Scythe Fuma SCFM-1000 Big Air CPU Cooler Review

Why you can trust Tom's Hardware Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Test Results And Final Analysis

We haven't tested a dual-120mm double-tower cooler in a while, and were forced to find the closest approximations from more recent tests. These include the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 with 120mm front and 135mm center fans, Deepcool (Gamer Storm) Assassin II with 120mm front and 140mm center fans, and the Cryorig R1 Ultimate with dual 140mm fans.

The three comparison coolers are slightly larger than the SCFM-1000, and charts are arranged in order of fan size. Given those differences, it’s easy to see why the temperatures are coolest at the bottom. Still, with full-fan-speed temperatures matching the two most closely-sized competitors, the SCFM-1000 remains competitive.

Part of the reason why the SCFM-1000’s half-fan temperatures were a little higher is that setting its fans to a 50% PWM duty cycle produced an actual speed of somewhat less than half its full speed. On the other hand, that’s certain to benefit Scythe in the noise measurements.

Results below 20db are also below the validated range of my meter, so that even while we know that the SCFM-1000 made slightly more noise than the Dark Rock Pro 3 at the motherboard’s 50% fan setting, questions remain as to whether the noise level was a full 19db. My guess would be a little lower. Regardless, we can call any of these coolers virtually silent once they’re installed in a case.

The larger CPU coolers are all capable of producing a better cooling-to-noise ratio than the SCFM-1000, but they also cost a bit more. Anyone seeking value must decide which device is cool enough, or quiet enough, for their application.

When I said that competing coolers cost a bit more than the SCFM-1000, I meant 50-100% more. That’s going to be a big “ouch” for value seekers.

I also mentioned that the SCFM-1000 is slightly smaller than its competitors, but what does that imply regarding installation? It means that the SCFM-1000 is short enough to fit the recently reviewed Lian Li PC-O11, whereas the others will not. This photo shows why.

I don’t give out many Editor Recommended awards in CPU cooling, because I feel that most enthusiast market CPU coolers are overpriced. Scythe proved to be the fairly priced exception, with its sub-$50 cooler producing an excellent range of cooling at moderate to ultra-low noise levels. Builders who can tolerate the frustration of installing a center fan as clip wires continuously snag the ends of the cooling fins will be very glad they had the patience for the process after reviewing the bill.

MORE: Best CPU Cooling

MORE: How To Choose A CPU Cooler

MORE: All Cooling Content

MORE: In Pictures: 20 Clever Liquid-Cooled PC Setups

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    Price is $49.00 not $47.00.
    Nice cooler.
  • ykki
    Why weren't coolers which were priced similarly also in this test? Now we know how this cooler performs against big-air but what about the cheaper ones? How would it perform against those? What would be the best cooler under $50 and so on.
  • LionD
    How could the Dark Rock Pro be quitest cooler with its insane 2100 rpm? Something is wrong here.
  • skarp0ye
    Does it fit the Ncase M1?
  • Virtual_Singularity
    19508384 said:
    How could the Dark Rock Pro be quitest cooler with its insane 2100 rpm? Something is wrong here.

    Na, nothing wrong, they use their latest Silentwings series fans with it iirc, which tend to run quiet, though at the cost of overall efficiency, RPMs, CFM. The DRP 3 has proven to be among the best air coolers, it runs quieter than some of its closest competitors, though not always cooler.

    "Does it fit the Ncase M1?"

    Ncase M1 Cooler Height restriction = 130mm with side bracket in place and no fan mounted (according to their page), so, the cooler in this review, or anything that's considered a big cooler, would be a no fit. Even many mid sized air coolers wouldn't fit the M1.
  • Defekter_Engel
    Nickel plated, not chrome.
  • Crashman
    19509342 said:
    Nickel plated, not chrome.
    That's what I thought too, but I couldn't find a spec on it and mentioned the appearance based on the color.

  • Timaphillips
    Why not include a comparison to the Noctua or similar to get a sense of value?
  • synphul
    19508384 said:
    How could the Dark Rock Pro be quitest cooler with its insane 2100 rpm? Something is wrong here.

    Another aspect that's hard to factor is the difference between rated specs and real world. The dark rock pro 3 can get fairly audible if the fans are spinning full speed but it took a lot of doing to push them there in real world use. My 4690k is oc'd to 4.6ghz and I had to run prime95 v26.6 small fft's as well as turn off every single case fan in order to force it to ramp the fans up. It's not very realistic to run p95 on an oc'd processor with no active case ventilation.

    Under normal circumstances with the stock 200mm intake fan (which isn't the best for airflow performance) and stock 140mm exhaust on the enthoo pro running at around 7v and two noctua 140mm fans running at around 5-7v, the dark rock pro 3 never becomes audible either while gaming or running p95 with a decent overclock.

    The specs for the dark rock pro 3 fans may be off in this article. As far as I know the fans included with the cooler aren't the same as those sold retail. The cooler specs from bequiet say they're silent wings fans, not silent wings 2 or 3 which are what they sell retail. They also don't offer retail 135mm fans which the drp3 uses, they only offer 120 or 140mm fans. The drp3 cooler specs say the fan speeds are 1400rpm for the 135mm and 1700rpm for the 120mm at 100% pwm speed. Not 2k rpm +. They do have a silent wings 3 high speed 120mm pwm fan that runs 2200rpm at 28.6dba but it's not the one included with the cooler.

    The same may go for the other coolers, if they're able to cool the cpu in the conditions in which it's used without reaching 100% fan speed then the loudest fan rating may not apply in real world use. Just because it says a cooler 'can be' xyz dba doesn't mean it will be. A max noise rating of 30dba doesn't matter much if under normal conditions it only runs at 25-50% fan speed and stays under 20dba.

    For the price the fuma seems to do pretty well. It depends on what it's being compared to, other coolers of the same height or smaller for size constraints? Ram interference? Performance at that price level? There are similarly priced coolers like the reeven justice or thermalright true spirit 140 power that will potentially outperform it at $40-50 but if height is an issue the fuma would be the better choice as it's shorter than either of those. If ram clearance at that price point is an issue but cooler height isn't, the true spirit 140 power or cryorig h5 universal might be better options.

  • fastcountach
    I think the numbers in the Fan RPM chart are plotted incorrectly (for the Scythe only)