Scythe Setsugen GPU Cooler

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Scythe Setsugen GPU Cooler

February 28, 2010 by Lawrence Lee

Product Scythe Setsugen
GPU Cooler
Manufacturer Scythe
Street Price ~US$40

The best CPU coolers have tower designs extending high over the socket with the fan blowing the hot air emanating from the heatsink toward the rear or ceiling exhaust. For video cards, this isn't an option as it would put a lot of strain on the PCB and block most or all of the expansion slots underneath. For high-end cards, the stock cooling solution typically involves enclosing the heatsink and attempting to exhaust out the back using blower-style fans which are not that efficient.

The box next to a Radeon HD 4870.

Most aftermarket graphics card coolers position the fan(s) on the outside of the heatsink blowing toward the GPU core and circuit board similar to downblowing CPU heatsinks. The Setsugen is the first GPU cooler we've come across that actually does the opposite. It has a single 120mm fan underneath the main fin mass blowing outward through the heatsink (downward in a typical ATX case). This seems like a flawed approach as heat rises so in theory the exhausted air will simply drift back up toward the GPU. In addition, placing the fan between the PCB and heatsink gives it very little breathing room and no source of cool intake air.

Its biggest asset is its slim profile that won't take up more than one extra expansion slot, which seemingly makes it an attractive option for dual video card systems. On most Crossfire/SLI motherboards, there are only two slots between the full length PCI-E connectors. Using the Setsugen on the upper card would leave one slot of breathing room underneath, while larger heatsinks, including those of the dual fan variety only have half a slot of clearance, or none at all. However without a second fan, the Setsugen cannot deliver direct airflow over the voltage regulation area on most high power cards. Our test card for GPU coolers is the notoriously hot Radeon HD 4890, which we know first hand has very hot VRMs and draws almost 150W. It is perhaps more than the Setsugen can handle.

Package contents.

The package contents include mounting hardware, a series of smaller heatsinks for cooling memory, VRMs and other chips, and the cooler itself. A manual fan speed is connected to the fan, designed to be mounted in an expansion slot so it can be adjusted from the outside.

Scythe Setsugen: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
M.A.P.S. (Multiple Airflow Pass-Through Structure)
By introducing the newly developed M.A.P.S. (Multiple Airflow Pass-Through Structure), the heatsink has been optimized to fully utilize the ability of the included Scythe original “Slip Stream Slim” high airflow 120 mm case fan.
Basically means slits breaking up the heatsink body into several sections which lowers resistance to airflow. The same feature can be found on their Mugen-2 CPU cooler.

Slip Stream 120 mm Slim with Fan Controller
The new Slip Stream 120 mm Slim is a consistent further development with all the improvements of the original Slip Stream 120 mm fans. Equipped with the fan controller, you can control the fan speed to meet your cooling requirements.

Slip Streams are renowned for their smooth, quiet acoustics. The fan controller included attaches to a PCI slot bracket so it can be controlled manually from the outside.
Scythe Setsugen VGA Cooler improves the cooling performance for graphic cards for faster graphic processing and more performance for your PC!
Setsugen is compatible with the majority of Nvidia and ATI graphics cards going back up to 4 generations.

Scythe Setsugen: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Model Name: Setsugen VGA Cooler
Model #: SCVSG-1000
Manufacturer: Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan
Overall Dimensions
180 x 33.5 x 139 mm /
7.09 x 1.32 x 5.47 in
Weight: 375 g (13.22 oz)
Supplied Fan Scythe Slip Stream 120 mm SLIM
(with fan controller)
Fan Dimensions 120 x 120 x 12 mm /
4.72 x 4.72 x 0.47 in
Fan Speed 800 (± 30%) ~ 2.000 rpm (± 10%)
Noise Level 19.53 ~ 33.67 dBA
Air Flow 19.40 ~ 45.47 CFM
nVIDIA Geforce Fx5900 /6600 /6800 /7300 /7600 /7800 / 7900 /8500 /8600 /8800GTS (G92) /8800 GT (G92) 8800 (G80) /9600 GT /9600 GSO /9800 GT /9800 GTX / 9800 GTX+ / GTS 250 / GTX 260 / GTX 275 / GTX 280 / GTX 285
ATI 9*** /X*** /X1300 /X1600 /X1650 /X1800 /X1900 / X1950 /HD2600 /HD2900XT /HD3650 /HD3850 /HD3870 / HD4770 /HD4830 /HD4850 /HD4870 /HD4890 /HD 5850 / HD 5870
*Radeon HD 5770, HD 5750 are incompatible

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