Scythe has a longstanding reputation among PC enthusiasts for making high quality components that offer excellent performance at low noise levels. The Ninja 4 continues this tradition and does so wonderfully, leaving us truly impressed with its performance and styling, along with ease of installation. The style of the Ninja 4, while not over the top or particularly eye-catching, is aesthetically pleasing and gives the user an immediate indication that the Ninja 4 is a high quality product. The towers are machined well and the unique design that has two towers crossing diagonally certainly seems to lend itself well to performance. Including their 120mm Glide Stream PWM fan was a wise decision by Scythe, as the sound signature of the Ninja 4, even with the fan running at full RPM, is barely noticeable, while the airflow provided by the fan is more than adequate.
The mounting mechanism included with the Ninja 4 was a pleasure to use, as it is simple, well-built and doesn’t have any issues to note. Installation on our LGA1150 based Z97 Gaming 5 from MSI took just a few minutes to complete, though we suspect it will take longer for users installing the Ninja 4 while the motherboard is already mounted in a case. The versatility and ability of the Ninja 4 to run on multiple platforms is also impressive, as Scythe has included support for every modern consumer CPU, stretching all the way back to LGA775 and AMD Socket AM2 support. The fact that the Ninja 4 isn’t going to cause damage to brand new Skylake processors is refreshing, while we also applaud Scythe for quickly addressing the issue with their older units that are affected. The only issue we find is that due to the size of the Ninja 4, most motherboards will lose the ability to run RAM with tall heatspreaders, such as Corsair Dominator Series, so users should plan their memory purchase accordingly. Also, given the size of the Ninja 4, you’d expect slightly better performance from the unit, but it’s obvious that Scythe was leaning towards a low noise factor here, as they really opened up the fins on the Ninja 4 to make them non-restrictive. In the end, I think they struck a great balance of performance and low noise.
The only major thing holding back the Scythe Ninja 4 at this point seems to be availability. The MSRP of $55.99 is spot-on, as while there are cheaper coolers that can perform on-par with the Ninja 4, they don’t offer the blend of low noise performance the Ninja 4 is capable of. The Ninja 4 performed well against our CryoRig R1 Ultimate and Corsair H100I GTX, both of which retail for at least $30 more than the Ninja 4. The Ninja 4 is not going to break any performance records for cooling, but it runs damn quiet and would be perfect for a midrange system where quiet factor is paramount. Our only hope is that Scythe can increase availability so that users craving a high performance, low noise heatsink from a reputable brand can get their hands on the Ninja 4 this holiday season, as it is truly a legit unit that will be welcome in the rigs of many enthusiasts.
Legit Bottom Line: Scythe has produced a true winner with the stylish, low noise performance of the Ninja 4 heatsink and it improves upon the Ninja 3 in every way possible. We only hope that stateside availability increases, as it is currently tough to find the Ninja 4 for sale here in the USA.