Cooling Parge's Scythe Kodati Review (vs Noctua NH-L9i)

Parge

Cable-Tie Ninja
Original poster
Jun 8, 2015
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As my quest to go ever smaller collides with the fact that I've done slightly less gaming in the last 6 months or so, I've recently sold off my badass 5820k/980ti NCase setup and downgraded to less powerful (and less expensive!) components.......that just happen to fit in a NFC S4 Mini

While I am waiting for that (still in the queue at the moment), I thought I'd take the time to try out the Scythe Kodati. Since I didn't really want to drop £40 on a Noctua NH-L9i. The Kodati set me back a mere £15 - but a week later I found a second hand NH-L9i for £20 so thought I'd pit them up against each other.

Lets talk about the Kodati then. The Cooler itself is as small as its price tag - and comes in a tiny box too! Installation is very straightforward once you have the correct socket size mounting attached to the bottom of the cooler. Once installed, while it will never win any awards, since you can't see the fan which is mounted on the bottom of the heatsink, drawing air through, it looks pretty good.






So, onto performance.

At idle, its silent, as should be expected. Pushed to 100% load, the fan spins up to more than 3000rpm, and you can definitely hear it - but its not *that* loud and it's not a particularly unpleasant tone either. Whilst gaming in Battlefield 1, I could hear it, but here, it was quieter still, and really quite impressive.

Lets push it to its limits and compare it to the Noctua then shall we? For this I used OCCT's 'Linpack' test. My CPU is a an i7 4770S, a 65W chip, with multicore enhancement enabled (so all threads can run at max turbo boost of 3.9Ghz)

First up the Koduti:


Ouchy! As you can see, as OCCT began the test at the 60" mark, the CPU temps quickly jumped to 83C within the first 20 seconds of the test. Toasty. By 40" in the temps were at 85C, and at 46" in, OCCT hit its safety over ride as the temps hit 86C and shut off the test. Ok, so not great. Lets see how the Noctua got on shall we.




Clearly.....better. As the test starts at 60", we can see the temps jump in the same way as the Kodati - but only to around 69C. At the 20" mark, where the Kodati was hitting 83C the Noctua sits at relatively balmy 73C - a full 10C cooler. 40" in where the Kodati was pushing 85C, CPU temps under the Noctua had completely plateaued at 75C. Perfectly acceptable. With no sign of a risk of hitting the temperature ceiling, I ran the Noctua for a full minute longer than the Kodati at which point temps hit 77C but climbed no higher. Throughout the test the Noctua hummed gently, and was undoubtedly quieter, with a deeper more rhythmic sound profile than the Kodati.

So, overall, I guess I'm a little bit sad we didn't find a NH-L9i killer here for under £15. In normal use (including gaming) the Kodati is fine. It never hit more than 78C in Battlefield one even after a few hours of play. Under 100% load though, it simply can't put up with the heat output of a 65W chip, while the Noctua can. The sound profile is acceptable, but again, not as nice as the Noctua's. It will come as no surprise I suppose, that the two areas where it does come up trumps are looks (Noctua, I beg you to release a grey version of your 92mmx15mm fan) and price. For the money it is a perfectly acceptable and better looking alternative to the stock intel cooler. But nothing more.
 
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Arboreal

King of Cable Management
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Oct 11, 2015
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/snip
Noctua, I beg you to release a grey version of your 92mmx15mm fan
For the money it is a perfectly acceptable and better looking alternative to the stock intel cooler. But nothing more.

Parge, thanks for sharing your findings on your journey to ever smaller cases. I'm running an i3 in my Maximus VI Impact and looking for 4 cores.

I'd not considered an i5s, but that looks a good option once you get over the 'not having a K' CPU anxiety! It seems that i5 46x0K CPUs have shot up price wise and further out of reach at the moment.

I'd definitely second that request to Noctua; I have 1 Redux fan in stock for a project, and am considering a 92mm PWM Redux on a Cryorig M9i in place of the standard fan when I go i5.

BTW, glad to see you M1 went quickly; such temptation, when limited funds should be spent on 'go' not 'show':p
 

CXH4

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 18, 2016
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@Parge those are some really good results! I was also looking for a cooler that was similar to the Noctua and found the Kodati, however I didn't purchase it because I was unsure about it fitting 1151 motherboards. You wouldn't happen to know if it fits 1151 motherboards would you?

Edit: I found that it does support 1151 motherboards.
 
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TheHig

King of Cable Management
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Oct 13, 2016
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Nice comparison.

I have the NH-D9L on my 4770k at stock clocks undervolted and it still can get toasty under artificial load in the setup seen in my avatar. That little noctua cooler does hold its own! AND Haswell is hot AF.

I bet that Koduti would hold down a skylake 6500 i5 or similar. They are much cooler in my experience even at the same TDP.
 

NFSxperts

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Aug 7, 2015
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I bought the kodati just for the am1 mount. I ended up taking the fan off and couldn't get it back on without ripping of my fingernails. Those wire clips are a pain to use on top down coolers.

LGA1155 / 1150 / 1151 all use the same mounting holes
 
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cmyk78

Master of Cramming
Jun 7, 2016
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I have the NH-D9L on my 4770k at stock clocks undervolted and it still can get toasty under artificial load in the setup seen in my avatar. That little noctua cooler does hold its own! AND Haswell is hot AF.
How loud does the NH-D9L get?
 

TheHig

King of Cable Management
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Oct 13, 2016
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How loud does the NH-D9L get?

Subjectively I have found it to be very quiet for day to day operations. Under a gaming or CPU intensive load It's audible but not bothersome. My temps are close to the hyper evo it replaced and it is both smaller and quieter than the evo.
 
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