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Scythe Kamakaze HSF

Quiet computers are certainly on the rise in today’s highly technical world. With CPU’s getting smaller, faster and hotter, an adequate cooling solution is an absolute requirement. Today we check out a CPU cooler from Scythe called the Kamakaze. Thanks to our friends at QuietPC for sending us the CPU cooler for review.

Kamakaze Box

Product Specifications

Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 up to 3.2 GHz
AMD Athlon XP Socket A up to 3400+
Fan Dimensions
80 mm x 80 mm x 25 mm
Heatsink Dimensions
70 mm x 70mm x 57mm
Combined Dimensions
90 mm x 85 mm x 90 mm
Fan Speed
1300-3400 rpm (w/ rheostat)
Air Flow
13.6 CFM @ 1300 rpm ~ 34 CFM @ 3400 rpm
Fan Noise Level
16dBA @ 1300 rpm (lowest); 37 dBA @ 3400 rpm (highest)
690g (1.44 lbs)

Kamakaze Bundle

Stated Features:

Easy Installation
Scythe's unique R.C.C.M. (Rigid Core Clamping Mechanism) makes installation quick and easy
Market Leading Cooling Efficiency
Copper and aluminum heatsink absorbs the heat and then dissipates it through nearly 500 mounted pins
Super Quiet
At its lowest setting, the fan is nearly inaudible (16 dB @ 1300rpm)
Cross-Platform Compatibility
Compatible with both AMD Socket A and Intel Socket 370/478
Great Value!
Affordable and reasonable price. MSRP $ 34.95


The heat sink came with an included P4 clamping system as well as one for the AMD CPU. The AMD solution is pre-installed, however to changing it out is as easy as removing 2 small screws on each side of the heatsink, then replacing them with the P4 clamp.

Kamakaze Clip

The clamping method to the ZIF Socket was rather different than the traditional 3 pronged clips. Scythe calls it RCCM, Rigid Core Clamping Mechanism. The clips provide an open channel which is slipped over the 3 prongs on the ZIF socket. I don’t know if the method is any better than the previous, but it does work. The clips are then tightened with 2 screws, one on either side of the heatsink, which pulls the clips and pushes the heatsink onto the CPU. The instruction sheet says not to over tighten these screws as they might strip. I feel the CPU core may be crushed before those screw strips out. Also included is a manual fan speed dial. This dial is mounted on a slot cover that is inserted into an open pci slot on the back of your pc. This is annoying, since I don’t ever get behind my PC.

Kamakaze Side

The actual physical makeup of the heatsink is aluminum with a copper base. There are around 500 aluminum pins that create a large surface area for the heat to dissipate. The copper base was a fairly clean, flat surface, however a little lapping wouldn’t hurt.

Kamakaze Bottom


The installation seemed easy enough. Since I have installed a few different heatsinks that require tightening, I was not worried. I did find it a little difficult to get the RCCM clamp to stay inserted over the ZIF socket while I screwed in the retention screws. I found it easier to physically hold the clamps in place while I was screwing them down into place. Make sure to use caution when installing, it is not likely with this retention system, but I have seen the prongs on the ZIF sockets break off.


Once screwed in the only thing remaining was to install the slot cover speed dial and hook up power. The dial on the slot cover was removable and had to be removed before it could be installed. I was concerned that the rheostat would add some heat to the system due to the nature of the technology, however the rheostat never noticeably hot. Power was handled by a 4 pin molex connector and rpm status was connected to the motherboard by a 3 pin (one Cable) plug.

Kamakaze Knob

This is a fairly large cooler, however I did not have any clearance issues. I do have a large Antec case and lots of room. I did notice that it was a little cramped while trying to hold the mounting mechanism while tightening it down. Even though this thing was big, I did not remove my RAM like I usually do. Since the clip does not require a screw driver head to install/remove the heatsink, I saw no reason to remove the RAM.

Kamakaze HSF Fan

Test System

Asus A7V8X-X
AMD 2200+
Kingston 512 Meg DDR 3200+
Asus V9520 FX5200 128M Dual DVI
Antec True Power 550W
Antec PLUS1080AMG
Western Digital 80 Gig 8 Meg Cache
Win2K Adv Server SP4
Intake Fans: Antec 3 X 80mm 34cfm
Exhaust Fans: Antec 2 X 80mm 34cfm

Testing Procedure:

The 2200+ is not overclocked and is run at the default voltage. Ambient temps were maintained approximately ~24Cº/75Fº. Each (stock and SLK700) heatsink and fan combo was installed and run idle for 1 hour and the final temp reading was recorded. The loaded temps were recorded over a 48hr period running SETI and the final temp was recorded. Thermal compound used was Artic Silver. Temps were measured by SiSoft Sandra Professional.

Kamakaze Graph

The results speak for themselves. The Kamakaze is a worthwhile heatsink and it does it’s job without all the noise of a conventional cooler. The fan controller is a good idea; I just did not like the implementation. I would prefer a 3 &1/2 or 5 &1/4 bay cover mod kit, but this solution is functional.

Kamakaze Mounted


I was rather worried when I read the specs on the Kamakaze, thinking it would not perform as well as the SLK700 I had installed on the 2200+ at the time. I was impressed with its overall performance and I love how quiet it is. The fan at low speed is barely audible, which is just as advertised, although the lowest was 1550rpm. At the high setting the fan maxed out at a little over 3500rpm, and at that speed it was not much louder than my case fans. Thus, all I need are some quiet case fans to compliment my quiet CPU Cooler.


  • Inexpensive
  • Quiet
  • Great Performance
  • Fan Controller


  • Difficult to install over ZIF socket
  • Rather large & bulky
  • Bad placement of Fan Control

Added: April 9th 2004
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 9  
Related Link: Scythe USA
Hits: 10189
Language: english


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