Scythe Musashi ReviewThe Smith -
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I was very impressed with the cooling performance of the Scythe Musashi. Furthermore, by using the fan controller, the right fan speeds can be set to match performance with silent operation. However, if you want to use another fan controller or you simply do not want to use one at all, you will still need to leave the provided controller in the case, as it can't be disconnected from the fans. Due to the wide range of graphics cards it is compatible with, most PC users will be able to install it on their cards. The cooler is compatible with the ATI HD4800 series, though the GTX260 and the GTX280 from nVidia are not. To attach the heatsink, a backplate is provided, which has a small rubber cushion right in the middle, so the pressure is really put on the GPU and not on the PCB. The thumb screws are easy to use, as well as the chip heatsinks. By simply peeling off the small sticker, you can stick them on any chip. There are many of different sizes to allow covering of every possible chip. The temperature reduction the Scythe Musashi delivered when mounted to the test video card is nothing short of amazing. A decrease in load temperatures of 50+ degrees Celsius is just huge. Especially when you consider the fact that this is a low noise cooling solution. The 50 dollar price of ownership for this cooler seems a bit high initially until you see the performance improvement over the stock cooling solution.
As for the GPU heatsink itself, it has a nice polished and flat base - no need for lapping. One thing I have to admit though is that the fins of the Musashi are not tightly packed; they can slide along the heatpipes because there is a bit of room left. Since there is not a 90° bend at the end of each fin to lock the fins together they can be accidentally bent out of shape quite easily. Although I'm not sure that it would impact performance in a significant way.
Overall, I would highly recommend Scythe's first foray into the VGA cooler market, which I consider is a great success. For the benchmarker, it offers great cooling performance, and for the normal user, it offers a very silent cooling solution. Congratulations Scythe!
- Cooling performance
- Fan controller included
- Extremely silent
- Compatible with most VGA cards, including the HD4800 series
- Great retention system with thumb screws
- Includes collection of chip heatsinks
- Polished flat base - no lapping needed
- Fins not tightly packed and easily bendable
- Fan controller not removable