Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C CPU Air Cooler Review

Scythe's Mugen 5 Rev.C CPU air cooler gets put to the test as Chad tests it out and works out if it's one to add to your build or not.

Manufacturer: Scythe (SCMG-5200)
13 minutes & 14 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 91%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

Scythe proves that revising a solid solution not only adds compatibility, but out of thin air they could also get a good jump in their efficiency. While a tad costly, it is hard not to give Scythe props for what they were able to achieve.


  • + Affordable
  • + Easy to install
  • + Old school aesthetic
  • + Includes screwdriver
  • + New hardware & RAM clearance


  • - Lack of innovation
  • - Outperformed by more affordable solutions

Should you buy it?


Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

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Scythe is another company that needs no introduction, nor should the cooler we are about to go into fine detail with. We have seen a few variations of this same cooler here at TweakTown. Whether it was due to upgraded hardware or a color change, Scythe has pushed many variations of their Mugen tower coolers. The reasoning seems to be that if the cooler sells well and there isn't a real need to change anything, why fix what isn't broken?

In that vein, we are now looking at the Mugen for the third time, with just a few subtle changes. We have already seen the Scythe Mugen 5 Black, the Scythe Mugen ARGB, and the vanilla Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B, but now they have gone and released it yet again. However, it will take an eye trained to hunt out the finest details to see what has changed and why Scythe has revised this tower once again. To help those who want to know what they need to look for, it all has to do with new packaging, a slight variation in the fan, and the latest versions of their HPMS hardware.

Because we have seen a variation of this tower a few times already, we do have a good idea of what to expect. An offset design that allows for RAM clearance is a major part of the design, as is the thicker single-tower makeup offering more surface area than many that compete with it. While we are just scratching the surface of what makes the Scythe Mugen coolers such a success over the years, we feel we need to jump right in and see what the latest Mugen 5 Rev.C has to offer and see if it is a cooler worth your time to consider when it comes to your next build.

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C CPU Air Cooler Review 01

From a combination of information found on the product page and a few tidbits from the packaging, we produced the specifications you see above. The Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C is also known as the SCMG-5200 and may be important when ensuring you are looking at the correct version online. Part of what makes this the Rev.C has to do with the HPMS IV system, which now includes LGA1200 and LGA1700 sockets, whereas the Rev.B did not. Along with the additions, the Mugen 5 Rev.C also covers LGA115x, 2011, and 2066 for Intel while also mounting to AM4, AM3, and FM sockets for AMD users.

Dimensionally, this tower stands 154.5mm tall, is 109.5mm from front to back and is 136mm wide, including the fan, which is 26mm thick. The mix of six 6mm diameter copper heat pipes, the nickel-plated copper base, an aluminum pre-cooler, steel crossbar, thirty-eight aluminum fins, the thick top plate on the tower, and the fan has the total weight coming in at 900 grams, which is a hefty solution.

The fan is nearly identical to what we saw on the Mugen 5 Black, where we are offered a Kaze Flex II 120mm PWM fan with a speed range from 300 to 1500 RPM. These fans can produce up to 67.62 CFM of airflow with 1.50 mmH2O static pressure as it spins on a sealed fluid dynamic bearing. The noise level and voltage are the same, but rather than drawing 0.2A on the previous fan, this time, the Kaze Flex II draws 0.16A via the 4-pin PWM connection.

Along with the fact that the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C is backed with a two-year warranty, we also have to discuss the cost associated with it. We are not mad at what we found on Amazon, where this tower cooler is listed at $56.99, which means it is affordable to the masses. However, we have seen a few coolers lately that did not cross that $50 threshold and performed quite well, so Scythe has their work cut out for them. However, if our previous experiences are anything to go off of, we feel that this latest iteration in the Mugen series should be able to hold its own.


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The packaging is similar to what we have seen in the past, using matte black as the backdrop. However, there is a notation to the inclusion of LGA1700 support now, and the image of the tower in the center is bigger and shifted more to the right. We also see a mention of the Kaze Flex II PWM fan inclusion, and at the bottom is the name of the cooler with the warrior on horseback that we are used to seeing.

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As we turn the box to the left, the next panel we see delivers five dimensional renderings of the tower with the fan to ensure the customer knows if it will fit their needs and chassis. Below the renderings is a multi-lingual condensed specifications chart, and in the fine print is a mention of fan speed varying due to PWM control.

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Around the back, we find information about Scythe at the top left, with the model number displayed to the right. The blue portion describes the warranty terms and duration, while the bottom offers some legal information.

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The last panel delivers features of the Mugen 5 Rev.C. First is a mention of the Kaze Flex II 120 PWM fan, followed by the next point being the asymmetric design. Things then progress to the dual fan mountable structure and the LGA1700 support from the redesigned HPMS IV system.

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To protect the cooler, Scythe opts to use a section of foam that wraps around the front, back, and bottom of the tower, with the sides exposed. The fan rests on the foam, whereas the hardware box sets against the fan, minimizing any possible damage while in transit. Even with the slight damage to the packaging, our tower is straight, square, and ready for its pictures to be taken.

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C CPU Cooler

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Our initial look at the tower shows us a stack of twenty-eight fins with a thick top plate added before the pipes are capped for added visual appeal. Below the fins, we can see the thick base assembly and the curves needed to get the six nickel-plated heat pipes into the tower in two rows.

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This angle shows off the asymmetrical design, which allows for complete clearance of any RAM in front of the tower, but at the back, a portion of the lowest five fins is removed for those who desire to fit this onto a HEDT system. At the bottom, we can see how the pipes are bent into groups of two as they enter the fin array behind one another.

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The view from behind the tower is nearly identical to what we found at the front, except for two things. At the edges, we can see the shorter fins nearest the bottom, and we can also see a bit of deflection of the first couple of full-sized fins, which is easy enough to square up before testing.

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While they may be tough to make out, there is a groove cut into the sides of the fin array at the front and back. These grooves allow for the included Kaze Flex II 120 PWM fan to be attached to the front of the tower, and you can also purchase a second fan should you wish to see another couple of degrees reduction in temperatures.

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The leading and trailing edges of the fins are identical, and because Scythe uses almost half the fins of similar coolers, they use some trickery in their shape and spacing. Every fin gap allows air pressure to build and get disturbed to increase efficiency, while the entire center portion is lower than the sides where the fan rests for the same reason.

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As most coolers come, the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C opts to have the fins press fit onto the heat pipes. We can also see that while the outside row is straight in line, the inner row is slightly offset, which helps to deliver heat into the fins better and allows the pipes to get more airflow.

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The base is comprised of three parts. The steel crossbar with the spring-loaded captured screws is secured to the top. The crossbar is attached to an aluminum pre-cooler with seven fins on either side. The bottom of the base is made of copper but is nickel-plated to match the pipes and the look of all that natural aluminum.

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The mating surface has circular machining marks visible on the surface, which is neither a pro nor a con in our minds, but it does offer a bit more surface area than a polished surface. As for its levelness, the base is slightly convex, deviating more near the edges than it does in the center.

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At the opposite end of the tower, we see the top of the tick plate added above the fins, which not only offers an embossed Scythe logo but has holes cut in it, one of which allows you to reach the mounting screw at the base. We also like the covers on the pipe tips, which are also made to match the aesthetic of the rest of the tower.

Accessories and Documentation

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Most of the HPMS IV system is what we have shown here. On the left are the pair of brackets for LGA1700, and the second set of brackets are for HEDT and mainstream Intel sockets. In the center is the Intel backplate for mainstream systems which is adjustable by removing the rubber isolation pads and adjusting the studs in the holes covered by them. On the right is the pair of AMD brackets used for all of the AMD-supported sockets.

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On either side in this image are the two sets of wire fan clips, while in the center are the black plastic spacers with rubber pads to isolate the brackets. We then have the knurled nuts for use with Intel sockets, the HEDT standoffs, and a set of four screws for use with AMD motherboards and the factory backplate.

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C CPU Air Cooler Review 18

Along with the hardware, Scythe also provides a screwdriver since you have to run it through the tower to mount the hardware; it only makes sense you get what is needed. We also found a syringe of paste in the box with enough thermal grease for a few attempts at mounting the cooler.

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The fan that ships with the Mugen 5 Rev.C is the KFS1225FD15-P fan with its black frame and eleven black blades. The fan lead is sleeved, and while it shares the same model number as the fan that shipped with the Mugen 5 Rev.B Black cooler, the difference is in the amperage. Earlier was not a typo either, as the thick rubber at the corners does take this traditionally 25mm thick fan to 26mm of thickness, but it matters very little to the average user.

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Rather than show just the manual cover, we opened it up to expose the parts guide and some step-by-step instructions to show what to expect. While there is little text to guide you through the process, the renderings show what needs to be done, allowing even the most novice of users to accomplish the task at hand.

Installation and Finished Product

Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C CPU Air Cooler Review 21

After removing the top portion of the AMD factory mounting hardware and leaving the backplate in place, we set the spacers on the studs first. Once in place, you then set the brackets in place with them, as seen here, and then secure it all to the backplate with the four provided screws.

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We applied the thermal paste to the CPU IHS and set the tower in place. To securely mount the cooler, you must alternate between the easily accessible screw nearest the RAM and the one under the fins. The provided screwdriver fits in the hole of the tower to allow users to accomplish this with relative ease.

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All that is left to do is clip the fan onto the tower, and the fan will rest on the mounting screw at its lowest ride height, leaving it proud of the pipe caps at the top of the tower. Even so, the fan does a great job of covering the bulk of the fin array, offering a fair amount of air below the fins as well.

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Due to the asymmetric design of the Mugen 5 Rev.C, the RAM in front of the tower is of little concern when it comes to the RAM height or populating all of the slots, as the fan sits well behind them.

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Stepping back a touch, we can see how much real estate the tower takes up on the motherboard. While RAM is unlikely to be an issue behind the tower, those wanting a second fan will find that height can be an issue unless you opt for naked sticks or something low-profile like we use. We also see that connecting the 8-pin cable can be tough if you do not have a modular PSU, and it will certainly be complicated adding a pull fan.

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As most will view the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C, you are given the natural aluminum, embossed logo, and the pipe covers to look at, along with the black fan hanging from the front. We are not yet tired of this old-school appearance, but we saw a black variant of this new tower while searching Amazon for the pricing, should this not be the look you are trying to achieve.

Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results

Chad's CPU Cooler Test System Specifications

  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII HERO [Wi-Fi] (AMD X570) - Buy from Amazon
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X - Buy from Amazon
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4000MHz 4X8GB
  • Graphics Card: ASUS GeForce RTX 2060 6GB OC - Buy from Amazon
  • Storage: Galax HOF Pro M.2 1TB SSD
  • Case: Hydra Bench Standard
  • Power Supply: ASUS ROG Thor 850W - Buy from Amazon
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
  • Software: AMD Ryzen Master, AIDA64 Engineer 6.25.5400, and CPU-z 1.92.0 x64

To see our testing methodology and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our 2020 CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for more information.

Thermal Results

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At 61°C, we are roughly seven degrees out of the lead, but the Mugen 5 Rev.C keeps good company, comparable to the NH-U12A and the SE-224-XT Black. However, some coolers, like the AK400 and 212 EVO V2, are more affordable yet perform slightly better.

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Applying the overclock does not change the relative positioning of where Scythe lands with the Mugen 5 Rev.C. At 68°C, we cannot complain too much, as we are quite a ways from the throttle point of the CPU and well above the results of some of the more expensive solutions below it in this chart.

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To see what is left in the tank by allowing the fan to ramp to full speed, we see a little more than two degrees left there to be used. This will not make or break an overclock in our minds and shows how well Scythe managed the fan curve in noise to performance balance.

Noise Level Results

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We saw our fan top out at 1038 RPM under stress for the stock PWM run and are pleased with the 27 dB of noise. Many GPUs will be louder in gaming situations, and inside a closed chassis, you will be hard-pressed to hear it.

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While 36 dB is well within the audible range for many, considering the lack of fins compared to other towers on the chart, Scythe has to do something to compete. A little bit of noise from the system under load is acceptable, with the fan turning at 1229 RPM.

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As we do, we let the fan run as fast as possible, which got us up to 1553 RPM, a bit higher than what the specs show it should run. At this point, the fan delivers 49 dB, which, any way you slice it, is loud and proves how well Scythe does with the PWM fan curve, getting the most from this tower without having to deal with it this level of noise in the office.

Final Thoughts

While we understand the reasoning behind a revision, we also think Scythe could have gone a different route by offering a mounting hardware upgrade for those who already had the Mugen 5 Rev.B. Still, that does not make Scythe any money. They would lose money doing something like that. However, looking back at the charts, Scythe did the right thing here, as the newest version of the Mugen beats out the previous Mugen 5 Black version, and we tested that tower with a pair of fans.

In the end, we feel this is the right move, and who would complain about a better performing solution with half the fans as what we tested last from them? While things may appear the same with an initial glance, the charts say different, and we have no issues with the choices Scythe made to accomplish this.

The old-school look may not be everyone's cup of tea, and we understand that as many coolers these days are made to blend in and not stand out like our Mugen 5 Rev.C does. To combat that, you will want to look at the Mugen 5 Rev.C Black Edition that Scythe released alongside what we have shown in this review. The only issue we can find there is that there is also a price premium associated with the choice, where it will cost you another $9 for the black version, but again, we feel that those looking to go this route would not mind the price bump to get exactly what you want for your next build.

While the fan is slightly different from what we have seen in the past, the tower is essentially the same in all of these revisions. The HPMS IV adds support previously not in the box, which many who may not yet be on the latest gear will like, as you can eventually upgrade, and you already have the parts needed to do so.

It is also hard not to enjoy the bump in performance from the minor changes made to this latest iteration. If you need a two or three-degree bump, you can always add a second fan, which would change the placement of the Mugen 5 Rev.C in our charts, making it more efficient and competing with an entirely different segment of coolers. However, that would raise the cost by nearly $17 to get that level of performance.

The Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.C may not be the most affordable solution on the market or on our charts, and it may not even be the best-performing solution for the money. However, we are impressed by what they can do with the limited number of finds and a near quiet fan at $56.99. They added new hardware and bested their previous solution with just one fan, taking them further up the chart and into the range of acceptance for many potential users.

For us, it may not be the best of any specific category, but the magic Scythe can perform with what we were given is impressive enough to say that it has its place in today's market.

Photo of product for sale











The Bottom Line

Scythe proves that revising a solid solution not only adds compatibility, but out of thin air they could also get a good jump in their efficiency. While a tad costly, it is hard not to give Scythe props for what they were able to achieve.

TweakTown award

Chad joined the TweakTown team in 2009 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM and coolers.

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