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Thread: Scythe Mugen 5

  1. #1
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    Apr 2011

    Scythe Mugen 5


    In the recent years, all-in-one liquid cooling systems have gained a lot of traction because they offer a rather high thermal conductivity, predictable reliability, and a compact design that allows clean builds. Modders, as well as boutique PC makers, may prefer to use closed-loop LCS for the aforementioned reasons and because these coolers help to emphasize their work and create a positive impression of their style. Nevertheless, while AIO liquid coolers seem ubiquitous, the vast majority of modern PCs still use traditional air coolers - keep in mind that AIO LCS are produced in high volume by only two makers with relatively limited production capacities. Advanced air cooling systems can provide thermal conductivity to mainstream LCS (whereas the so-called mega-coolers can easily challenge some of them) at lower price points. There are a number of air coolers from several companies that have been on the market for more than a decade and which are still evolving in their n-th generation. One of such devices is the Scythe Mugen, which was introduced exactly ten years ago, in late 2006.The Mugen 5 has a slightly different design compared to previous models to improve its compatibility with tall memory modules, as well as having a new fan that is claimed to be quieter as well as a new mounting mechanism that is said to be easier to use.As for the mounting mechanism of the Mugen 5, it resembles that of the Mugen 4, but Scythe revamped it a little bit by adding a spring to the screws prevent uneven pressure distribution.


    Packaging & Contents

    The retail packaging of the Scythe Mugen 5 is black on all sides, with something found on each side except for the bottom.The front features the picture,name and compatibility of the product.The Scythe logo is found at the top left.

    On the back we find warranty and cautionary information, while the last side advertises some of the key features of the product, like its mounting system, fans, and the cooler can hold up to two fans.

    The right side has a visual representation of the Scythe Mugen 5 to get a better sense of its dimensions, and all the specifications are found there, too.

    The left side describes the cooler's key features, such as the High Ram Compatibillity and Kaze Flex 120PWM Fan for short among others.

    Scythe's packaging for the Mugen 5 is minimal at best. Only the simple box and a foam insert and cardboard tray protect the heatsink and fan. While I prefer better packaging, it should suffice since the box is designed to hang on store shelves, rather than being shipped directly. Still, it would be nice to see slightly better packaging with future products, at least in terms of protection.

    The Mugen 5 supports all modern CPU sockets and everything one needs to install it to these sockets is included. The mounting system uses H.P.M.S, otherwise known as Hyper Precision Mounting System.The rest of the contents are fan clips, a little tube of thermal paste,all the installation hardware,a screw driver and a fan.

    Illustrated user guide.

    A Closer Look

    The Scythe Mugen 5 is a single-tower-style cooler.

    The heatsink itself measures 130 x 154.5 x 110mm including the fan and weighs 890 grams.

    Looking between the tower, you can see there is a mix of heatpipes on to connect the sections together with the fins.

    Six copper heatpipes extend upward to a 38-piece aluminum fin array.

    Each end of these 6 mm heatpipes has been fitted with caps. While not a make-or-break feature, it does give the Mugen 5 a more complete, higher-quality appearance.

    Like its predecessors, the Mugen 5 was designed to mount a second fan (not included).

    This leads to an increased cooling performance by making use of the push / pull principle. A second set of fan-clips is included.

    The entire heatsink is also nickel plated for a thoroughly premium look.

    Scythe decided to use a solid copper base instead of integrating the heatpipes into the base for direct contact with the CPU's IHS.

    The base of the Mugen 5 has also received a fair bit of attention with Scythe having polished it to some extent. While not a mirror finish, it is certainly far from the rough, machined base on many competing products.

    Large CPU coolers are known for their relative quietness and with the fifth-generation Mugen, the manufacturer decided to further improve this advantage. The Mugen 5 comes with Scythe's new Kaze Flex 120-mm fan that uses the company's self-contained liquid FDB bearing. The latter is claimed to have a life expectancy of 120,000 hours (over 13 years), up from the 30,000 hours (~3.5 years) of its predecessor, as well as lower noise levels compared to the Mugen 4 (24.9 dBA vs 28 dBA). The fan is PWM controlled and can rotate with 300 ~ 1200 RPM speed, which ensures low noise levels, but also means lower amount of air that it can flow per minute (compared to other fans), something that can affect thermal conductivity (this does not mean that the SCMG-5000 will have a lower performance than the SCMG-4000). To reduce noises produced by the cooler further, the Kaze Flex 120 (SS1225FD12M-CHP) has rubber pads near the mounting holes to decrease vibrations.


    Getting the Mugen 5 installed is pretty easy. We are going to be installing the cooler in our Intel Z97 system, which makes use of the Intel LGA1150 socket. The first thing you are going to want to do is install the Intel backplate. Line up the backplate on the backside of your motherboard and install secure it with the included stud nuts and washers. Refer to the manual to see what holes are for your specific socket.

    Next you have to install the mounting plates. These line up on top of the stud nuts. Again refer to the manual to see what holes to use and how to line them up.

    The improved H.P.M.S II mounting system has been equipped with spring-loaded screws that counteracts uneven pressure distribution and provides compatibility with all current motherboard sockets.

    After dropping the screws into the cross bar, we ran it through the base of the cooler. At this point, we can send the screwdriver through the fins to set the screws. If you wish, you can also use the supplied wrench to do this, but using the screwdriver is much easier.

    Memory Clearance

    The Mugen heatshink series are designed with relatively bulky bodies so to allow for better component clearance.

    The new Scythe Mugen 5 employs an asymmetrical design that offsets the heatpipes and the fin stack to allow for memory clearance even when a fan is installed on the front.

    There is also additional clearance on the backside up to 55mm for use on quad-channel motherboards with DIMM slots flanking the CPU socket.

    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Processor: Intel i7 @3960X 4.4GHz-1.35v
    Motherboard:Gigabyte X79 UD3
    Memory: 16GB Mushkin
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Chassis:dimastech Bench Table Easy V2.5


    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime95 v27.1

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
    The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
    Idle temperatures are obtained after booting the PC and idling on the desktop for 30 minutes.
    Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime95′s Small FTTs test for 15 minutes.
    To measure noise levels i disable the two front in-take fans, rear exhaust and GPU fan.

    On the following pages you'll have the opportunity to read what Scythe Mugen 5 is capable of.


    The Scythe Mugen 5 did fine during the idle tests, managing to tie a great deal of coolers in both single and dual-fan configuration, including the Noctua NH-U15S.

    During typical load tests, the Scythe Mugen 5 performed very well in the stock tests. When overclock settings were loaded, the cooler fell towards the middle of the pack. However, that is not a bad showing as the difference between the best air cooler Noctua NH-U15S and the single fan Scythe Mugen 5 was just 1 Delta.

    Noise Level

    The Mugen 5 once again shows Scythe's commitment to low noise levels. The cooler remains exceptionally quiet and did improve on cooling performance.


    Scythe has a solid offering in the Mugen 5 as its good performance at stock rivaled the far larger and more expensive Noctua NH-D15S, and it did so while being quieter, which is no small feat. With the CPU overclocked,Scythe's offering does fall back under extreme loads, but still performs admirably.The fact that the cooler is almost completely silent makes it likely near impossible to hear over other components in the system. It doesn't hurt that it is very easy to install either, making it a great choice for first-time builders. The easy install is also a huge plus. I say that about most Scythe coolers, but the mounting system really is exceptional, and the heatsink's design makes it even easier to work with now.The Mugen 5 has a slightly different design compared to previous models to improve its compatibility with tall memory modules, as well as a new mounting mechanism by adding a spring to the screws prevent uneven pressure distribution.Build quality is as always with Scythe's coolers absolutely fantastic.The entire heatsink's overall quality confirms that the Mugen 5 is a premium CPU cooler.The option to mount a second fan also lets users improve the overall performance of the Scythe Mugen 5.However, it does come at a greater cost.

    The recommended price of the SCMG-5000 for the Eurozone is €47.95 (without taxes), which is in line with its predecessors.With exceptional build quality, ultra low noise levels, and solid performance, the Scythe Mugen 5 is of "Great Job" considering all it offers.The quality of the product, along with its features, make it a solid choice.

    Last edited by testman78; 02-09-2017 at 04:23 AM.

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