Just recently we all got to see the awesome capabilities Scythe is able to produce with the Ninja 3 SCNJ-3000, which just so happens to be the new leader in the air cooling game with two fans. Before that, the last submission from Scythe was the Yasya SCYS-1000, which has a fair amount to do with the cooler we are going to look at today. The main idea, in a nutshell, was to take the ideas from the Yasya and twist things around, offering a cooler with a change in direction, and doing so with the need for less room to house this cooler.
Along with the Yasya, Scythe is keeping the T.M.L.F. (Trident Multi Layer Fin) design in this new arrival. It is also being cooled by the same Slip Stream, PWM fan with the expansion slot manual control knob. This should give the cooler a good set of lungs to keep temperatures at bay; but there is one important change in today's sample. Scythe elected to bend the fin arrangement over on its side and allow the fan to blow down at the motherboard. This will not only allow it to fit where other towers may not, but it also adds a good dose of high velocity air onto the motherboard components.
Just like with the Samurai ZZ and the Yasya, the Rasetsu we are about to look at keeps the V.T.M.S. (Versatile Tool-Free Multiplatform System). In a nutshell, the system uses clip-in assemblies to mount the AMD and Intel hardware to the cooler. This also means you won't have to pull out your motherboard to allow this cooler to be installed correctly. You get push-pins for Intel, and a pair of latches for AMD sockets. With all the ideas that make up the Rasetsu SCRT-1000 cooler from Scythe fresh in your mind, let's get a look at the full specifications and get the Rasetsu on the TECC to see how well it does.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Rasetsu draws heat up starting with a 2mm thick, nickel plated, copper base plate. Sandwiched between the base plate and the aluminum pre-cooler, the six 6mm heat pipes are soldered in place and begin the removal of heat from the processor. After two cleanly made tight bends, these pipes travel up and into one of two groups of fins. All of the fins are 0.3mm thick, with one smaller group of fins; twenty-two on this side. The other set is thirty fins in count and sits roughly 18mm from the other set, allowing room for the six heat pipes to travel up inside the cooler body. Offsetting the cooler will help with issues like memory heat spreader conflicts, and allow the Rasetsu to fit in much tighter spaces. Also helping the Rasetsu fit into more places is the fact that it is 130mm square and only 141mm tall.
As Scythe has typically done, they mated the Rasetsu with a Slip Stream fan that is both PWM controlled and offers manual control via a hardwired dial. If you don't like noise while your system runs, even though the motherboard can give varying voltage via the PWM feature, you have the option to lower these voltages even further. On its lowest setting the Slip Stream will top out at 1340 RPM, delivering up to 76.53 CFM of air flow with the benefit of only 27 dBA of noise. If you want a little more overclocking headroom, or in the warmer months, just turn up the dial and allow the fan to run at full speed. Doing so will unleash the Slip Stream, producing up 1900 RPM, just over 110 CFM of air, and gaining a fair bit of noise as well. With unique styling, a high performance fan, and mounting for processors in sockets 478 and newer Intel Processors, along with Socket 754 and newer AMD processors, the Rasetsu is a very accommodating CPU cooler.
If you are still reading this far into the review, I have to think there is some interest, and you want to know what the Rasetsu is going to set you back. Well, if you go through the usual outlets, you can find the Rasetsu on shelves at Newegg.com for $49.99. No free shipping deals this time around, so in total it will cost you in the realm of $58 to get one to your door. If you shop around a bit, and maybe don't mind dealing with some less reputable names than Newegg, there are better deals to be had by almost $10, but I cannot recommend them as I have never bought from them myself. Choices are kind of slim, though. Aside from the two I was talking about, there are only four or five others currently with stock of the Rasetsu, so that will be reflected in the scoring.
There is a lot of information that pops off the front panel of purple, silver and black coloured packaging. A good image of the Rasetsu sits in the middle surrounded by information on the fan, compatibility, and the five features on the right.
Things like the Trident Multi Layer Fin Structure, the twisted heatpipes, the fan and V.T.M.S. are all explained on this side. At the bottom right they end with a bit of marketing to assure you if you want low noise, or overclock ability, either way, this is the CPU cooler for you.
Scythe's website and support e-mail addresses star off the back panel. Warranty information, warnings and general information cover the rest of the information found on this panel.
The last remaining panel covers things such as an included parts list, and a really good look at the base of the Rasetsu and the V.T.M.S. mounting pieces. Under this you can find a specifications chart for both the Rasetsu and the accompanying 120mm fan.
The Scythe Rasetsu SCRT-1000 CPU Cooler
Lifting a few flaps on the top of the box, I found the Rasetsu just sitting inside the outer box. In the bottom is a hardware box that the cooler sits on, but aside from that the cooler just sits there freely. As the cooler ships, all you have to do is add thermal paste and the appropriate V.T.M.S. parts, and you are ready to install the Rasetsu.
I removed the 120mm Slip Stream fan. These nine blades are capable of producing some pretty strong air flow, and if the noise level is too high, or you aren't overclocking, the fan control dial gives you finite control over this. The fan is powered with a 4-pin PWM connection, so if you want all the control then you'll need to change the BIOS settings to run the fan full speed all the time, if desired.
With the fan out of the way, I could give you a better look at the Trident Multi Layer Fin Structure. This helps to disturb the airflow while also offsetting the fan enough so that it can get its full production onto the fins without being choked off.
Due to the way the Rasetsu is packaged, during shipping the fan controller had some issue with the top fin of my cooler and had its way with the fins. While this isn't going to hurt performance, but had I paid hard earned money for one, I would be a bit upset.
Scythe really packs in the heat pipes with the Rasetsu. There are six 6mm pipes that take a tight, but gentle bend from the base and run into the middle of the fin arrangement. There they take another bend to slide into their respective set of fins. The three pipes on the left deliver heat to the smaller arrangement, and the three on the right stay with the right side fins. Also notice the cooler is offset. The shorter side will allow for more cooling over the CPU power components and less room impeding into the memory slots.
This side of the cooler is what you should expect to see on both sides of the Rasetsu. The uniquely shaped fins are held over a pre-cooler made of aluminium.
This isn't just the pre-cooler though. With the square holes facing on an angle to the right, you simply insert the correct VTMS part and push it until it "clicks" into the locked position.
The nickel plated, copper base plate is very smooth with an "orange peel" effect left from the plating. This base is very flat across both directions aside from a bit of rounding around the very edge. The base covers any processor it fits with room to spare, so the deviation doesn't come into play.
Reassembling the cooler for testing, I took an image from the top so you could see how well this 120mm covers the fins. The fins are a bit longer than the fan; 6mm to be exact, but these 3mm per side are used to lock the fan in place with extended points on the fins.
Accessories and Documentation
Along with a packet that you can squeeze out two, maybe three applications of thermal compound from, I placed the AMD and Intel VTMS components. For AMD it uses a locking latch system, not unlike a stock cooler. It works in much the same way; just here there is a latch for both sides. As for the Intel mounting, Scythe sends a universal set of Intel mounts. These legs can adjust to all LGA type processors, and I'm sure you all know how the push pins work.
The instructions are broken up into two sections; Intel on this side, and it shows here how to lock in the mounting hardware, how to work the push pins, and how and where to plug in the fan.
This side covers the AMD mounting, the fan mounting, and the fan controller instructions. Both sides are well written and with the images along with the text, it shouldn't take you long to go from in the box to cooling your processor!
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.
In the idle testing the low RPM and CFM of the fan, as well as lack of fins shows; the Rasetsu ends up right in the middle of the group here with a 51.9°C temperature.
At full go, the Rasetsu again plays into the averages of all the 120mm powered air coolers. In reality, with the bent over, blowing at the motherboard style of cooler, in that grouping it is the second best option behind the Noctua NH-C12P SE14, yet the Rasetsu is $20 cheaper.
Noise levels at idle tested along the lines as the other Scythe coolers with the Slip Stream on them.
Same goes for the full on testing of the fan. There is a fair bit of a hum to be heard, but it isn't anything compared to some I have tested along the way.
For the size of the Rasetsu, and the design of the cooler, it performed pretty well. Now, it doesn't top the charts against all of the mighty tower coolers we see full tower cases accommodating. However, the reality is that more people use mid tower cases, and there isn't always 160mm of room for some of these behemoths. That is where Scythe steps in and offers a different looking solution to cure your limited space needs. Another benefit to this design is that the 110CFM of air that does pass through the cooler will add tons of air flow to the chipset and phase chips around the CPU socket. Doing all of this and coming within two degrees of the Noctua is an accomplishment in its own right, no matter how it stands against the others listed above it.
Damage aside, as I'm sure Scythe would have replaced mine, or yours for that matter, I showed it as a heads up for the worst case scenario. I do still think tweaking the packaging may keep this from happening at all. The fan is a bit loud for my taste, but with the manual speed control I can control the amount of noise emanating from the cooler, but that does come with a loss of performance, and no one wants that really. To get the best from the Rasetsu you are going to hear it at full load unless you want to change the fan, and again the temperatures may change. I liked the design of the fins when I saw them on the Yasya, and I saw how well they can work; I am glad to see it here in the Rasetsu as well, making this six-pipe cooler as efficient as they possibly could.
As I mentioned, the Noctua will gain you a couple of degrees, maybe. It does offer less noise, but it does demand a much higher premium than does the Rasetsu. I said they are a bit hard to locate currently, meaning there aren't many places showing with stock of the Rasetsu currently. I was able to find it priced at $49.99 at Newegg.com, and there is shipping involved on top of that. I suggest maybe taking a risk with one of the lesser known stores and locating the Rasetsu for some $10 cheaper. At that point the Rasetsu is about half the price of the previously mentioned competition and really changes my perspective on its "average" performance against all the rest. If I was in a situation with limited room inside my case and I was looking for the best bang for the buck, I would look no further than the Rasetsu from Scythe.