Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Cooler: Scythe Strikes Back

Cooling
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STOCK FAN MEASUREMENTS

Specifications: Scythe Mugen 4 Stock Fan
Manufacturer Scythe Power Rating 2.16 W
Model Number SY1225HB12SM-P Airflow Rating 20.7 ~ 79 CFM
Bearing Type Sleeve Speed Rating 400 (±200 rpm) ~ 1,400 rpm (±10%) (PWM-controlled)
Frame Size 120 x 120 x 25 mm Noise Rating 5.3 ~ 28 dBA
Hub Size 36 mm Header Type 4-pin PWM
Blade Diameter 113 mm Starting Voltage 3.0 ~ 3.5 V
Cable Length 30 cm Weight 120 g
Corner Type Open Retail Availability No

The Scythe Glide Stream 120 series is available in 3-pin and 4-pin varieties of varying speeds from 600 up to 2,000 RPM. The Mugen 4's stock fan is a 1,400 RPM PWM version not sold in stores. With a small hub and struts curved in the opposite direction of the blades, the fan's structure is similar to the acclaimed Slip Stream line. The shape of the blades has been altered somewhat though. The tips of the leading edges are concave rather than convex, as if someone had taken a bite out of them.

Stock Fan Measurements
Voltage
Speed
SPL@1m
12V
1420 RPM
29 dBA
9V
1130 RPM
23 dBA
7V
900 RPM
16 dBA
6V
760 RPM
13 dBA
5V
610 RPM
11 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from center of heatsink. Ambient level: 10 dBA.

The range of the fan is versatile. While fairly loud (29 dBA@1m) at full speed, it undervolts well, becoming quiet between 9V and 7V, or at approximately 1,000 RPM. At 6V / 760 RPM, it's almost inaudible, at 5V / 610 RPM it's practically silent. The fan is capable of even lower speeds, even on voltage control, as the starting voltage is somewhere in the 3.0 to 3.5 V range.


This is the screen capture of Fan Xpert 2's auto-analysis of the Mugen 4 stock fan on voltage control.

This is the screen capture of Fan Xpert 2's auto-analysis of the Mugen 4 stock fan on PWM control.

Both on voltage and PWM control, the fan can be dialed down to about 400 RPM according to ASUS Fan Xpert 2 utility. This is perfectly in line with Scythe's specifications.

Despite the minor differences compared to the Slip Stream, the Glide Stream fan has a very similar sound. The noise character is exceedingly smooth with a distinct lack of tonality. It has a tendency to whine at higher speeds typical of almost all sleeve bearing fans and it's not particularly unpleasant. There is also some faint clicking at lower speeds but it's only audible at very close proximity.

TEST RESULTS

Test Results: Scythe Mugen 4
Fan Voltage
Single Fan
Dual Fan
SPL@1m
Thermal Rise
SPL@1m
12V
29 dBA
36°C
N / A
9V
23 dBA
38°C
7V
16 dBA
40°C
6V
13 dBA
42°C
5V
11 dBA
45°C
Reference 120 mm Fan
12V
18 dBA
40°C
37°C
22 dBA
9V
13 dBA
42°C
39°C
16~17 dBA
7V
11 dBA
45°C
41°C
12 dBA
Reference 140 mm Fan
12V
29 dBA
37°C
36°C
32 dBA
9V
21~22 dBA
39°C
38°C
25~26 dBA
8V
18~19 dBA
41°C
39°C
22~23 dBA
7V
15 dBA
42°C
40°C
18 dBA
6V
12~13 dBA
45°C
42°C
13~14 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle from the center of the heatsink.
Ambient noise level: 10~11 dBA.

The Mugen 4 turned out to be a strong performer regardless of fan speed, generating an exceptional thermal rise above ambient of 45°C at 5V and 36°C at 12V. The stock fan performance was on par with our superb Nexus 120 mm reference fan and a bit better than our Noctua 140 mm reference model.

Given the depth of the heatsink, one would expect that a second fan would be quite beneficial. In dual fan configuration, we observed a difference of about 3°C with our 120 mm reference fan and approximately 2°C with our larger 140 mm reference fan. Given the additional noise produced it does not seem worth the effort, but this might be different if you're overclocking and overvolting a 130W TDP CPU more than we are on our test platform.



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