Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Cooler: Scythe Strikes Back

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Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Cooler: Scythe Strikes Back

August 27, 2013 by Lawrence Lee

Scythe Mugen 4 (SCMG-4000)
CPU Cooler
Street Price

As some of you know, Scythe was one of the pioneers of aftermarket CPU cooling. They helped popularize the now ubiquitous tower design adopted by the best air-cooled heatsinks currently on store shelves. The original Scythe Ninja belongs in the DIY hall of fame, a landmark cooler at the start of the tower era. But today, someone looking for a high-end cooling solution is, more often than not, turning to products made by companies like Prolimatech, Noctua, and Thermalright. In this space, Scythe has become sort of a second class citizen.

That's not to say they haven't produced anything worthwhile in the past five or six years. On the contrary, they've made some nice tower coolers, good GPU coolers as well as some exceptional smaller CPU heatsinks like the Ninja Mini and the Shuriken series. They just haven't participated in the race to the top that their competitors have been engaged in, with each new model getting progressively bigger. The last notable big cooler Scythe we reviewed was the Mugen-2, which won our coveted Editor's Choice award in 2009 for delivering mid-to-high performance at a relatively attractive price.

The Mugen 4.

We never got our hands on the Mugen 3, but the Mugen 4 is now here for our appraisal, and it looks like an offering that might bring Scythe back into contention as far as big heatsinks are concerned. The Mugen-2 had a very boxy appearance while the Mugen 4 is sleeker and slightly slimmer. The structure has been revamped to be less uniform with the heatpipes and fins taking on a more staggered approach.

The Mugen-2 installed with bolts entering through the trace side of the motherboard.

A bigger difference might be the mounting system. The Mugen-2 was one of the first Scythe coolers to feature a bolt-thru mechanism but installation was finished on the back side of the motherboard which is usually an awkward procedure. The newest Mugen uses a more modern and familiar scheme, similar to those adopted by the big boys, the aforementioned Prolimatech, Noctua, and Thermalright. If you're going to copy someone, copy the best.

The box.

Package contents.

Included with the heatsink is a brief assembly guide, mounting gear, two sets of fan clips, and a 120 mm fan. The fan is a Glide Stream 120, the successor to one of favorite fan lines, the Slip Stream 120. Depending on how well the Mugen 4 performs, the fan might be what puts it over the top. Aside from Noctua and Phanteks, Scythe is the only major heatsink manufacturer to consistently mate their coolers with excellent sounding stock fans.

Scythe Mugen 4 (SCMG-4000): Specifications
(from the product web page)
Compatibility Intel®: Socket LGA775, Socket LGA1150, Socket LGA1155, Socket LGA1156, Socket LGA1366, Socket LGA2011 (Square ILM) / AMD®: Socket AM2, Socket AM2+, Socket AM3, Socket AM3+, Socket FM1, Socket FM2
Overall Dimensions 130 x 88 x 156.45 mm / 5.11 x 3.46 x 6.14 (excl. fan)
Weight 625 g / 22.04 oz (Heatsink only)
Fan Model Name Glide Stream 120 PWM
Fan Model Number SY1225HB12SM-P
Fan Dimension 120 x 120 x 25 mm / 4.72 x 4.72 x 0.98 in
Noise Level 5.3 ~ 28 dBA
Air Flow 20.7 ~ 79 CFM / 35.16 ~ 134.2 m³/h
Fan Speed 400 (±200 rpm) ~ 1,400 rpm (±10%) (PWM-controlled)
Static Pressure 1.18 ~ 15.3 Pa / 0.12 ~ 1.56 mmH2O
Fan Bearing Type Sleeve Bearing
Scope of Delivery 2 x mounting plate (Intel), 2 x mounting plate (AMD), 1 x mounting bar, 4 x screw for mounting plates, 8 x stud nuts, 2 x mounting screws, 1 x spacer (socket 775), 4 x spacers, 1 x wrench, 4 x fan clips (2 sets), back plate, thermal grease, installation manual

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