Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 CPU Cooler Review

Comparison Coolers, Testing Results & Conclusion


We use test data and hardware from previous CPU cooler reviews to provide a set of standardized results to be used for comparison. We will be looking at data from be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3, Noctua NH-U14S, and Noctua NH-D15 with data from Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 in our results. Our testing involves two hour runs of Prime 95 AVX using Small FTTs on our 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7-5930 hex-core CPU at both full and half fan speed.

The Prime95 AVX testing at full and half fan speeds shows that the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 lags a bit behind the other coolers in both regards, including cooling of surrounding motherboard components. However, we cannot credit the increased cooling capability to direct-contact heat pipes, because none of the coolers in our testing comparison uses this design. All use a form of CPU contact base that offsets the heat pipes, so while this similarity removes one variable, it provides some insight into some of the differences, as well.

We also find that the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 peaks a bit higher on our sound scale than those in our comparison set. Although we should note that the bar graph does seem to indicate a substantial difference in sound level being registered, the reality is that the 30 decibels is often described as a silent library, while 40 decibels is similar to that of a very quiet room.

We can now see how the thermal performance against noise levels plays out for the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3. Both the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 and the Noctua NH-U14S go neck and neck here, while the Noctua NH-D15 hovers at a distant third.

Although we have seen that the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 does not perform nearly as well in the thermal load and noise level testing, when you factor in the significantly lower cost of the cooler, it rebounds to a very respectable place on the performance vs. value comparison chart. This offers a more comprehensive cross-section for system builders on a smaller budget.

The Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 puts up some respectable figures against heavyweights in the large air cooler class, and for significantly less money. At full speed, it is nipping at the heels of the more expensive Noctua NH-U14S and be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3. And it costs almost half as much. When we consider cooler noise levels, we’re still in the realm of registering just over a whisper for this budget performance. With an MSRP right around $45 at time of writing, the Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 is a large, quiet air cooler that gets close to premium air cooler performance for a fraction of the cost.

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  • shrapnel_indie
    how much better would this do IF the sides were more closed off in terms of cooling? It seems to me that it may lose a portion to the sides when faced with the opportunity to take the path of least resistance.
  • eklipz330
    how come no comparison to hyper 212 evo?

    i can imagine alot of the air flow speed is diminished before it reaches the fins.
  • shrapnel_indie
    133584 said:
    how come no comparison to hyper 212 evo? i can imagine alot of the air flow speed is diminished before it reaches the fins.

    The EVO isn't very modern. It is beaten in it class of coolers by the likes of the Cryorig H7, and even the DeepCool Gammaxx 400 is better. None of these are in the same class. The Grand Kama Cross 3 is considered a big cooler, not a mid-size.
  • The Original Ralph
    interesting results for only 4 heatpipes, and i like the configuration. A quieter fan and six heatpipes, i'd be on board
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    Exactly how tall is this cooler? Pump height doesn't tell me.

    Edit: Newegg tells me the cooler height is 147mm. Why this review didn't include the very important detail in the specs, I have no clue.
  • compprob237
    I'm actually more curious about its effect on the VRMs and chokes of that X299 board you used. I bet that Scythe cooler is keeping them much cooler than the other two.
  • Kahless01
    the distressed bends shouldnt do much if anything to cooling performance. watch motor trend test headers and bend and crimp the shit out of them and lose no real power.
  • The Original Ralph
    GOT A couple of ideas that would improve performance and probably beat out the Noctua NH-D15

    1st - the fins should have some baffles or louvers, like the red lines, to help the air flow establish a flow path that is parallel to the fins - entering the fins the way it is, the air flow is going to experience some turbelence and not scrub heat off the fins as well s it could. Look at the water cooled racing bikes like the Hondas - they have louvers or slats in front of the radiators similiar to the red lines i've drawn, as the radiators are mounted to the front rake tube on the frame and not perpendicular to the air flow. Those slats do exactly what i'm describing above, helping the air flow to establish a flow path parallel to the fins.
    I only drew slats or louvers on one side, picture the fins will slats on both fin banks

    2nd, the ends should be shrouded so that "V" valley is closed off, shrouded from the fan down to the bottom edge of the fins and shrouded on both ends.

    3rd, and this is the mod that i think would give the biggest bang in terms of efficiency but would require modifying your case. This mod also assumes the mobo is mounted vertically. As the height is 147mm to the top of the fan, that's going to put it within 13mm (1/2") of my case's side panel, which means the fan is going to be struggling to pull air in to feed the fins.

    But being so close to the computer case's side panel, it'd sure be easy to cut an opening to let that fan draw in fresh room air - that would probably give the biggest boost in performance.

    anyway, fwiw
  • Mr5oh
    330834 said:
    The EVO isn't very modern. It is beaten in it class of coolers by the likes of the Cryorig H7, and even the DeepCool Gammaxx 400 is better.

    While that maybe true, the EVO 212 is still the old stand by and easily obtained at many local stores for many. The same is not true for the H7 unfortunately. So until that changes, it still makes the EVO 212 a good stanrdard.
  • knowom
    I'd try reversing the fan direction on the top cooler to pull air upward and adding two fans underneath that push air through each heatsink stack array and see how it's performance...I'm sure you've got two fans you could zip tie on easily enough.
  • knowom
    Scythe probably could have and should have enclosed the ends where the heatsink stacks v together. Then all the airflow is forced and directed down where it's really needed the most with less escaping out the sides.
  • Co BIY
    Any of these suggested improvements would change the "Large carb on aluminum V-headers" look they were clearly going for.

    The look works IMOP and it seems that it cools adequately too. I like it a lot better than a load of RGB LEDs but .....

    someone probably could rice-mod it sweet with ground-effect LEDs to nice effect inside tempered glass.
  • knowom
    I don't care about the looks of it honestly though it does have a nice V8 look going on, but it's the performance that matters to me.
  • bulldog.mentality
    Would love to see how it holds up against the Cryorig C1 and possibly C7
  • knowom
    I'm using a Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm on my Skylake i3 it does well enough though I hate to customize the mounting with a LGA1150 mounting bracket I think it was...which was a bit involved though it worked out perfectly fine. The nice thing about these modern CPU's is the cooling requirements keep going down essentially due to the improved fabrication processes involved.