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Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

Scythe Mugen-2 Revision B

Surface area is one of the biggest factors in air-cooling efficiency and, at around $40, Scythe’s Mugen 2 Rev. B (spelled with or without the hyphen and abbreviated name) provides the greatest surface area per price of today’s competitors. Yet surface area is not the sole determining factor for performance, so we’ll rely on testing to determine how well this extra size is used.

Pressure relief grooves are Scythe’s innovative solution to the aerodynamic drag that accompanies long cooling fins. Without these grooves, a greater amount of air pressure would be lost out the sink’s sides.

The Mugen 2 Rev. B surprised us by supporting Socket 478 motherboards, in addition to the expected LGA models (1156, 1365, and 775) and AMD sockets (939, 940, AM2, AM2+, and AM3).

The Mugen 2 has one of the flattest polished bases we’ve seen, with distortion that normally occurs from the polishing process, which is only noticeable as a rounded edge. The copper base appears to be plated in nickel to prevent oxidization.

The Mugen 2 Rev. B’s greatest design weakness is that it usually must be installed outside the case, with screws that can only be accessed from beneath the motherboard. One of its strengths is that once installed, its fan can be slid up to allow greater DIMM clearance or down to further assist motherboard voltage-regulator cooling.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.