Scythe Fuma Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation

The overall design of the Scythe Fuma is reminiscent of some of Noctua's heatsinks, such as the Noctua NH-D15S. There are a few more Noctua coolers with the same design, which you can find reviews of them on our website. The two cooling towers give quite a big advantage in regards to fan placement. With the Scythe Fuma, you are able to place three fans, all exhausting air toward the back of your computer, or any configuration you prefer, really. This is as opposed to a cooler with a squarer design, such as the Scythe Ninja 4, which can only take two fans. However, more fans also mean added weight, even though not by much, but the overall weight of the Scythe Fuma weighs in at 920g. With this size of heatsink, it is expected for the cooler to be on the heavy side. Although, the cooler is not as tall as it would be expected. The dimensions are 137mm in width, 130mm in depth, and 149mm in height. There should not really be any issues with compatibility in any case larger than a mid-tower. Larger coolers have more surface area for heat to dissipate, making it more effective at cooling. Surface area, however, is not the only factor in determining the cooling capabilities of a heatsink.

The overall design pattern of the fin stack is different than what I have seen before. The picture does not do it justice, but the alignment of the fins is kind of zigzagged, instead of the usual fins all being straight up in one line. The fins do not extend the entire way in one direction; instead, the other fins right above and below extend the full width. The cooler also has a square look to it, which I kind of like, but it is not completely symmetrical. Apparently, the zigzagged pattern helps for the heat to dissipate off of the fins into the air better than the usual design. We will have to see how much truth that statement holds during the testing phase.

As aforementioned, the Scythe Fuma can have up to three fans attached to it. There are two on either side, with one mounted in the middle. Included in the retail package are two 120mm PWM fans. PWM stands for pulse width modulation, which is basically your computer will adjust the fan speed by pulses of power at full voltage, rather than constant power at a reduced voltage. The fans themselves are sleeve bearing, which are great for being silent, but are not the best for long term reliability. A ball bearing is known for longevity, but will not be as silent as a sleeve bearing fan. Even though sleeve bearing fans are not the best for longevity, they will not just break down, but will last long enough for most people. For the technical specifications of them, the CFM is rated at 5.6 to 79 CFM, which is for airflow. This is good enough, especially considering these fans are not for intake. The static pressure comes in at 0.01 to 1.56 mmH²O, which is the force the fan can produce to push air through. A heatsink requires high static pressure fans to push air through the fins. Fan speed comes in at 300 to 1400 RPM, which is high enough to really ramp up the cooling capabilities. The noise level, which is subjective, but for technical specifications, comes in at 13 to 18 dB. We will see exactly how quiet the fans are during testing.

On the base plate, we can see a nice mirror finish, as well as a very flat surface for the best contact between it and the processor. Also, from this view, we can see the twelve heatpipes, six leading into each of the twin towers. Both the base plate and the heatpipes are made from copper, with nickel-plating for optimal heat transfer. Copper has a thermal conductivity of 401 W/mK. The fins are made out of aluminum, which has a much lower thermal conductivity at 237 W/mK, but aluminum is much lighter than copper to reduce the stress put on the motherboard. Nickel has a much lower thermal conductivity than both aluminum and copper, but the nickel plating is a very thin layer ensuring its impact on the heat transferring capabilities of copper is minimal. The reason for the nickel plating is to ensure the copper does not corrode over time. Nickel is better at handling the harsh environment of your computer, while at the same time preventing performance loss over time. The heatpipes are soldered to the base plate ensuring good contact, which will not degrade over time.

For AMD installations, the original backplate you receive with the motherboard will be required for installation. However, for installations on an Intel motherboard, there is a backplate included. The Scythe Fuma boasts compatibility for a long list of sockets on both AMD and Intel platforms. It also features Scythe's Hyper Precision Mounting System (HPMS), which I believe has become standard on most Scythe coolers. The benefits of this mounting system according to Scythe is for easy compatibility with many different sockets, and an easier overall installation procedure.

Here is a view of the processor prepared right before mounting the heatsink. I followed the included instructions, and they were adequate in helping me figure out all the steps. One thing that confused me were the steps they placed the pictures in. They seemingly change at random from Intel installation to AMD installation steps. However, the installation was simple enough, and I had no trouble with the rest of the installation. I did lift the fans on the side slightly to make more room for the memory slots, but the heatsink itself did not interfere with my RAM at all. Usually, one big issue with such big coolers is RAM clearance, but the Scythe Fuma does not disappoint in this regard. I had no issues that could not be solved by just lifting the fan slightly. I also mounted the two included fans on either side of the heatsink instead of putting one in the middle, mostly just to have a clear view of where the screws fit in to attach the cooler. Although you could mount the fan after installing the Scythe Fuma, that might be a bit challenging in a confined space.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion