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
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  • crimson117 - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    quote:

    Most of the important questions are answered on the package. Included on the typical jam-packed Scythe package are specifications, pictures and a list of compatible sockets, warranty info, and details on of the included 120mm low-noise fan.

    Also included are pictures of compatible ninjas.
    Reply
  • bigpow - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    I bought the Ninja a while ago (I think AT article helped make that decision for me)
    I'm glad to know that AT cares about its readers
    Eventhough the Ninja is old (and probably doesn't make sense for new system build), a lot of us still have them and it's nice to know that the old Ninja still has what it takes.

    The suggestion to replace the S-Flex fan is also very nice.

    Thank you
    Reply
  • Talcite - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    You guys mentioned that you were looking for a quiet PSU for the testing rig...

    At SPCR, everyone uses the Seasonics S12s and M12s for silence. I personally have a S12-430W and it is very quiet. I sleep less than 2 feet away from my system and can barely hear it. I haven't heard the M12 personally, but it should be near silent anyways. Maybe you guys should look into the Seasonics?
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    We will be testing several power supplies over the next couple of weeks but at this point the Seasonic based Corsair 620HX is the leading candidate for this test scenario based on the units we have on-hand. Reply
  • fic2 - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    Hopefully you will test the SilenX PS, too. If their PSs perform anything like their fans they should be good. Website: http://www.silenx.com/ixtremapropsus.asp">http://www.silenx.com/ixtremapropsus.asp. Reply
  • jay401 - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    Good review and definitely appreciate this recent spurt of HSF reviews. Looks like the Ultra 120 Extreme is the way to go... if indeed they've revised their mounting bracket for S775. Do you have any confirmation of that?


    Btw two quick typos: Page5 - first graph "iis", Page7 - paragraph ending with word "solution" has no period after it. =)
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    You have exceptional editing skills. Thanks for pointing out the typos. Corrected.

    No word yet on a modified S775 bracket for the Ultra 120 Extreme, but we will ask Thermalright again.
    Reply
  • jay401 - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    Journalism degree/geek :D

    Thanks for planning to follow up with Thermalright; I doubt I'm the only potential buyer of their performance-topping design who would like to know if the product can now be installed without bending tensioning brackets. ;)
    Reply
  • dm0r - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    and also ask thermalright the new cpu cooler they made....IFX-14. It really looks promising. Thanks for the review! Reply
  • Brunnis - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    So, how are we going to compare the effectiveness of these coolers when you seem to have used different fans? I can see the point of testing with stock fans (if applicable), but the thing most people want to know is which heatsink that performs the best. Your heatsink reviews also seem to be geared towards heavy overclockers, in which case testing with the stock fan makes even less sense. You don't even provide RPM figures for the fans used on the different coolers.

    I'm sorry, but I just find these reviews pretty much pointless. The testing methodology is flawed, considering the group of users that you're targeting.
    Reply

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