SCYTHE Big Shuriken 3 Low Profile CPU Cooler Review
The Scythe Big Shuriken 3
A 69mm tall cooler with serious cooling potential
The Big Shuriken 3 is a compact CPU cooler from SCYTHE standing just 69 mm in height, but offering specs you might expect to find on larger tower designs such as its five heat pipes and 120 mm Kaze Flexx fan. It also features SCYTHE’s H.P.M.S III mounting system for a secure fit, and all of this comes at a reasonable $44.99. How did it fare when put to the test with the challenging thermals of a Core i7-7700K CPU? Let’s find out!
Model Number: SCBSK-3000
Intel LGA 775 / 115x / 1366 / 2011(V3) / 2066
AMD AM2(+) / AM3(+) / AM4 / FM1 / FM2(+)
Dimensions (WxDxH): 122 x 122 x 69 mm
Fan Size: 120 x 120 x 15 mm (upgradable to 25mm fan)
Heatpipes: Ø6mm x 5
Fan Speed: 300±200～1800 rpm±10%
Air Flow: 8.28～50.79 CFM
Statics: 0.23～1.35 mmH2O / 2.26～13.24 Pa
Noise: 2.7～30.4 dB
Weight (fan included): 475 g
“Big Shuriken 3 is a cooling solution for for small form factor systems (Mini ITX, HTPC). The cooler uses newly developed Kaze Flexx slim fan that delivers great airflow and compact size. The wide-space heatsink jointed with 5 sintered heatpipes can transfer and ventilate the heat effectively, and offset design for better compatibility to memory and components on motherboard.”
The Big Shuriken 3 makes use of an asymmetrical design to increase its cooling capabilities without interfering with DIMMs. This allows for its 120 mm fan support when smaller footprint coolers typically offer 92 mm fans, and it includes longer fan screws in case you want to swap out the included 15 mm model for a standard 25 mm thick fan.
The included Kaze Flexx slim fan spins at up to 1800 RPM to keep temps down, with idle speeds listed as 300±200 for what will likely be near-inaudible operation when the CPU isn’t being taxed. The base of the cooler is nickel coated and quite flat, and the overall design seems quite polished. Construction of the cooler is excellent, and this Big Shuriken 3 looks and feels like a premium option.
SCYTHE recommends this cooler for mini-ITX applications, and at 69 mm it will fit in all but the lowest-profile case. My recent small form-factor experiences call for coolers of 47 mm or lower (the Intel stock cooler height), but if you have any additional room a design like this should be a thermal upgrade.
For our tests the Big Shuriken 3 was installed on a trusty H270 ATX board for some stock Intel Core i7-7700K benchmarking, and the installation process couldn’t have been easier. SCYTHE uses a metal backplate with attached rubber tabs on the ends to protect the back of the motherboard. With the bracket bolts pushed through, plastic standoffs hold it in place for the rest of the install process (the standoffs integrate rubber washers that hold tight to the bolts – a nice touch).
Once the top bracket is assembled, and here SCYTHE’s H.P.M.S III system is as good as anything in the business, it attaches with two spring-loaded screws. These screws can be secured from above without removing the fan by simply rotating the blades out of the way, and after very little effort the cooler was secure and ready for some testing. There were no clearance issues to report with this motherboard as the heatsink design kept the fins and heat pipes away from VRMs and clear of the DIMM slots.
With the cooler mounted on the Core i7-7700K test platform benchmarks were run with an ambient temp of 18.2 C. For noise testing the SPL meter was placed 12 inches away from the cooler on the open test bench, and ambient room noise was 31.6 dBA.
|PC Perspective CPU Cooler Test Platform|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-7700K|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE H270 GAMING 3|
|Memory||CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4-2800|
|Storage||CORSAIR Neutron XTi 480GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Seasonic PRIME Titanium Fanless 600W|
|Operating System||Windows 10 64-bit|
Temps were excellent from the Big Shuriken 3, coming surprisingly close to the original Hyper 212 EVO. The combined efforts of the five heatpipes, flat base, and 120 mm fan pay of nicely – but what level of noise output was required to cool the toasty Core i7-7700K so well under sustained multi-threaded loads?
While considerably under the output levels of the recently reviewed 92 mm SilverStone AR11, the 41.8 dBA max output was very noticeable on the open test bench. However this should not be taken as an indictment of the cooler, as this represented the highest level possible as the fan was spinning at 100% during this sustained workload. At idle the Big Shuriken 3 was completely inaudible, spinning with a standard fan profile at 560 RPM (the 31.6 dBA recorded was identical to ambient noise in the room).
The SCYTHE Big Shuriken 3 offers very impressive cooling performance in a very compact package for a cooler that features five heat pipes and a 120 mm fan, and it is an extensible design as well with optional support for a standard 25 mm fan if you have additional space available above its default 69 mm height. The included 15 mm slim fan was inaudible at idle, and while it did generate over 40 dBA under load at ~1800 RPM it managed to keep a Core i7-7700K cooler than some tower designs are capable of.
With a price tag of $44.99 on Amazon currently the Big Shuriken 3 provides big cooling power at an affordable price, and its quality construction and easy installation process add to the experience. There are coolers with lower noise output under load, but fan profiles can be adjusted and there was plenty of thermal headroom available to do just that, even with one of the hottest desktop CPUs I’ve ever used. Recommended!