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Scythe Ninja Plus rev. B


When I bought my pc last August I decided to try first the standard cpu cooler coming with the AMD X2 3800+ processor, and to replace it with a more efficient heatsink later if its performance was not satisfying.
During these months (August to May) the temperatures varied between these levels, depending on ambient temperatures:
The core fan speed is changed automatically from a minimum of 40% (1160-1170 rpm) to 100% (3300 rpm) by SpeedFan. Lower than 40% the fan stops revving.


Such temperatures were acceptable, but in the last days, when ambient temperature raised to 26-27, and in the attempt to silence my pc with a Zalman ZM-MFC1 fan controller, that was not working as I expected, since the front case fan speed was reduced to a very low level and could not be increased through the Zalman, both core and mobo temperatures reached 47 while encoding a avi (cpu at 50%), and even setting the back fan at high speed was not very helpful.
Thus I decided to buy a Scythe Ninja Plus. What do I expect from it? Mounting a 120 mm fan on the Ninja instead of the 70 mm AMD stock heatsink fan, it could be run slower and still move much more air, increasing cooling performance and reducing the noise at the same time.


Ninja package 1.jpg
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Ninja up.jpg
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Ninja down 3.jpg
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Ninja base.jpg
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AM2 clip.jpg
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Intel 478 clip.jpg
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Making a flat surface

Unfortunately a shadow of the protective adhesive remained on the Scythe Ninja's base, that was flat at the touch but "dirty" to see. I enhanced contrast in this picture to make the glue trace more visible.
I wanted to be sure there was no trace of glue before installing it over the cpu, so I polished the Ninja's base using cotton and a few rubbing compound: the surface became first opaque then clean and polished.

Rubbing compound 2.jpg
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Ninja flat surface 5.jpg
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Installing - ouch, it's not compatible with some MSI K9N Platinum

I removed the stock AMD heatsink, I cleaned both cpu and heatsink first with absorbing paper then with alcool and cotton, I applied the Zalman ZM-STG1 thermal grease on the Ninja base, I screwed the AM2 clip on the Ninja and positioned it over the cpu to hook the clip into the retention bracket on the motherboard, and ...surprise! On the left of the socket, near the back of the case, two capacitors are located in the space that should be occupied by the Ninja's heatpipes: trying to hook the clip into the bracket the heatpipes push the two capacitors but still it's not possible to lock the clip, and the Ninja's base does not match exactly the cpu surface (it's moved away by 3-4 mm).
Furthermore, if I rotate the Ninja by 90 the heatpipes don't reach the capacitors but I cannot mount it using the AM2 clip because the heatpipes extend too much and don't fit into the clip: the heatpipes are 8.5 cm wide on one side and 10 cm wide on the other side, so the clip can be screwed on the shorter side only (and the holes on the clip confirm that, preventing to screw it in the wrong direction).

Applying thermal grease 2.jpg
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Mounting 2.jpg
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Mounting 5.jpg
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Now I need an explanation, since when I checked before buying the Ninja I found some people who assembled their machines using both components, otherwise I would have not bought the Ninja.
On Scythe Europe's site the MSI K9N Platinum is considered not compatible with the Scythe Ninja Plus rev. B, on Scythe USA's site there is no information about compatibility with MSI motherboards, but I found some people around the net who successfully mounted the Ninja Plus rev. B (SCNJ1100P) on the K9N Platinum and K9N Platinum SLI, for instance this blog.
On the contrary, this German site report incompatibility between the two.

Digging more deeply, I found this note on Scythe Europe support area:
"Please note that this compatibility may not apply to all the motherboards as the manufacturer randomly tend to change the components (capacitors, condensers, etc) used for their motherboard without informing to the public. Hence, the height of the capacitors and condensers maybe higher depending on the production lot of the motherboard".

Thus, it seems that some of the K9N Platinum boards have higher capacitors than other K9N Platinum boards, and it seems this behaviour is not limited to MSI.


Posted by: z24 | Mon, Feb 09 2009 | Category: /hardware | Permanent link | home
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