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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 second segments of room ambiance, then the fan
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
Scythe Mugen-2's bolt-thru mounting has been long
awaited by PC enthusiasts everywhere. We are not completely enthusiastic about how the bolt-through mounting was implemented applying a screwdriver
to the back side of a motherboard is tedious and possibly dangerous.
Still, it is a much better alternative to plastic pushpins, especially for a large cooler
like the Mugen-2. Hard mounting ensures good contact between the cooler's base
and the CPU, and the heatspreader helps prevent the PCB from bending. It also ensures consistency from one installation to another; if the instructions are followed correctly, every user should achieve the same tight installation.
heatsink with a good quality PWM fan is an excellent move. Many users have motherboards
with fan controllers that only work with PWM fans, so for them this is a welcome
addition. Adding PWM functionality hasn't dulled the shine of the smooth-sounding
Slip Stream fan.
The Mugen-2's stock performance was slightly disappointing considering its substantial
cooling surface area. It flirted with elite silent cooler status but did not quite break through to the
Where the Mugen-2 really shines is in a two-fan push-pull configuration.
The improvement in cooling was especially notable at
low fan speeds (read: in silent operation). With two of our reference Nexus fans running at 7V and 5V, the
CPU temperature improved by 6°C and 7°C respectively. Better still,
at 7V and below, the addition of the second reference fan did not result in
any measurable increase in noise level.
The Mugen-2 currently retails for US$35~$40, putting it in competition with direct-touch
heatpipe coolers from Xigmatek, Kingwin, and others. It may not perform quite
as well as the HDT-S1283,
but it does hold several key advantages: It has a more secure mounting
system, allows for "proper" orientation on AMD motherboards, and it ships with a superior fan. We're guessing that the stock PWM fan will soon be availble for separate purchase, and hopefully, priced similarly to the $10 for the original Slipstream series. The end price of $50 for silent cooling performance of this caliber would be an absolute steal.
* Excellent single fan performance
* Superb dual fan performance
* Topnotch stock fan
* Secure installation method
* Fan faces the rear when mounted on most AMD boards
* Iinstallation a bit awkward
* Only one fan clip pair included
Our thanks to Scythe
for the Mugen-2 heatsink sample.
SPCR Editor's Choice Award
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