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.