Installing the Scythe Mugen Max
Before we inspect each member of our new CPU cooler collection, let’s establish that our tests consist of methods we have determined to be the best for our one singular purpose. Our methodology isn’t written in stone, and could very likely be changed or modified as we receive justification (and feedback from the community). Our scope is limited to stand-alone products only, meaning those products which can be installed and operated without additional critical components needed or kit construction. This is the reason for this first test, in which the mounting system for each cooler is tested. Since this is not an apple to apples comparison, but rather a subjective description of each of the kits available without any form of quantitative data, it does not affect the numerical scores we give for each product. The purpose of this test is to inform our readers on how the mounting system of each processor cooler can affect the buying experience.
As usual, we will mount the cooler in one of our Intel test platforms. This time, we will be using an XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 motherboard to test the mounting system included with the Scythe Mugen Max, which Scythe lists as one of the supported sockets.
Installing the Scythe Mugen Max starts with locating the four silver nuts, the back-plate, and the LGA 775 spacer to prevent the back-plate to make contact with the contacts located behind the motherboard’s socket. Scythe does not clearly package each component in an individual bag which can confusion. For AMD sockets you will have to remove the top fan bracket, however you will still need the back-plate included with all AMD motherboards.
With the back-plate and thumb nuts in place it is just a matter of seconds to get the two mounting brackets installed. Once the back-plate is held snug it is time to decide which way to install the Scythe Mugen Max in order to install the two brackets. The scythe manual instructs users to install it vertically, which is a smart choice as you will have less compatibility issues this way due to the heatsinks shape.
So far the Scythe Mugen Max has been an easy installation, but it is still a bulky heatsink. Unlike the Scythe Ashura, the Mugen Max is a lot thicker, meaning that reaching those two bottom screws will require some skill with the screwdriver, specially since they are not permanently attached to the metal bracket that holds the Mugen Max in place. The small wrench that Scythe includes might be useful in some cases, however the tall heatsinks in our test motherboard did not allow us to use the tool to reach the screws, instead we used a long screw driver through the canals that can be seen through the top of the heatsink to tighten down the screws. This does mean that you will probably need to remove the motherboard from the case in order to install the Mugen Max in place.