Scythe Mugen 3 Rev. B review

Maintaining the low noise levels and temps, while upping the compatibility ante

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For

  • Good performance
  • Quiet operation
  • Decent price

Against

  • Not quite the best in class

Maintaining the low noise levels and temps, while upping the compatibility ante. That's the plan for the third version (revision B, don't you know) of Scythe's Mugen 120mm cooler.

That means refined airflow and Scythe's Slipstream noise-optimised 120mm fan. The result is a cooler with a rated noise that kicks off below 27.4dBA, even if the maximum noise breaches the 30dBA barrier.

Other upsides include some of the nicest assembly instructions we've seen, with a proper annotated key to all the parts. Joy!

Ironically, however, and against Scythe's apparent intention, what the Mugen 3 isn't is easy to plop into any case or hook up to any motherboard you care to mention. It's still a big thing. Large enough, in fact, that it's only possible to fit it in a single orientation to avoid fisticuffs with the DIMM slots. That's as intended, and not an issue, but it does give you an idea of the girth of the cooling stack.

Still, Scythe's effort hasn't been for naught. Across the board, the operating temps are competitive. At stock clocks, only the even larger Zalman CNPS14X slightly edges it. Likewise, it's just a measly degree behind the best with our Core i5-2500K test chip clocked up to 5GHz.

Which sounds dandy until you consider that Enermax's ETS-T40 is one of those 'best' coolers. And it's cheaper. And it's smaller and easier to fit. That means that, as good as the Mugen 3 is, it doesn't get the nod.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor

Technology and cars. Increasingly the twain shall meet. Which is handy, because Jeremy (Twitter) is addicted to both. Long-time tech journalist, former editor of iCar magazine and incumbent car guru for T3 magazine, Jeremy reckons in-car technology is about to go thermonuclear. No, not exploding cars. That would be silly. And dangerous. But rather an explosive period of unprecedented innovation. Enjoy the ride.