Scythe Mugen 5 – Test and Review

Mugen is definitely a vast series part of the Scythe’s portfolio already featuring a lot of really competitive coolers. All of them designed and manufactured with single tower heat sinks with impressive dimensions and features to provide the best possible cooling performance and compatibility with the latest trends in the PC hardware.

For this test and review I received the latest arrival in the series, aka Mugen 5, which looks like a pretty serious product, so let’s waste no more time and proceed with this article by opening the package, paying attention to the contents inside of it and after that checking the features of the cooler and running some cooling tests.

The cooler itself was delivered to me for doing an in depth test and review inside a typical for the company pretty compact black and blue carton box, which is at the same time very colorful and full of technical details.

On the front panel of the carton package there are some basic technical details regarding the compatibility of the product, while the full technical specifications, description of the technologies used so this cooler can be produced, explanations and many more technical details including pictures could be found on all other sides of the package.

So let’s put the package aside and proceed with checking what is inside.

 First look inside of the box The cooler itself

 

First thing to notice after I opened the package for the first time was the pretty big white carton box, holding all of the additional accessories placed on top of the Kaze Flex 120 PWM fan. Beneath the fan was a Styrofoam sheet covering and protecting the heat sink itself from any external intervention, which could cause a damage to the product.

Enough about the external package, let’s dig deep inside the white carton box and later the structure of the product.

 

Scythe Mugen 5 ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES

Having in mind that this cooler is part of the Scythe portfolio, it has a high level of quality and compatibility options and for that reason the product is provided with a very extensive accessories pack. All of the additional accessories were packed in separate labeled transparent nylon bags to ensure that all of them will be in perfect condition accompanying the cooler inside its carton fortress on its arrival.

The standard Mugen 5 accessories pack includes:

  1. Black and very solid metal back plate required for all of the Intel sockets
  2. Two metal front brackets required for all Intel sockets
  3. Two metal front brackets required for all AMD sockets
  4. A set of four black plastic tubes needed for all AMD sockets
  5. A set of four metal screws needed for all AMD sockets
  6. A set of four short metal screws needed for all Intel Sockets
  7. A set of four short metal Stud nuts A needed for 2011 sockets
  8. A set of four long metal Stud nuts B needed fro all other Intel sockets
  9. A rubber spacer for Intel 775 socket
  10. 4 x fan clips for installing up to 2 fans in push-pull setup
  11. A syringe of thermal compound
  12. A screwdriver
  13. An installation manual

After I checked all of the accessories provided with the cooler I saw that Scythe is definitely not saving costs and that all of them are really solid and will do the job of holding the cooler in place providing rigid and reliable cooling connection between the heat sink and the processor.

I believe it is time to put the additional accessories aside until they are needed later in this article and proceed further with checking the structure of the heat sink.

 

Scythe Mugen 5 HEAT SINK STRUCTURE

To describe the product itself in the best possible and accurate way I spent some time examining the cooler’s structure and it actually offers an asymmetrical heat sink formed as a pretty massive single tower, a single Kaze Flex 120 PWM cooling fan and the H.P.M.S. II (Hyper Precision Mounting System II) mounting system provided by the company.

Combined together they form a CPU cooler structure with dimensions of 130 (W)  x 154,5 (H) x 85 (D) mm without the fan and when the fan is added to the heat sink the overall dimensions of the cooler are 130 (W)  x 154,5 (H) x 110 (D) mm and weight of 890 grams.

To keep the tradition, let’s focus first on the contact plate.

 The contact plate  The pipes arrangement

 

Scythe Mugen 5 is designed and manufactured with a perfectly milled copper contact plate forming the contact surface on the bottom with dimensions of 45 x 40 mm. The contact plate itself holds in line the 6 x Ø6mm copper heat pipes, which are bent from the center to the back side of the cooler which will move the aluminum fin stack further away from DRAM slots and modules and will improve the overall compatibility of the product with wider range of motherboards.

The top part of the contact plate is actually holding the crossbar, which is needed so this cooler can be fastened to the mounting kit.

In addition, both the contact plate and the heat pipes are nickel coated for longer life span and better appearance.

As a next step of this article I believe it is time to check the aluminum fin stack.

Side view  Front view

 

Scythe Mugen 5 is designed to offer an asymmetrical to the center of the cooler single tower heat sink with dimensions of 130(W) x 101(H) x 85(D) mm and featuring 3 different types of aluminum fins:

  1. The first type is 0.4 mm thick with 2 mm fins gap 5 performance aluminum fins located on the bottom of the fins stack are 78 mm deep and designed to provide better compatibility for the 2011 sockets and the RAM modules behind the cooler or inside a system with memories cooled by taller heat spreaders.
  2. The next type is 0.4 mm thick with 2 mm fins gap 33 performance aluminum fins are located on top of the shorter ones and are 85 mm deep designed to provide the best possible temperature dispersion.
  3. The last 1 mm thick aluminum fin is located on the top of the aluminum fins stack and is also holding the company logo to boost the overall appearance of the cooler.

Also, all of the heat pipes are covered with metal caps on top of the heat sink to significantly improve the appearance of the product.

I believe it is time to put the heat sink aside and check what the fan provided in the package has to offer.

 

Scythe Mugen 5 is equipped with Kaze Flex 120 PWM, which is part of the newly developed Kaze Flex series with dimensions of 120 x 120 x 25 mm. The fan is designed with an entirely painted in black frame and grey propeller with 11 pretty narrow and at the same time very sharply angled blades working at 300 (±200) ~ 1.200 (±10%) revolutions per minute range, providing airflow level range of 28,2 ~ 86,93 m³/h, static pressure level range of 0,076 ~ 1,05 mm H²O at noise level range of 4 ~ 24,9 dBA

The connection between the propeller and the frame is done by а 4-pin PWM powered and regulated Sealed Precision FDB bearing made to provide quiet, stable and long life operation of up to 120 000 hours.

To perform its cooling duties the fan should be attached on the front of  the heat sink via the 2 metal clips provided in the package.

Front view Side view

 

The guys from Scythe also added a second pair of metal clips, so if anybody decides to, they can add a second fan for maximum cooling performance, which can be installed on the back side of heat sink in push-pull pattern.

With the fully assembled cooler, let’s check the mounting kit and proceed with the tests.

According to the official technical details, Mugen 5 is compatible with:

  1. Intel sockets: LGA2011, LGA2011-v3, LGA775, LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA1366. All of the Intel sockets require the provided in the additional accessories painted in black X-shaped back plate.
  2. AMD sockets: AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+. All of the AMD sockets require the standard back plate provided with every AMD motherboard.

In addition, the guys from Scythe just provided additional information, located on the official web page regarding the completely new AM4 socket:

Owners of a Mugen 5 can order an AM4 conversion-kit from the Scythe Service by sending us a proof of purchase of the cooler and an AM4 motherboard or a Ryzen ™ CPU. After completion of this simple registration process the HPMS II AM4 conversion kit will be sent to you free of charge.

Please note that an original back plate with screw mounting is needed for installation on main boards with AMD sockets. Please check before buying if the back plate is fixed by screws (example)! If the back plate uses plastic-pins, mounting of this cooler is not possible.

 

Of course, for doing the tests with my AMD FX8350 rig, which is AM3+ socket I will use the already provided in the package AMD brackets and these are the parts needed so the cooler can be installed on the motherboard.

But before I proceeded with the actual installation, I spent some time checking the AMD installation manual, reading the instructions carefully and preparing all of the mounting kit parts.

In this case there is nothing much to prepare, since the back plate is the original provided with the motherboard and all I had to do is to install it, place the plastic spacers on the motherboard. After that add the front metal brackets and secure them with the long screws. That was pure child’s play.

The AMD parts  The mounting kit installed

 

And of course, the last step was to add thermal compound and secure the heat sink to the processor

And this is what the heat sink looks like installed on the motherboard:

 Heat sink seen from the front Heat sink seen from the side

 

As you can see from the pictures above, with the heat sink installed on the motherboard the cooler is not blocking any of the DRAM slots and can be used even with memories with taller heat spreaders.

And this is what the cooler looks like installed on the motherboard and inside the case ready for testing.

Since the cooler is installed on the motherboard and back inside the case, I think it is about time to give it some heat.

But first, let’s check my testing rig and continue the article.

 

Scythe Mugen 5 TESTS

CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350

  1. At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.356V)
  2. At low overclock frequency of 4.220 MHz  (at 1.392V)
  3. At medium overclock frequency of 4.420 MHz (at 1.416V)

Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3

Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD

Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Hard drive:  WD Server Edition WD1002F9YZ 1TB

Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03

Power supply: Antec HCP-750W

Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5

Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

 

The tests will be conducted in a closed system with:

  1. 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel of the case putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
  2. 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
  3. Room temperature of about 18 degrees.

Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.

And here I want to describe my testing method.

I will install Scythe Mugen 5 and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the AIO for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.356V), at low overclock frequency of 4.220 GHz (at 1.392V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.420 GHz (at 1.416V) using the fan provided with the cooler installed on the front of the radiator, rotating at maximum speed of 1200 revolutions per minute.

Now let’s check out the test results:

Scythe Mugen 5 @4020MHz 1.356V Scythe Mugen 5 @4220MHz 1.392V
Scythe Mugen 5 @4420MHz 1.416V  
 

 

All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:

And the fan speed during the tests:

I believe the time to express my feelings and thoughts regarding the product has arrived.

 

Scythe Mugen 5 CONCLUSIONS

1. Scythe Mugen 5 performance:

After I spent several hours, which I count as real quality time, checking the package, the content of the accessories pack, the structure of the cooler and finally going through the tests of Scythe Mugen 5, I can say I find it a really appealing product, which definitely has a lot to offer for its dimensions.

The product itself is actually an average sized single tower cooler with a lot of structural improvements compared to its ancestors and that includes redesigned asymmetrical heat sink, a really well performing fan and also a much better looking and more finished appearance.

Throughout all of the tests Mugen 5 maintained a stable and reliable operation without any temperature fluctuations and was able to keep my pretty hot processor working stable at all frequencies with a constant and pretty serious load for almost 15 minutes. Yes, the temperatures could be lower but still we don’t have to forget that with this fan, which is totally made for silent operation, this is quite a good result. In fact, I am certain that with a faster fan or second fan in push-pull setup the cooler will provide an even lower temperature output.

By paying attention to the temperature results which the cooler was able to achieve I can say that it will definitely be able to keep every modern processor working cool and stable at default, middle or high overclocked frequencies. This will be enough for every regular user or a gamer. On the other hand, for extreme cooling, a second fan or faster fans could be added and I am pretty sure this product will handle the task.

Regarding the noise, I don’t really have much to say. Through all of the tests the fan was pretty quiet and at the same time really well performing. Also, the rubber corners on each side of the fan frame were successfully dampening any fan vibration and additionally decreasing the overall noise level of the rig.

2. Scythe Mugen 5 appearance:

Scythe Mugen 5 is definitely a product designed as stylish and pretty shiny heat sink accompanied by a single 120 mm fan in the black/grey colour scheme. A colour scheme, which can be very attractive to the regular and experienced customers and it will definitely fit in every modern entirely in black case or modding project.

According to my review, I think that Scythe Mugen 5 deserves the following award:

Official price (MSRP) for Scythe Mugen 5 : 40.50 euro without VAT

Official warranty: 24 months

Special thanks to Scythe for providing us with a test sample.

Scythe Mugen 5 – Test and Review
Scythe Mugen 5 is a very well performing CPU cooler with very sleek and stylish colour scheme.
8.6 Total Score

Scythe Mugen 5 is a very well performing CPU cooler with very sleek and stylish colour scheme.

Performance
8
Noise Level
10
Compatibility
10
Additional accessories
10
User Rating: 3.85 (11 votes)

Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of www.DVTests.com with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
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