Scythe Katana 3: Same slant, new version

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The Katana 3 comes with an installation guide, package of thermal interface material, and three sets of mounting hardware for all the various CPU sockets it supports.

The main bank of fins is tilted at an angle of about 30 degrees. Because it tilts over the base, the overall footprint remains relatively small. The main purpose of the tilt is to provide some airflow over hot components around the CPU socket. The 92mm fan is retained with two steel wire clips.

The fins are thin and spacing between them is fairly tight. Six heatpipes (actually three looped pipes) transfer the heat from the base into the fins. The secondary extruded aluminum piece over the base holds the mounting clips as well. It is what Scythe calls the Fast-Phase Structure.

The reason I question the supposed merits of Scythe's Fast-Phase Structure is that heatpipes are phase change devices that work best with high temperature differentials between the evaporator end and the condensor end. The hotter one end gets, the faster the internal liquid boils and turns to vapor, moving to the condenser end. Conversely, the cooler the other end gets, the faster the vapor turns back to liquid and moves down to the evaporator end. The extruded aluminum piece (FPS) is on the hot or evaporator end. Rather than being transferred up into the liquid of the heatpipes, some of the heat will go up to the FPS and be dissipated by airflow. This would reduce the total amount of heat going into the heatpipes, and it would have the effect of slowing down rather than speeding up the phase change process in the heatpipes. Have I missed something? Or has Scythe's marketingspeak gone one step too far?

Having said all that, if the mass of the FPS was converted into more fins on the main tower stack, the difference in CPU cooling would probably be marginal. The improvement in phase change speed would be offset by the absence of cooling via the extruded aluminum piece. It's just that Fast-Phase does not accurately describe the role of the secondary aluminum piece.

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