make it quiet enough to be inaudible without compromising performance.

Our only beef with the Zipang is the mounting system. Scythe continues to equip their heavier heatsinks with plastic push-pins for LGA775 mounting. Anything over around 600g, in our opinion, should utilize a more secure installation method, preferably with metal bolts and a backplate to support the motherboard. The Zipang's ~$50 price is about what you'd expect to pay for this kind of performance.

Scythe Zipang

* Excellent performance
* 140mm fan is super quiet
* Top-down cooling

* Push-pin mounting inappropriate for 800g heatsink
* Expensive?

Our thanks to Scythe for the Zipang sample.

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