Scythe Andy Samurai Master

Scythe Co., Ltd. is a Japanese company located in Tokyo. Beginning in 2002 Scythe started manufacturing and distributing products for the PC enthusiast. This included CPU cooling solutions. Scythe's first product, the Scythe Samurai, developed quite a reputation among computer enthusiasts.

Scythe currently lists about a dozen air cooling solutions on their company website. These range from entry cooling solutions all the way to full cooling tower designs.

Their current catalog includes the well-known Scythe Infinity and the Scythe Ninja Rev. B full cooling tower solutions, both reviewed at AnandTech. There are also mid to low-end offerings such as the Scythe Katana that was also reviewed at AnandTech. A new top-end offering is the Andy Samurai Master.

Scythe always seems to have catchy and clever names for their coolers. They usually contain Asian warrior names, so we understand the Samurai Master. We just wonder who the "Andy" is in the Andy Samurai Master?


The box is very compact compared to the MaxOrb, and it is the typical Scythe graphics that tries to tell you everything you might ever ask about the cooler somewhere on the box. The box may be compact, but the Andy Samurai Master is a large and heavy cooler with a 120mm fan.


The Andy Samurai Master is another down-facing fan design, using an easily changed 120mm fan held on by fan wires. The heatsink uses a large aluminum fin array cantilevered over the mount to the CPU.


Six copper heatpipes extend from the copper base to the upper fin deck to provide further cooling. The best way to describe the design would be something like a large cast aluminum base heatsink with a larger heatpipe fin array attached to the top.


The Andy Samurai Master includes mounts for Intel socket 775, AMD 754/939/940/AM2, and even Intel 478. The mounting parts are cleverly designed to pop into slots on the side of the cast base.


Here we see the attached Intel 775 pop-clip sides that make the cooler ready for mounting on the Core 2 Duo test bed. The pop-clips mean you don't need to remove the motherboard to mount the Andy Samurai Master. However, things are not always as simple as they appear. The Andy overhangs the push clips on all 4 sides, and when mounted in a case we just couldn't reach all the push-clips to pop them in. We had to remove the motherboard to reach a hand in and drive that 4th clip home. The design works great on a test bench, but someone should have tried it in a real case. The overhangs make mounting without removing the motherboard almost impossible.

Specifications

Our test system is Intel socket 775, but the Scythe will mount on all current CPU sockets. All the needed hardware is included to fit the variety of supported sockets.

Scythe Samurai Andy Specifications
Heatsink
Dimensions 125(L) X 137(D) X 104(H)mm
Weight 685g (including fan)
Material Pure Copper Base and Aluminum Fins
Heatpipes Six 6mm copper heatpipes
Fan
Fan Size 120 mm x 25mm
Bearing Type Sleeve Bearing
Connector 3-pin
Speed 1200rpm
Noise Level 20.94dbA
Fan Output 49.58cfm

The Scythe is heavier and taller than the MaxOrb, but uses six heatpipes, just like MaxOrb. Scythe includes the medium output and quiet Scythe 1200rpm fan we have seen used on some other Scythe coolers, but the fan is easily switched to whatever 120mm fan you prefer.

Thermaltake MaxOrb CPU Cooling Test Configuration
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  • lopri - Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - link

    I've always thought the benefit of the blowing-down design is that it 'moves' hot air around MOSFET/VRM/NB area better, therefore contributing to long-term (be it hours or years) stability. I haven't seen an argument that these blowing down HSFs let a CPU clock better than the top offerings from L-shaped design for 30 min. gaming session. (It actually explains a lot other things because up to this date I assumed the load temps were measured under 100% of load - for both cores.)

    Question for Wesley: Could you confirm how much stress the CPU is taking with your test scenario? Maybe using percentage. (like 50%, 60%, etc.)

    Another issue with the Wesley's conclusion is that he forgets the boards built on NF6 chipsets are probably the only boards that come equipped with NB fans. If you look around, vast majority of LGA775 boards don't have a NB fan. As a matter of fact I don't think I remember any 975X/P965 board that has a NB fan. And in AT's own motherboard reviews, I often read statements like "In order to maintain stability, additional airflow was required for the board's MCH...". And these L-shaped HSFs don't provide that required airflow for the MCH.

    I do think there is an agreement among enthusiasts that these L-shaped HSF are better for higher CPU overclocking and/or lower CPU temperatures. But the question is, are you comfortable with VRM that reaches 100C+ for an extended period? How about the board's northbridge that goes beyond 50~100C depending on chipsets? As a matter of fact, the NB of the motherboard that is used on this very review is capable of reaching 100C without overclocking, unless the supplied 'optional' fan is used. (in other words, that 'optional' fan isn't really an option but a must, irrespective of overclocking - if you want to keep the board for more than just a few months)

    In my opinion, the conclusion of this article is severely misleading from many angles. Also my experience disagrees with Wesley's finding that higher RPM fans didn't change the performance of Scythe Andy heatsink, but that's a different issue, I guess.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - link

    As stated on p.4, CPU Colling Test Configuration, "The CPU stress testing with TAT pushing both cores showed TAT stress temps at 80% CPU usage roughly corresponded to temps reported in our real-world gaming benchmark."
    Reply
  • redeyedrob - Monday, June 04, 2007 - link

    Be interesting to see a comparison of Northbridge temps between the horizontal and vertical coolers, maybe even a comparison of max FSB speeds resulting from any potential difference in max NB voltages / stability between the 2 cooler types.

    I have an E660 @ 2.4 - 2.8 GHz with an Ultra 120 Extreme which idles at 30 degrees (almost certainly due to the terrible curvature on the base, need to lap) but the NB is idling at 44 degrees.
    Reply
  • SurJector - Monday, June 04, 2007 - link

    From 3.83GHz to 3.90GHz is 1.83%
    From 3.83GHz to 3.96GHz is 3.39%
    Apart for bragging rights, is anybody able to tell the difference ?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, June 04, 2007 - link

    As explained in our very first cooler review with Core 2 Duo, the Intel stock fan can do a 3.73GHz overclcok. That is why that is the baseline. If a cooler can't outperform the Intel stock cooler then why should you buy it? If this suggests it doean't make sense to go for more than the excellent Intel retail cooler then we can appreciate your thinking.

    However, this is just one component of cooler perfromance, and you should also look at the cooling efficiency in our cooler tests. The Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme with an S-Flex fan under LOAD at 3.73GHz cooled to 43C compared to the Intel at 71C. That's a 40% or 65% improvement in cooling perfroamnce depending on what you consider the baseline.
    Reply
  • SurJector - Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - link

    The temperature difference (43C against 71C) is indeed important. I feel much better with a cooler CPU.

    The point is when one says "cooler A allows the CPU to reach 3960MHz while cooler B goes only to 3830 thus cooler A is much better". I think it is not much better, it is a little bit better but those 3.4% do not justify any price difference. What is the margin of error of that measure ? Isn't it higher than 3.4% ?

    28C difference do justify a price difference.
    10dB as well.
    Reply
  • Martimus - Monday, June 04, 2007 - link

    The biggest problem with blowing air back down onto your chip is that you are blowing ht HOT air back onto the component you are trying to cool. It would make a WHOLE LOT MORE SENSE to turn the fan around and blow the air away from the component. This would cause the same amount of airflow through the heatsink, and even cause the same air to be cool the other components on the MB except it wouldn't have been heated by the heatsink first. I can't understand why the manufacturer would suggest blowing the air towards the chip and not away from it. It goes against common sense. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, June 05, 2007 - link

    Depends how warm the motherboard components in question are. If component X is at 50*C and the air around it is stagnant, then that air will quickly heat up and the component will get warmer. Since the exhaust air from the CPU heatsink does not get warmed much, you get a flow of air around component X which is a constant temperature and typically much less than 50*C. If your motherboard components are hardly above ambient, or you have ambient air forced across the motherboard from some other source, then the air off the CPU HSF could cause components to warm up, and a down-facing fan would be a bad idea.

    To whoever reoriented their heatsink: Was the fan flipped in place? Moved to the other side of the heatsink? Any difference in noise? I have noticed some fans are louder depending on which side has a grill or fins nearby.
    Reply
  • Martimus - Wednesday, June 06, 2007 - link

    You could just turn the fan around and blow it away from the component. It would give the exact same airflow as if it was pointed toward the component, except in the opposite direction. This would also avaoid the problem of blowing hot air back onto the component. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, June 07, 2007 - link

    Unless there was a fan somewhere forcing air across the motherboard for the CPU fan to remove, it is doubtful the outward-facing fan would move nearly as much air at the motherboard surface. Surface of the motherboard is too crowded with stuff for air to naturally flow nicely across it. Reply

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