Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 CPU Cooler Review

Comparison Coolers, Testing Results & Conclusion

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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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  • photonboy
    And what PRICE would make this a great value?

    It seems like even the Noctua NH-U12S would kick its ass. I suspect it sits somewhere between a $30 (ish) CM Hyper 212 EVO and the above Noctua in performance. There's also the Cryorig H5 Ultimate/Universal coolers for $45USD that I've seen which I suspect are a better value (or maybe about the same).

    I also still find CPU cooler reviews ridiculously confusing in terms of value. For example performance vs fan RPM tells me what? Performance vs NOISE makes a lot of sense but even then I find this review confusing.

    Also, for some CPU's this cooler would be fine even at low RPM (minimal noise) whereas it would be too loud for demanding thermal loud. You end up having to extrapolate far too much data to figure out what cooler to get.