Scythe this month has introduced its fifth-generation Mugen cooler for CPUs. 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. The price remains at a ~$50 level.

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 akin 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 (albeit, under the Infinity brand name).

The Scythe Mugen 5 retains the massive look and all the key principles of its predecessors: it has a copper base (nickel-plated), six 6-mm heat pipes and an aluminum radiator comprised of 39 large fins (which are thicker compared to predecessors, but their number got lower), but has a number of noticeable differences.

One of the things that all Scythe Mugen coolers, as well as other devices with huge radiators, are criticized for is their dimensions that prevent installation of memory modules with tall heat spreaders. The Mugen 5 uses an asymmetrical design with some fins slightly shifted to a side from the base with some of the lower fins truncated (see the picture). Scythe believes that this design of the radiator will allow tall DIMMs, even in HEDTs with quad-channel memory sub-systems.

Scythe Mugen 5, Scythe Mugen 4 and Scythe Mugen Max
  Mugen 5
SCMG-5000
Mugen 4
SCMG-4000
Mugen Max
SCMGD-1000
Materials Nickel-plated copper
Aluminum
Copper
Aluminum
Nickel-plated copper
Aluminum
Dimension with Fan 130 × 154,5 × 110 mm
5.12 × 6.08 × 4.33 inch
130  156,45 × 113 mm
5.11 × 6.14 × 4.44 inch
145 × 161 × 111 mm
5.71 × 6.34 × 4.37 inch
Number of Heatpipes 6
Number of Fins 39 50 40
Air Flow (CFM) 16.6 ~ 51.17 CFM
28.2 ~ 86.93 m³/h
20.7 ~ 79 CFM
35.16 ~ 134.2 m³/h
37.37 ~ 97.18 CFM
63,5 ~ 165 m³/h
Speed 300 (±200) ~ 1200 (±10%) 400 (±200) ~ 1400 (±10%) 500 (±300) ~ 1300 (±10%)
Noise 4,0 ~ 24.9 dBA 5.3 ~ 28 dBA 13 ~ 30.7 dBA
Type of Bearing Sealed Precision FDB Sleeve Bearing
Life Expectancy 120,000 hours at 25°C 30,000 hours 30,000 hours
Weight 890 grams
31.4 oz
740 grams
26.09 oz
857 grams

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 (not yet available separately) 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.

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.

The Scythe Mugen 5 is already available in Europe and should hit other markets shortly. The recommended price of the SCMG-5000 for the Eurozone is €47.95 (without taxes), which is in line with its predecessors.

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Source: Scythe

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  • etamin - Monday, December 19, 2016 - link

    Your example of the Q9450 running P95 may not be as relevant anymore though since P95 has become a whole lot more stressful since then. I have never seen sub-60*C on air with mildly overclocked Bloomfield/SNB/IVB/Haswell/Skylake with above nominal memory clocks. My focus is also on noise, however, and I've went through almost the entire range of Noctua and Noiseblocker fans so I was assuming a best case scenario where 1200rpm is fairly quiet, since after all, Scythe is also a well respected cooler/fan designer. Reply
  • Gothmoth - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    will anandtech test it?

    curious how it fares against a noctua nd15.
    Reply
  • supdawgwtfd - Saturday, December 17, 2016 - link

    It won't stand a chance... Reply
  • marc1000 - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    it's nice to see Scythe around. I have a Ninja Mini cooler on my pc, as it is the biggest HSF under 12cm tal, wich is the maximun height my case allows. even being small it performs very well on a overclocked 2500k with hot enviroment temperature, considering it has only a 8cm fan (as nothing bigger will fit).

    recently I performed some clever use of cardboard to channel air properly (block top and side, to force air from case fans through the fins too) and my temps dropped about 5C. so I'm keeping this system for maybe 3 or 4 more years.... amazing lifetime for a computer!
    Reply
  • mikato - Thursday, December 15, 2016 - link

    Who needs liquid cooling when you have heatsink-fans like this? I still have my Scythe Mugen 2 on my Phenom X4 965 :) I got it to be quiet, and I don't hear it. The fan barely spins half the time.

    My buddy's liquid cooler pump failed and he had to deal with getting it warranty replaced.

    They are just a lot of unnecessary complication. Costs more, radiator mounting, possible pump failure, possible hose failure and spill.

    That said, I'll be glad when I can just get a decent cooler with my CPU like a Wraith cooler, that is a good design and coupled with a more efficient CPU does the job with even less hassle.
    Reply
  • fanofanand - Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - link

    I"m with you, another $60 isn't insignificant to most people and that is a lot of weight hanging off the side. I am getting too old to tinker, I really like AMD's new solution where the CPU overclocks itself. With the bundled (I assume) Wraith cooler that sounds like a sweet kit. I don't need to have a huge weight hanging off the CPU, and I don't have to spend the time dialing in a stable overclock, it's like the best of both worlds. Zen can't get in my hands soon enough. Reply

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