Scythe Top-Down Coolers: Kabuto vs. Zipang 2

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Scythe Kabuto vs. Zipang 2

August 5, 2009 by Lawrence Lee and Mike Chin

CPU Cooler
Zipang 2
CPU Cooler
Street Price
US$45~$50 US$45~$55

Kabuto and Zipang 2 are Scythe's largest down-blowing heatsink. This brand has a huge lineup of CPU coolers which seems to be expanding and changing constantly, but so many of its products fare very well in reviews, both ours and those by more pure performance oriented sites. Still, these products appear to be vying for the same market niche at the same price point — big top-down blower heatsink for the enthusiast. We decided to pair them up in a compare and contrast review.

Heatsinks with fans that blow down into the fins produce airflow toward the motherboard and the various voltage regulation components around the CPU socket. The additional airflow for these components can potentially increase energy efficiency and prolong their life spans. Both AMD and Intel assume the use of down-blowing coolers in the thermal specifications of their CPUs and chipsets, and their stock heatsinks are down-blowers. This type of heatsink sacrifices some CPU cooling performance compared to side-blowing tower designs, which work better in tandem with rear case fans to exhaust hot air out of the system. Perhaps these big 'uns from Scythe will reverse the trend.

Both boxes are very colorful for retail display. The Kabuto box is considerably taller, 7" versus 4.5" for the Zipang 2, but slimmer. The boxes are indicative of the design differences between the two models.

Both coolers use six copper heatpipes, but the Kabuto on the left is taller, with fins that are some 50% taller than the those on the Zipang.

However, the Zipang 2 fins occupy a larger area when viewed from the top, which allows the use of a 140x25mm fan instead of the 120x25mm fan on the Kabuto.

The photos above show the basic differences between the Kabuto and the Zipang 2. The total cooling surface area of the fins in each is quite similar; we'll estimate the area later. But their different shapes and dimensions will have some impact on airflow impedance, and the size of the fans will also impact airflow and air pressure, which will have a bearing on cooling performance. Certainly, the fans will make the greatest acoustic difference, but the impedance of the fin stacks may also play a part.

Kabuto & Zipang 2: Key Features
(from the product web pages)
Zipang 2
Our Comment
Top Mount Fan
The Slip Stream 120 mm PWM fan mounted on top of the cooler is suited both to transport the heat of the CPU cooler away and to cool down sensitive components of the mainboard.
Scythe Kaze Maru 140mm Fan
By applying an original Scythe Kaze Maru fan, wider area of the components on the motherboard can be cooled compared to 120 mm fans while keeping low noise and high cooling ability for the CPU.
120 vs 140mm. According to the specs below, the latter is quieter but pushes a bit less air.

M.A.P.S. (Multiple Pass-Through Airflow Structure)
A completely new fin structure, where the airflow generated by the Scythe Slip Stream 120 mm PWM fan can be used perfectly.

M.A.P.S. (Multiple Airflow Pass-Through Structure)
The heatsink has been optimized to fully utilize the ability of the included Scythe original Kaze Maru 140 mm case fan.

There are slits that divide the fin stack, effectively splitting them into multiple sections. This reduces resistance to airflow. This feature was first seen by SPCR in Scythe Mugen-2.
4-Way Mounting
By orientating the fixing holes of the mounting clips in a square, users can mount the heatsink in four different ways.
Versatile Tool-Free Multiplatform System
Newly developed & patented mounting mechanism "VTMS" allows user to install Zipang 2 CPU Cooler without any tools and hassle.
Slightly different designs, same result: Versatile mounting, compatible with all current CPU sockets. Both use pushpins for Intel 775 and 1366, and clips for AMD sockets. Zipang 2 does not allow rotation of the heatsinks on AMD boards, but it is not critical for top-down coolers.

Scythe Kabuto & Zipang 2: Manufacturer's Specifications
Model Name: Kabuto Zipang 2
Model #: SCKBT-1000 SCZP-2000
Manufacturer: Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan
Dimension: 124 x 133 x 132 mm
4.88 x 5.24 x 5.20 inch
(W x D x H, w/ fan)
145 x 149 x 106 mm / 5.71 x 5.87 x 4.17 inch
(W x D x H, w/ fan)
Weight: 730 g (SPCR measured, with fan)
Dimension: Scythe Slip Stream PWM Scythe Kaze Maru
Dimension: 120 x 120 x 25 mm 140 x 140 x 25 mm
Weight: 115 g
Speed: 300 ~ 1,300 rpm (regulated via PWM) 1,000 rpm (±10%)
Noise Level: 0 - 26.5 dBA 0 - 22.74 dBA
Air Flow: 0 - 74.25 CFM
0 - 126 m³/h
0 - 51.43 CFM
0 - 87 m³/h
Bearing: Sleeve
CPU Socket Intel LGA1366
Intel LGA775 (T)
Intel 478
AMD 940
AMD 939
AMD 754

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