Scythe Ninja 2: Tweaking a Classic

Cooling
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TESTING

Some basic physical measurements have been added to our test routine.

Scythe Ninja 2: Approximate Physical Measurements
Weight
700g (heatsink alone)
740g (including mounting hardware)
860g (including mounting hardware and stock fan)
870g (including mounting hardware and reference Nexus fan)
Fin thickness
0.39 mm
Fin spacing
3.68 mm
Vertical Clearance
44 mm (measured from the PCB surface)
Horizontal Overhang
8 mm (measured from the edge of the heatsink to the top edge of our test motherboard's PCB)

Comparison: Approximate Fin Thickness & Spacing
Heatsink
Fin Thickness
Fin Spacing
Scythe Ninja
0.31 mm
3.95 mm
Scythe Ninja 2
0.39 mm
3.68 mm
Thermalright HR-01 Plus
0.45 mm
3.15 mm
Noctua NH-U12P
0.44 mm
2.63 mm
Noctua NH-C12P
0.47 mm
2.54 mm
Xigmatek HDT-S1283
0.33 mm
1.96 mm
Zerotherm Zen FZ120
0.37 mm
1.80 mm
Thermalright Ultra-120
0.45 mm
1.42 mm

Testing was done according to our unique heatsink testing methodology, and the reference fan was profiled using our standard fan testing methodology. This is the first time the Nexus 120mm fan has been measured for SPL in the anechoic chamber. The numbers are lower than obtained before; the actual fan noise hasn't changed. A quick summary of the components, tools, and procedures follows below.

Key Components in Heatsink Test Platform:

  • Intel Pentium D 950 Presler core. TDP of 130W; under our test load, it measures 78W including efficiency losses in the VRMs.
  • ASUS P5LD2-VM motherboard. A basic microATX board with integrated graphics and plenty of room around the CPU socket.
  • Samsung MP0402H 40GB 2.5" notebook drive
  • 1 GB stick of Corsair XMS2 DDR2 memory.
  • FSP Zen 300W fanless power supply.
  • Arctic Silver Lumière: Special fast-curing thermal interface material, designed specifically for test labs.
  • Nexus 120 fan (part of our standard testing methodology; used when possible with heatsinks that fit 120x25mm fans)
    Nexus 120 fan measurements in anechoic chamber
    Voltage
    Noise
    RPM
    12V
    16 dBA@1m
    1100 RPM
    9V
    13 dBA@1m
    890 RPM
    7V
    12 dBA@1m
    720 RPM
    5V
    11 dBA@1m
    530 RPM

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Seasonic Power Angel for measuring AC power at the wall to ensure that the heat output remains consistent.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the fan speed during the test.
  • PC-based spectrum analyzer: SpectraPlus with ACO Pacific mic and M-Audio digital audio interfaces.
  • Anechoic chamber with ambient level of 11 dBA or lower
  • Various other tools for testing fans, as documented in our standard fan testing methodology.
  • SpeedFan 4.32, used to monitor the on-chip thermal sensor. This sensor is not calibrated, so results are not universally applicable.
  • CPUBurn P6, used to stress the CPU heavily, generating more heat than most real applications. Two instances are used to ensure that both cores are stressed.
  • Throttlewatch 2.01, used to monitor the throttling feature of the CPU to determine when overheating occurs.

Load testing was accomplished using CPUBurn to stress the processor, and the graph function in SpeedFan was used to make sure that the load temperature was stable for at least ten minutes. The stock fan was tested at various voltages to represent a good cross-section of its airflow and noise performance.



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