Scythe Katana 3: Same slant, new version

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Scythe Katana 3

July 3, 2009 by Mike Chin

Katana 3 CPU Cooler
Model SCKTN-3000
Sample Supplier
Street Price

Sometimes, Scythe's marketing copy is so amusing it's impossible to resist repeating it verbatim:

"The Japanese long sword 'Katana' is produced in a unique, manufacturing process, which has been brought to perfection over centuries - until today, only a few blacksmith master have the knowledge to manufacture a Katana. The new Scythe Katana 3 CPU cooler also arises from a consistent further development and differs from other CPU coolers and is a worthy successor to his precursors, Katana and Katana 2."

Even with the minor grammar issues, it's a heady brew. Not only does the copy neatly sidestep the question of what could possibly be exciting about a third version of a heatsink, it puts the Katana 3 in the glorious context of Japan's martial tradition and history. My hat is off to the marketing boys at Scythe.

Katana 3 is one of Scythe's least ambitious and most economical models. Among the giants and skyscrapers of the brand's extensive lineup, it stands out by being relatively small, light and inexpensive.

Full-color retail cardboard box in the Scythe tradition.
At least no
plastics are used in this one.

Scythe Katana 3: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Easy installation without any tools
The smart and patent-pending mounting mechanism "VTMS" (Versatile Tool-Free Multiplatform System) allows mounting of Katana 3 CPU heatsink without using tools.
Good, and secure enough with the low weight.
S.P.S. (Pipe Slant Structure)
Already developed with the first Katana, the slightly curved shape of the Katana 3 allows both the direct heat transfer from the cooling fins of the cooler as well as an additional cooling of the mainboard components.
It's a reasonable approach to the task of VRM cooling.
F.P.S. (Fast-Phase Structure)
The various cooling fins on the baseplate allow an additional heat dissipation and optimize the overall performance of the cooler without changing the compact dimensions of the entire system.
It's not clear whether this really helps, but the term sounds impressive. See text at bottom of p.2 for more discussion.

Scythe Katana 3: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Model #
94 x 108 x 143 mm
3.70 x 4.25 x 5.63 inch
495 g (without accessory)
15.98 oz (without accessory)
- Intel LGA1366 (i7), LGA775, 478
- AMD AM2/2+/3, 939, 940, 754
92 x 92 x 25 mm
115 g
300 ~ 2,500 rpm (via PWM)
Noise Level
7.2 - 31.07 dBA
Bearing Sleeve Bearing
Air Flow
12 - 95 m³/h = 6.7 - 55.55 CFM

It's noteworthy that this modest heatsink is compatible for use with Intel's i7 processors. It is, in fact, compatible with almost every CPU socket type going back a decade. The reference to noise level is probably sound pressure level (SPL) at 1m.

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