Cold As Ice? – Scythe Ninja 5 CPU Cooler Review


We get lots of emails from companies that want to send us review samples of their products. A lot of the time its just random stuff from Aliexpress and eBay that I just dont think you guys would be interested in, however sometimes a little gem shines in that minefield of spam and something from a reputable company leaks through.

Scythe sent over their Ninja 5 Tower CPU cooler so I thought that instead of letting it collect dust on our incoming parts shelf that I would test it on the hottest CPU I have the Intel i7 8700K and see if its worth your hard earned money.

Lets start off with the installation.

The installation is very straightforward, its basically the same as many other tower coolers with the difference being that Scythe includes just about the biggest screwdriver ever with this cooler. It includes all of the hardware you’ll need to install it as well as well as the 2 fans for either side of the cooler as well.

It comes with a backing plate that can be used with many popular sockets but in our case were using it on a 1151-2 socket but any 115x style sockets will have the exact same mounting hole pattern. The bolts that feed through the board were already pre-installed out of the box so I didn’t have to do that step like other companies backing plates.

The construction itself is pretty nice and the heatpipes seem to be well placed. As we know looks can be somewhat deceiving but we will touch on the performance shortly so sit tight.

The main question people ask with these massive tower coolers I find is about ram clearance. In the case of the Ninja 5, the fans can be adjusted to allow for better RAM clearance. We adjusted the fans on our sample to fit the Trident Z RGB with no issues. Id even go as far as saying you could use some taller modules as well.

The cooler also supports AM4 installation as well but for the sake of this review were not going to show anything AM4 based, instead I wanted to show what the cooling performance is like with the i7 8700K on our open air test bench. The 8700K is known for its crazy heat output in its stock form so it makes perfect sense to test with that CPU.

Lets talk about what we tested and how we tested it. All the tests were run on the open air test bench with the Intel i7 8700k on the MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus with the latest BIOS at time of filming provided by MSI directly. The CPU was set to stock clocks for the purpose of establishing a consistent baseline.

For these tests we let the system idle for 20 mins with each cooler installed to get a proper idle temperature and used the AIDA64 Stress test for 20 mins with each cooler so we could get a proper set of temperatures for a fully loaded CPU.

We ran the Scythe Ninja 5 tests along side 2 other coolers that I have on hand right now. We used the Cooler Master MasterAir MA620P RGB TUF Edition air cooler and the Cooler Master MasterLiquid ML360R. All the Fan and pump speeds were set to 100 percent so there wasn’t any variance in airflow potential. I say potential because there are other factors that I will touch on shortly.

At idle with the scythe ninja 5 we see the average temperature at 29C after 20 minutes of idle

At idle with the Cooler Master ML360R we see the average temperature at 32C after 20 minutes of idle

At idle with the cooler master MA620P TUF edition we see the average temperature at 28C after 20 minutes of idle

At idle with the Scythe Ninja 5 we see the average temperature at 29C after 20 minutes of idle

But we all know idle temperatures don’t tell the whole story. I just added these in because I feel like it is something we asked a lot when it comes to coolers. That being said lets see where this story goes.

At full load in AIDA64 with the CPU stress test running for 20 mins with the Scythe Ninja 5 we see an average temperature of 72C and a maximum temp of 78C.

At full load in AIDA64 with the CPU stress test running for 20 mins with the Cooler Master ML360R we see an average temperature of 61C and a maximum temp of 66C.

At full load in AIDA64 with the CPU stress test running for 20 mins with the Cooler Master MA620P TUF Edition we see an average temperature of 64C and a maximum temp of 71C.

At full load with both the average and max temperatures the differences between the ML360R and the Ninja 5 are around 18 percent which is pretty substantial but ultimately didn’t surprise me given how good the ML360R is in general.

What did surprise me though was the difference between a similarly specced air cooler. The MA620P TUF which is smaller in physical size compared to the Ninja 5 but is also equipped with 2 120mm fans. At full load the difference in average temps were around 12 and half percent and the max temperature differences were around 10 percent.

So at the end of the day would I recommend the Scythe Ninja 5.. Well put it this way. The numbers don’t lie. However I think they kinda do. Let me explain. The MA620P comes with 2 120mm Fans that run at a maximum of 2000RPM where as the Ninja 5 comes with 2 120mm fans that run at a maximum of 800RPM. That’s 1 and a quarter times or 125 percent more potential airflow from the MA620Ps included fans. This could likely contribute to the difference between the 2 coolers but its hard to say without actually testing.

Since this is a review I didn’t feel like it was fair to change the fans to more efficient ones. It doesn’t make sense. You get what you’re given and they obviously chose those fans for a reason.

Lets ask this again. Would I recommend the Scythe ninja 5 for an i7 8700K. I think it would be fine since after the 2 full load runs we did totaling 40 mins of sustained full load testing we didn’t encounter any throttling at all.

The main consideration with purchasing this cooler is do you want a cooler that is literally the size of your head inside your computer because it is ridiculously large. It kinda takes after its name sake. Its not stealthy, its huge however it is dead silent and ninjas do like to attack silently after all.

If you’re interested in grabbing one of these Coolers there is a link in the description down below. Right now they are going for around 60USD on amazon which is an absolute steal however the MA620P is going for the exact same price and is technically 12 and a half percent better on average. The choice is yours.

If you have any more questions about this cooler feel free to jump in our discord or leave a comment below. I’m thinking that I want to retest this with different fans for an air cooler roundup next month. Let me know what you think.