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
Mugen 4
Mugen Max
Materials Nickel-plated copper
Nickel-plated copper
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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  • RaichuPls - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    Who are the two main makers for liquid cooling? Acetek and?
  • kidsafe - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    Asetek and Coolit.
  • BrokenCrayons - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    It's a nice looking cooler, but with my OEM HSF being inaudiable even under load (860K...pre-Wraith cooler with stock thermal pad) it's hard to justify an upgrade until there's a fan failure that warrants taking action. I did like the Zalman copper radial thing I previously had on my Xeon 3065, but the stock cooler out of the box was just stupidly simpler to install and did the job well enough to make aftermarket cooling a pointless additional cost.
  • Alexvrb - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    This product is targeted at people that need more than their stock HSF offers. For example, this rig has an 860K also. Overclocked. I am SO glad I don't have the stock HS. I've got a nice Noctua that is silent at most loads, but can move a lot of air under a full-system load (CPU and GPU loaded for hours).
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - link

    I never did overclock my 860K. Mine is chained to an A68H chipset that lacks those capabilities. I haven't really regretted that decision since CPU performance was lacking at stock speeds that any gains realized in overclocking would have been fairly insignificant. Of course, after last night's OS drive failure and my lack of desire to deal with desktop hardware in general means I'm going to be disposing of the system's remaining components via an electronics recycler or local mom and pop computer store in the next few days anyway. As it's a desktop, it's in the "not worth fixing when it breaks" category since it's an immovable heap chained to a power outlet.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    looks nice. More widely spaced fins will allow for better cooling at lower fan speeds. That is to say this seems targeted at quiet cooling more than at top cooling performance. That's right up my alley.
  • 3ogdy - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    Wait, Scythe is still around? Been some time since I last heard of something from them. Katanas, Mugens and all Samurai-related stuff - they were nice and had their own palce on the market. This one seems a proper cooler built in Scythe style.
  • etamin - Monday, December 12, 2016 - link

    It's a nice design, but 1200 rpm for a single 120mm HSF is a bit low. Most aftermarket PWM fans will idle under 700 rpm anyways which is close to silent, so it would have been nice if Scythe could distinguish itself a bit more at higher rpms. I'd still take one over an AIO LC any day though.
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Thursday, December 15, 2016 - link

    If you think a 120mm fan at 1200RPM is "too low", you are not the target demographic of this kind of HSF. Not sure what your CPU load is but I've used their original Ninja cooler on a 95W Q9450 with 20% OC back in the day and at 1000RPM it was able to keep temps under 55*C while running P95 stress test. Under gaming loads, it's obviously less, but I would've liked it to be quieter still. I would imagine their current big HSFs are more effective.
    A lot depends on your environment's noise floor too. In my house, a 120mm fan under 500RPM = silent, 6-700= quiet, >800 = noticable, >1000= annoying. If they had a PWM fan with a range from 300-1600 or whatever max speed most people would be happy with, I'm pretty sure they'd use that, but I for one am glad they're focusing more on the quiet crowd than the extreme overclockers.
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Thursday, December 15, 2016 - link

    EDIT (rosy retrospection bias removal): at 55*C, not under. And it was probably at 1200RPM, not 1000 as that was the S-Flex fan's speed I used. In any event, 1200 was loud.

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