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Scythe Katana 4 review

A smaller CPU cooler for those limited on space

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Our Verdict

For

  • Small footprint
  • Decent performance considering size

Against

  • Poor mounting arrangement
  • Not as good as a larger cooler

Fans 120mm and larger dominate the enthusiast and overclocking market. What hope, then, for the plucky little Scythe Katana 4 and its 92mm fan?

Scythe is an experienced outfit and this is the fourth version of the compact Katana, so if it doesn't deliver, it's probably time for the towel-tossing to begin.

As before, the latest Katana is smaller than your average high performance cooler in just about all directions, measuring nearly 100mm square and 143mm in height.

The upshot of this is that you're unlikely to find a remotely mainstream ATX motherboard or case that won't jive with the Katana 4.It's not going to tussle for space with your RAM or argue with your graphics card.

Scythe has also tried to improve cooling performance via an increase in the overall cooling area provided by the aluminium fin stack while maintaining the triple copper heat pipes of its predecessor. What you make of the results will depend on your expectations.

If you're looking to equal the performance and noise levels of a larger 120mm cooler, it ain't gonna happen. Even so, at stock clocks, it's a nice cooler that keeps peak operating temps around 50°C, which is far from shabby.

That said, we're less keen on the mounting arrangement, which involves those ghastly press-in clips in conjunction with Intel boards (except LGA 2011 boards). We've never been confident they deliver even force across the surface of the CPU package.