Scythe Ninja 4 CPU CoolerFounded in 2002 within the Akihibara district of Tokyo, Japan, Scythe is a global distributor and manufacturer of high quality computer parts. With offices in the USA and Germany, in addition to R&D facilities in Taiwan in China, Sycthe has grown from their humble beginnings and today are well known with PC enthusiasts around the world. While known for producing excellent heatsinks with an emphasis on quiet operation, Scythe perhaps is best known for their amazing Gentle Typhoon series of fans. With the Ninja 4 CPU cooler that we are reviewing today, Scythe is attempting to remind enthusiasts that they can provide excellent CPU cooling solutions at an amazing value. While Intel continues to make strides in reducing the heat output of their CPU's, the popularity of aftermarket CPU cooling applications are at an all time high. Since Intel has never chosen to remedy the poor stock cooler included with their processor, any user who wants to overclock or run a stock CPU comfortably in high performance scenarios is going to be looking towards an aftermarket cooling solution. While AIO units have become popular, there is still an appreciable amount of users who refuse to liquid cool their CPU's, leaving a market for high performance air coolers. Today, we will be looking at the Scythe Ninja 4, a stylish and somewhat uniquely designed cooler with large aluminum cooling towers and a high quality Scythe GlideStream fan that reaches a maximum of 29.5 dBA at 1500 RPM. The Ninja 4 should be more than adequate for cooling overclocked I7 CPU's a respectable amount and we will be testing its capability on the Intel I7 4790K Let's take a look at the packaging for the Ninja 4 before we dig into the heatsink, though.
|Scythe Ninja 4 CPU Cooler Specifications|
|Model Number||Scythe Ninja 4 (SCNJ-4000)|
|SOCKET SUPPORT:||Intel: LGA775, LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366, LGA2011, LGA2011v3 (square ILM) AMD: AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+|
|HEATSINK:||Material: Aluminum (Fins) Copper (Heatpipes & Base) Dimensions: 130 mm x 155 mm x 153 mm Heatpipes: Ø6 mm - 6pcs Weight: 900 g (w/fan)|
|FANS:||Model: GlideStream 120 PWM (SY1225HB1212H-PS) Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Level: L: 4,0 ~ 12,5 dBA M: 4,0 ~ 23,5 dBA H: 4,0 ~ 29,5 dBA Air Flow: L: 21,97 ~ 73,90 m³/h | 12.93 ~ 43.50 CFM M: 21,97 ~ 73,90 m³/h | 12.93 ~ 63.73 CFM H: 21,97 ~ 73,90 m³/h | 12.93 ~ 84.64 CFM Fan Speed: L: 300 upm (±300) ~ 800 upm (±10% M: 300 upm (±300) ~ 1150 upm (±10%) H: 300 upm (±300) ~ 1500 upm (±10%)|
|FEATURES||Three-dimensional Multiple Airflow Pass-through Structure Glide Stream 120 mm PWM Fan Flexible Fan Mounting User-friendly Installation System|
Japanese cooling expert Scythe announces a change of the mounting system for Skylake / Socket 1151 on several coolers of its portfolio. All coolers are compatible with Skylake sockets in general, but bear the possibility of damage to CPU and motherboard in some cases where the PC is exposed to strong shocks (e.g. during shipping or relocation). This problem particularly involves only coolers which will mounted with the H.P.M.S. mounting system. To prevent this, the mounting pressure has been reduced by an adjustment of the screw set. Of course, Scythe is going to ship a the new set of screws to every customer completely free of charge!It is good to see Scythe stand behind their products and I am sure if the Ninja 4 were to be found later to suffer from this issue, Scythe would be fast to remedy it. We did not have access to a Skylake-based system for this review to test functionality, but we've been assured that the Ninja 4 is compatible with Skylake with the existing mounting hardware shipped with the unit and that users who buy the cooler won't need to contact Scythe for replacement mounting hardware. Scythe backs the Ninja 4 with a two year warranty covering defects, though there is very little that I could foresee happening to this unit that would cause a user to warranty it, it's nice to have peace of mind and know you can get support for your products, should you need it. The right side of the box provides specifications and descriptions of the various features of the Ninja 4, including their latest evolution, the awkwardly-named Three-dimensional Multiple Airflow Pass-through Structure, or the much easier to remember T.M.A.P.S. Simply put, T.M.A.P.S. is a feature on the Ninja 4 that allows airflow to move through the heatsinks channels and escape from each side of the heatsinks, which Scythe says helps improve performance. Scythe chose to use the opposite side of the box in order to provide illustrations of the unit itself, including full dimension information, which can come in very handy when planning system builds out. In addition, Scythe includes the specifications for the 120mm Glide Stream fan that is included with the Scythe 4 in various languages. On the rear of the box, we have warranty information for the Ninja 4. Scythe has two different URL's printed on the rear of the box that end users can visit for support, one for customers in Japan and one for customers here in the states and other non-Japan regions. The Ninja 4 packaging does leave a bit to be desired, as the only protection for the heatsink is the box and Styrofoam insert that the heatsink sits in, along with a thin piece of cardboard on top of the heatsink. The included documentation has full, well-written, illustrative instructions on how to install the Ninja 4 on your motherboard, so there's no problems there. I do have worries that the unit could be damaged in transit, which would be a shame, as the Ninja 4 is truly a great looking heatsink and I am a bit bothered that Scythe didn't take just a bit more pride in the packaging materials on this product. The Ninja 4 comes with all of the necessary mounting hardware and the tools needed to mount the heatsink to your motherboard. Thermal compound is also included with the Ninja 4, though it is a basic Scythe-branded thermal paste that we aren't sure of the quality of. For our testing, we will be using our own thermal paste, for consistency purposes. The inclusion of tools was really nice, as they are standard tools that can be reused for other purposes. The long Phillips head screwdriver included is especially handy for system builds, so I definitely appreciate that being included. The included mounting hardware is really solid and Scythe has even included an extra set of clips to mount an additional fan on the Ninja 4, though the performance benefit of these types of setups is typically very negligible vs. the single fan setup. Overall, the packaging and included accessories for the Ninja 4 are solid, though I did mention the concern about the box not providing enough protection for the unit. The mounting hardware, clips, tools and screw kit were all high quality pieces that look like they will last through multiple installations, should you decide to go that route. Now, we'll take a closer look at the Scythe Ninja 4 and the included Glide Stream 120mm fan.
Scythe Ninja 4 CPU Cooler - A Closer LookScythe was able to include more fins (36) in the design of the Ninja 4 versus its predecessor while dropping the weight of the unit, as the Ninja 3 weighed in at slightly over 1000 grams with a fan, while the Ninja 4 weighs in at 900 grams with the fan installed and 780 grams without it. The low resistance provided by the open design of the towers should lend this cooler well to low noise performance, which is a staple of Scythe products. The Scythe Ninja 4 is definitely not a svelte unit, as said before, it does weigh in at 900 grams once a fan has been installed, which is just shy of two pounds. The Ninja 4 is composed of two separate aluminum fin cooling towers that cross each other diagonally, with six nickel-plated copper heatpipes each running across the towers. Each set of heatpipes connects to the opposite side of the two-piece tower design. You will notice there are spaces between the fin stacks on each side, which allow for air channeling, along with screwdriver access to secure the heatsink to the mount. This is a very clean looking, functional design from Scythe and it certainly improves upon the design of the Ninja 3, offering a much cleaner look and improved performance. Unfortunately, the sheer size of the heatsink will limit its use in certain applications. There is a shuriken (ninja star) stamped across the top layer of fins on the Ninja 4 and in my opinion, it looks really awesome and pictures do not do this cooler justice. On the top layer of fins, you can see the ends of each heatpipe, which have been nicely nickel plated, along with the rest of the unit. The heatpipes on the Ninja 4 do not directly contact the CPU, rather they are connected to a copper base that is nickel plated. The bottom of the base has a very clean, nicely polished surface. While you could certainly attempt to lap the surface on the Ninja 4, the surface is just fine as shipped and you can definitely tell that Scythe put good care into their manufacturing and QC process with the Ninja 4 from top to bottom. The Ninja 4 attaches to the mounting hardware by using a crossbar that goes through the groove in the base. As you can see, the groove has been nicely cut out and machined on the Ninja 4, provided a nice, large, stable surface for the cooler to be secured to the socket. Scythe is known for producing a quality fan and the fan included with the Ninja 4 is no exception. The 120mm Glide Stream fan is rated to provide 55.5 CFM of air at 31dBA, which while not silent, is a good airflow to noise ratio. The individual fins on the Glide Stream fans have grooves in them that reduce wind turbulence and noise, in theory. The four pin cable for the fan is sleeved with a braided cord that gives it a nice aesthetic appeal over bare fan wires, for sure. There is a small switch on the fan that will allow users to select between 1500, 1150 and 800 RPM operation, with only the highest speed being audible when sitting a couple of feet from the case. The open nature of the Ninja 4 means that the heatsink provides low airflow resistance, which helps reduce noise output. Once we've mounted the fan, the Ninja 4 certainly looks great. The Glide Stream 120mm fan had no trouble installing with the included clips and the fan looks great on the Ninja 4, providing a nice contrast to the nickel plating of the heatsink itself. The Ninja 4 is a large, beautiful looking heatsink that is very well made. Every aspect of the unit feels solid and well-built, from the base, to the well-designed heatpipes, to the open fins that have a great polished look to them, there isn't anything about this heatsink that doesn't say 'quality.' Now that we've taken a look at the Ninja 4, we're going to install it on our I7 4790K test bed and compare it to the high Noctua NH-D15, Corsair H100I GTX and CryoRig R1 Ultimate. Also included in our testing results is the budget champion, the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Evo.
Scythe Ninja 4 CPU Cooler - Installation
Intel Z97 Test Bench
|Intel LGA 2011v3 Test Platform|
|MSI Z97 Gaming 5|
|Corsair Vengeance LP DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (2x8GB)|
|Samsung EVO 850 250GB|
|Windows 10 64-Bit|