Scythe Fuma 3 Review: Compact Profile, Big Cooler Bite

Scythe Fuma 3
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Tom's Hardware Verdict

Scythe’s Fuma 3 improves upon earlier revisions, offering strong compact air cooling performance with a value-oriented price of $49.99.


  • +

    Designed with SFF systems in mind

  • +

    Full RAM clearance

  • +

    Competitive with high-end air coolers

  • +

    $49.99 MSRP


  • -

    Some larger, pricier alternatives perform better

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Unlike some of its cooler competitors, Chiba Japan-based Scythe is a fabless company that partners with factories in China and Taiwan for manufacturing of its air coolers, fans and other PC hardware. The company has been delivering cooling products aimed largely at quiet performance for more than 20 years. 

Today we’ll be looking at Scythe’s successor to their very successful Fuma 2 air cooler, the Fuma 3. Will the improvements made by Scythe work well enough for it to earn a spot on our best coolers list? We’ll have to test it to be sure, but first lets look at this product’s specifications.


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CoolerScythe Fuma 3
Installed Size138 (W) x 128 (D) x 154 mm (H)
Heatsink MaterialAluminum
Heatpipes6x Plated Copper Heatpipes
Socket CompatibilityIntel Socket LGA 1700/1200/115x/2066/2011(v3) AMD AM5 / AM4
BaseNickel plated Copper
Max TDP (Our Testing)227W on Intel i7-13700K, 124W on AMD Ryzen 7 7700X

Packing and Included Contents 

The box Scythe’s Fuma 3 arrives in isjust large enough to fit the contents inside of the package.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The inner contents are protected by molded foam, plastic, and molded cardboard to insure the cooler arrives undamaged.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Included with the package are the following:

  • Full-size screwdriver 

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  • Fan clips for two fans
  • Two fans, one of which is a low-profile/slim fan
  • Dual tower radiator heatsink

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  • A small tube of thermal paste and paste spreader tool
  • PWM splitter
  • User Manual
  • Mounts for all modern CPU sockets (including AM5 & LGA1700)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Installation on LGA1700 and AMD AM4 AM5

The installation process for the FUMA 3 is simple, no matter if you’re using an AMD Ryzen or an Intel-based platform. 

1. If you’re running an AMD Ryzen system, you’ll need to start by removing the default retention bracket. Intel users will need to apply the backplate to the motherboard.

2. Place the plastic standoffs atop the motherboard and place the mounting bar on top of them.

3. Intel users will next use the thumbscrews to secure the mounting brackets. AMD Ryzen users will use the included screws to secure the brackets. 

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

4. Apply thermal paste to the CPU.

5. Place the heatsink against the mounting bars and secure it with the included screwdriver. If you’re using a space-constrained SFF system, you can install the fans prior to this step, as there are holes for the screwdriver in one of the heatsink towers.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Designed With SFF and Mini-ITX in mind

Scythe has upgraded the Fuma 3 in a number of ways to make it a stronger and more effective cooler for both traditionally sized and small form factor (SFF) cases.

⋇ Full RAM compatibility 

Thanks to its slim fan, Scythe’s FUMA 3 won’t overhang any of your computer’s RAM slots, providing complete compatibility no matter the height of DDR4 or DDR5 modules.  

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

⋇ 154mm height for SFF compatibility 

Measuring only 154mm (just over 6 inches) tall, Scythe’s Fuma 3 should fit into most compact cases without a problem. Many higher-end air coolers will not fit in small cases due to height limitations. 

⋇ Recessed back heatsink for SFF compatibility

Some coolers, like DeepCool’s Assassin IV, don’t fit Min-ITX boards because they run into the back IO panel and VRM heatsinks of smaller motherboards. The fin layout of the Fuma 3 was designed with this in mind, and is fully compatible with mITX motherboards.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

You can install the cooler with the fans attached

The Fuma 3 can be installed with it’s fans attached, which makes installation much easier in many space-constrained SFF cases using mITX motherboards.

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

 It won’t cut you! 

Some might think this line is a joke, but Scythe’s Fuma 2 had ridiculously sharp edges that made it very easy for users to cut themselves. I’ve injured myself at least twice from that cooler’s prickly sides. The edges of the fins on the Fuma 3, on the other hand, are dull and do not present a safety hazard.

 Reverse Rotating Dual Fans

There’s more to a cooler than just the heatsink or radiator. The bundled fans have a significant impact on cooling and noise levels. The Fuma 3 features two fans of different thicknesses. Both are 120mm Kaze Flex II fans, but one of them is the slim version of this fan. 

The mixed-size fans rotate in opposite directions to increase the total static pressure for better airflow through the fins and heatpipes. On the sides of each fan are arrows indicating which way the fan spins and the direction the fan should be installed. The fans are rated for over 120,000 hours of use, which in my opinion indicates a strong level of confidence from Scythe in the manufacturing process and the reliability of its fans.

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ModelScythe Kaze Flex II/Scythe Kaze Flex II Slim
Dimensions120 x 120 x 26 mm/120 x 120 x 15mm
Fan SpeedUp to 1500 RPM +- 10%
Air FlowUp to 67.62/39.44 CFM
Air PressureUp to 0.96/1.5 mmH2O
Bearing TypeFluid Dynamic Bearing
MFFT120,000 hours

Cooling Considerations

Modern CPUs, whether Intel or AMD, are difficult to cool in intensive workloads. In the past, reaching 95C+ on a desktop CPU might have been a cause for concern – but with today’s processors, it is considered normal operation. Similar behavior has been present in laptops for years due to cooling limitations in tight spaces. 

Since last fall, Tom’s Hardware has brought you cooling reviews using one of the most power-hungry desktop CPU on the market – Intel’s flagship i9-13900K. To give you an idea of what it takes to cool Intel’s behemoth, we’ve tested it with a variety of coolers from basic low end air coolers like the Amazon Basics CPU cooler, to high-end 420mm AIOs such as Corsair’s iCUE H170i Elite.

While it’s nice to see how Intel’s flagship responds to different levels of cooling, those results don’t always correlate with lower-tier CPUs. Today’s review features two CPUs more commonly purchased by end users:  AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X and Intel’s i7-13700K.

LGA1700 Socket Bending

Note there are many factors other than the CPU cooler that can influence your cooling performance, including the case you use and the fans installed in it. A system's motherboard can also influence this, especially if it suffers from bending, which results in poor cooler contact with the CPU. 

In order to prevent bending from impacting our cooling results, we’ve installed Thermalright’s LGA 1700 contact frame into our testing rig. If your motherboard is affected by bending, your thermal results will be worse than those shown below. Not all motherboards are affected equally by this issue. I tested Raptor Lake CPUs in two motherboards. And while one of them showed significant thermal improvements after installing Thermalright’s LGA1700 contact frame, the other motherboard showed no difference in temperatures whatsoever! Check out our review of the contact frame for more information. 

Testing Methodology

All testing is performed at a 23C ambient room temperature. Multiple thermal tests are run on each CPU to test the cooler in a variety of conditions, and acoustic measurements are taken with each result. These tests include:

1. Noise normalized testing at low noise levels

2. “Out-of-the-box”/default configuration thermal & acoustics testing.

     a.) This means no power limits on Intel’s i7-13700K, and AMD’s default power limits on AMD’s Ryzen 7 7700X.

      b.) Because CPUs hit Tjmax in this scenario, the best way to compare cooling strength is by recording the total CPU package power consumption.

3. Thermal & acoustics testing in power-limited scenarios.

      a.) With Ryzen 7 7700X, I’ve tested with limits of 95W and 75W enforced.

      b.) On Intel’s i7-13700K, I’ve tested with limits of 175W and 125W enforced.

The thermal results included are for 10-minute testing runs. To be sure that was sufficiently long to tax the cooler, we tested both Thermalright’s Assassin X 120 R SE and DeepCool’s LT720 with a 30-minute Cinebench test with Intel’s i9-13900K for both 10 minutes and 30 minutes. The results didn’t change much at all with the longer test: The average clock speeds maintained dropped by 29 MHz on DeepCool’s LT720 and 31 MHz on Thermalright’s Assassin X 120 R SE. That’s an incredibly small 0.6% difference in clock speeds maintained, a margin of error difference that tells us that the 10-minute tests are indeed long enough to properly test the coolers.

Testing Configuration – Intel LGA1700 Platform

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CPUIntel Core i7-13700K
Comparison Coolers TestedBeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 Cooler Master Master Air MA824 Stealth Cooler Master Hyper 622 Halo Cooler Master Master Liquid Core 360L Cougar Forza 85 Essential DeepCool Assassin IV DeepCool LT720 EKWB Nucleus CR360 Lux Jiushark JF13K Diamond Lian Li GA II Performance Thermalright Silver Soul 135 Thermalright Peerless Assassin Montech D24 Premium MSI CoreLiquid MEG S360 Noctua NH-D15S
MotherboardMSI Z690 A Pro DDR4
GPUIntel ARC A770 LE
CaseBe Quiet! Silent Base 802, system fans set to speed 1 setting.
MonitorLG 45GR95QE
PSUCooler Master XG Plus 850 Platinum PSU

Testing Configuration – AMD AM5 Platform

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CPUAMD Ryzen 7 7700X
MotherboardASRock B650E Taichi
GPUIntel ARC A770 LE
CaseDeepCool CK560WH
MonitorLG 45GR95QE
PSUCougar Polar X2 1200W
Albert Thomas
Freelancer, CPU Cooling Reviewer

Albert Thomas is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering CPU cooling reviews.

  • Udyr

    Cons- Some larger, pricier alternatives perform better
    Instead of this, maybe a different wording? Something like: for X price increase you get Y% better cooling?
  • kano1337
    Why the cooling capacity is much lower on recent AMD models than the Intel ones?
    I have seen this multiple times, but do not know the reasons
  • Albert.Thomas
    kano1337 said:
    Why the cooling capacity is much lower on recent AMD models than the Intel ones?
    I have seen this multiple times, but do not know the reasons
    You can't compare the cooling capacity on Ryzen 7 7700X to that of Intel i7-13700K, the reason I use these two CPUs is to see how different processors can be impacted by cooling.

    The 7700X uses less power, but it has a higher thermal density. If you were gonna try to compare Intel to AMD more closely here, you'd need to at least use a 7900X instead.
  • Albert.Thomas
    Udyr said:
    Instead of this, maybe a different wording? Something like: for X price increase you get Y% better cooling?
    We have to list a "con" for our articles.

    Personally, I don't feel that there really are any "cons" for this product.
  • newtechldtech
    with max turbo TDP of 253 watts for intel , I think that air cooling is not an option anymore for intel unless you are willing to sacrifice alot of performance , and thats before any OC.
  • Albert.Thomas
    newtechldtech said:
    with max turbo TDP of 253 watts for intel , I think that air cooling is not an option anymore for intel unless you are willing to sacrifice alot of performance , and thats before any OC.
    Both AMD and Intel CPUs will hit TJMax in maximum intensity workloads, and neither loses a lot of performance with air cooling. Really - unless you're using a tiny SFF cooler, the performance difference will be small in heavy loads like rendering and non-existent in most common workloads.

    In this author's personal opinion overclocking is mostly pointless on most modern CPUs unless you're willing to delid your CPU.