The Ashura cooler from Scythe hits most, if not, all of the main things people look for when purchasing a tower cooler for the CPU. Today they want something quiet for everyday use, and the Ashura offers that. They also want something that can take a pretty mean overclock and not peter out into any sort of a throttling issue, and the Ashura stayed 23 degrees away from that mark, allowing me to push even further if I wanted to. Most people also want something stylish to look at through the window in their cases, and the Ashura with the saw tooth pattern of the black anodized plat against the natural aluminum bumps sticking out on the edges; it certainly covered the aesthetic appeals department. Then of course, since massive memory kits are now becoming more typical, and since IMCs have improved to allow users to run all four DIMM slots populated, the simple shift of the cooler is all that is needed, and Scythe and the Ashura have left all sorts of room for other components.
Is this the best cooler on the market? Well no, but that isn't to say it doesn't deserve some respect. It may have fallen behind the leaders, but most of those offerings are taller than 160mm tall, offer twice the cooler that will definitely block access to other components, and is going to set you back roughly $40 more than the Ashura. Also with most of those options, like the Thermaltake NiC C5 as something more equal to it in pricing, or the highly priced Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme, they are both louder.
I do like the changes in the hardware, and it was easier to get installed than when we worked on the Mugen 4, mainly due to the thickness of the cooler. Where the Mugen was too wide and blocked the use of a screwdriver, with the Ashura, you can at least get the screws in most of the way with a screwdriver. You still have to spend quite a bit of time making 15 to 20 degree turns to seat the cooler properly, but this system does leave the Ashura mounted very solidly to the motherboard. I actually cheated this time around and found that my 1/4" drive socket wrench actually fit next to the Ashura so I didn't have to play around with that wrench this time.
All things considered, there is no really reason not to recommend the Scythe Ashura. It does better than average in thermal testing and will keep even a good overclock under control. It offers users the ability to have a cooler that is virtually silent in PWM mode with stock CPU speeds running, and even when you pump the fan all the way to maximum levels, the sound levels are still very tolerable and would be just a muffled hum once in a chassis with the panels in place. It gives you plenty of room, it looks good, most important to a lot of buyers, and it comes at the price of $61.63 which is a really good price point for what you receive.
I think Scythe is on the right track with the Ashura, and I can see ways to improve on them, like simply adding that second fan and still costing less than a lot of the competition.