Scythe Katana

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Like most tower heatsinks, the Katana uses copper heatpipes to transfer the heat away from the CPU. The base is also copper, but the fins are made of aluminum. The fins are quite easily bent because they are so thin.

In comparison to the most ambitious tower-style heatsinks, the fins are considerably smaller. Most of the reduction in size comes from the depth of the fins — the heatsink is only about an inch and a half thick. Although the small surface area will hurt cooling efficiency, it's well-suited for use with a low speed fan, as the airflow impedance should be quite low.

The fins have a slight "double wave" — no straight edges here.

For some reason, both faces of the heatsink are doubly contoured, which further reduces the surface area. On the side with the fan, this should help reduce backpressure and the associated turbulence noise, but it is unclear what benefit this has on the opposite side. Perhaps it helps lengthen the edges of the fins or perhaps the third "corner" at the center of the fin draws heat away from the heatsink.

The Katana uses a "leaning tower" design to direct airflow slightly downwards.

The most unusual aspect of the Katana is its 20° tilt from the vertical axis. As mentioned above, this is supposed to help cool the components around the CPU socket, but it also has another benefit. Mounting the fan on the upper side of the heatsink means that there is more clearance above any tall components around the CPU socket, so tall capacitors and RAM should not be an issue.

The included 92 mm fan is almost exactly the same dimensions as the heatsink underneath.

The 92 mm fan is attached to the heatsink with two wire clips. Initially, the tension was quite high, and it was difficult to remove the clips. However, the clips stretched a bit with a few uses and by the time the test was conducted, they longer kept the fan under high tension. This meant that the fan could potentially rattle against the fins, although we did not encounter this problem with the low speed fans that we used during our testing.

The base is typical of a heatpipe-based design: A small polished copper square to which the heatpipes are clamped.
The image above shows a metal socket 478 mounting adaptor attached with four screws.

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