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Thermalright Macho Heat Sink Family Round-Up

Even A Macho Changes Over Time

For the past three years, Thermalright's HR-02 Macho has been a stalwart in the competitive CPU cooler segment. We've seen various Macho models offer good price-to-performance ratios, and as fan speeds are reduced, they show their real strength. In a recent review on Tom's Hardware Germany, we documented this by testing the black nickel-plated HR-02 Macho Zero, which doesn’t even ship with a fan.

Over the years, most of the changes to the HR-02 Macho family were minor adjustments. Sometimes the bundled fan was replaced by something newer. Occasionally, the heat sink's looks were updated. Moreover, Thermalright created smaller and larger derivatives of its box-shaped cooler.

The Macho 120 (we called it the Mini Macho) offers reduced height, helping it fit into slim, budget-priced enclosures. The huge HR-22 was intended to break into the semi-passive segment. Surprisingly, though, the standard-sized Macho Zero wound up beating it.

More recently, Thermalright introduced the HR-02 Macho Rev. B, the latest iteration of the standard model with a 14cm fan. Compared to its predecessor (the HR-02 Macho Rev. A), the updated model not only comes with a few design improvements like nickel-plated heat pipes and a black paint job for the topmost cooling fin, but it also sports two technical innovations.

Until recently, Thermalright used its own TY-147 fan, which is replaced by the TV-147A. The new cooler complements the good performance of the HR-02 Macho at low fan speeds by offering a much wider RPM range (from 300 to 1300RPM) than its predecessor, which had a 900RPM floor.

The second technical innovation is the CPU contact plate. Thermalright's HR-02 Mach Rev. B uses a significantly larger base. In fact, it's the same one that adorns the Macho Zero. This is intended to improve cooling performance for the latest LGA 2011-v3 processor generation.

Inspired by the introduction of Thermalright's refresh, we arranged a family meeting of the various Macho models. Mounted on top of an Intel Core i7-5820K, they can demonstrate their individual strengths and weaknesses.

  • nucas
    And... were is Noctua?
    If these coolers are the benchmark for competing brands, were are they.

    Reply
  • gofasterstripes
    This is awesome. How does it compare to a Noctua d14?
    Reply
  • youcanDUit
    the lack of comparisons makes me wonder...
    Reply
  • cib24
    This was a great read and very informative with regards to the Thermalright CPU coolers. I hope that the next article by Kai Tubbesing is a comparison test of CPU coolers and is written with the same attention to detail and careful testing procedures.
    Reply
  • Onus
    "...the updated model not only comes with a few design improvements like nickel-plated heat pipes and a black paint job for the topmost cooling fin..."
    Please use the word "changes" instead of "improvements" unless you can show better cooling performance attributable to these two things.
    "Indeed, the HR-02 Macho Rev. B stands out from the crowd."
    With not a single other member of "the crowd" in these tests, this statement is meaningless marketing drivel, and the whole article nothing more than an advertisement. Particularly as a Moderator, I try not to be critical of the site, but this might be the worst example of misrepresentation I've ever seen here. I think you can do a LOT better.
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    Alas I agree, without comparisons to existing coolers (and please dear grud
    include a normal TRUE!) the article is useless. Are any of these better than
    the venerable NH-D14? The equivalent Phanteks? What about an H80? One
    cannot make a purchasing decision based on the summary. I'm sure toms
    wouldn't do a GPU roundup based on a single manufacturer's product line,
    eg. Zotac; readers would rightly want to know how they compared to ASUS,
    EVGA and all the others.

    I'm glad I started doing a particular thing with cooler reviews before I invest
    time reading from the start: I go straight to the results page, and if it doesn't
    have coolers from other vendors then I don't bother reading. What people
    want is something like this. Ditto reviews for fans, etc.

    Ian.

    Reply
  • jtd871
    SPCR's recommended heatsinks summary provides a good comparison of heatsink performance (cooling performance/noise level) and links to the original reviews for more detailed information. It helps that SPCR has standardized on a 130W TDP CPU as the heat source in order to provide an 'apples to apples' comparison.

    I will credit Tom's for doing a better job of reporting on performance and noise over the range of the fan speeds recently.
    Reply
  • Calculatron
    15183168 said:
    Alas I agree, without comparisons to existing coolers (and please dear grud
    include a normal TRUE!) the article is useless. Are any of these better than
    the venerable NH-D14? The equivalent Phanteks? What about an H80? One
    cannot make a purchasing decision based on the summary. I'm sure toms
    wouldn't do a GPU roundup based on a single manufacturer's product line,
    eg. Zotac; readers would rightly want to know how they compared to ASUS,
    EVGA and all the others.

    I'm glad I started doing a particular thing with cooler reviews before I invest
    time reading for the start: I go straight to the results page, and if it doesn't
    have coolers from other vendors then I don't bother reading. What people
    want is something like this. Ditto reviews for fan reviews, etc.

    Ian.

    Boom goes the dynamite.

    http://www.tomshardware.de/cpu-kuhler-test-prozessorkuhler-cooling-cpu-cooler,testberichte-241700-7.html

    The German Tom's Hardware team has been delving into cooling for the last couple months, which explains why we have been getting some of the articles we have being thrown our way. (This article was published about a month ago, I think?)

    I actually hope that Tom's Hardware does more round-ups like this, and I hope that they do the testing for the True Spirit family of Thermalright heatsinks next. The more data we have that is like this, and have it in one place, the better off we all are. And the less we'll feel the need to see it as a requirement to include something like an Noctua NH-D15, or Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO.

    Reply
  • Onus
    Yes, but this wasn't a "round up;" it was a showcase of a single company's products. The data presented may be 100% reliable (and I hope I didn't imply that it wasn't), but without comparative results from other products, does not assist in making a buying decision or otherwise judging the merits of the coolers.
    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    Well considering how many benchmarks there are including all the coolers such as the Phanteks PH_14TCPE, Noctua NH-D15, Cryorig R1 Universal, be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3, and many others, it should be pretty obvious where/what these products stack up at.

    This is just a general evaluation of a lineup of coolers. Just go find another site that benches at a similar setting with a 5820K or comparable socket 2011 CPU and go look at it and stop complaining about them not having results when there are already tons out there that you can take two minutes to look up and compare to.
    Reply