PC Components

Scythe Big Shuriken 3 CPU Cooler Review

Founded in Japan in 2002, Scythe is a world-renowned manufacturer of CPU coolers, fans and other PC accessories. Especially with the CPU cooler “Mugen 2” and the fan series “Slip Stream” the company celebrated great success. In this test we want to dedicate ourselves to another CPU cooler from Scythe. It is named Shuriken 3 and was introduced in spring 2019. This is a top-down cooler with an asymmetrical design and a narrow 120 mm fan. With a maximum height of only 69 mm, the Shuriken 3 should be particularly suitable for HTPC and ITX systems. If the cooler is worth the price of € 12.06 * and how it performs in general you can read in the following review.

Technical Details

Cooler Specifications

Dimensions (with fan) 122 x 69 x 122 mm (W x H x D)
Weight (with fan) 475 g
Material Copper (nickel plated), Aluminium (lamellas)
Heatpipes 5x Ø 6 mm
Compatibility AMD AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+
Compatibility Intel 775, 115x, 1366, 201X, 2066
Price € 12.06 *

Fan Specifications

fan designation Scythe Kaze Flex Slim
Dimensions 120 mm x 120 mm x 15 mm
Weight 93 g
speed 300 ~ 1800 RPM
Volume 30.4 dB(A) [Max.]
Pumping volume 86.3 m³/h
Static pressure 1.35 mm H²O [Max.]

Packaging & Scope of Delivery

The Scythe Shuriken 3 comes in a compact cardboard box. This is colorfully printed and contains a lot of information and pictures about the cooler or the fan. All information is provided in English and Japanese.

If you open the upper flap, you will find another box containing all the accessories. A short and illustrated installation manual, a metal backplate, heat conducting paste in a syringe and all necessary screws and parts required for mounting the cooler are available. In addition, four longer screws are included with which you can also mount a thicker fan (25 mm) on the Shuriken 3.

Under the box is the heat sink with the pre-assembled Kaze Flex fan. To prevent damage to the radiator, the free space under the radiator is lined with a cardboard mould.

Design & Workmanship

In terms of design, the Shuriken 3 definitely holds back. The cooler consists of five 6-millimetre heatpipes, 68 aluminium fins and a smooth, nickel-plated copper base plate. To fix the fan, a black painted frame was screwed to the radiator. This frame has four holes at the corners for the fan screws and has been decorated with the manufacturer logo.

Once you turn the radiator upside down, the asymmetrical shape immediately catches the eye. In addition, the slats have various gradations. This is to increase RAM and VRM Heatspreader compatibility. A cross brace was screwed to the base plate. This strut is equipped with two spring-loaded screws.

The supplied Kaze Flex fan from our own company has a black frame and greyish fan blades. In addition, the frame also has grey rubber elements at all eight corners to prevent vibration transmission to the radiator. In addition, the fan was equipped with a high-quality cable sleeve. In order to keep the maximum height low, Scythe uses a slim format with a thickness of 18 millimetres for the fan.


A test system on a benchtable is used for the review. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat build-up in the housing. The test system consists of the following components.

As with all current Scythe radiators, the Shuriken 3 also comes with the mounting system with the “unique” name H.P.M.S. III (Hyper Precision Mounting System). Behind this is a mounting solution with a solid metal backplate and a bracket construction on the front. But let’s start at the beginning.

For our AM4 system, the pre-installed plastic brackets of the AMD backplate must first be removed. The AMD backplate must remain behind the mainboard for further assembly. The four plastic spacers are now placed on the protruding noses of the backplate. The two silver metal mounting brackets are then placed on top and fastened with the four long screws supplied.

After applying the heat conducting paste, the Shuriken 3 can be placed on the CPU and screwed evenly on both sides with the large mounting bracket. The spring-loaded screws distribute the contact pressure evenly and limit it to a maximum. This prevents damage to the mainboard and the CPU.

With the help of the enclosed instructions, the installation of the radiator was completed within 5 minutes. The mounting system is well thought-out and appears absolutely stable. Scythe has done a very good job here.

Scythe promotes the Shuriken 3 with a good RAM compatibility. However, this cannot be achieved in every assembly position. If the cooler protrudes over the RAM slots, the RAM coolers must not be more than 40 millimetres high. However, the mounting system allows the cooler to be mounted in four different variants.

Volume and Cooling Capacity

As already shown in the previous chapter, we use as test hardware an AM4 system based on the Ryzen 5 1400 and the MSI B350 PC Mate. The Ryzen runs at 4 Ghz at 1.35V.

To heat up the processor, the processor was loaded with Prime95 for 15 minutes. The temperature of the CPU was then read out with the CPUID hardware monitor. This test was performed in two different scenarios and then compared with the values of the AMD Boxed Cooler (Wraith Spire). During the temperature measurements the room had a temperature of 21°C.

Cooler Operating scenario RPM Temperature
AMD Wraith Spire 50% PWM 1600 rpm 100°C (crash)
AMD Wraith Spire 100% PWM 2600 rpm 92°C
Scythe Shuriken 3 50% PWM 850 rpm 98°C
Scythe Shuriken 3 100% PWM 1800 rpm 79°C

As you can see from the temperatures, both coolers are obviously struggling with such a high overclocking. At full fan speed, the Shuriken remains at 79°C, a value that can still be described as acceptable considering its size. In order to illustrate a somewhat more realistic operating scenario, both coolers have again started at a standard clock rate of 3.2 Ghz or a standard voltage of 1.1V.

Cooler Operating scenario RPM Temperature
AMD Wraith Spire 50% PWM 1600 rpm 53°C
AMD Wraith Spire 100% PWM 2600 rpm 47°C
Scythe Shuriken 3 50% PWM 850 rpm 51°C
Scythe Shuriken 3 100% PWM 1800 rpm 44°C

The Scythe Shuriken 3 can handle this scenario much better than the previous one. It achieves slightly better temperature values than the AMD Wraith Spire and is much more comfortable in terms of volume. Up to a speed of about 1000 revolutions per minute, the fan is barely perceptible and also doesn’t generate any ambient noise. Considering that the Shuriken 3 is not designed for overclocking systems but for economical HTPCs, the values are absolutely ok.

Conclusion on the Scythe Shuriken 3

With the Shuriken 3 Scythe is a successful successor of the Shuriken 2. With a height of 69 millimeters, the cooler is very well suited for small systems, reaches good temperature values as long as the processor is not overclocked, and works pleasantly quietly. In addition, the Shuriken 3 scores with its simple and flexible mounting system.

Finally, there’s the price. With € 12.06 * the Scythe Shuriken 3 is not a bargain. However, comparable top-blow coolers with a similar height cost just as much in many cases and achieve similar temperature values.

If you are looking for a compact cooler up to a height of 70 millimeters for the HTPC or the ITX system, you should definitely take a look at the Scythe Shuriken 3.

Scythe Big Shuriken 3

Value for Money

Compact CPU cooler with solid performance and an excellent mounting system.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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