View Full Version : Scythe Mugen CPU cooler review - 56k warning

10-28-2008, 02:16 AM
Ordering and Shipping
So I’ve been looking at getting a new heatsink to replace the stock Intel cooler that came with my Pentium D 950 as it has become noisier with age. After reading performance comparisons on a number of websites I settled on the Scythe Mugen (formerly Infinity) and purchased it online from Xoxide.com (http://www.xoxide.com).
Photo from Scythe's Webpage (http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/cpu/024/scinf1000.html)

It was listed in both the Intel and AMD (http://www.xoxide.com/cpucoolers.html) categories, though it unfortunately is no longer listed on Xoxide’s website. Xoxide does offer a number of other Scythe Products that can be found here (http://www.xoxide.com/scythe.html).

I placed my order online on October 6th and, even though it was shipping to Canada, received my order two days later. Xoxide’s use of UPS World Ease meant that all brokerage fees are taken care of in advance and there are no extra fees to pay for upon delivery.

As I ordered a tube of Arctic Silver 5 with the heatsink, the entire order was shipped in a medium size brown box. This was a great thing as UPS left it wedged in the door and it rained all evening before the box was brought in. As you can see in the pictures the actual package didn’t get wet at all.

Package Contents
My reaction as I opened the box was amazement at the sheer size of this thing! I had seen a number of pictures but it’s bigger in person. The first thing out of the box is the included 120mm fan and then after a cardboard layer, comes the heatsink. At the very bottom of the box is a thin cardboard box containing the mounting clips, the thermal paste, the fan clips and the instructions. The instructions have pictures to illustrate each step and clear, yet basic, steps.

I read a lot of comments and user experience reviews prior to making my order and the single largest complaint that I noticed was people saying they got cut while doing the installation. I removed my motherboard (an Asus P5N32-E SLI) completely which meant that I needed a surface to set it on while I removed the old heatsink and installed the Mugen. So I flattened the Xoxide box and set my motherboard on top.

I had no trouble getting all four Intel 775 push-pins to click, though I didn’t have a lot of room for my fingers. There is no way that I would have been able to install this heatsink with my motherboard in the case. The base was fairly nicely polished though a more experienced modder would most likely want to lap it.
The lines are from the reflection of the ceiling tiles.

I had some difficulty getting the motherboard back into the case. As I went to pop the rear I/O shield into place, I could only get three corners to fit. I couldn’t reach in to push the last one in as there wasn’t enough room between the case and heatsink for my hand. This resulted in the only time I’ve ever worked on a computer using a hammer. I needed to use a small tack hammer to tap the last corner.

As this heatsink is very large and I move every four months, I decided to come up with a way to support the end to prevent stress on my motherboard. I used a thick metal wire that I looped under the top fins and threaded through the grate on the top of my case and secured with zip ties. It is completely hidden when the top panel is replaced.
Other than the few minor details, the installation was straightforward and easy.

I tested my system with the stock cooler on, after giving it a dusting to make it as close to spec as possible. I used two programs to monitor the temperatures on the motherboard and at the CPU. I powered the computer on and left it at idle for 30 minutes before checking the idle temps. The stock Intel heatsink cooled the CPU to 43°C and the motherboard temp was 39°C. I then ran Stress Prime 2004: Orthos Edition (http://sp2004.fre3.com/beta/beta2.htm) to see how hot the CPU got under a load. Once again, I waited 30 minutes to ensure that it was as hot as it would get. This time the CPU reached 58°C and the motherboard made it to 42°C. I then swapped the heatsinks and fired the computer up again. I then cycled the computer on in the mornings and off at night to allow the Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste a chance to cure. After a week I then tested the temperatures again using the same methods. This time after 30 minutes at idle the CPU hit 38°C and the mobo made it to 36°C. Once again I punished the system using Orthos and after half an hour the CPU was at 52°C and the motherboard was at 39°C.

While 5°C and 6°C drops don’t seem like a lot I think that there is a significant potential to drop the temps through the use of a second fan. Since my case airflow vents upwards I put the fan on the bottom of the heatsink pushing air in. As you can see in the pictures there is not a lot of room below it to suck cool air in.

I’m considering adding a pull fan on top to help draw air in the sides and exhaust it out of the top of the case. I will post an update on the temps when I get that setup.

I would give Xoxide a 4.5/5 on the ordering and shipping for a number of reasons. First off, the Mugen was on sale for $44.99, which was $5 off. The shipping method was the easiest I have dealt with for a large size object. Finally, it was 2 days from the time I ordered it until it was sitting on my doorstep. The missing point five is due to the fact that shipping was $32 on a purchase of about $52. While the fee charged by UPS is not Xoxide’s fault it can be daunting when deciding on a purchase.

On package contents I would rate the Scythe Mugen a 5/5 with my only complaint being the lack of a second fan wire. While it would be easy to make or buy another (about $2-3) it would be nice to include a second in the box. Other than that everything is well packaged into a nice neat box and has the parts to mount it on a wide variety of systems.

I have read numerous complains online about difficulties installing the Mugen, however I had very little problem and would rate it 5/5 again. A word of advice though, is to ensure that you are prepared to remove your motherboard to install this heatsink.

In the final category I would rate the Mugen a 4/5 as I was expecting greater temperature drops after installing it, though a second fan might provide the drop I was looking for.

Shipping – 4.5/5
Contents – 5/5
Installation – 5/5
Performance – 4/5
Overall – 18.5/20
More photos can be found in my review album. (http://s365.photobucket.com/albums/oo92/TheMainMan79/Scythe%20Mugen%20review/)
Thanks for reading,

12-28-2008, 04:34 PM
lol what TV tuner card is that there?

12-29-2008, 04:21 AM
It's a Kworld ATSC 110, more info is here (http://www.kworldcomputer.com/product/digital/001/atsc_110.htm). The hardware specs of the card are pretty good, however I've been plagued by driver and software issues. I still can't get it to record more than 50% of the time if I'm lucky. If you're just watching TV it's not bad but a rather pricey solution.

10-14-2009, 05:36 AM
So I recently toasted the BIOS on the mobo that this cooler is mounted to and thought that it would be a good time to install the backplate as three of the pushpins detached from the mobo when I moved back to school in September. The backplate mounting kit arrived in the mail the other day and now I'm waiting for the mobo to come back from ASUS, hopefully by the end of next week. I hope to update this thread by the end of October with all of the details.

12-05-2009, 10:38 PM
So I recently toasted the BIOS on the mobo that this cooler is mounted to and thought that it would be a good time to install the backplate as three of the pushpins detached from the mobo when I moved back to school in September. The backplate mounting kit arrived in the mail the other day and now I'm waiting for the mobo to come back from ASUS, hopefully by the end of next week. I hope to update this thread by the end of October with all of the details.


well i bet like you said with another fan on the back (possibly two 72mm's on the side as well) it ought to kick butt.

overclock to tha' mooooooooooooooon.

12-06-2009, 06:37 AM
Just noticed the alignment of that HSF is a little unusual. It is only possible to fit it facing with the fan down? Most modern HSF's of that style have the fan between the HSF and the drive bays so the air is blown straight out of the rear of the case.... If it fits that way as well, it might also give you more space between the back of the HSF and the rear of the case - might help with those clearance issues at the same time....

12-07-2009, 02:39 PM
Mugen's a big joker. I'd not be surprised if he had fitment issues.

My MegaShadow review references a Scythe Mugen as well-great HSF.

12-07-2009, 04:35 PM
The cooler I have in my test bed right now has the fan facing down. The mounting plate allowed it to be mounted in any orientation and I didnt realize that it was down facing until it was installed and I was too lazy to change it. I think the 200mm fan up top is enough to suck the heat out anyway. :D

12-09-2009, 05:21 AM
I could have put the fan on top or at the back as well. The reason I chose the bottom is that I have case fans above and behind that would help pull air through. I wanted to put it in front pushing in, however the ram cooler gets in the way. I could probably put an 80 or 92mm fan above the ram but it would block part of the airflow. I didn't try to mount the cooler in another direction so I don't know if that is possible. I have two exams to write this week so I'll hopefully add an update next week since the system has had a change in mobo and cpu.