Scythe Grand Kama Cross 3 CPU Cooler Review. Today we examine a new revision of the Grand Kama, from the legendary cooling brand Scythe. The company has been producing visually unique and able products for years now. This is the third revision of the unique Kama cooler, simply named Grand Kama Cross 3.
The unique X like shape not only separates it from the many other coolers on the market, but the shape offers fantastic compatibility with Memory. The major issue that can make or break any CPU cooler.
Pricing on the day of review is uncertain here in the UK though some retailers such as Amazon should have it in stock soon. Be sure to check HERE. The MSRP is 36,50 EUR, which depending upon region and taxes, is extremely competitive.
[Features and Specifications]
Improved cooling performance
By replacing two 6 mm with 8 mm heatpipes cooling performance increases tremendously. Special emphasis was put on efficient heat transfer between heatpipes and the base plate to further push performance limits and to unleash Grand Kama Cross’ full potential.
The unique design of the Grand Kama Cross 3 supports mounting of large heatsink memory modules or large VRM / chipset-heatsinks without interference. It even provides simultaneous cooling for these CPU surrounding components.
For the cooling fins, a turbulence minimizing saw tooth profile is used. This results in lower operating noise at higher fan rpm ranges. In addition, less air resistance optimizes the cooling capacity.
GlideStream 140 PWM
The supplied fan is a customized version of the Scythe GlideStream model, adapted to the Grand Kama Cross 3. It runs at a lower minimum speed and provides, in combination with the heat fin profile, less flow noise.
Grand Kama Cross 3 CPU Cooler
- Socket LGA775
- Socket LGA1150
- Socket LGA1151
- Socket LGA1155
- Socket LGA1156
- Socket LGA1366
- Socket LGA2011 / 2011-v3 (Square ILM)
- Socket AM2
- Socket AM2+
- Socket AM3
- Socket AM3+
- Socket FM1
- Socket FM2
- Socket FM2+
171 x 147 x 140 mm / 5.79 x 5.51 x 6.73 in (including fan – more details)
790 g / 27.86 oz
GlideStream 140 PWM
140 x 140 x 25 mm / 5.51 x 5.51 x 0.98 mm
12.5 ~ 30.7 dBA
29.90 ~ 97.18 CFM – 50.79 ~ 165.08 m³/h
400 (±300 upm) ~ 1.300 upm (±10%) (PWM-gesteuert)
0.98 ~ 10.0 Pa / 0.10 ~ 1.02 mmH²O
max. Power Input:
Courtesy of SCYTHE. More information available HERE
[Packaging and Bundle]
Packaging for the Grand Kama Cross 3, is bold and intriguing. Each side is reserved for something meaningful and key, Scythe has made a real push to show the products compatibility.
Inside, you’ll find all the necessary mounting kit for AMD and Intel, bolts and such. A welcome addition is the screwdriver, something very brands offer. The user manual is clear, concise and helpful. Covering all the major socket installation processes.
Before we look at the actual cooler, I thought it would be worth looking at the transition from V1 to V3,
While the principal and shape remains the same, much had changed to improve the thermal ability
Scythe engineers redesigned the Grand Kama Cross 3 with the goal to significantly improve the overall performance. Instead of using regular 6-millimeter copper-heatpipes, Scythe has exchanged the two copper-heatpipes in the center against two with 8-millimeter diameter.
Scythe have re-designed the two aluminum-fins blocks and fitted the fins with a special saw tooth tread design. The new design has lowered both the operating noise at higher fan speed ranges and the air resistance, resulting in improved cooling performance.
With Dimensions of 147 x 140 x 171 mm, (W x H x D) the cooler is on the larger side, and while compatibility is the aim of the product, do check ahead that’ll fit!
Fine-tuning the manufacturing process allowed to further increase the efficiency of the heat transfer between the copper baseplate and the copper-heatpipes. Another difference to the predecessor is that both the copper baseplate and the four copper-heatpipes have been completely nickel-plated for the Grand Kama Cross 3.
Grand Kama Cross 3 comes with a pre-installed 140 mm axial-fan from the GlideStream series. Thanks to its larger diameter and PWM-support, sufficient airflow between 29,90 and 97,18 CFM at noise levels from 12,5 to 30,7 dBA is assured. Fan speed can be adjusted individually according to the CPU temperature by the motherboard stepless in the range from 400 to 1.300 RPM. The special grooved blade design of the GlideStream 140 case fan benefits the top flow design of Grand Kama Cross 3 CPU cooler.
The Grand Kama 3 uses a very common bracket and brace system, that couples up with a backplate. Due to the slightly unusual shape and overall size, I would highly recommend installing with the motherboard outside of the case.
The backplate is put into place, 4 pillars with washers fasten it into place. Next you take the mounting arms and lay them across the pillars, finally secure them into place with the provided screws.
Remove the fan and lay the brace across the heatsink base. Add thermal paste, and lower the cooler down into position. Make use of the elongated screwdriver that scythe provide and lock it down into place.
As I said above, you’ll want your motherboard outside of the case as the brace that sits on top of the heatsink, does rock like a see-saw until fixed down. Also adding the 4 pin fan header may be difficult if you don’t
I grade the installation process on a scale of 1-10. With 10 being the most difficult, this would be a 3 and nobody should have any major issue
[Clearance and observations]
Compatibility is an area we usually need to talk about in detail, does the claim of superb compatibility really stack up?
It does indeed, because of the X shape, even our tall DDR4 modules fit under with room to spare. You should have no issue even with RAM that uses tall heatspreaders.
[Test Setup & Method]
Proudly Powered by our Dimastech Mini V1.0 Test Bench
Intel® i5 4670K
|Memory:||Kingston HyperX Beast 2400Mhz 8GB|
|Motherboard:||MSI Z97 GAMING 7|
|Video Card:||MSI Radeon 270X Gaming|
|Hard Drives:|| |
SSD – Kingston HyperX 3k 240GB
M.2 -Kingston M.2
|OS:||Windows 8.1 64-Bit|
CPU coolers and test method is an area that causes much confusion and debate. We should point out that many sites test in different ways, but the majority share the same core idea that a simple math equation should be used. So that a consistent value can be recorded and re-used against other products
This simple equation of [recorded result] [minus] [ambient room temperature] = Delta
This test method simply means no matter how warm or cool the testing room is, the data is comparable. There will always be a degree of error in such testing. There are so many variables such airflow, testing location and such. So we perform all our testing on the same hardware and in the same location.
- Our procedure is to fit the cooler and allow a 24 hour period before any testing, allowing the thermal paste to settle. The system is booted and allowed to sit idle for 15 minutes. We take our first recording. Then using a selection of software forcing the CPU to run at 100% load. We then take our load temperatures.
- This process is repeated 3 times and the results are converted to an average.
- We provide delta temperature [Load temperatures minus ambient room temperature].
- This allows us to provide consistent results no matter the room temperature.
Many factors can skew results and to ensure accuracy we repeat all of the above three further times. Including refitting the cooler, this compensates for factors such as burn in time, amount of thermal paste and such.
I must point out that we do not manipulate and force the fan to run at 100%, it is something we had considered in the past and if we had done, most of the products in the chart would appear to have better results.
However what we present is a fair representation of how a product will perform out of the box. With this in mind what we tend to find, in our stock testing is that the fan(S) does not always hit 100%.
Despite the fan running at less than 50% of its limit, the sheer size of the unit and amount of heatpipes, worked well and produced some very good results!
* Our test CPU is ran at default auto clocks and voltage for stock testing. For overclocking it’s not the best around and requires 1.375 volts to operate at 4.6 GHz. All results shown are at these settings unless otherwise stated*
The test that matters more for Overclockers… we applied a heavy overclock, which requires lots of vcore. I honestly did not expect the product to do that well, but it did produce some very promising results.
The important question to answer though, was it loud?
The Grand Kama Cross 3 is a unique product and I’ve been very happy with it. We’ve actually looked at a few products like it recently, with high compatibility and unique shapes/designs. The Grand Kama 3 has significantly raised the bar of expectation, for future coolers now!
The shape and footprint were initially somewhat unsettling, I wrongfully assumed it was going to a nuisance to install, large and troublesome. I was very wrong, the installation process was simple and the amount of clearance for RAM is fanatic, without any sacrifice or burden.
The performance under stock CPU conditions was decent, but keep in mind what I referenced, we let the fans run under PWM mode so manually controlling it, is an option to either unleash more ability or tame the noise even further. On an overclocked system the product also did a great job of taming the heat, but noise was a touch higher than I prefer.
I must first grant our “Design Award”, for all the reasons above and further compliment the product with our “Value award” (based on MSRP).