Scythe Setsugen GPU Cooler

Cooling
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Comparison

Scythe Setsugen vs. ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 2000 &
Zalman VF1000 LED
Cooler
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Avg. Core Temp
Avg. VRM Temp
Setsugen
7V
21 dBA
95°C
132°C
CoolMaxx 2000
9V
20 dBA
90°C
138°C
VF1000 LED
9V
20 dBA
100°C
139°C
8V
19 dBA
102°C
145°C
CoolMaxx 2000
7V
18 dBA
95°C
149°C
Setsugen
6V
18 dBA
103°C
146°C
Ambient temperature: 23°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
(12 dBA with the test system on)

The ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 2000 has a similar design to the Setsugen in that its fan is underneath the heatsink. However, it's smaller and lighter, and the fan utilized is a thicker 80mm model that blows toward the GPU. It beats the Setsugen in GPU core temperature by a good margin and with lower noise levels to boot. Subjectively the Setsugen's fan sounds much better though and it generates slightly better VRM temperatures. In this particular case, the HD 4890's VRMs are more likely to cause instability so the Setsugen may actually be a better choice.

Scythe Setsugen vs. Musashi
Cooler
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Avg. Core Temp
Avg. VRM Temp
Setsugen
7V
21 dBA
95°C
132°C
Musashi
10V
19 dBA
90°C
117°C
Setsugen
6V
18 dBA
103°C
146°C
Musashi
9V
17 dBA
93°C
125°C
Ambient temperature: 23°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
(12 dBA with the test system on)

The Setsugen is clearly no match for the Musashi which also manages to be quieter despite having two fans. At 9V it bests Setsugen at 6V by 10°C in core temperature while producing 1 dBA less noise. The VRM cooling is even better with the Setsugen losing by more than 20°C. If you can spare the extra room, the Musashi is a far more efficient heatsink.

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review.

These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The recording starts with 10 seconds of room ambiance, followed by 10 seconds of the VGA test system without a video card installed, and then the actual product's noise at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change the volume setting again.

Comparatives:



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