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Thermalright's Macho Zero CPU Cooler Is Fanless

As CPUs are becoming more efficient, you may wonder why cooling manufacturers still insist on making large air-cooling towers. Thermalright's latest number, the updated HR-02 "Macho Zero," seems to raise that question at first sight, but there's more to it than meets the eye. Well, when we say more, we actually mean less, as it doesn't ship with any fans. A big tower is useful, then, as it allows you to cool today's high-performance CPU without the immediate need for a fan.

The Macho Zero is a standard tower cooler with six copper U-shaped 6 mm-thick heatpipes feeding heat to the aluminum fin array. Most of the unit is plated with black nickel, which mostly makes the unit look better than if left untreated, but also offers a little bit of protection from corrosion. The top fin of the stack is anodized black, and the entire construction is 162 mm tall.

Included with the Macho Zero are both Intel and AMD mounting mechanisms, a pair of white cotton gloves for clean installation, two grams of Chill Factor 3 TIM (Thermal Interface Material), two black anodized fan brackets, and a Thermalright screwdriver with a magnetic tip.

You can approach mounting the Macho Zero passively, semi-passively, and actively. Passive mode simply means that you don't mount a fan to it and let your case airflow take care of heat dissipation, while active mode means that you mount fans to it using the included fan brackets and a fan you pick yourself.

"Semi-passive" is the interesting one, as it uses a fan duct to use the rear-exhaust fan of your case to draw air through the Macho Zero. Unfortunately, the Macho Zero with fan ducts will only be available with the unit from MindFactory.de (opens in new tab), in Germany, where it costs €54.99 ($60 USD).

There's no word on U.S. pricing or availability yet.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.

  • icrf
    Isn't this how a lot of OEM desktops operate? It works because they can control the case exhaust ports and CPU locations sufficiently and in enough volume to build custom hard plastic shrouds. Nice to see in the consumer space, even if it is a big popoid.
    Reply
  • firefoxx04
    Any decent to good fan (Phanteks or Noctua for example) attached to a large tower can be pretty much silent, especially in a case geared toward being quiet. 140mm fans are 'almost' silent around the 500-600rpm range while allowing the heatsink to me that much more effective. Just like a huge watercooling radiator with fans running at a very low rpm. Some air flow is better than none.

    I guess a low powered cpu (i3 or pentium) would work well with this but who puts those weak chips in large enclosures? I like the idea of an i3 or Pentium in a tiny itx box or a box that the user does not care about sound.
    Reply
  • Onus
    This is a good idea, but I'd like to see someone sell a length of expandable flexible hose (e.g. 3"-8") with a fan adapter on one end and some kind of clip on the other, so any number of CPU heatsinks can be operated this way.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    It does take up a lot of real-estate, but 710 grams isn't that bad. It's not too much heavier than the Hyper 212 EVO, and almost half the weight of some of the other dual-tower configurations.

    I wonder if we could do a fanless heatsink round-up?
    Reply
  • f-14
    i see the hole that is offset to one side at the bottom, and then offset at the top to the other side this is an interesting feature of what would be the chimney effect right? were it mounted vertically and with a case exhaust above it that would work an interesting bit of natures physics. i would think the chimney would have to increase in diameter some what to induce a heat funnel.
    laterally mounted that chimney is all wrong. i am surprised more study hasn't been done on this by heating and cooling experts as well as air flow experts in a great many industries.
    Reply
  • photonboy
    F-14,
    They state the purpose of the chimney is to connect to a case fan which then draws air through the chimney. It's not meant to be used without a fan nor would it do much of anything in that scenario.
    Reply
  • rwinches
    English link
    http://www.thermalright.de/en/cooler/39/hr-02-macho-zero?c=9

    Says Fan Ducts are available optionally with the unit.

    The accessories Tab shows a translucent fan duct available for 120mm fans though.
    http://www.thermalright.de/en/accessories/38/120-mm-fan-duct?c=11
    Reply
  • a1r
    No mechanical apparatus with moving parts is silent. You'd have to have a really big fan not to hear it at all in the case unless you have poor hearing. The only way to be silent is not to have a fan. It is actually possible with a well designed case and airflow system to not have more than a single fan or any fan at all even in a higher end system. It's a matter of thermodynamics. Unless you've done the math, (and unless you're a electrical or mechanical engineer, i seriously doubt you have the skill set) about how that particular heat sink works, you really don't know what you're talking about.


    "Any decent to good fan (Phanteks or Noctua for example) attached to a large tower can be pretty much silent, especially in a case geared toward being quiet. 140mm fans are 'almost' silent around the 500-600rpm range while allowing the heatsink to me that much more effective. Just like a huge watercooling radiator with fans running at a very low rpm. Some air flow is better than none.

    I guess a low powered cpu (i3 or pentium) would work well with this but who puts those weak chips in large enclosures? I like the idea of an i3 or Pentium in a tiny itx box or a box that the user does not care about sound. "
    Reply
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    C'mon, man, he said "almost silent", not completely silent, so r-e-l-a-x.

    14428143 said:
    No mechanical apparatus with moving parts is silent. You'd have to have a really big fan not to hear it at all in the case unless you have poor hearing. The only way to be silent is not to have a fan. It is actually possible with a well designed case and airflow system to not have more than a single fan or any fan at all even in a higher end system. It's a matter of thermodynamics. Unless you've done the math, (and unless you're a electrical or mechanical engineer, i seriously doubt you have the skill set) about how that particular heat sink works, you really don't know what you're talking about.


    "Any decent to good fan (Phanteks or Noctua for example) attached to a large tower can be pretty much silent, especially in a case geared toward being quiet. 140mm fans are 'almost' silent around the 500-600rpm range while allowing the heatsink to me that much more effective. Just like a huge watercooling radiator with fans running at a very low rpm. Some air flow is better than none.

    I guess a low powered cpu (i3 or pentium) would work well with this but who puts those weak chips in large enclosures? I like the idea of an i3 or Pentium in a tiny itx box or a box that the user does not care about sound. "

    Reply
  • gasolin
    Just ordered it and the fan duct is not optional either 120mm or 140mm take a look at the temps at 4.5ghz and 1005 load and be amzed its' cooler then some cpu cooler with fans, fan duct make it even cooler not by 1-3 degress but more the 5 degress http://www.play3r.net/reviews/cooling/thermalright-macho-zero-review/6/
    Reply