We had a chance to test out one seriously attractive low profile CPU cooler called Shuriken. The cooler is made by Scythe and it’s one of the thinnest and most silent coolers on the market. It’s aimed at all types of users, but HTPC or smaller barebone-case owners will particularly like it.
We received the cooler in a quite small cardboard box with 146mm x 120mm x70mm dimensions. The height of the box suggests we’ll find a low profile cooler inside, and it’s the thing than many users need today. Scythe made sure that every inch of free space is filled out with a lot of information about this cooler, on 5 languages. There’s a couple of pictures too so you’ll know exactly what you’re buying.
The back of the packaging shows the specs and the supported processors. You can install Shuriken on Intel-Socket 478 and 775 as well as on AMD-CPUs Sockets AM2, 754, 939 and 940.
Among the supported CPUs we also found Quad Core but given the dimensions of this cooler we weren’t so sure of that. We didn’t have a Quad Core nearby but Shuriken handled our Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 processor with a 65W TDP. Weaker AMD Quad Core processors also have a TDP of 65W so Shuriken will probably do a good job of cooling them.
The contents of the box are quite modest, which is the case with every CPU cooler, but you’ll get everything you need. We opened the packaging and found a couple of mounting mechanisms and a small PVC bag with thermal paste. Mounting mechanisms are quite easy to put on and off of the cooler so you won’t need any tools.
On the bottom of the package you’ll find the Shuriken, and we were simply charmed by its stylish and thin looks. We have to say that it looks much better than on the pictures on the packaging.
The idea was to make a low cooler with maximum efficiency and minimum noise. Shuriken does all that and it looks stylish at the same time.
Its dimensions are 105mm x116mm x 64mm which will allow it to be used in smaller HTCP cases. In order to achieve the height of only 64mm Scythe used the OHS design (Oval Heatpipe Structure) with three heatpipes. This means that the heatpipe is warped around the part that’s in contact with the base. This way you get 6 heatpipes that are in contact with the aluminum heatsink housing the fan.
The fan is really low profile as you can see from the pictures. Its dimensions are 100mm x 100mm x 12mm and the specs say that the lowest rpm (650rpm) results in 10,5dBA whereas the highest (2200rpm) results in 31,67dBA. During testing, Shuriken really ran silent so it was almost inaudible at maximum rpm.
In order to compensate for the lack of height, Scythe used more fins in order to provide adequate airflow. At maximum 2200rpm, Shuriken can produce an airflow of 31.91CFM.
A good thing about the fan is that it has a 5pin PWM, which enables temperature dependent automatic rpm regulation.
The fan is easy to take off in case it needs cleaning, and it can even be done while the cooler is mounted on the motherboard. Like on its other coolers, Scythe uses a metal wire to mount the fan.
The heatpipe and the base of the cooler are made of copper whereas the heatsink is made of aluminum. A large copper plate that touches the processor is coated with a thin layer of nickel, but underneath you’ll find a 2mm thick copper plate. Shuriken weighs in at modes 355 grams, which is similar to the coolers that come with Intel and AMD processors.
Manufacturer’s instructions claim that mounting should be very simple, but that wasn’t the case in our scenario as it greatly depends on the motherboard design. If you have a lot of space around the CPU slot, then you’re in luck, because our Asus Extreme Maximus motherboard doesn’t.
As we already mentioned, with this cooler you’ll get three different mounting mechanisms – for socket 775, socket 478 and the third one for all AMD’s 940, 754, 939 and AM2 socket processors.
In order to mount Shuriken on Intel Socket 775, the first step is placing Push-in mechanisms and applying the thermal paste to the cooler’s base. We currently don’t own and HTPC so we mounted it on Asus’ Extreme Maximus motherboard in NZXT Tempest case.
After placing the cooler onto the processor, and Push-in mechanisms in their slots we encountered some difficulties. The cooler’s heatsink is placed so low that we simply couldn’t reach some Push-In mechanisms. It’s partially due to our motherboard and its large passive chipset cooling, but Scythe should’ve provided a way around this. We managed to fix this by taking the motherboard out of the case, which took us about 10-15 minutes, but it saved us quite a couple of potential scratches and cuts.
Asus Extreme Maximus (Provided by ASUS)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700, 2x 2.66GHz (Provided by Intel)
Kingston DDR3 HyperX (2 x 1 GB) (Provided by Kingston)
EVGA Geforce 8800 GTS (Provided by EVGA)
OCZ GXS 700, 700 W (Provided by OCZ)
Scythe Shuriken (Provided by Scythe)
NZXT Tempest „Airflow King“ (Provided by NZXT)
Testing procedure consisted of various scenarios on our Core 2 Duo E6700 processor. We measured idle and operation temperatures, default 2.66GHz and overclocked 3.10GHz CPU speeds. To measure temperatures and CPU strain we used programs such as Core Temp, Prime 95, and a couple of others.
At 2.66GHz in idle mode, Shuriken kept the temperatures at constant 44 degrees Celsius. That’s a great result as it’s only a bit higher than when the giant Cooler Master Hyper 212 is used.
Unfortunately, the result took a turn for the worse after a 100% workload on the processor, and temperatures soared to maximum 78 degrees Celsius.
After this we weren’t quite sure we should be doing overclocking, but Shuriken did a good job. Working temperatures increased only 5 degrees Celsius compared to maximum working temperatures of the non-overclocked CPU. Still, temperatures of 83 degrees Celsius aren’t advisable for E6700 processors, so we gave up on further overcloking.
Scythe Shuriken is an exquisitely designed cooler primarily aimed at low profile PC systems. Of course, you can use it on all desktop PC computers but you should know that overclocking is not its trade. It will be a good choice for users with a CPU TDP lower than 65W; meaning that most mainstream processors will be cooled just fine.
Shuriken is only 64mm high and it’s very quiet. Even at maximum rpm, it runs cooler than most coolers in the around-€20 price range.
The problem we encountered due to our motherboard is difficulty in mounting the cooler on Socket 775, but once you pull that off it’ll run just fine.
Scythe Shuriken is practical if you own a smaller case and you want a silent computer. It’s priced at around €20, which is definitely a plus, and we sincerely recommend it.