Scythe Musashi ReviewThe Smith - January 26, 2009
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I like the look it has with the two black fans. On the second picture, we clearly see the two copper heatpipes that allow heat transfer from the base to the fins. On the third and fourth picture, we can see the fan retention system, which is two simple wires, one on each side. It's almost impossible to remove and replace the fans without bending some fins. They are very fragile, especially on the side where the heatpipe is not completely at the end of the fins. Most heatsinks have on each fin a 90° folded part at the end, which ensures that the fins remain at a constant distance, preventing them to bend. Well, it would have been great to see this also on the Musashi. Furthermore, the cooler is very thin. It takes only two slots, however there is only a couple of millimeters left between the cooler and the next PCI card. So this one cannot have anything exceeding on its back, or else it will block the fans. If this is the case, one fan can be removed and the other one repositioned to accomodate the other card.The last picture is a close-up on the base. Strangely enough, the sticker left a fade imprint on it, which the camera was able to catch. However, I could not see it myself. The mirror finish of the base is nice. It also seems to be flat, as it is matching with my small jeweler's ruler. So there is no lapping needed. Also, on that same picture, you can see on the left that the fins are not tightly packed, some can slide along the heatpipe.
The fan controller installed on a PCI bracket is connected to each fan, using black wires. It can happen that the knobs are too big to pass through the PCI slot opening. If so, you just have to pull them out of the bracket, and reinstall them once the bracket is in place. As you can see on the last picture, the wires lead directly to the fan and there is no way to disconnect them. So even if you don't use the fan controller, you will need to leave it in your case. The fans are powered by 3-pin connectors, but a Molex to two 3-pin is provided. The fans are rated at 0.15A -12V, so that means a power consumption of 1.8W. They are said to spin from 800 to 2000RPM (±10%), depending on the fan controller adjustment. They will produce 12.5 to 29.22 dBA, for 11.45 to 27.60 CFM. So with two of them, you get 55 CFM worth of air displacement.
What a sexy card now that I have installed the Scythe Musashi on it! This is the HD4850 on which I will test the cooling performance. As you can see, the cooler is longer than the card, so make sure it will fit in your case before buying it.
Let's reinstall the card in the test system and figure out what kind of performance the Scythe Musashi can deliver.