While the orientation options are limited during the installation process the Big Shuriken 3 boasts one of the easier, hassle free installation processed we have recently looked at. The secret to this coolers ease of installation is not its form-factor, nor even its asymmetric fin array design. No, these all simply help enhance its abilities; instead it all starts at a deeper level. We are of course talking about the High Precision Mounting System 3.
What the third generation of High Precision Mounting System brings to the table is a much-needed enhancement in the ease of use department. In a nutshell HPMS 3 takes all the durability and robustness that made the HPMS 2 system arguably best in class and then transforms it into also arguably one of the easier to use systems available today. Now that is an upgrade. One that pays significant dividends when it comes time to mount your shiny new cooler to your system.
Now to be precise the HPMS 3 system is not all that dissimilar in its steps to the HPMS 2 system. So for those used to installing a Ninja or Mugen this will be like slipping on a well-worn pair of shoes. What has changed is the parts used in the process. Gone are the screwdriver only bolts and other finicky small pieces. In their stead is larger, and nicely knurled, bolts which are easily gripped and easily installed. So much so a screwdriver is only really needed for final tightening.
Scythe Big Shuriken3 backplate - Big Shuriken 3 Review
This is actually getting ahead of ourselves though. The first step is to prep the all metal backplate. As you can see Scythe has pre-mounted the posts for you! All you need do is slide them into their right location. For 775 all the way towards the center, 1366 all the way outwards, and 115x systems use the center notch. Obviously for Intel HEDT users you will not be using this backplate and instead will be using the included ‘stock’ backplate. The same is actually true for AMD users. So futzing with the Scythe backplate may not even be needed.
Scythe Big Shuriken3 brack - Big Shuriken 3 Review
Once you have figured out if you need the backplate, and if so configured it properly, the next is to install it and then install the four plastic standoffs on the topside. These four black plastic standoffs are used for both Intel and AMD systems. In fact, they are the ‘trickiest’ part of the installation as there is a rubberize top side and a smooth plastic side to each. For Intel the rubber goes downwards and touches the motherboard. For AMD it is away from the motherboard.
Then install the proper top bracket. For Intel use the Intel which as multiple holes in each end and looks somewhat like an ‘I’ beam. The AMD looks somewhat like a ‘C’ shape. For Intel systems make sure smaller holes not being used are pointed in towards the CPU, and for AMD make sure the two metal brackets ‘bow’ out and away from the CPU socket.
At this point Intel users grab those nice and large nuts and spin them on to lock the two brackets in place. AMD users still have to use screws… which is a wee bit disappointing as AMD users should get some extra love too. Hopefully HPMS 4 changes that.
Scythe Big Shuriken3 inst2 - Big Shuriken 3 Review
In either case all that is left is to mount the Big Shuriken 3 itself (after applying TIM to the CPU socket – obviously). The most optimal way is to have the heatpipe side at the top edge of your motherboard (with the heatpipes ‘pointed down’ to the PCIe slot), and the overhang… overhanging the back VRM of the motherboard. This orientation will all but eliminated RAM height worries, worries over the first PCIe slot being compromised by the cooler, and keep the motherboard’s VRM a lot happier than they usually are when paired with the typical aftermarket CPU cooling solution.
Scythe Big Shuriken3 inst1 - Big Shuriken 3 Review
As both the fan and the mounting bracket comes factory installed the only difficulty people will have with this final step is moving the fan blade to see each of the screws. Obviously, you will need to use a screwdriver, that is not included, but this really is no trouble at all. Spin one screw one turn, spin the other one turn… and rinse & repeat until both are fully tightened. Of course, if you plan on replacing the stock fan with a thicker one… unscrewing it from the heatsink before doing this step will make your life slightly easier. Either way this cooler is a snap to install.