Scythe Katana 4

Scythe Katana 4

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Conclusion

  • The Scythe Katana 4 can be found at retail for $29.99/€24.90
  • Decent cooling performance for its size at stock speeds
  • Great for cramped cases and mITX builds
  • Fairly quiet
  • Affordable price
  • Clear and easy-to-read instructions
  • Extremely easy to install
  • Performance offers very little headroom for overclocking
  • Fails to stand out versus the cheaper competition
  • Packaging offers very little protection
  • Has option for second fan but fan clips are not included.
8.4The Katana 4 from Scythe is a solid choice if you are looking for better-than-stock cooling without breaking the bank. Its performance at stock is acceptable considering its small size, which also makes it a great fit for small, cramped cases and mITX builds. For the silence freaks out there: It doesn't hold a candle to the Titan Dragonfly 4; however, it is extremely quiet under typical loads. The cooler is still relatively quiet with the fan spinning at 100%. What really impresses me is the fact that it is extremely easy to install. Yes, it makes use of a push-pin design, but it functions perfectly, providing more than adequate pressure. Add to that its easy-to-follow instructions and you have a cooler that is perfect for first-time builders. At $29.99/€24.90, it is also a great choice if top-tier performance is not necessary.

A few things do stand out, though Scythe can hopefully improve upon these in the future. First is its rather lackluster performance with overclocked systems, which doesn't mean you can't overclock a system using the Katana 4, but you won't get as far as you would with high-end air coolers. The biggest problem is not size related, but the fact that cheaper or similarly priced competitors offer better performance or better value. The Raijintek Aidos performs nearly identical and is much cheaper but also louder. The Titan Dragonfly 4 is quieter and performs similarly while packing a better feature set. Packaging is also minimal, which does bother me, but that is more of a personal preference than anything else. Still, having your purchase well-protected is nice. The only other thing that comes to mind is the lack of a second pair of fan clips. Come on, Scythe, the Mugen 4 and Ashura both have extra fan clips, so why skimp on the Katana 4?

Users need to remember that it takes a top-tier product for top-tier cooling performance. What Scythe has provided with the Katana 4 is a solid alternative to the obnoxious and barely adequate stock heatsinks included with today's CPUs. The fact that it is easy to find at an affordable price online makes it an overall attractive choice.

The Scythe Katana 4 is a quiet, no frills heatsink that provides massively improved performance over stock heatsinks, and it does so at an affordable price.
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