Scythe Ninja 4: A Legend Reborn

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Scythe Ninja 4: A Legend Reborn

July 6, 2015 by Lawrence Lee

Scythe Ninja 4
CPU Cooler
Street Price

A decade ago, the third party CPU cooler market was very different, dominated by down-blowing models of various shapes and sizes. Heatpipes were in use, but again, they were mostly employed in traditional top-down heatsinks. The now ubiquitous tower heatsink may have been started by Scythe with the Heatlane NCU-1000, a niche product using flat heatpipes to achieve fanless operation in 2003. The Coolermaster Hyper 6 of mid-2004 may have been the first tower HS adopted specifically for high performance forced air CPU cooling. By the time the original Scythe Ninja appeared in mid 2005, tower heatsinks had become commonplace. Uncommon was the Ninja's combination of huge size (at the time), quite widely spaced fins, and excellent performance with or without fans. SPCR's review of its superb performance with minimal airflow bolstered the Ninja to a new level of popularity even with DIYers unsettled by its size.

Subsequent versions of the Ninja failed to achieve the same level of performance as the original. Throughout the product's history, the mounting system was considered by many to be subpar. Initially, Scythe kept using a socket 478 style retention mechanism, adapting later sockets to use this standard. Considering the substantial weight and height of the heatsink, aside from the slightly more massive all-copper variant, not including a backplate was a mistake. Scythe finally provided a backplate in the mounting system of the Ninja 3 but it had a troublesome installation procedure that required flipping the motherboard upside down. The Ninja 3's base had a slightly concave profile which made it difficult to achieve proper mating with the processor.

The Scythe Ninja 4.

By today's standards, the Ninja 4 is just another big tower, but the name itself may be enough to be competitive. This Ninja is one of a new breed from Scythe that have breathed new life into the brand. Key is a modern mounting scheme similar to those adopted by all the top tier heatsink manufacturers like Noctua, Prolimatech, and Thermalright.

The heatsink itself is not that different from previous iterations, featuring a six heatpipe design (U-shaped for 12 heat paths), a broad stack of loosely arranged aluminum fins, and a square symmetrical shape that allows users to fit 120 mm fans on any side. Older Ninjas had slits at the corners of the fin-stack in part to access the pushpins to mount the heatsink but this is no longer necessary. The new design with slits at the center of each side is more attractive and the top fin has semi-reflective gleam. The copper heatpipes have also been plated over with nickel, giving the new Ninja an altogether shinier look. The latest model is slightly shorter, but also wider on every side, giving the illusion of added bulk, when in fact it's 130 grams lighter than its predecessor.



If you've used one of Scythe's latest coolers or read reviews of them, the mounting hardware should look familiar. Although AMD support is listed, the necessary clips were strangely absent in our sample — this appears to have been an oversight. A screwdriver is provided as is a small wrench to tighten the screws/bolts further. Also included are installation instructions, a small tube of thermal compound, and two sets of wire fan clips.

Scythe Ninja 4: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Model Name Ninja 4 CPU Cooler
Model Number SCNJ-4000
Socket compatibility Intel®: Socket LGA775, LGA1150, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366, LGA2011/2011-v3 (Square ILM) AMD®: Socket AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+

Please note that for mounting on motherboards with the AMD-Socket, the original back plate of the motherboard will be necessary. Please confirm if it is on hand prior to your purchase.
Overall Dimensions 130 x 153 x 155 (including fan - more dimensions)
Weight 780 g / 900 g including fan
Heatpipes / Diameter 6 / 6 mm
Accessory Installation material for Intel® and AMD® Socket, thermal grease, second pair of fan clips, installation manual.
Baseplate Material Nickel-plated Copper
Fan Specifications
Model Name GlideStream 120 PWM
Model No. SY1225HB1212H-PS (3 operations modes H/M/L)
Fan Dimensions 120 x 120 x 25 mm / 4.72 x 4.72 x 0.98 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 C
Fan Speed L: 300 rpm (±300) ~ 800 rpm (±10%)
M: 300 rpm (±300) ~ 1150 rpm (±10%)
H: 300 rpm (±300) ~ 1500 rpm (±10%)
Voltage / Amperage DC 12V / 0.22A
Static Pressure L: 0.69 ~ 4.90 Pa / 0.07 ~ 0.50 mmH²O
M: 0.69 ~ 10.40 Pa / 0.07 ~ 1.06 mmH²O
H: 0.69 ~ 17.55 Pa / 0.07 ~ 1.79 mmH²O
Bearing Type Sleeve Bearing

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