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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 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.
The Scythe Musashi is a fairly impressive product overall. While it is fairly
long, its height and weight are on the smallish side. The fact that it can keep
up with the much larger combination of an Accelero
S1 and two full-sized fans is nothing short of miraculous. The fan selection
and fin design are both optimized for quiet cooling and for the most part, the
Musashi delivers just that. It will deliver better temperatures with less noise
than the stock solutions on most graphics cards. Installation is also extremely
easy, though the final mount is not as secure as we would have liked.
Unfortunately the hottest card it supports, the HD
4870, requires heavy duty VRM cooling, and that's where the Musashi
falters. Sure, our test system and methodology is more demanding than actual
gaming, but when we see VRM temperatures head north of 150°C and then cause
the graphics card to destabilize (as it did with the Musashi's fans set to 7V),
we get more than a little uncomfortable. This is unfortunate because the slimness
of the Musashi makes it attractive for dual video card configurations for which
4870's are commonly used. The included heatsinks are simply too small, though
to be fair, most other third party GPU coolers suffer from the same problem.
Zalman has tried to address the issue by selling stand-alone VRM heatsinks,
designed to be used in conjunction with their VF1000
VGA cooler. Unfortunately both are too tall to fit under a Musashi or Accelero.
Thermalright also has a solution awkward heatpipe coolers that extend
well past the PCB vertically, the VRM-R1/R2.
They are rather large and expensive though. A DIY solution may be the most feasible
option for some.
* Easy to install
* Very good GPU cooling
* Excellent fans
* Fan controller included
* VRM heatsinks too small
* Mount could be more secure
Our thanks to Scythe
for the Musashi sample used in this review.
POSTSCRIPT, Nov 29, 2009: Scythe Musashi Dual Fan GPU Cooler,
Updated (overleaf, on page 8)
* * *
Articles of Related Interest
Radeon HD 4890 Turbo Edition
Asus Radeon HD 4870 Matrix
Thermaltake Duorb VGA Cooler:
Are Two Orbs Better Than One?
Xigmatek Battle-Axe: First Direct-Touch
Heatpipe VGA Cooler
Arctic Cooling Accelero S2
VGA Cooler + Turbo Module
Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 VGA
* * *
this article in the SPCR forums.
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