Scythe Mugen 2 Review

CPU Coolers have got bigger and better in recent times with the introduction of taller fin stacks and more heatpipes utilised in the tower format design. Unique fin designs, integrated fans and H.D.T. Technology are but a few features designed to improve cooling and attract customers to a particular cooler.

Scythe, a company well-regarded in the cooling industry, has come up with a new invention to improve upon their already impressive Mugen CPU Cooler. Split into several fin arrays the Mugen 2 has a completely new layout intent on increasing performance.

With a large amount of hype surrounding this product, will this new layout be able to help it to prove its worth or will it fall flat on its face? Let’s find out…

Features

  • New and improved Mugen 2
  • Intel LGA1366 compatible
  • Possible to mount fan in multiple locations
  • Can accommodate four 120mm fans for ultimate cooling
  • Extremely quiet, thanks to the Slipstream 120mm PWM fan

Specifications

Model NumberSCMG-2000
CompatabilityIntel Socket 478, LGA775, LGA1366; AMD Socket 754, 939, AM2, AM2+ and 940
Combined Dimensions130 x 100 x 158 mm
Fan Dimensions120 x 120 x 25 mm
Noise Level0 – 26.50 dBA
Air Flow0 – 74.25 CFM
Fan Speed1300 RPM +/- 10%
Weight870g
Material of Base PlateNickel-plated copper
Warranty24 months

Contents & Packaging

The Scythe Mugen 2 nicknamed “Infinity Number Two” is certainly distinctive in its vibrant packaging. The cooler, floating above the plant Earth, is surrounded by marketing information such as it being Quad Core ready and 10% more efficient with a TDP of 140W.

A series of acronyms are also found from the M.A.P.S. Technology to F.M.S.B. backplate but more on this later.

One of the sides is dedicated to the compatibility showing all the accessories and specific mounting brackets for each socket of a long list: Intel 478, LGA775/1366, AMD 754, 939, 940, AM2, AM2+.

With the back home to a huge list of bullet points on the warranty, along with some other mundane information that I doubt anyone really bothers reading, one side explains the features and the revisions made from the old Mugen cooler.

The accessory list is a long one including many different mounting brackets albeit only one universal backplate:

  • 1 * Backplate
  • 2 * Metal assembly clip for LGA775, 1366
  • 2 * Metal assembly clip for AMD 754, 939, 940, AM2, AM2+
  • 2 * Metal assembly clip for Socket 478
  • 1 * Wrench for CPU cover removal
  • 4 * Screw for assembly clip
  • 4 * Screw for back plate
  • 4 * Aluminium washer for LGA 1366
  • 4 * Insulation washer for LGA 1366
  • 1 * 120x120x25mm Fan
  • 2 * Clip for 120mm Fan
  • 1 * Thermal grease
  • 1 * Manual

What is slightly disappointing is that only one set of fan clips are provided; a second set would have been a good inclusion so as to add an exhaust fan to the cooler.

Scythe Mugen 2

The Multiple Airflow Pass-Through Structure refers to the 46 aluminium fins split into five separate arrays creating what is effectively a total of five mini heatsinks with airflow being able to be projected through the structure from both sides. Scythe claim that this will give better performance by allowing each heatsink to work individually which will increase efficiency and thus lead to greater heat dissipation.

It would seem that to do this the separate sections avoid “dead zones” being formed in the structure as well as reducing the resistance to the airflow being pushed through the fin stack by the fan.

The arrays are separated by approximately 2mm gaps and the central sections are a little smaller than the outer parts. Each individual heatsink cools a specific heat pipe which bends around at the bottom to form the familiar ‘U’ shape.

A pre-cooler just above the nickel-plated copper base takes advantage of any system airflow and takes heat directly from the top of the contact area in order to increase efficiency.

The ends of the heatpipes are capped with Chrome stoppers; this isn’t really for any performance gain but it just gives a nicer finish to the otherwise crude copper ends; the colour matches nicely with the aluminium fins too.

Turning the cooler around to the shorter side gives another possible place for mounting the 120mm fan. In fact Scythe has incorporated grooves on all the sides so as to allow fans to be attached to any of them via wire clips hence Multiple Airflow Pass-Through Structure.

This also allows for a dual fan configuration in order to create a push-pull effect but an additional fan will need to be purchased as only the one is included.

The fan itself is a nine-bladed 120mm design which runs at a maximum of 1300RPM producing a maximum airflow of 74.25CFM @ 26.50 dBA. A scythe logo is situated in the centre of the impeller.

The base is a machined finish with the five copper heatpipes concealed just above in between the base and the pre-cooler. The base is incredibly smooth with a mirror finish and should make for an excellent contact with the IHS on the processor.

Installation

The Test Setup:

ProcessorIntel Core i7 C0 920 @ 2.67GHz
MotherboardAsus P6T
Graphics CardXFX 1GB Radeon 4870
MemoryOCZ Gold Triple Channel Platinum-10666 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 3.0GB/s 7200.10 500GB,
Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB
Power SupplyNOX Apex 700W
EnclosureCooler Master ATCS-840
OSWindows Vista 64-bit

The Mugen 2 is LGA 1366 ready courtesy of multi-socket backplate that allows the cooler to be mounted to the following list of motherboard sockets: LGA1366, LGA775, socket 478, AM2, AM2+, AMD 940, 939 and 754.

I must say that I found the manual utterly useless for helping with the installation process as there was just a single small diagram showing all the steps with parts all over the place making it very unclear. Nonetheless I managed to figure it out…

The first step is to screw the mounting brackets on to the sides of the base.

Aligning the cooler the backplate behind the motherboard, after of course applying some thermal grease to the CPU, allows it to be screwed into position.

The fan then simply clips on using the provided wire clips – no rubber pads are included though which could allow some vibrations to transfer from the fan to the heatsink making them more audible.

Testing

Methodology

At Verdis Reviews, we test CPU coolers by booting the PC up into Windows Vista and then taking temperatures in both idle and load states.

The temperatures are taking using Core Temp and averaging the four core temperatures. For idle testing, we simply leave the PC for 30 minutes and then come back and take the temperature readings. For load, we run prime95 for 20 minutes before taking temperature readings once more.

Thermal results will be recorded with the i7 920 CPU @ 2.67GHz (stock) and overclocked to 3.6GHz with Vcore and QPI voltages of 1.35V.

Finally, noise is that final factor that is tested; however, at Verdis Reviews, we are not yet at the stage where we can use high tech sound equipment and therefore, noise testing is left to the human ear – not the most scientific but it gives a good impression of how noisy the cooler is.

Ambient temperature was 18 degrees and a number of coolers were used for comparison purposes.

Results

Cooling

At stock speeds the Scythe Mugen 2 does pretty well producing a solid set of results that see it just below the ASUS Triton 88 and Noctua NH-U12P coolers which are high calibre products indeed.

At idle the Mugen 2 in fact sneaks below the Triton 88 albeit by just a single degree but it’s still a good showing.

Moving on to the overclocked testing, we can see that the Scythe Mugen 2 does even better second to only the ASUS cooler this time with it edging out the Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 at load and just a little lower at idle settings.

Clearly this is some impressive performance with the Mugen 2 right up there with some of the top coolers on the market.

Noise
Spinning at 1300RPM the fan is not that quiet but it’s not too overpowering that it would become a huge problem. The addition of some rubber pads to the fan just to stop the occasion vibration getting amplified would have been a nice touch though.

Cost
QuietPC have the Mugen 2 retailing at £42.99 inc. VAT which despite being a lot of money for just a cooler is actually over £10 cheaper than both the NH-U12P and Triton 88 coolers.

Conclusion

The performance areas of the testing show the Mugen 2’s potential and even with the high 130W TDP produced by the i7 series of processors, this cooler with its individual fin arrays is able to counter it and give temperatures that are right up there with some of the best well-known and performing coolers currently available.

At just £42.99, the cooler is much cheaper than many other high end coolers making it a very tantalising purchase especially with the ability to use the structure in combination with dual fans.

The noise outputs aren’t particularly inspiring with some very audible sound levels at max fan speed so if you’re a silent enthusiast a replacement fan such as the NF-P12 would be a good idea.

The bottom line is that this is brilliant cooler and at lower prices than many of its rivals it’s certainly a contender if you’re looking for a high end CPU cooler.

Pros

  • Good cooling potential
  • Able to counter the 130W TDP effectively
  • Option for dual fan combinations
  • Multi-fan mounting options

Cons

  • Noisy at max fan speeds
  • Still pretty expensive

Thanks go to QuietPC for providing the cooler for review.

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