Scythe Kamaboko
Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 2 March 2005. Page 2 of 2. Add A Comment

Examination:

Unlike many CPU heatsinks, such as the recently reviewed Coolink BAT1VS, the Scythe Kamaboko uses a simple heatsink fan design. A 92mm Scythe fan is attached to the aluminum heatsink via two thin metal wires. Excluding the base, the heatsink is composed entirely out of aluminum. Unfortunately, the aluminum fin design could be slightly improved. There are only 22 fins on the Kamaboko, which is rather a minimal number of fins. Just for reference, many of today’s heatsinks offer upwards of 40-60 fins and the Scythe Kamakaze 2 offers 500 pins, rather than using fins. Incisions can be found on two sides of the heatsink, to allow for the Socket 478 retention clips.


Flipping over the heatsink reveals the copper base. When looking at the Scythe Kamaboko heatsink base, it definitely wasn't among the best we've seen. With the quick swipe of a finger along the base, we were able to feel all of the blemishes. A number scratches and imperfections could clearly be seen on the base, which obviously isn't a great thing when it comes to thermal transfer. Fortunately, many of these problems can be removed from lapping it. Overall, this appears to be a rather basic yet elegant heatsink, but one of the major factors that play a crucial role in the dissipation of heat, the base, wasn't to appealing.


Performance:

Over the past few months, one of our test gaming machines has suffered from a bit of a fever, so when we got our hands on the Scythe Kamaboko we immediately knew a match for the toasty machine. The system was composed of the following components:

Hardware Components
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz
Motherboard: Asus P4P800-E Deluxe
Memory: 2 x 512MB Kingston PC3200
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForceFX 5950 Ultra 256MB
Hard Drives: 2 x 120GB Western Digital 7200RPM
Cooling: 4 x 80mm case fans
Case: Chieftec Server Chassis
Power Supply: Raidmax 420W PSU
Software Components
Operating System: FedoraCore3
Linux Kernel: 2.6.9-1.667

To test this heatsink, we did our usual procedure of running CPU Burn-in v1.00 for 30 minutes, to establish our load, and allowed the system to rest for 30 minutes for idle temperatures. LM_Sensors 2.8.8 were used with GKrellM 2.2.2, to monitor the CPU temperature. Our ambient temperature, during testing, was maintained at 20°C. We also tested the stock Intel HSF, included with the Pentium 4 3.2GHz, to compare the results.

 
Idle
Load
Scythe Kamaboko: 45.0
60.5
Intel Stock HSF: 50.5
67.5
 
°C

Conclusion:

Although the Scythe Kamaboko copper base didn’t perform phenomenally, it was able to substantially outperform its stock counterpart. This probably hasn't been the best Scythe heatsink we've seen, examining the Scythe Samurai, Kama, FCS-50 Heatlane, and Kamakaze 2 in the past. Nevertheless, the Kamaboko performed well while the CPU was running at stock speeds. As for the noise level, the fan was moderately quiet when running at full speed. If you're looking for a cooler with a bit more cooling potential, Scythe also sells the Kamaboko Z that sports two heatpipes.

Pros:

· Cheap (~ $29 USD)
· Respectable cooling performance
· Socket 754/939/940/478/LGA 775 support
· Moderately quiet

Cons:

· Poor finish on heatsink base

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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