Founded in 2002 within the Akihibara district of Tokyo, Japan, Scythe is a global distributor and manufacturer of high quality computer parts. With offices in the USA and Germany, in addition to R&D facilities in Taiwan in China, Sycthe has grown from their humble beginnings and today are well known with PC enthusiasts around the world.Scythe released a new CPU cooler that is both compact enough to fit into pretty much any chassis but also fits pretty much any CPU socket that is available.Scythe claims that its Byakko, named in phonetic Japanese for the White Tiger of the West in the Chinese constellations, has been built from the ground up with compatibility in mind.
The Scythe Byakko is a tower-type CPU cooler for both AMD and Intel CPUs.The list of compatible CPU Sockets is long and covers all major sockets, such as the Intel Sockets LGA775, LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366 as well as the AMD Sockets AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2 and FM2+.
Packaging & Contents
Scythe's Byakko CPU cooler comes in a medium-sized box.The front and top of the box has an image of the Byakko cooler itself.
The back holds some support and warranty information in various languages.
On the left side are the cooler's specifications in various languages.
The right side describes the cooler's key features.
Scythe's packaging for the Byakko is minimal at best. Only the simple box and a foam insert and cardboard tray protect the heatsink and fan. While I prefer better packaging, it should suffice since the box is designed to hang on store shelves, rather than being shipped directly. Still, it would be nice to see slightly better packaging with future products, at least in terms of protection.The package includes all required clips for both AMD and INTEL.
It also comes packed with thermal grease and a manual.
Getting it all out of the box and as you can see, the fan actually comes pre-installed, which is always helpful to save some time installing the whole unit.
The overall dimensions of the Byakko are just 102 mm by 130 mm by 84 mm (W/H/D).
As with most coolers these days,the Byakko features aluminium fins and as we can see, the heatpipes pass through them.
The new Byakko CPU cooler comes with a pre-installed Slip Stream 92 PWM (SY9225SL12M-P) axial fan which offers a flexible speed range starting at ultra-silent 300 RPM and going up to 2.300 RPM for best performance.
This speed range allows steady airflow from 11,38 to 79,09 m3/h, respectively 6,70 to 46,55 CFM.The heatsink has grooves for fan mounting on either side, so users requiring a push-pull fan configuration simply need to acquire a second fan and mounting clip.
It is built with three high-quality copper heat pipes each with a 6 mm diameter which are connected to a solid copper base-plate and the aluminium fin stack.
The heatpipes are curved assymetrically to allow additional clearance for installed DIMMs.
Both the heat pipes and the base plate have been nickel-plated in the final process which avoids corrosion and quality.
The base plated is also made from nickel-plated copper which not only performs well, it also looks much better than the plain copper base plates.
The top cover plate is nicely polished to a mirror finish.
Scythe's Byakko is equipped with a simple yet versatile mounting system, allowing secure and fast mounting process on various CPU sockets.The Byakko uses the same pushpin-based mounting as the Intel stock coolers.
Mounting to AMD-based motherboards is achieved via the familiar clip mechanism.
Installed - Memory Clearance
The asymmetric alignment of the base-plate and heatsink will provide enough clearance for both memory slots and motherboard heatsinks alike.
Test System & Methology
Processor: Intel Core i7 4770k @ 3.7 GHz & 4.2 GHz OC
Motherboard:MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
Memory: 16GB Mushkin
Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
Chassis: DimasTech Bench/Test Table EasyXL
Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda
CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
I am testing the performance as follows:
Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
Idle temperatures are obtained after booting the PC and idling on the desktop for 30 minutes.
Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime95′s Small FTTs test for 15 minutes.
To measure noise levels i disable the two front in-take fans, rear exhaust and GPU fan.
On the following pages you'll have the opportunity to read what Byakko is capable of.
Results - Temperature
At idle, Scythe's Byakko does well, placing toward the top of the chart.
However, with the CPU overclocked, it tumbles down a cliff, though even so, performance is still more than acceptable.The Scythe Byakko is similar in size to the Scythe Katana 4 and Raijintek Aidos, and it, as one might expect, trades blows with both in these stock and overclocked tests.
Results - Noise Level
I was surprised by how quiet the Byakko is for such a small cooler with a 92 mm fan.The RPM readings show a fantastic PWM range on the included fan. With a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 2300 RPM, the fan does a decent job, which allows the Byakko to offer performance similar to the Aidos and Katana 4 whose fans spin at a maximum of 2495 RPM and 2450 RPM respectively.At 32-41 dBA, the Byakko is quieter than the Aidos and Katana 4 while performing similarly, which is a solid win for Scythe.
What can I say? The Scythe Byakko is a solid performer for its size. it won't "wow" you with top-of-the-line performance, but a cooler of its size shouldn't have to. Memory and general overall clearance around the socket are exceptional because Scythe stuck to Intel's and AMD's keep-out zone, and build quality is rather impressive.Also considering the fan that cools this tower is a meager 92mm fan,I am shocked at the thermal results this cooler accomplished with just 47CFM of air flow, but this is also where it helps to have high static pressure as well.
Even more surprising is this product's extremely attractive price. This cooler is unlikely to break your piggy bank. The cooler is a solid option for first-time builders as well because it is easy to install and has a solid two-year warranty for some peace of mind. Overall, Scythe has solid entry level offerings in the Byakko.If you are in the market for a stock replacement cooler that offers better performance, low noise levels, and won't give you sticker shock, the Scythe Byakko could be just what you are looking for.Scythe has impressed me and also shown us that you don't need a monster tower when it comes to air cooling to get the most out of your system, and at just 20,50 Euro's (VAT/Taxes not included) for the Byakko, it's a brilliant price.