Production SFFtime presents: N-ATX V2 - 15L evolution of console case that supports ATX size parts

MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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I have the impression that the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 Rev.B with a 25mm fan (e.g., a Noctua NF-A12x25) would be the best CPU cooler for this case (possible turbulence noises aside).
Best air cpu coolers for N-ATX are thermalright axp120-67 and Scythe big shuriken 3 with 25mm fan.

Main weakness of big shuriken 3 is missing compatibility with alder/meteor lake.
 
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harryshuman

Trash Compacter
Jan 30, 2022
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Thanks for the post. The (big) issues you mentioned do sound concerning.

I have the impression that the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 Rev.B with a 25mm fan (e.g., a Noctua NF-A12x25) would be the best CPU cooler for this case (possible turbulence noises aside).
Best air cpu coolers for N-ATX are thermalright axp67 and big shuriken 3 with 25mm fan.

Main weakness of big shuriken 3 is missing compatibility with alder/meteor lake.

This and other comments about AXP120 being better than AXP100 Full Copper really confuse the crap out of me. How can a copper AXP100 cooler behave worse than aluminum AXP120 one, and if it does, then how can my even larger AXP200 behave worse than my copper AXP100 when tested with the same PPC-3000 cooler. AXP200 looks like same thing as AXP120 but larger, I would expect it to behave better, not a lot worse.

Perhaps Thermalright's manufacturing quality is all over the place and same coolers aren't guaranteed to perform the same.

In that case Scythe Big Schuriken 3 is probably the way to go just because Scythe is a more reliable brand.
 

Neathdrawls

Airflow Optimizer
Jul 28, 2021
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The range of AXP100 is like, at least 5 to 8 years old? Thermalright has made improvements in their processes/technology/heatpipes, while even though heatsinks don't really change in the way they work in essence, there would be advances along the way like the better manufacturing processes, base plate manufacturing, heat transfer from the plates to the pipes and possibly way more other areas, which are all far beyond my understanding.

I might be wrong, but I do recall reading that while copper is more conductive and can hold and retain heat better than aluminum, aluminum can disperse the heat faster, but that does not always mean that copper will be better than aluminum heatsinks, as the heatsink efficiency will still be dependent how fast the fan can disperse the heat.

Tech Buyer Guru did do a test of some low profile coolers, which also indicated that the aluminum IS-60 is around the same performance of the AXP100 Copper. Hardware Canucks also had the AXP100 in a matchup of coolers, and the very new IS-55 is also very close to the performance of the AXP100 Copper.
 

Aluminyum

Cable-Tie Ninja
May 3, 2019
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Main weakness of big shuriken 3 is missing compatibility with alder/meteor lake.
I believe you meant "Alder/Raptor Lake"? Rev.B, which I mentioned, doesn't have the said weakness: "Assembled with H.P.M.S. IV, the cooler now provides full Intel LGA 1700 support".

This and other comments about AXP120 being better than AXP100 Full Copper really confuse the crap out of me.
I would second what @Neathdrawls said above. I saw both videos they linked plus some other roundups where the AXP-100-Full Copper got praised mostly for the looks alone. I also find it hard to take seriously a company that doesn't have HTTPS on their website in 2023, but that's beside the point.
 
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MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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I believe you meant "Alder/Raptor Lake"? Rev.B, which I mentioned, doesn't have the said weakness: "Assembled with H.P.M.S. IV, the cooler now provides full Intel LGA 1700 support".


I would second what @Neathdrawls said above. I saw both videos they linked plus some other roundups where the AXP-100-Full Copper got praised mostly for the looks alone. I also find it hard to take seriously a company that doesn't have HTTPS on their website in 2023, but that's beside the point.
Well from EU, Scythe website is not even highlighted rev B…
On contrary Thermalright is better supported in EU than Scythe..:)
 
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MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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Ok just reviewed Scythe Big Shuriken REV B...as Scythe did for other CPU coolers (ie Fuma), they slightly changed it, reducing its height by 2mm (69mm==>67mm).

To be honest, at the end, between Scythe big shuriken 3 Rev B or Thermalright AXP120-67, there is no bad choice for N-ATX v2..:)
25mm fan choice will be driven by personal taste.
 
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Neathdrawls

Airflow Optimizer
Jul 28, 2021
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Honestly, i think when it comes to actual performance, it shouldn't have drastic difference between the Shuriken and AXP120.

However, on paper, the AXP120 has one more heatpipe compared to the Shuriken. Although, more heatpipes doesn't automatically equate to better performance.

Other than my own bias, preference and being more of a Thermalright supporter, there seems to be a few small things that might swing your decision of which cooler:

The Shuriken seems to be marketed as only fitting in one orientation, where the heatsink overhangs the RAM slots, making it such that you will need to use Ballistix or lower RAM sticks. Although it is only shown on an ITX board, bigger boards might not have that issue, or rather, will just affect the 4th innermost slot. Clearance on board's VRM might vary and dependant on the board. The AXP120 seems to clear most board's VRMs heatsinks if it oriented towards the IO, which also gives complete clearance for all RAM.

The orientation where the Shuriken is mounted is such that the airflow is directed perpendicular and over the RAM and over the IO, unlike the AXP120 where it is directed up and down in parallel. Probably not a huge difference but will depend on the user's preference.

That being said, I don't have the Shuriken to test it out either, so take my comments with multiple grains of salt, as it is solely based on perception.
 

coolusername

Efficiency Noob
Jan 13, 2023
5
12
I have the impression that the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 Rev.B with a 25mm fan (e.g., a Noctua NF-A12x25) would be the best CPU cooler for this case (possible turbulence noises aside).
That’s what I’m currently running and it’s working great for my setup. I tried putting a 92mm in the bottom to exhaust some hot GPU air, but couldn’t figure out how to mount it. I thought the openings would allow it to be mounted.

 

MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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That’s what I’m currently running and it’s working great for my setup. I tried putting a 92mm in the bottom to exhaust some hot GPU air, but couldn’t figure out how to mount it. I thought the openings would allow it to be mounted.

Really clean setup!
What cpu cooler are you using?
What GPU are you using and are you please by its temperature/noise?

As I tested GPU with either passthrough fans (RTX 3090FE, RTX 4080 FE) or either pure axial fans (MSI GTX 1080 Ti), I found N-ATX v2 really good at cooling both type of GPU. I would like to know if you were having similar feedback.
 

riba2233

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Jan 2, 2019
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That’s what I’m currently running and it’s working great for my setup. I tried putting a 92mm in the bottom to exhaust some hot GPU air, but couldn’t figure out how to mount it. I thought the openings would allow it to be mounted.

Wow this looks clean! Kudos, really awesome build.

Btw hole spacing on the bottom and top is suitable for 80mm fans, not 92
 
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Neathdrawls

Airflow Optimizer
Jul 28, 2021
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That’s what I’m currently running and it’s working great for my setup. I tried putting a 92mm in the bottom to exhaust some hot GPU air, but couldn’t figure out how to mount it. I thought the openings would allow it to be mounted.

Really clean setup!
What cpu cooler are you using?
What GPU are you using and are you please by its temperature/noise?

As I tested GPU with either passthrough fans (RTX 3090FE, RTX 4080 FE) or either pure axial fans (MSI GTX 1080 Ti), I found N-ATX v2 really good at cooling both type of GPU. I would like to know if you were having similar feedback.

Mentioned that it is a Big Shuriken 3 Rev B with a NF-A12x25, looks great! And seems like RAM Clearance is perfect if it is mounted rotated (compared to the marketing materials). And looks like perfect VRM clearance too! GPU wise, possibly either a 3090 or 3080 MSI Gaming X Trio.
 
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MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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Mentioned that it is a Big Shuriken 3 Rev B with a NF-A12x25, looks great! And seems like RAM Clearance is perfect if it is mounted rotated (compared to the marketing materials). And looks like perfect VRM clearance too! GPU wise, possibly either a 3090 or 3080 MSI Gaming X Trio.
Fully agree.
With big shuriken, Clearance is good, Fan is hold by screw on big Shuriken (vs clips on Thermalright AXP120-67)

Now vs Thermalright AXP120-67, no bad choice confirmed..:):)
 
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Aluminyum

Cable-Tie Ninja
May 3, 2019
147
188
Ok just reviewed Scythe Big Shuriken REV B...as Scythe did for other CPU coolers (ie Fuma), they slightly changed it, reducing its height by 2mm (69mm==>67mm).
The heatsink is the same as before, I believe; the height change is due to a new fan (Kaze Flex II 120 Slim) with slightly thinner anti-vibration inserts.

The Shuriken seems to be marketed as only fitting in one orientation, where the heatsink overhangs the RAM slots, making it such that you will need to use Ballistix or lower RAM sticks.
Curiously enough, over-the-VRM used to be the default orientation. It probably got changed since boards kept growing vertically.
 

coolusername

Efficiency Noob
Jan 13, 2023
5
12
Thanks everyone. As mentioned, I’m running the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 with a Noctua NF-A12x25. I’m also using a NF-A12x15 as an exhaust under the PSU. GPU is 3080 and runs around 75* while gaming, which isn't the greatest. Hoping some 80mm exhaust fans will help get some of the heat out
 
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MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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Thanks everyone. As mentioned, I’m running the Scythe Big Shuriken 3 with a Noctua NF-A12x25. I’m also using a NF-A12x15 as an exhaust under the PSU. GPU is 3080 and runs around 75* while gaming, which isn't the greatest. Hoping some 80mm exhaust fans will help get some of the heat out
Have you tested this GPU in another case or outside?
It is difficult to judge cooling performance with no reference point...as maybe fans are spinning at slow pace.
 
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harryshuman

Trash Compacter
Jan 30, 2022
43
31
Best air cpu coolers for N-ATX are thermalright axp120-67 and Scythe big shuriken 3 with 25mm fan.

Main weakness of big shuriken 3 is missing compatibility with alder/meteor lake.

Ok so I got the Big Schuriken 3 RevB fresh off the US customs shelf (had to be imported because Canada isn't important enough for Scythe to sell it here).

Installation is not too terrible compared to AXP-100 FC overall, but the way the cooler is positioned around the CPU it left no space for the power cable in the case (partially because of the 25mm fan). So the only way I could really fit it into the case is by leading the power cable under the cooler. Still, there was no space for the cable to be straighten out on the way out of the case.

To resovle this I used those extra long motherboard extenders to give the cable some extra space.


Considering I already have pieces of cardboard holding the PCI-E riser in place, this power cable situation is making the build extra ghetto.

For testing I used PBO of -30, Prime95 in Maximum Heat testing and let it run for 20 minutes. The temps are obviously maxed out at 90 regardless of the cooler, but I used CPU package clock frequencies to judge by how badly it throttles.

Results (all tested with PPC-3000 25mm fan):

CoolerAbsolute Minimum CPU Package ClockAverage CPU Package Clock
AXP-100 Full Copper (Exhaust)4078.4 Mhz4120 Mhz (went up from 4100 Mhz over time)
Big Schuriken 3 (Intake)4058.8 Mhz4072 Mhz (went down from 4120 Mhz over time)
Big Schuriken 3 (Exhaust)4087.0 Mhz4140 Mhz (pretty stable albeit with much higher variation than other 2 configs)

So exhaust configuration is making a small dent in temps, as I already knew from working with AXP-100 FC, but when comparing Big Shuriken 3 vs AXP-100 FC, the latter takes the cake by virtue of not screwing up my case layout. There isn't that much temp performance difference to call a definite winner. With AXP-100 I can also use black nylon screws to hold the cooler, which matches the overall color scheme. But with Big Schuriken 3 I have to use those big aluminum screws.
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
3,632
2,729
Ok so I got the Big Schuriken 3 RevB fresh off the US customs shelf (had to be imported because Canada isn't important enough for Scythe to sell it here).

Installation is not too terrible compared to AXP-100 FC overall, but the way the cooler is positioned around the CPU it left no space for the power cable in the case (partially because of the 25mm fan). So the only way I could really fit it into the case is by leading the power cable under the cooler. Still, there was no space for the cable to be straighten out on the way out of the case.

To resovle this I used those extra long motherboard extenders to give the cable some extra space.


Considering I already have pieces of cardboard holding the PCI-E riser in place, this power cable situation is making the build extra ghetto.

For testing I used PBO of -30, Prime95 in Maximum Heat testing and let it run for 20 minutes. The temps are obviously maxed out at 90 regardless of the cooler, but I used CPU package clock frequencies to judge by how badly it throttles.

Results (all tested with PPC-3000 25mm fan):

CoolerAbsolute Minimum CPU Package ClockAverage CPU Package Clock
AXP-100 Full Copper (Exhaust)4078.4 Mhz4120 Mhz (went up from 4100 Mhz over time)
Big Schuriken 3 (Intake)4058.8 Mhz4072 Mhz (went down from 4120 Mhz over time)
Big Schuriken 3 (Exhaust)4087.0 Mhz4140 Mhz (pretty stable albeit with much higher variation than other 2 configs)

So exhaust configuration is making a small dent in temps, as I already knew from working with AXP-100 FC, but when comparing Big Shuriken 3 vs AXP-100 FC, the latter takes the cake by virtue of not screwing up my case layout. There isn't that much temp performance difference to call a definite winner. With AXP-100 I can also use black nylon screws to hold the cooler, which matches the overall color scheme. But with Big Schuriken 3 I have to use those big aluminum screws.
Thanks for your trial & share with the SFF community!
While using mini-ITX Shuriken remains a tight fit inside N-ATX v2. I suppose while using ATX MB it won't be an issue.

Cooling performance between AXP-100 Full Cu & Big shuriken 3 are very close, let's admit within margin of error..:)

Conclusion :
  • For mini ITX, stick to AXP-100 Cu mainly to cable management & fitting contraints
  • For ATX, choose either one depending of your color scheme & personal taste
Last contender could AXP120-67 but it should lead to same conclusion : similar performance..:)
 
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