Scythe Kozuti Mini-ITX CPU Heat Sink Review

In our continuing coverage of low-profile cooling solutions for mini-ITX builds, we take a look at the Scythe Kozuti and its unconventional design. Does pulling air through heat sink fins facilitate better performance than blowing it through?

The Kozuti is a fresh approach to the miniature cooler concept. Scythe puts an 11mm-thick 8cm fan under its heat sink fins, which sucks air through.

The sink is very thin at its sides and thicker in the middle. Three 6mm heat pipes lead from both ends of the base plate to the array of fins. That means each heat pipe is approximately twice as long as the pipes found on Raijintek's Zelos. Can the tiny fan you get with Scythe's Kozuti maintain ample cooling performance?

Loading...

The heat sink also sports a more elaborately engineered base plate than the Zelos. Its heat pipes don’t touch the CPU’s spreader directly, but are routed into the base plate and soldered to it. The base plate's bottom is polished to a mirror finish.

In order for the small fan to generate sufficient air flow, it spins at up to 3300RPM. However, a wide range of rotational speeds allows it to throttle back to 970RPM at idle.

Installation And Compatibility

The Kozuti offers a wide range of processor interface options, supporting Intel's LGA 115x, 1366 and 775, plus AMD's most recent sockets. But there's no such thing as a free lunch; the cost for this flexibility is a more complicated installation. Then again, how difficult could it really be to get a small heat sink installed on a compact motherboard?

First, you need to screw interface-specific mounting brackets to the cooler.

Next, turn the cooler upside down and lower the mainboard onto it.

From there, the screws can be inserted and tightened.

Scythe includes two sets of rubber washers, one for AMD motherboards and one for Intel-based platforms. You can also use the spare set of washers on the front of the motherboard to prevent the screws from falling out before they're tightened. During installation, it is not necessary to remove the fan.

Scythe's Kozuti is the only thermal solution that can be installed in four different orientations, even on AMD motherboards.

Benchmark Results

Conclusion

That's good news, then, for Scythe's Kozuti, the top performer among the low-profile coolers. And at 1.6” tall, it stays clear of our 2" threshold.

Although the Kozuti achieves solid performance at the cost of high fan speeds and corresponding noise levels, it can also run very quietly at idle thanks to a wide RPM range. At a price just over $50 on Amazon, you also get the broadest processor interface flexibility in the test field, though you're also forced to tolerate a complicated installation procedure.

The build quality is impressive. However, we'd like to see a bracket for attaching a 12cm fan come bundled. A fan of that size could sit on top of this heat sink and take its cooling performance to the next level, assuming you have enough space in your case.

This thread is closed for comments
26 comments
    Your comment
  • pit_1209
    is it just me or there´s something wrong with that conclusion. I mean, the fan it´s louder and can´t get better temps than the stock without resorting to high rpm, as I said been much more louder in the process so you have to pay $50 for an equal cooling solution or get used to some jet like party inside your build for 7c less. What did I get wrong?
  • g-unit1111
    I'd love to see a round up of ITX components and SFF builds with ITX cases, I think things are definitely starting to get very interesting in that area. Especially with Steam OS due next year I think ITX could really be a game changer.
  • DonQuixoteMC
    I definitely agree. Mini-ITX is going to be pretty exciting when it comes to DIY Steamboxes.
  • Yuka
    Come on manufacturers! DIRECT. CONTACT. HEAT. PIPES.

    Is that hard to grasp?

    Cheers!
  • squirrelboy
    "an 11mm-thick 8cm fan"
    "6mm heat pipes"
    Dimensions in inches.
    Weight in I'm gonna guess oz is ounces.
    Heat pipe dimensions suddenly in mm.
    More dimensions in inches.
    Temp difference in Kelvin.
    "And at 1.6” tall, it stays clear of our 2" threshold."
    "a 12cm fan"
  • rwpritchett
    73949 said:
    Come on manufacturers! DIRECT. CONTACT. HEAT. PIPES.


    Zalman CNPS2X?
  • Vlad Rose
    @pit_1209 - Yeah, I came up with that same question myself. This cooler seems worse than the stock Intel one in cooling until you kick up the fan speeds to higher rpms; leading to higher noise.
  • Vlad Rose
    @pit_1209 - Yeah, I came up with that same question myself. This cooler seems worse than the stock Intel one in cooling until you kick up the fan speeds to higher rpms; leading to higher noise.
  • iam2thecrowe
    Quote:
    @pit_1209 - Yeah, I came up with that same question myself. This cooler seems worse than the stock Intel one in cooling until you kick up the fan speeds to higher rpms; leading to higher noise.

    yeh, the conclusion is strangely, Intel boxed cooler ftw. I guess the radiator capacity is the bottleneck here, heat pipes isnt going to do anything on such a thin heatsink i dont think.
  • Myrkvidr
    652793 said:
    is it just me or there´s something wrong with that conclusion. I mean, the fan it´s louder and can´t get better temps than the stock without resorting to high rpm, as I said been much more louder in the process so you have to pay $50 for an equal cooling solution or get used to some jet like party inside your build for 7c less. What did I get wrong?


    You're not supposed to use it in a rather big ITX computer case like I'm using due to compatibility (one ITX testing station should be enough - beside all the other testing stations we're actually running^^). But if you choose a SFF-ITX solution the stock cooler might not fit -> that's where the Scythe Kozuti, Noctua NH-L9i etc. come into play. Besides - what the sound level measurements won't tell you @dB(A): the sound characteristic of INtel's stock solution is lousy although the dB(A)-values are quite okay.

    1313788 said:
    "an 11mm-thick 8cm fan" "6mm heat pipes" Dimensions in inches. Weight in I'm gonna guess oz is ounces. Heat pipe dimensions suddenly in mm. More dimensions in inches. Temp difference in Kelvin. "And at 1.6” tall, it stays clear of our 2" threshold." "a 12cm fan"


    -> translation issue, sorry. The reviews were published on our German website a couple of weeks ago and went on to the translation team for the US site.
  • dovah-chan
    Scythe, be quiet!, Thermalright, and Akasa are all really good manufacturers that need more USA support. ;_ ;
  • quilciri
    For everyone saying "why get this over intel's stock cooler?":

    Intel's stock cooler is 2.7" tall, measured from the board. This prevents it from being used in many mini-ITX cases.
  • mortsmi7
    I put one of these in the NAS I built. The whole purpose of the passive PSU and silent case fans were defeated by this cooler. So now it resides in a room I rarely spend any time in.
  • leclod
    Hi Guys, I've got the Arctic Freezer 11 LP. It's roughly 2" and great for me. Right now it runs at 1110RPM 40° on my 3770. Impossible to hear in my already quiet computer.
  • Bannereus
    Honest question here, where did the 2" standard come from?

    Last time they did a low-profile round-up, 4" was the ceiling (height of a graphics card slot above the motherboard).
    Do all mini-ITX cases now prevent graphics cards from mounting without an adapter?
  • pit_1209
    708622 said:
    For everyone saying "why get this over intel's stock cooler?": Intel's stock cooler is 2.7" tall, measured from the board. This prevents it from being used in many mini-ITX cases.


    Thanks for making that clear for me.
  • digiguyONE
    I don't know what all the fuss is about.

    I've been using 4 of these coolers in cube cases for the past 3 years are so.
    The fans are terrible as 3 of them have presented problems by not spinning up fast enough (probably caused by dirt build-up) so that they cause the system to halt at booting time.
    Cleaning these fans is a nightmare as you have to get the fans out of under the heatsink. Usually, depending on the way you have installed them, this can only be done in one direction and even then you'll have to remove the RAM first.
    Refitting them is equally frustrating if not more so.
    Yes you can mount a 100mm or even a 120mm fan (with a bit of skill) on top, and get better cooling results, but this rather defeats the purpose of such a low profile cooler, even if you choose to use a slim type fan.
    You could even choose to mount the fan so it sucks the air through the heatsink away from the motherboard, which in my cases would have been more effecient but all of this just makes it more of a hassle and even more expensive.
    All in all I would not recommend this cooler just because of its fan and would rather look at a Prolimatech Samuel 17 as an alternative.
  • bloc97
    Pretty good airflow for such a small fan... Compared to a much larger fan, it can spin at a same RPM and produce similar airflow...
  • fwupow
    Hello?
  • fwupow
    Lord I hate when my comment is vaporized because I wasn't logged in. If this is the future, lemme tell ya folks; It sucks!

    In my experience, blowing air through the fins is better. Fans are kind of crappy. Heat sinks are square, but fans are round and they have a motor in the center, so all they do is blow a rather scrawny ring of air through the HS finnage.
  • fwupow
    The best solution is case mounted fan which pushes air through a duct to the CPU heatsink.
  • bit_user
    I'd say find yourself a good deal on a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev B. It has 2 more heatpipes and a 120 mm fan on top. I don't know how the overall dimensions compare, but I'll know soon enough if it works in my mini-ITX build. Also, I'll run a 140 mm round fan on it, if I can.
  • bit_user
    73949 said:
    Come on manufacturers! DIRECT. CONTACT. HEAT. PIPES.

    Totally agree. Unfortunately, I think Xigmatek or somebody has a patent on it.

    BTW, you can regain some efficiency if you're willing to lap your heatsink & CPU. I did my last two heatsinks, but I haven't yet risked lapping a CPU. If you do only your cooler, just make sure your CPU isn't concave, first.
  • quilciri
    1790383 said:
    Honest question here, where did the 2" standard come from? Last time they did a low-profile round-up, 4" was the ceiling (height of a graphics card slot above the motherboard). Do all mini-ITX cases now prevent graphics cards from mounting without an adapter?


    Many ITX builds don't use dedicated video cards and have slimmer cases. There are also cases that mount their pci-e slot on a daughterboard that makes the video card parallel to the mobo.