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Scythe Kotetsu Mark 3 Review

Introduction

The Scythe Kotetsu has been a solid mid-range performer in the past. Lets take a closer look at its newest Mark 3 revision and see how it performs!

 

Positive

  • Solid Mid-Range Performance

Neutral

  • No support for older sockets

Negative

  • Backplate could have been made out of metal

 

 

What's in the Box?

 

Even if the box comes with a new color scheme, the Kotetsu Mark 3 still comes in the average Scythe box full of imagery, schematics and some short specs.

 

Once everything is unboxed, we will be left with the following items:

  • Scythe Kotetsu Mark 3 Heatsink
  • Scythe Kaze Flex II Fan
  • Fan Clips
  • Mounting Hardware AMD/Intel
  • Thermal Paste

 

 

Down below you will find a short summary of the Kotetsu Mark 3's specs.

Name Scythe Kotetsu Mark 3
Dimensions 154x138x80 (HxWxD) (fan included)
Fan Scythe Kaze Flex II 1500
Fan Airflow

< 67.62CFM

Fan Connection 4-Pin PWM
Fan Speed < 1500RPM
Fan Noise < 28.6dBA
Fan Air Pressure < 1.5mm/H2O
Color

Black (brushed) Top

Silver Heatsink

RGB - None -
Ram Restriction - None -
Extras - None -

Compatibility

Scythe's new Kotetsu 3 uses the new HPMS V Lite mounting system. Due to its relatively recent development, Scythe included mainly the latest sockets while leaving the older AM3s and LGA1366s behind.

 

Down below you will find a full compatibility list.

Intel AMD
LGA 1700 AM5
LGA 1200 AM4
LGA 115X  

Individual Components

 

Fan

 

The Fan coming with a Kotetsu Mark 3 is Scythes inhouse made Kaze Flex II spinning at up to 1500RPM whilst pushing up to 67.62CFM and 1.5mm/H2O.

 

To power and control the Fan, we use the PWM cable.

 

 

We've covered this Fan extensively below, please have a look at the dedicated review to learn more about it, but in summary: it's a silent fan best used for not-high static pressure use cases.

Heatsink

 

Looking from the top, the heatsink is covered with a piece of plastic painted in a black brushed aluminum style. Underneath, however, we will find an all-silver heatsink measuring 154mm high.

 

 

Thanks to the cooler's thin 55mm width, even with an additional 25mm fan, none of the cooler's components will be protruding above the ram slots, making this a 100% ram-compatible cooler.

Base

 

At the bottom of the cooler, we will find a nickel-plated base housing the 4 heat pipes that travel up the heatsink.

Appearance

Overall, the Kotetsu Mark 3 comes in a quite simple design. From the all-silver heatsink to the color of the heat pipes, everything is kept simple.

 

 

The most distinctive optical feature would be the black top hat sitting on top of the heatsink. Its black brushed aluminum style pairs perfectly with the all-black Kaze Flex fan mounted next to it.

 

 

On top of the hat, there's a stamped Scythe Logo. Everything is simple, black & Silver, easy to integrate, looking clean no matter the build.

Benchmarks

We Benchmarked the Kotetsu Mark 3 on top of our 3900X benchmark machine.

 

 

Whilst allowing the Kaze Flex II to spin at its max rated 1500RPM, the Kotetsu managed to keep the CPU at 53.5°C above ambient. This positions it right next to the other 4 Heatpipe mid-range coolers like the Xilence M704.

Interesting would be the comparison to the much larger Scythe Mugen 5 Rev C. Although these coolers seem to perform roughly similarly, we believe this is due to the low-powered heat load of 135W.

 

 

After we slowly lowered the Fans speed and noted the noise at each step, we created a noise-to-performance curve.

Here we were able to observe that the Kotetsu Mark 3 performs surprisingly similarly to the Scythe Fuma 2, but with the Fuma having the upper hand in the very high and low RPMs, while the Kotetsu scored some points for the area in between.

 

Compared to other coolers like the Be Quiet! Pure Rock 2 FX, the Kotetsu was a step behind all across the board.

Conclusion

Considering its targeted Mid-Tier market, the Kotetsu Mark 3 seems to be a solid choice. It performs roughly like a Fuma 2, but in a much smaller form factor. And although it is not quite a Pure Rock 2 FX, the budget-friendly price tags make it an interesting option.

 

 

Design-wise, there is little negative to be said about the Kotetsu. It is kept simple, black from the top, and silver from the back. A design choice with decades of experience which is easy to intergrade for non-rgb builds.

 

 

On the build quality side of things, there is just a bit to be said. Although the heatsink makes a solid impression, we would have wished the top hat to be made out of metal. This way the overall quality would improve, and the fact that there would be additional metal might even slightly improve performance.

 

 

Considering both Performance and Quality, we feel safe to recommend the Kotetsu Mark 3, but not for everyone. Given its small size and 4-Heatpipe design, the Kotetsu is best used on smaller CPUs such as the 7600X and 13600K and everything below. If you're looking for a cooler for one of these or lower-powered chips, you won't run into any trouble. If you're looking for higher workloads coolers, you might need to look elsewhere.

strumace
Introduction
What's in the Box?
Compatibility
Individual Components
Appearance
Benchmarks
Conclusion
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