Scythe Setsugen GPU Cooler

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Noise

The included fan controller had a range of 830~2020rpm which is the equivalent of 4.4V~12.0V. With our custom fan controller, we found that the fan's starting voltage was 4.3V, so the included controller effectively gives you full control.

Stock Fan Measurements (in system)
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
2020 RPM
30 dBA
9V
1680 RPM
26 dBA
7V
1400 RPM
21 dBA
6V
1210 RPM
18 dBA
5V
1000 RPM
15 dBA
4.3V
800 RPM
13~14 dBA
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
(12 dBA with the test system on)

The noise generated by the Setsugen's fan has a whiny, turbulent character which becomes smoother and less annoying at lower speeds. That being said, it is still much better than most aftermarket coolers as it doesn't hum and there is almost no chatter emanating from the fan's bearings. The turbulence is very pronounced due to the fan's constrictive environment which causes it to be fairly loud. In our test system, it was audible throughout its range at one meter, becoming tolerable at 7V, but not really quiet until 6V.


Test system with the Setsugen's fan at 5V. The profile is broadband.


Test system with the Setsugen's fan at 12V. Some tonality noted at ~520Hz.

Performance

Test Results: Scythe Setsugen
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Avg. Core Temp
Avg. VRM Temp
12V
30 dBA
84°C
115°C
9V
26 dBA
91°C
128°C
7V
21 dBA
95°C
132°C
6V
18 dBA
103°C
146°C
5V
15 dBA
stopped
stopped
Ambient temperature: 23°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
(12 dBA with the test system on)

The Setsugen was only able to keep the GPU temperature below 90°C at higher fan speeds. At 6V, the only quiet level we fully tested, the GPU temperature increased past 100°C and the VRMs reached 146°C. At 5V, the VRM temperature quickly surpassed 150°C, within 5~10°C of card failure, so we stopped testing.

These results were obtained using the stock cooling plate; if our HD 4890 did not have one, and we were forced to use the small heatsinks provided by Scythe, we likely would've stopped at 9V. The VRMs ran 15~20°C hotter on the dual fan Musashi using Scythe's heatsinks rather than the stock cooling plate, and we imagine it would be even higher on the single fan Setsugen.

Now you may be wondering if you can flip the fan around and blow it onto the GPU. With some effort the wire clips holding the fan can be removed, but simply reversing the fan's orientation isn't possible. Like most fans it doesn't have struts on the back, so the blades and hub on the backside rub up against the heatsink. In a typical tower case, gravity will pull the it downward and prevent it from spinning altogether. If you strap the fan onto the outside of the heatsink, you might as well get the dual fan Scythe Musashi instead as the thickness would be comparable.



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