Articles: Cooling

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Design and Functionality

As you may have already guessed, Scythe Katana 3 is a successor to the well-known Katana and Katana 2 coolers. Unlike the previous models, Katana 3 uses three copper heatpipes instead of two. Although when you take a first look at the picture, you may think there are six of them, and not just three:


The cooler has become a little bigger, too. Now it measures 94 x 108 x 143mm and weighs 495g. What remained the same, however, is the inclined positioning of the heatsink and heatpipes relative to the base plate:

Now this feature has its own name and is called S.P.S. (Slant Pipe Structure). However, its purpose hasn’t become any different: it ensures better cooling of the components around the processor socket.

The cooler heatsink consists of 47 aluminum plates, each 0.35mm thick that are spaced out at 2mm from one another. The calculated effective heatsink surface equals 4,


The second patented technology implemented in Scythe Katana 3 is called F.P.S. (Fast-Phase Structure). Its brief description indicates that it is in fact a small pin-heatsink installed above the heatpipes in the cooler base that helps the primary heatsink dissipate heat from the heatpipes.

The heatpipes are flattened at the base and soldered to it. They form a curve in the contact area:

We have already seen a very similar implementation of heatpipes contact at the base in Scythe Kama Angle cooler.

The base plate is 1.5mm thick. Its surface is covered with a thin layer of nickel alloy covered with a protective film warning you about removing it before cooler installation.

The base surface is impeccably even and is polished off so well, that the little toy was startled at its own impression:


However, the thermal compound imprint on the CPU heat-spreader could have been a little better: it turned out not completely even. However, it happened not because of some cooler base imperfections, but because of the push-pin retention clips. Unfortunately, when the cooler is fastened with plastic clips like that, you can’t always ensure even pressure between the CPU and the cooler base.

Scythe Katana 3 is equipped with a 92-mm fan (Scythe SY9225SL 12M-P model). Its rotation speed varies from 300 to 2500 RPM using PWM control method.

According to the official specifications, the airflow created by this fan also varies depending on the rotation speed and can be anywhere from 6.7 to 55.55 CFM generating between 7.2 and 31.07 dBA of noise. There is no info on the slide bearing MTBF and static pressure reading.

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