Scythe Fuma 3 – A pair of counter-rotating impellers

Key features

Another cooler that we will have time to look at this year is the Scythe Fuma 3. This cooler uses several atypical design elements, which makes it different from the usual dual-tower coolers in its class. Moreover, with a price tag of just over 50 EUR, it could offer an interesting price/performance ratio. Additionally, this is my first experience with a Scythe cooler, so I’m also duly curious to see how the Fuma 3 performs in stress tests.

Key features of the cooler

Scythe Fuma 3 is a really interesting cooler. It is a highly asymmetrical dual-tower cooler that uses two completely different types of fans. While the rear tower hosts a classic 25mm fan from the Kaze Flex II series, the front tower, which is also relatively thin, hosts a 15mm slim fan. To make things even more interesting, the two fans rotate in opposite directions to each other, which can have an impact on both the acoustics and of course the overall efficiency.


So the front tower is really thin and it is also noticeably offset towards the centre of the cooler in order to, in combination with the slim fan, ensure maximum compatibility with RAM modules on the motherboard. The rear tower, on the other hand, is quite large and has a cutout at the bottom to avoid physical conflict with a passive power cascade cooler on the motherboard. In addition, another (third overall) fan can be mounted on the rear tower, whose usefulness will be verified in a future article.


The two towers are connected by six 6 mm diameter copper heatpipes with a nickel-plated surface. The large copper base through which these heatpipes pass is also treated with a layer of nickel and polished to a mirror shine. The upper surfaces of both heatsink towers feature a decorative cover with a very minimalist manufacturer’s logo. On the front tower, you can notice a pair of small cut-outs from above, which serve as a path for a screwdriver when installing the cooler.

The manufacturer is very generous with the accessories supplied with the Scythe Fuma 3 cooler and there is nothing important missing. The mounting system of the cooler is sufficiently robust and of appropriate quality. A very nice bonus is the handy long shank screwdriver for the easiest possible installation of the cooler. You will also find a tube of thermal paste in the package, including a small plastic applicator. There is also a splitter for connecting both supplied fans to a single PWM header on the motherboard. You will also find an additional set of clips for attaching a third fan to the back of the cooler. The accessories are then rounded off with a clear and well-designed manual.


The installation of the cooler is simple and straightforward, so you shouldn’t encounter any setbacks. Just make sure to choose the correct spacers according to the socket (LGA 1700 socket has its own set) and adjust the spacing of the screws on the supplied backplate in case of mounting on an Intel processor. During installation, you also have to remove the middle 120mm fan for a while and at this point you will fully appreciate the supplied screwdriver.

Cooler and fan parameters

Scythe Fuma 3 does not stand out from its class of coolers in terms of dimensions. A positive element is its overall height, which is just under 155 mm, which is sometimes the limit of compatibility of some smaller cases (for example, the popular Masterbox NR200P from CoolerMaster), without somehow reducing the overall density of the cooler or interfering with the compatibility with the RAM slots on the motherboard.

As mentioned, the Scythe Fuma 3 uses not only the asymmetrical heatsink design, but also an atypical fan configuration. On the front tower you will find the Scythe Kaze Flex II 120 PWM Slim, which is a 15mm thick fan, and on the rear tower you will find the classic Kaze Flex II 120 PWM. The static pressure and airflow values for these fans are not very high though, so hopefully the manufacturer knew what they were doing and these fans will be efficient enough in combination with the heatsink of the cooler over the entire speed range.

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Comments (15) Add comment

  1. About the ”weaker” results: A result of the averageness of the Kaze Flex II 120 (Slim) fans combined with poorer heat transfer within the second tower (due to the relatively large separation of the rear half of the fins from the heatpipe)?

    1. Also Scythe claimed to have increased fin density on the Fuma 3 vs the Fuma 2, which uses the same fans (but initially capped at 1300RPM or so). We know the Kaze Flex fans don’t perform that well on high impedence scenarios and they are not optimized for higher RPMs either, yet the Fuma 3 seems to have been designed foe higher speed operations. From other tests I have seen, the 3 only barely outperform the 2 at higher fan speeds, which means it’s bound to perform worse at lower fan speeds.

      You can see the heatpipe position at the rear fin stack being more favourable for the 2 as well.

      1. Kaze Flex in general don’t perform well, they have pretty high noise floor making it impossible to set them to be quiet, completely defeating the purpose of Ninja 5 I had
        I wonder how would that heatsink fare with dual A12x25 (seeing how tiny U12 can do so much!) and with dual T30, it’s not the most advanced one but the sheer size of that thing should give it some performance, additionally pretty big mass would smooth out short peaks

        1. The heatsink by itself will probably be somewhat similar to the D12L. Based on official drawings, they in fact have pretty similar volume allocated for the fin stack (around 125x100x88 mm, WxHxD). Maybe slightly more height for the Fuma, but width and depth are identical. However, the heatpipes on the Fuma have much more bends which will reduce efficiency.

          With a good fan like A12x25, the front fan probably isn’t needed, as we can see in U12A/D12L tests where an additional fan doesn’t help much. I’m thinking the design of the Fuma 2/3 is mainly the result of finding the best solution they have given the poor performance of their fans (so they need both for acceptable performance instead of only needing one). Once they have a much better fan (Grand Tornado for instance), we should see them forgoing the slim fan altogether.

          1. I meant the gigantic heatsink of Ninja, not Fuma, probably didn’t put it clearly enough though
            Fuma is… quite fine, just held back by the fans mostly

            the tiny heatink of U12A may indeed not benefit much from the second fan but it may help achieve lower noise levels when the top performance isn’t needed
            also U12A is guiding the air through thanks to the “sealed” sides while Ninja is open and very thick so it likely will lose a lot of performance with just a single fan

            overall i believe we need a proper database of custom coolers, mixing and matching components to achieve results exceeding what’s possible out of the box

              1. seems running F12 doesn’t help much but I’m almost certain using A12x25 at a low speed would make it both more quiet and more performant than stock (likely my target 650RPM would perform better than Kaze Flex while being actually inaudible from under the desk), same thing should happen with T30 (and 600RPM for that one) but adding another 10mm to the size of that thing may be more than unreasonable and there’s no way I’d fit it in my case anyway

  2. I’m hoping to get some input on Thermalright’s huge lineup of coolers. Specifically, which are the best. The commotion about the PA120 really this year was obviously an orchestrated marketing effort by TR, with many popular reviewers getting in on the action. However, it has become increasingly obvious to me that the PA120, as Steve@GN pointed out, can only handle so much heat before being overwhelmed. At first, some reviews suggested that the FC140 is the best, although it’s several dBA louder, and then the PS120 was mentioned, but it’s only marginally better than the PA120 until you get to the top end of RPM when the latter gets noisy. Now I’ve just seen
    an HW Canucks video about the new DRPs, which shows that the PS120 and FS120 do the best on a hot 13th gen i9K Intel, with the FS ultimately winning out for both temps and noise. This does seem to contradict some other reviewers but I haven’t seen much about the FS yet.

    Can you guys share any insights, since there’s very little on this site about their coolers?

    1. I have not been in contact with Thermalright for a very long time, but that has changed and in 2024 the situation around testing their stuff will improve. We already have the HR-10 2280 SSD cooler in our testlab and I believe we will follow up with something else.

      My experience with Thermalright goes back to when the Silver Arrow series of coolers was still relevant – the efficiency of the SB-E was great. Significantly lighter cooler than the Noctua NH-D15 and yet more efficient.

  3. Your results for this cooler are much worse than in other reviews. Is your testing methodology substantially different to what other hardware sites do?

    1. Can you please let us know which reviews you are comparing with? I don’t think our results would be in conflict with, for example, what sts-tutorial or Machines & More measured. I consider those to be respectable.

      The Fuma 3 is a cooler with average fans and also an average heatsink design-wise. It is very unlikely that the results presented by Hardware Cannucks, for example, are achievable. Behind top-notch results there must also be top-notch technical implementation of partial things that include psychoacoustic optimizations between the fans and the heatsink. The Fuma 3 is a very decent cooler, but it doesn’t belong to the very top. When this cooler performs great for someone and is among the best, you have to ask what explains it.

      Did you also come across our additional tests where we measured the Fuma 3 with two 25mm thick fans or with the addition of a third fan? After this modification (with three fans) the efficiency is already comparable to the Noctua NH-D15 or even a bit higher. Do you think that for some reason it makes sense for the Fuma 3 to achieve significantly better results?

      1. Thanks for replying. For example, in the STS review the difference between the Fuma 3 and the NH-D15 at 250 W is less than 4 degrees, and in the review at Tom’s Hardware ( there is only 1 degree difference between the Fuma 3 and the Assassin IV, but the Fuma 3 is well behind those coolers in your review: for example, 11 degrees compared to the Assassin IV at 210 W. But maybe the conditions are very different, hence my question.

        I also saw a customer review in Amazon reporting to have an unit with a fan that was not working in PWM mode, that left me wondering if Scythe could have QC problems and some units were not working as intended.

        1. According to what you write, our results and the results of STS scale quite well, don’t they? 🙂

          Tom’s Hardware results are strange. It seems quite unlikely that the CM MA824 Stealth and DeepCool Assassin IV on the Intel platform would finish below the Noctua NH-D15S or comparable (I can’t find out from the article on THW in what exact conditions it was tested… under some circumstances it might be that the NH-D15S is not a weaker cooler than for example the MA824, maybe with a very high system cooling airflow…). Here I consider it important to note that the NH-D15S (i.e. cooler with one fan) has lower TDP than the NH-D15 (with two NF-A15 PWM fans) at comparable noise level. The lower the noise level is set, the bigger the difference is, because as the airflow decreases, the heat dissipation from the front tower gets significantly worse. It’s more pronounced here than on other two-fan designs that clamp the middle fan tighter. The gap between the NH-D15 towers is extra large, which causes the pressure between half of the fins of the cooler to drop faster. The comparison between the NH-D15 and the NH-D15S is well illustrated by this older, but for this purpose (better understanding) useful database.

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