Scythe Zipang 6 Heatpipe CPU Cooler review

£3137
Price when reviewed

It’s a fact of life that CPUs get hot – that’s why they come with fans. But the audible whirring of a standard Intel or AMD fan can be an irritation. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, you might prefer to invest in a cooler that relies less on fan power and more on heat dissipation.

Third-party coolers are often more effective than standard models too, allowing overclockers to drive their processors harder without overheating.

Scythe’s oddly-named Zipang is one cooler that promises to be both quieter and more effective than a stock fan – but it’s also far more imposing.

The heatsink flares out from the CPU to cover a huge 145 x 148 area. On top sits a 140mm fan, bringing total elevation from the motherboard to 112mm.

The sheer size of the Zipang demands a generous case and limits your options for other components – a large chipset cooler could get in the Scythe’s way, and DIMMs with heatsinks may rise too close to it for comfort.

Its shape also makes installation tricky: you get attachments for a range of both Intel and AMD sockets, but the various screws and clips are hard to get at.

Installation on a Socket 775 processor is particularly tough, as it’s impossible to get a screwdriver to the clips to fasten them.

But once you get it installed, performance is exemplary. The fan’s large size means it can spin slowly, and we measured it at less than 1,000RPM, compared to 1,700rpm on a stock Intel cooler.

Consequently, the Scythe is whisper-quiet, emitting only the most insignificant of hums, which won’t be audible at all when packed inside a case.

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The Zipang also keeps temperatures down effectively. Our test rig – built with an Intel Core 2 Extreme X9770 and running an intensive test in 3DSMax – hovered at a toasty 58 C with a standard Intel heatsink.

With the Sythe attached it dropped to around 36 – a huge drop, and one that overclockers will especially appreciate.

At £31 the Zipang isn’t cheap, and its space demands and fiddly installation mean it won’t be suitable for every case. But for those who want both near-silence and intensive cooling, it’s undeniably effective.

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