Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler Page: 1
Introduction Scythe logo
 
When it comes to cooling your rig probably one of the easiest bits of hardware that we forget to consider is the humble hard drive. For those of you with Western Digital Raptors or the newer Velociraptors, you'll immediately understand just how much heat these high performance Hard Disk Drives can produce.
 
Currently there are quite a few solutions available on the market which promise to effectively cool hard drives, but which in reality, do little more than create additional noise. Scythe, fortunately has come to the rescue with a product that promises to both cool your toasty storage devices as well as quieten them.
 
Scythe Himuro HDD coolerToday we have been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to review Scythe' latest addition to their hard drive cooling line - the Scythe Himuro. The Scythe Himuro is an parallel or serial ATA compatible 3.5inch hard disk enclosure that features an anti-vibration mounting system.
 
Incidentally, the name 'Himuro' comes from the old time Japanese preservation storage for snow and ice. Now that sounds promising.
 
Let's see what Scythe has to say about the Scythe Himuro:
 
Flexible Mounting System
By integrating the flexible mounting legs into this product, user can mount this Hard Disk cooler in the desired position inside the PC case.

Compatible to Parallel & Serial
Compatible to both parallel and serial ATA 3.5inch Hard Disk up to 10,000rpm.

Cooling-n-Silence
Including the anti-vibration mounting legs to contribute to absorb the vibration from Hard Disk, which leads to silence your Hard Disk.
 
Let's begin today's review by taking a look at the Scythe Himuro's specifications which were unashamedly copied from Scythe' product page...
 
 
Specifications
 
Model Name:
Himuro Hard Disk Cooler

Model Number:
SCH-1000

Compatibility:
Parallel and Serial ATA 3.5inch Hard Disk

Dimension:
132x178x41mm / 5.2” x 7” x 1.61” (Overall Dimension)

Material:
Aluminum

Weight:
790g / 25.5oz

Installation Manual:
Himuro Hard Disk Cooler Manual (English/French/German/Spanish)
 
There's nothing particularly noteworthy here so let's head over the page to have a closer look at our review specimen...


Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler Page: 2
Packaging
 
Taking a look at the Himuro's packaging you can see that Scythe has chosen to run with a simple black and white them, albeit with the usual array of advertising splashed all over the box. The front of the box features a picture of the Scythe Himuro, where-as the rear provides a rundown on the specifications and the Scythe Himuro's features.
 
Scythe Himuro front of box Scythe Himuro rear of box
 
The Himuro is thoughtfully packaged as we've come to expect from Scythe. The unit itself is sandwiched between a folded cardboard insert and the installtion manual sits on top. The folded cardboard that houses the Scythe Himuro doubles as impact protection, as well as housing the included screws.
 
Scythe internal packaging Scythe Himuro contents
Scythe Quiet Drive contents
 
I must admit to feeling a little underwhelmed with the accessories that Scythe included with the Scythe Himuro. When you compare this to what was included with the Scythe Quiet Drive (picture above) that I reviewed earlier, it does seem very lacking. With the Scythe Quiet Drive you are provided with a 1 x 4-pin molex and hybrid SATA/Power lead; why couldn't Scythe have included the same accessories here?
 
I have listed the contents of the Scythe Himuro's packaging below:
 
* 1 x Scythe Himuro HDD Cooler
* Installation manual
* Screws for both the Himuro lid and for installtion into a 5.25" drivebay
 
 
A Closer Look
 
Leaving the spartan accessories behind us, let's take a closer look at the Scythe Himuro HDD Cooler. The Scythe Himuro is a very classy looking unit, especially if first impressions are anything to go by. I love the black! The shell itself is constructed entirely of Aluminium and features fins to facilitate thermal conduction.
 
Himuro top view Himuro end view
 
You'll notice that the Scythe Himuro has a bed of foam on the bottom to help reduce noise emitted from your HDD's motor, and both the sides and top have sheets of thermal conductive sheeting permanently attached. This is a welcome inclusion and I much prefer it already installed instead of having to do it myself as with the Quiet Drive. The thermal conductive sheeting will transfer heat from your HDD directly to the Scythe Himuro's surface. Effectively making it one big, passive heatsink.
 
Himuro bottm internal shot Himuro internal top shot
 
One of the key features of the Scythe Himuro is the flexible mounting system. When Scythe say flexible mounting system it means four square blocks of rubber that will slide along the fins on the cooler itself. The rubber blocks also double as an anti-vibration mechanism, where vibration is absorbed by the rubber instead of being directly transferred to your chassis.
 
Flexible mounting system
 
Now that we've gotten a little better acquainted with the Scythe Himuro, let's see how easily it is to install.


Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler Page: 3
Installation
 
I've included an image to illustrate the difference between installing a HDD into the Scythe Himuro, compared to installing one into the Scythe Quiet Drive. Thankfully installation is a lot less fiddly with the Himuro. The main difference between the two is the lack a separate enclosure on the himuro (far left) and the fact that the Himuro comes with the thermal sheeting already attached. That's saved us five minutes for starters.
 
Scythe Quiet Drive vs Himuro comparison
 
I don't happen to have any WD Raptors kicking around the house, so an 80GB WD Caviar SE will have to suffice. I wanted to be able to monitor the temperature of the hard drive with my Scythe Kama Meter so I have installed a thermal probe on the top of the Caviar with some adhesive tape.
 
WD Caviar WD Caviar with thermal probe
 
With the thermal probe installed the next step is to position the hard drive onto the base of the Scythe Himuro, making sure that you have the same margin between the left and right hand side of hard drive and the base of the Himuro.  Once you're happy with the position of the hard drive, it's time to place the top of the Himuro on and screw the two halves together with the included black screws.
 
Caviar inserted into base Lid on and screwed together
 
With the HDD installed nice and snugly into the Scythe Himuro, all that is left is to get it installed into your chosen chasis and then power it up. I did find the anti-vibration blocks on the Scythe Himuro a little fiddly when installing mine as the snug fit between the sides of the drivebay and the rubber mounts caused them to move quite a bit. Just something to remember if you decide to purchase the Scythe Himuro.
 
Scythe Himuro alkternative view Scythe Himuro installed
 
With the Scythe Himuro installed; powered up and the thermal probe connected it does look quite fitting as part of my test rig's front fascia don't you think? I quite like the look and the gaps between the fins means that there will still be air movement past the enclosure itself.
 
Let's head over the page to see how the Scythe Himuro performs in the testing phase...


Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler Page: 4
Testing & Results
 
I decided to compare the Scythe Himuro against the Scythe Quiet Drive; considering that they are both designed to do the same job essentially. I will be looking at idle and load temperatures between the two units to see which provides the better temperature reduction. The test setup for today's review has been included below:
 
Intel Q6600 Quad-core processor @ 2.4Ghz
ASUS P5B Deluxe wifi/App motherboard
Scythe Orochi CPU Cooler
Palit 8600GT graphics card
Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU
Thermaltake Xaser VI Super Tower Chassis
2GB OCZ PC2-6400 FlexXLC RAM
80GB Western Digital Caviar SE HDD.
Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler
Scythe Quiet Drive
 
Everest Temperature Reporting OSD Idle and load temperatures will be recorded using Everest Ultimate Edition 4.20's S.M.A.R.T monitoring facility. Ambient and case temperatures will be measured using a common household mercury thermometer. Ambient temperature at the time of testing was a cool 19 degree's Celcius and case temperature ranged between 22.8 and 23 degree's Celcius
 
Idle temperatures will be recorded 20 minutes after the test computer has hit the desktop, which allows for tempuratures to normalise. Load temperatures will be recorded after 30 minutes gaming on Call of Duty 4.
 
At the conclusion of testing the Scythe Himuro, the HDD will be swapped over into the Scythe Quiet Drive and the testing process repeated.
 
Let's move on to see how the Scythe Himuro performed...
 
Idle temperature chart
 
Load temperature chart
 
Disappointingly, we see elevated temperatures at both idle and loaded states with the Scythe Himuro. Admittedly the results are slightly better than the Scythe Quiet Drive, but still, the Scythe Himuro hasn't reduced the temperatures on our test HDD.
 
On a positive note I did notice that the Scythe Himuro provided a considerable improvement in the 'quietness' of the hard drive.


Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler Page: 5
Conclusion Scythe Himuro
 
So how did the Scythe Himuro perform in today's review?
 
The build quality of the Scythe Himuro is very good and it certainly looks the part in my opinion. The slick looking black Aluminium enclosure and large cooling fins would certainly lend itself well to a HTPC build, where passive and quiet are predominantly the key. I really like the look of the Himuro over and above the Scythe Quiet Drive.
 
Unfortunately in today's testing, the Scythe Himuro failed to provide the cooling performance that we had expected. As a result the dream remains unrealised. That's not to say that the Himuro won't provide effective cooling for your HDD, it's just that Scythe has an uphill battle trying to market a cooler that doesn't provide better temperatures than the stock, uncooled equivalent. However, if silence is more your thing and slightly elevated temperatures isn't an issue then you may well consider the Scythe Himuro.
 
In conclusion, when we consider the Scythe Himuro's performance as a whole it begs the question of whether it's worth the asking price of 20 Quid. Given the elevated temperatures during today's testing I'm inclined to say no. However, if the Himuro's good looks and near silent operation appeal to you then it's your call.
 
The Scythe Himuro Hard Disk Cooler can be purchased from Quietpc.com for £19.99 inc. 17.5% VAT.
 
The Good
+ Build Quality
+ Looks
+ Significantly reduces HDD noise
+ Relative ease of installation
 
The Mediocre
* Slightly lacking in accessories
 
The Bad
- Elevated temperatures
 
OC3D Reviewed Award
 
Overclock3D would like to thank Scythe EU for providing today's review sample
 
Discuss the Scythe Himuro in our forum