Final Words

Scythe's Ninja Plus Revision B is an update to a long-running and well-regarded heatpipe tower cooler. The design mounts six u-shaped heatpipes in three heatpipe clusters on each side of a square fin tower. The fin tower has slots for mounting clips on each side, which means up to 4 cooling fans can be mounted. The kit ships with one low-noise 120mm fan of moderate 49.6 CFM output.

The Ninja Plus B comes with easy to install mounts for Intel socket 775, AMD AM2/939/940/754 and the older Intel socket 478. The 775 mount uses push clips for mounting just like the Intel stock design, but this also brings concerns about a large, heavy cooler being mounted with such a flimsy connector, which was clearly intended for lighter weight coolers. We have had no problems with stressing the motherboard or falling coolers in vertical towers, but we strongly recommend that this is not a mount design for a LAN Party PC that will be moved frequently.

With the stock low-noise fan the performance of the Ninja was about the same as the Scythe Infinity - average but not chart-topping - with a maximum OC of 3.83GHz. However, like the Infinity, the Ninja has very flexible options for mounting 1-4 fans and performance with two standard Scythe fans in a push-pull arrangement reached 3.90GHz. This places the Ninja in the top tier of coolers we have tested.

The Ninja Pus B also managed to reach a 3.90GHz stable overclock with a single, higher output SilenX fan specified as 72 CFM/14 dB-A. Cooling performance and overclocking with the single SilenX fan were virtually the same as results with a dual fan push-pull using two of the low noise Scythe fans. With both the Scythe and SilenX fans cooling the Ninja Plus B noise levels remained below the noise floor of the system.

Cooling and overclocking tests were also run with two 72 CFM SilenX fans in a push pull arrangement on the Ninja Plus B. The highest stable overclock with this combo remained at 3.90GHz - there was no improvement in overclocking ability. However, two SilenX fans in push-pull cooled about 2C better at idle and load than a single SilenX fan or two Scythe fans in push-pull configuration.

As packaged the Scythe Ninja Plus B is a competent and quiet cooler. The Scythe kit is a more effective cooler than the similar OCZ Vindicator, but neither kit is chart topping. Swap the stock fan with a SilenX 72 CFM/14 dB-A fan, however, and the Ninja Plus B is then able to overclock to 3.90GHz, matching the best heatpipe towers we have tested. Comparing results of the Scythe Ninja Plus B with the SilenX to the OCZ Vindicator with the same fan proves rather conclusively that the OCZ Vindicator is not just a relabeled Ninja Plus B. The Scythe cooler does a better job of cooling with the same fan, and while the coolers may look the same, the Ninja is definitely the more effective cooler.

With results of the Scythe infinity and Scythe Ninja Plus B so similar in our tests, it is fair to ask which cooler is the better choice. That is a hard question to answer, but the Infinity is a little more compact in most cases and cools just as well as the large square Ninja. The choice depends on your preferences and the board/case that will be used with the cooler. However, both the Ninja Plus B and the Infinity are just good, quiet coolers with the shipping kit fans - they are not particularly great for overclocking. Add a quiet high output fan like the SilenX or use two Scythe fans in a push-pull configuration, and both coolers compete with the best we have tested. The Tuniq Tower 120 and Thermalright Ultra 120 still cool a bit better at most settings, but they reach the same overclock as the Ninja and Infinity with push-pull fans or a SilenX.

The Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme remains the best air cooler we have tested so far, reaching a 3.94GHz overclock at low temperatures with a Scythe SFLEX fan. The Scythe Ninja Plus B joins the top tier of coolers just below this with the Thermalright Ultra 120, Tuniq Tower 120, OCZ Vindicator with SilenX fan, and Scythe Infinity push-pull. In any of the tested configurations it is a quiet and effective cooler, with best cooling results with a high output fan or push-pull fans.

Overclocking and Noise


View All Comments

  • Pirks - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    I'm going to get myself a monster of a heatsink called Cooler Master GeminII. It has two 120mm fans on top that blow right down on the mobo. On the other hand I keep reading all these news here coming from Gary, Wesley, Jarred and the gang, that tower coolers like Infinity or Thermalright kick ass and yield only to waterblocks. Now, the question is - are you guys really missing this important part of cooling mosfets, power circuitry, some northbridge, memory etc? Or is it really unimportant?

    I mean, what's the point in having such an imbalanced cooling solution where the CPU is cool but evetything else is almost melting? I recall my experience with Athlon XP in a tight poorly ventilated case - I put Zalman on it instead of a little tower HSF and you you know what? The power circuitry temperature went down 16 degrees right there, and I stopped getting Windows freezing on me. Stability became just like on those pesky Macs (j/k) :)

    So what is it? A vertical tower? Or a horizontal cooler that blows on mosfets? Or a mix of both with tower and additional coolers around it to cool mosfets?

    At least a link to some systematic research won't hurt, I can only see opinionated forums where half of the population says towers suck because they don't cool mosfets and the other half says towers rock precisely because they don't cool mosfets :) Wesley? Gary? Any other AT overclocking guru? What's your opinion and arguments for it (or against it)?
  • LaGUNaMAN - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Speaking of the Cooler Master GeminII, requesting to have that reviewed as well. Great job on the article BTW Bozz Wesley. Can't wait for the 120mm fan roundup. (^^,) Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, April 13, 2007 - link

    The CoolerMaster Gemini II is in the lab for review. I agree it looks really promising with a pair of low-noise high-output fans. We hope to get to it within the next couple of weeks. Reply
  • Kaleid - Saturday, April 14, 2007 - link

    Could you try placing one fan in the middle of that cooler? Does it really perform better with two fans or would one silent fan do the trick? Reply
  • Stele - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link


    I mean, what's the point in having such an imbalanced cooling solution where the CPU is cool but evetything else is almost melting?

    That's a very good question, one which I've often asked myself when looking for coolers. Granted, a straight-through airflow right out the back of the casing helps prevent a build-up of warm air inside it, but that would leave a weak level of airflow around the other hotspots on the motherboard... especially with the likes of a 680i SLI overclocked.

    It would be terrific if Anandtech could deploy a few thermocouple probes or even an IR thermometer and measure the temperatures of those hotspots - PWM heatsink (or PWM MOSFET if no heatsink present), northbridge, and if time allows, perhaps even the side of a RAM DIMM and graphics card nearest the CPU socket area. That would certainly help differentiate the coolers good at just cooling the CPU from those that can do better overall. :)
  • noobzter - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    1. How does the CPU temp as reported in NTune compare to TAT's?
    2. What was the ambient temp during the test?
  • noobzter - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    Sweet, thanks! Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    TAT workload testing with the stock Scythe fan on the Ninja Plus B show test results virtually the same at TAT 80% CPU load as our 30 minute gaming tests. Since you are likely familiar with TAT results that info may be useful. TAT does stress both cores in testing, which our current game tests do not do. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, April 12, 2007 - link

    1. TAT (Thermal Analysis Tool) is an Intel program, so it did not occur to us to use it for verification on an nVidia chipset. However, it is CPU centric, and we found it DOES work on the 680i chipset. Comparing Idle temps to nVidia Monitor results at 3.73GHz overclocked showed reported Monitor and TAT temps within 0-2C of each other. We will test more with TAT using internal load tests in the future.

    2. Ambient room temperature during tests is 70F (21C).
  • iluvdeal - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    I am looking for a quiet HSF which allows good OCing for a Core2Duo and the Ninja fits that bill, however the one thing that's constantly repeated about it is it's difficult to securely mount with a S775. That's what scared me away from it. Reply

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