Just recently I had a look at the Scythe Samurai ZZ, which is a much needed adaptation of an older concept, so it should still perform well with today's processors in even the tightest of quarters. This time we are going to the other end of the spectrum and looking at a tower cooler. Scythe has had quite the success with some of their previous tower coolers. Names like Ninja, Ninja Mini and Mugen 2 pop into my mind. I only personally tested the Mugen 2 and I for one was impressed. While that cooler was massive and a bit tricky to install in some cases, the fact that the fans could go on all four sides was innovative and the bulk of the cooler allowed for great temperatures.
While the Mugen 2 was a bulky, rather unattractive and more industrial looking cooler, today we have a tower cooler with aluminum fins and copper heat pipes and Scythe even keeps the pre-cooler on board. But that is where the similarities end. The design, concepts and physics built into the latest sample are in a way something I have seen, such as offset fins, but this Trident Multi Layer Fin Structure is something completely new. Now, I have seen notches and cuts and curves, even closing off the sides to get better temperatures and fan air flow, but never implemented like this.
Scythe has done well with the cooler I previously tested and since it doesn't make too good of business sense to release something worse, I am eager to see just what all this technical talk on the box is all about. Join me as I get my first look at some new designs and hopefully a cooler that can offer good numbers in our testing without breaking the bank. This new CPU cooler is called the Yasya, or it also goes by the number SCYS-1000 and from the MSRP I can say it meets one requirement. Let's have a look at what the Yasya from Scythe brings to the table.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Scythe's Yasya CPU cooler follows the traditional form of a tower cooler design, but that is where the similarities end. Keeping the Yasya under 160mm tall means it should fit in almost any full tower, as well as most mid towers if a door fan doesn't come into play. Weighing in at 848 grams, or 1.88 pounds, it isn't the lightest tower cooler out; rather, it plays right in the averages. The cooler is built from aluminum fins; fifty-four of them, surrounding six 6mm copper heat pipes with nut-like caps terminating both ends of the "U" shaped pipes. The base itself is made from a copper plate with the pipes sandwiched between it and the pre-cooler. Adding to the basic functionality of the Yasya, Scythe has nickel plated the base, pre-cooler and fins for an added bit of flash and also helps fight oxidation.
The design and engineering behind the fin arrangement is something I have never seen to this extent. The design is tough to put into words, so just bear with me. With standard tower coolers, the fins when viewed from the top are usually rectangular. Here there are three distinct "V" wedges cut from both sides of the fins. It doesn't stop there! Within these grooves, there are diamond shaped areas cut into these grooves. The best way to describe it would be like egg crate foam, or acoustic padding, but Scythe labels it as a Trident Multi Layer Fin Structure. This design not only makes the Yasya visually appealing, but I am positive it was done with air flow and the fans dynamics in mind.
Speaking of the fan, again things are a bit different. Scythe chose the SY1225 SL to handle the work of ridding the Yasya of all the heat of today's overclocked processors. This fan is strange in that it has a expansion bay, dial style fan controller directly mounted to the fan along with the 4-pin header for PWM control. Even with PWM actively controlling the fan, the fan controller gives you the ability to take it from its maximum of 110 CFM all the way down to 23 CFM at the lowest settings. Along with temperature control via the included fan controller, it obviously can affect the noise levels. This explains the wide range from 9.8 dBA at 470 RPM and up to 37 dBA at 1900 RPM.
Shopping via Google for the Yasya, I can only currently find thirteen e-tailers that carry the cooler stateside. Prices go as low as $42.55 USD at one e-tailer, but I was not actually able to calculate postage without adding account information. On the higher end, Amazon has it listed for Just under $60. In essence, buyers beware, as most places averaged right around $45. Not too bad of an asking price so far, but let's see how it holds up to coolers like the Zalman, which is also on the cheaper end and coolers like the D-14 and Megahalems that demand twice the price.
Scythe packages the Yasya in a black box with bold accents of orange, green and blue, highlighting features and compatibility. Centre stage is a view of the Yasya and just above is a look at the included fan controller.
The bold orange arrows lead you to the side. Here Scythe explains in more detail what each feature is.
The back holds the support information up top, warranty information in the middle and a brief warning about electrical shock at the bottom.
Scythe used this panel to highlight and display everything you need to know. A good look at the coolers base in the image, the mounting systems or VTMS, the specifications and a parts list can all be found right here.
The cooler sits snugly. Scythe pack the hardware on the bottom, found in the white box, and surrounds the base with a layer of cardboard to support the cooler. Alongside the cooler there is a piece of cardboard separating the fan from the cooler, but they act to hold each other snugly in place inside the cardboard box. Just as an added precaution, Scythe also tops the cooler with a layer cut to surround the pipes ends and keep the top half from shifting about during its travels.
The Scythe Yasya CPU Cooler
Once out of all the protective layering, you can start to get an idea of the Trident Multi Layer Fin Structure and how that shapes the cooler. This cooler is stacked with all the tricks! Starting with a copper base and aluminium pre-cooler both covered in nickel, to the six staggered heat pipes, to the oddly shaped fins and finishing at the caps above, there is very little room for heat to hide.
This angle was much more conducive to representing the fin design. There is no doubt, and no, it isn't an optical illusion, these fins, on both sides, are made like this. This design makes fifteen cavities, plus three halves at the top and bottom. These not only offer spacing for the 100 CFM fan to work more efficiently, but also help to channel the air better.
The sides of the fins are left open and in the flat edge are grooves to allow for two fans to be installed.
I know by now you have seen enough of the twelve chrome caps for the heat pipes, so I decided to show off the finish of the fins instead. The nickel plating offers a mirror-like reflection on the top of the cooler.
For a lack of a better way to explain it, the base is constructed a bit like a direct touch cooler, but this time Scythe takes a nickel plated copper plate and solders it to the pre-cooler and pipes for direct transfer to all six pipes; something lost on direct touch coolers with this many pipes, as they usually don't all make good contact, as this plate does.
The base plates Scythe uses are much larger than a processor. As with the Samurai ZZ, the Yasya suffers from the same edge roundness, but the centre is "relatively" flat. I say it that way, as the base is textured a bit.
Scythe packages a 1900 CFM Slip Stream 120mm fan to partner with the Yasya. You can see there are two leads coming from the fan on this version, not just the typical four strand wire for the power and PWM control, but this time there is something a little extra.
This Slip Stream fan has a dial type fan controller that can fit inside an empty expansion slot. The dial is large and should be easy to find behind your case. Setting labels such as "HIGH" an "LOW" makes it pretty self explanatory. With this you can control the fan with or without the PWM functional, so the fan control can be from almost not spinning, all the way up to a 1900 RPM frenzy of fan speed and up to 100CFM of air flow to handle the job.
With the fan in position, the Slip Stream 120mm covers the high density of fins quite well. The channeling at the bottom allows for some air to be delivered to the pre-cooler, but at the top it does waste a bit. Simply passing my hand over the top, I could feel the loss of escaping air that could have helped performance, but I will let the numbers do the talking on this subject.
I had to skip ahead and open the hardware to even mount the fan, as the wire clips seen here come in the box, too. This is the way the cooler will be tested, a single fan with fan controller set to high at all times, except for minimum sound testing.
Just like with the Samurai ZZ, the Yasya uses the same VTMS pieces. They are connected to the base under the fan, so you may want to mount the cooler prior to the fan, as it does tend to be in the way for AMD and Intel mounting.
Accessories and Documentation
In the white box at the bottom of the outer package you will find the Intel VTMS push-pin mounting pieces and two AMD mounting pieces. There are also two wire fan clips for 25mm fans and a little packet of thermal compound.
The installation guide is both thorough and very explanatory. Since I just used the same pieces in mounting the Samurai ZZ, the Yasya has all the same parts, minus the socket 478 mounts, so I just gave the paperwork a good once over.
Test System & Testing Results
Test System & Test Results
TweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
At idle, the Yasya puts up a top five performance. Now, just to explain a bit, in order to keep things fair and level, I took the fan controller and set it to "high" and left it there. We control the fan and CPU voltage in our testing, so it was the only way I could compare apples with apples.
The same settings were used for the load testing and the Yasya and the 110 CFM of awesomeness didn't disappoint. The Yasya pulls just ahead of the Noctua NH-D14 and falls just short of the similarly priced Zalman.
Again with the fan controller maxed and our standard voltages applied, the 38 dB of noise level is quite reasonable. This number is completely subjective with a controller in play. If you don't mind a few degrees increase, you can set the fan to a basically inaudible level.
At a full 1900 RPM the fan is still very tolerable, not the worst by any means. To be honest, I expected it to run a fair bit louder judging by the specs of the fan. At load you can again set the controller as you would like, but there is a more dramatic cost of temperatures at this level; some four to five degrees.
I am really impressed with the latest cooling submissions to TweakTown's labs. I hope this progression of more modestly priced coolers starting to fill the top ten continues. It just proves me right that I didn't think it took a $150 V10 to get to these levels and right now these coolers are expressing just that. The fact that tower style coolers are eating away at the lead aided by a TEC, well, that's just good for all of us. Based on the charts alone, Scythe proves there is still life left in tower cooling; you just have to address some issues along the way and you end up with a product like the Yasya. This is a great cooler and offers performance to even those who are still feeling the effects of the economy.
I do want to address one thing I found with the Yasya, and that is the VTMS. While it worked great for the Samurai ZZ, I'm not so sure it was the wisest choice for this large of a cooler. The AMD mounting was used for benching results, but I did go as far as to use the Intel setup, too. The mechanisms are very secure in the cooler, but I didn't feel they use enough pressure on either system for mounting. While the cooler was pretty solid on our test bench, and I do mess with them to be sure they are solid, I think a bolt through system would do nothing but help. On the flip side, it can drive up pricing, so you have to take some good with some of the bad. I know from reading a few forums most users don't mind the AMD latches, but most users agree to loathe Intel's push-pins for some reason.
If the hardware isn't of consequence to your cooling choice, keep an eye out at your favorite e-tailer to stock shelves. I used to say there was a magic $50 mark that coolers used to be broken down by. When the economy took a hit, most if not all coolers went up with new releases and that bar was raised quite a bit. With coolers showing back up to our labs at or below that $50 point, it makes me happy inside. Now I can firmly recommend a couple of coolers that offer the best bang for the buck out currently and the Scythe Yasya is definitely one of those two. So, like I mentioned, if you can overlook latches and push-pins, I say open your wallet and take out the card, because this is a cooler that can definitely turn heads both in looks and performance.
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