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?

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.