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 Ninja 5 and was introduced in spring 2018. This is a very large and massive CPU cooler that comes with two fans and a black anodized top plate. In addition, the manufacturer advertises with high-quality workmanship and simple assembly.
In this review we will find out whether the Ninja 5 really meets the manufacturer’s specifications and how it performs in general.
|Dimensions (with fan)
|138 x 155 x 180 mm (W x H x D)
|Weight (with fan)
|Nickel-plated copper (base plate, heatpipes), aluminium (fins)
|6x Ø 6 mm
|AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+
|775, 115x, 1366, 2011, 2011-v3 (Square ILM), 2066
|€ 57.90 *
|Scythe Kaze Flex 120
|120 mm x 120 mm x 27 mm
|300 ~ 800 RPM ±10 %
Packaging & Scope of delivery
The Scythe Ninja 5 comes in a very large cardboard box. This is colorfully printed and contains lots of information and pictures about the cooler and the supplied fans. This information is 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, four fan clamps, a metal backplate, a PWM adapter for the fans, a practical screwdriver, heat-conducting paste and all screws and parts required for mounting the cooler are available.
Under the box is the heat sink and the two Kaze Flex fans. For safety reasons, the heat sink is wrapped in a soft foam to prevent damage.
Altogether the Ninja 5 is doing quite well in this area. The scope of delivery is generous and the packaging is well thought out and should protect the Ninja 5 well from possible damage.
Design & Workmanship
In terms of design, Scythe didn’t dare make any big experiments. The heat sink is almost square and consists of 40 aluminium fins, six 6-millimetre heat pipes and a smooth copper base plate. All heatpipes and the base plate have been nickel-plated to enhance the appearance. In addition, the top aluminium lamella was black anodised and provided with a pattern in the form of a throwing star. Whether such a pattern is appealing or not, everyone must decide for themselves. Personally, I could have lived with a plain black top. Recently, the manufacturer has shortened the bottom six slats on both sides to ensure compatibility with RAM with high heat spreaders.
The included Kaze Flex fans from our own house have a black frame and grayish fan blades. In addition, the frame also has grey rubber elements at all eight corners to prevent vibration transmission to the radiator. In addition, both fans were equipped with a high-quality cable sleeve.
As you can see on the pictures, the Ninja 5 looks very massive with both installed fans and with a total weight of almost 1.2 kg it weighs a lot. Nevertheless, with a height of 155 cm it is still relatively compact on the road and should fit into many current cases.
Looking at the aspect of workmanship, the Ninja 5 has nothing to complain about. The heat sink has no bent fins, there are no sharp edges and also the anodization of the lid is clean.
For our review we use a test system on a benchtable. This allows us to rule out factors such as heat build-up in the housing. The test system consists of the following components.
- AMD Ryzen 5 1400 @ 3.8 Ghz at 1.25V*
- MSI B350 PC Mate*
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT grey 16 GB DDR4-2666*
- Plextor PX-256M8 NVMe SSD
- Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1060 6G*
- be quiet! Pure Power 10 400W*
- Cooler Master Tech Bench V2.0
The Scythe Ninja 5 uses a 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.
Before the cooler can be mounted, the application of the heat conduction paste must not be missing. Once this is done, the Ninja 5 can be placed on the CPU and screwed evenly on both sides using the large mounting bracket. The supplied screwdriver is an advantage here due to the very long shaft. This makes it very easy to screw in the two spring-loaded screws of the crossbar.
With a short 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.
A little more tricky is the RAM compatibility. The cooler has correspondingly shortened lamellas in the lower area, but these are only useful if the fans are moved a good deal further upwards. This results in a much less attractive appearance and of course also increases the height of the radiator.
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 overclocked at a voltage of 1.25 V with a clock frequency of 3.8 Ghz.
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 tenperature measurements the room had a temperature of 18°C.
|AMD Wraith Spire cooler (50% fan speed)
|AMD Wraith Spire cooler (100% fan speed)
|Scythe Ninja 5 (50% fan speed)
|Scythe Ninja 5 (100% fan speed)
As you can see in the table, the temperature difference is 21°C at a fan speed of 50%. If you include in this rating the fact that the Ninja 5 is also significantly quieter than the Boxed cooler, the Scythe cooler delivers a top result. Even at 100% fan speed and despite the open design, the fans are barely audible. In addition, it is positively noticeable that the fans do not generate any ambient noise.
Conclusion of the Scythe Ninja 5 Review
In our eyes, the Scythe Ninja 5 is a simple but powerful CPU cooler. Due to the principle of a massive heat sink and two slowly rotating fans in push-pull operation, good cooling can still be achieved at a low volume. In addition, the manufacturer has equipped this CPU cooler with an exemplary assembly system and processed it top.
However, the Ninja 5 also costs € 57.90 *. This makes it a bit more expensive than the Scythe Mugen 5 and the very popular Thermalright Macho Rev. B. These two coolers also offer good to very good cooling performance and appear a bit less clunky. In addition, both candidates are more likely to be able to handle large RAM heat spreaders due to the asymmetric design. But both CPU coolers have only one fan which has a significantly higher maximum speed.
In the end, Scythe does a lot right with the Ninja 5, but can’t really stand out from the crowd of other good CPU coolers with this product. Nevertheless it is a recommendable CPU cooler.