Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Scythe Ninja 5 CPU Air Cooler Review

The Scythe Ninja 5 is a very big CPU heatsink with a lot of cooling fin area, so we expect a lot out of it. The Ninja 5 also comes in a push / pull configuration out of the box. It has cutaways for taller DIMMs and professes to be "ultra silent." Let's put it on this highly overvolted Ryzen 7 and see how it handles over 140 watts of power.

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Scythe Ninja 5

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Package & Specs

The box for the Scythe Ninja 5 is quite large, and dominated in matte black with some very nicely done matte printing. The front of the box gives an image of the cooler itself, as well as socket compatibility information. Around back the box is dominated by warranty information, as well as some precautionary messages such as, "This package consists of CPU cooler and fan only. Please purchase other PC devices separately."

The left side of the box is where you will find a diagram of the cooler, as well as all the specifications in multiple languages. And finally the right side of the box outlines some of the features of the Ninja 5, such as their "Hyper Precision Mounting System III," and "High Memory Compatibility."

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Dimensions: (W)138.5mm x(H)155mm x(D)180mm(Including fans)

Material: Aluminum heatsink with copper baseplate and heatpipes

Recommended TDP: Unlisted

Compatibility:

Intel

  • LGA 2066
  • LGA 2011(v3)
  • LGA 115X
  • LGA 1366
  • LGA 775
  • AMD

  • AM4
  • AM3(+)
  • AM2(+)
  • FM2(+)
  • FM1
  • Fan:

  • Size: 120mm x 27mm
  • Speed:800 RPM (Max)
  • Air Flow: 43.03 CFM
  • Static Pressure: 0.49-H2O [LI]Noise: 14.5 dBA (claimed)
  • Contents

    Not a ton of extras are included with the Scythe Ninja 5, however it gives you everything you need.

    Opening the box you are first greeted by another box! With this top box removed you can see the cooler itself, as well as the pair of Kaze Flex 120 fans. The cooler itself is protected by a fairly clever one-piece foam cover that is wrapped around the cooler. Everything arrived in perfect condition.

    Opening the small top box, you will find a poster-style instruction booklet, all the mounting hardware for the supported sockets, a small syringe of Scythe branded "thermal grease," as well as a 4-pin PWM fan splitter. As a nice bonus Scythe does include a non-branded, stubby handled Phillips head screwdriver for installation. As you can see with the minimal amount of installation hardware included, with still quite a wide variety of socket support shows how efficient their "High Precision Mounting System III" is.

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    Fit and Finish

    The fit and finish of all the components is quite good. The finish on all the plated surfaces is well done, with only a few crinkles in the bends of the heatpipes. The baseplate is nicely machined, with only feint machining marks being present. When checking the baseplate with the straight edge, we can see some variance on one axis, making it a bit "wavy." On the other axis, we can see a distinct convex shape.

    The black top plate is embossed with a ninja star, and while subtle, still looks good. The only small complaint we have is we would like to see the top plate made from a slightly thicker material. Being the same thickness as the fins of the heatsink, it is easily bent when handling the cooler for installation.

    The Kaze Flex 120mm fans are also very nice. They have a very stiff frame, sturdy blades, as well as a nicely braided 4-pin connector. To draw a comparison, the design of the fans, as well as their anti-vibration dampers that slip over the corners are very similar to fans from Noctua.

    Placing the Scythe Ninja 5 on the scale reveals the heft of this cooler. The cooler itself weighs in at 918g, and with the fans installed we go up to 1198g.

    The finish on the mounting hardware is very nicely done as well. While the plated finish on the mounting brackets is not the flawless, the finish on the screws and other metal parts is some of the nicest we have ever seen.

    While installation on our AM4 system uses the stock backplate, we did want to highlight the Intel backplate as well. It is a design we have not seen before. It is made of metal, and how you see it in the picture is how we removed it from the box, with the mounting posts attached. The mounting posts are simply slipped in, then held in place with a rubber sleeve. This is a very easy to use design, and we wanted to give Scythe credit for it.

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    Installation & Contact

    As we mentioned before, installation of the Scythe Ninja 5 uses the stock AM4 backplate, and our normal caveat applies, if your stock backplate is still adhered to the motherboard, installation will be even easier. That said, installation was still a breeze, only requiring either reaching around the case to hold the backplate in place, or getting a 2nd pair of hands to help. If you were doing this outside of a case, of course it would be even easier.

    Installation starts with installing the clips to the Kaze Flex fans. Following that, we installed the included plastic spacers on the backplate posts that protrude from the motherboard. We should note here that unlike most other coolers, the side of the spacer with the rubber washer is installed facing away from the motherboard. Next the hold down brackets are placed on top of the plastic spacers, then the entire assembly is secured down with the included screws. After applying a thin layer of Prolimatech PK-3 thermal paste, the cooler is set in place, and tightened to the brackets using the pre-installed screws.

    The Scythe Ninja 5 does have cut outs on the bottom fins for memory compatibility, and that did allow us to install our Corsair Dominator Platinum memory, with only the slightest bit of room to spare. If you’re using the innermost memory slot, you will need to install that DIMM before installing the cooler. That said, what does not have cut-outs for memory clearance, are the fans of course.

    The exhaust side fan is installed as low as it will possibly go, with the fan resting on the I/O shroud. Doing the same with our Corsair Dominator Platinum memory, caused the fan to sit quite high above the cooler. While this configuration would work, in order to give the Scythe Ninja 5 the best possible performance, we swapped out our Dominator Platinum for our Corsair LPX memory. In this configuration, with the fan sitting on top of the DIMMs yet again, the top of the fan aligns much better with the cooler itself.

    The final step is installing the included 4-pin PWM fan splitter to the CPU_FAN header of our motherboard, and connecting it to the fans. It should also be noted, the CPU_OPT header is covered by the Scythe Ninja 5, so installing anything onto this header is best done before installation.

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    Mate Comments

    The mate achieved is very nice and even. However you can see the convex nature of the baseplate in the spread of the TIM.

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