Scythe Grand Kama Cross 2 CPU Air Cooled Heatsink

Many times in the world of CPU cooling, heatsinks look much the same from one to the next. The Grand Kama Cross 2 caught our eye due to its very unique design and we wanted to see if there was more to it than just aesthetics. The design is somewhat reminiscent of V type engine, but let's see if it has any horsepower to back it up.

Introduction

Today we are looking at a cooler from a Scythe, a company that has a long history of producing CPU coolers. We are reviewing its Grand Kama Cross 2 (SCKC-3000) heatsink that is marketed as a "mainstream" product rather than a "high performance" heatsink. Not only has Scythe been in the business for a number of years but it continues to explore new designs and are not afraid of breaking from the norm to do so. It’s refreshing to see an established company that is willing to take chances and in turn push technology forward.

Some examples of this willingness to try new things are the Katana 775, the Orochi and the Ninja Plus just to name a few.

Continuing with this tradition we have the Grand Kama Cross 2 queued up today for review action. On paper the Grand Kama Cross 2 sounds like most coolers sporting four copper heat pipes, an array of aluminum fins and a large quiet 140 mm fan. What you would be missing is its unique design approach and crisscross pattern for the heat pipes.

So let’s get started and find out if this unique design brings anything substantial to the table or if it should be relegated to history.

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System Setup

Today's review introduces our fourth generation [H]ard platform. The test bed consists of the ASUS Z87-Deluxe motherboard, eight gigabytes of Corsair 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM and the Intel Core i7 4770K.

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Test Methods

CPU

The biggest change you will notice is the removal of hardware testing. In recent years, Intel has shifted their methods of testing to software based and so we find it acceptable to do the same.

GPU

Once again we have an integrated GPU in our processor which alleviates the need for a discrete one. With the removal of a discrete GPU comes the advantage of not having an additional variable to account for.

The iGPU will not create any anomalies in our testing as long as we practice consistent testing methods.

Case

Corsair was kind enough to provide us with their Carbide series chassis. It provides excellent airflow and interior space and is a good reflection on current case design.

Thermal Paste

Noctua's NT-H1 thermal paste was selected as the paste of choice for a few key reasons. The thermal paste has been shown to provide excellent thermal conductivity allowing the heat sinks to better do their job. There is no observed curing time. That is, performance does not get any better over time. Any curing time could have introduced variables into the equation causing at best dubious results and at worst unreliable ones.

Temperatures

Ambient temperature will be kept at 25C for the duration of the tests and measured with a MicroTemp EXP non-contact infrared thermometer and cross referenced with the Sperry Digital 4 Point thermometer. Any variance greater then 0.2C will halt the testing until temperatures return within spec for fifteen minutes.

Idle

Idle temperatures will be recorded after a twenty minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Load

Load temperatures will be recorded after a twenty minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using AIDA64 Extreme Edition v3.00.2500. This places an even greater load on the CPU than before and includes some benefits. Because the load is so extreme we see the temperature vary wildly from 72C to 86C in some instances. To get an accurate reading we will utilize AIDA64’s ability to average the temperature over time. Given twenty minutes at 100% load we arrive at a temperature that accurately represents our heatsink’s performance.

Sound

Sound levels will be measured with a Reliability Direct AR824 sound meter from a distance of four feet away. With everything turned off and the room completely silent the meter registered a sound level of 38dB(A). This is a very quiet room where a simple pin drop could be heard. All sound measurements are recorded in the very late evening to further reduce any ambient noise.