Scythe Mugen 4 CPU Air Cooler Review

Scythe furthers its Mugen line of computer processor heatsink air coolers by redesigning the fan with the new "Glide Stream" unit. It also pays attention to the heatsink design itself but has totally rethought its mounting system and how it works making the Mugen 4 heatsink much easier to install than its predecessors? Bang for the buck too!



When Scythe labeled the Grand Kama Cross 2 a mainstream level cooler I thought it had hit the nail on the head given its performance and cost. When it comes to the Mugen 4, Scythe didn’t just hit the nail on the head, Scythe hammered it all the way in. The Mugen 4 is labeled as a high performance cooler and that’s exactly how it performed, but you wouldn’t know it when it came to our sound tests. It used to be that if you wanted the performance crown a company would take its best cooler and slap that fastest, loudest fan on it and call it a day. Who could blame it when this method worked time and again. Forgive us for being clichأ© but times have changed and we expect more from our PCs. PCs go places these never went before like living rooms and bedrooms, and we expect these to function without disturbing us. This is no easy task but it is one that Scythe and the Mugen 4 is ready for.

But at what cost?


The charts below show the cost you will pay for each degree in temperature reduction the heat sink gives you over the stock cooler. The two areas that influence this chart are cost of the heat sink and its performance. An expensive cooler that gives you superior performance will be rated as average here since its cost hurts its rating. Inversely, a poor performing heat sink that costs next to nothing will be rated as average since its performance will hurt its ratings. We ideally look for low cost and high performance. All prices were gathered by doing a very quick search of the web for each cooler and listing it here sans S/H and tax (these can vary widely from region to region).

As an example, if a cooler outperforms the stock cooler by 10C and costs USD $5.00 it would be listed in our chart as $.50. You would pay fifty cents for each degree of better performance over the box cooler.

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To arrive at a single number difference, we took the value of all four cores from our overclocked tests, averaged these and then compared them for analysis.

The Bottom Line

The Scythe Mugen 4 is impressive.

Due to the Mugen 4 performing so well and costing so little, its value is considered very high. It’s surprising to see Scythe market this cooler as high performance since that classification usually carries a stiff markup not seen here. There is a lot to like about the Mugen 4 from its overall performance to how easy it is to install.

About the only real negative to speak of is the cooler’s overall size. Users of low profile RAM needn’t be worried but for anyone who uses RAM with larger heat spreaders you will want to do your homework first as the heatfins and subsequent fan overhang could cause you installation issues. You could also move the fan to the other side of the heatsink and gain some install area, but you would be redirecting airflow from back to front and your case’s overall airflow would have to address this.

For its class leading performance, ease of installation, and low price point we are happy to award the Mugen 4 our [H] Editor's Gold Award. You can currently purchase the Scythe Mugen 4 at FrozenCPU for $49.99.

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Scythe Mugen 4