Scythe Katana

Cooling
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INSTALLATION

The Katana ships with a huge amount of specialized hardware. Determining which bits of hardware you need to use requires close attention to the instruction sheet, which has separate instructions for each socket. Like every other Scythe product we've seen, the Katana instruction sheet is full of small densely packed text, and more than one mounting procedure is listed on the same page. It's easy to accidentally start reading the wrong section in the middle of an installation, causing unwarranted confusion.

Our test bed uses a socket 478 processor, so installation was tested for this socket only. The mounting system is similar to some of Scythe's other heatsinks, notably the Shogun. The first step is to screw on a mounting plate. Depending on the orientation that you need, this place will be either a single plate that fits over the base, or two "wings" that screw onto either end.


An awkwardly placed machine screw must be tightened to put the heatsink under tension.

Next, the heatsink is settled into place inside Intel's stock retention module. Two metal bars are threaded through the retention module on either side of the heatsink, and then a single machine screw on each bar is tightened. The threaded end of the screw does not actually screw into anything but rests in a small dimple in the baseplate. When the screws are tightened, the metal bars are forced upwards against the retention module and the baseplate is securely wedged against the processor. We have no complains about the security of this mounting system.

The trouble with this screw-based mounting is that the screw heads end up directly underneath the fins and require a special wrench (included) to be tightened. To make matters worse, the position of the northbridge heatsink on our test board (see the photo above) made it difficult to fit the wrench over the head of the screw. Tightening the screw was a tedious affair, as we could only turn it about a sixth of a turn at a time.

The mounting procedure requires that the motherboard be out in the open with clearance on two sides of the CPU socket. If the motherboard has a large heatsink on the northbridge chip, the Katana probably cannot be used due to the position of the tensioning mounting screw.

Installation for Other Sockets

LGA775: This calls for a couple of additions to the 478 mounting plate on the hetasink, plus installation of two steel brackets that basically convert the LGA mounting setup into a socket 478 retention bracket. The cautions and limitations about access to the mounting screws noted for socket 478 installation apply here as well.


For socket 775

K8: For current AMD sockets (754, 939, 940), a different addition is made to the 478 mounting plate on the HS. Two spring-loaded machined screws are used to mount the heatsink. If the motherboard does not have a CPU socket backplate, the supplied metal one can be used. Access to the mounting screws might be a little easier here than with socket 775 or 478... but maybe not.


For socket K8

370 & 462: Just the heatsink is needed, without any attachment on the base. An old fashioned 6-point hook is used. This is probably almost as easy as installing a stock heatsink.


For sockets 370 and A

Finally, there is a caution regarding the "Proper Direction for the Installation". Three of the four mounting positions are OK; the fourth, which causes the ends of the heatpipes to be pointing downward, is not approved. This has to do with the need for grvitational pull to flow the condensed liquid in the heatpipes back to the base.



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