Thermalright HR-02 Macho CPU Air Cooler Review

Thermalright is a long time tried and true brand here at [H]. Very rarely have we seen a product from Thermalright that did not deliver a solid product to enthusiasts in one way or another. The new Macho aims to hit the value, quality, and performance segments...all at the same time.

continued...

Results: Temperatures

For our stock testing our i7 920 will be kept at 2.66 GHz with a minimal 1.25v. For overclocked CPU testing we will be running our i7 920 at 3.6GHz with 1.45v. Idle temperatures will be recorded after a fifteen minute period of inactivity. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes. Load temperatures will be recorded after a fifteen minute period of 100% load. To obtain this load we will be using Prime95 v25.3. Any fluctuation during the last sixty seconds will reset the timer for an additional five minutes.

Please note the following scores are normalized to the ambient temperature. This will show you visually the rise above ambient temperature as well as the overall temperature. Since we are dealing with water cooling it is physically impossible for the temps to be less than ambient. This is why we start our charts at 25C.

The ambient temperature was kept at the same level as in previous tests but the temperature inside the case was measured to be between 27C and 29C during our testing.

Stock Settings

Article Image

At stock settings the HR-02 macho handily beats its predecessor due to its configuration. The original HR-02 came without a fan while the Macho comes with a 140x160mm fan. It may not be a fair fight but these are the default configurations. The fair fight comes later.

The performance of the Macho is very encouraging with sub 40 degree Celsius temps and even managing to best two water cooling kits.

CoreTemp Idle: 39-37-38-36

CoreTemp Load: 57-54-56-54

Overclock Settings

Article Image

Overclocking the CPU widens the gap between the two coolers. The Macho continues to beat the same two water coolers which is a good sign for those who absolutely do not want to mess with water.

CoreTemp Idle: 41-39-41-39

CoreTemp Load: 73-74-72-71

Apples to Apples

Article Image

This is where we make the fight a fair one. Using the same fan across all coolers tested we can see which one is the most efficient given the same amount of air flow. The difference between the two coolers here is less than one degree Celsius. The macho does very well here overall and is within spitting distance of the top spot.

CoreTemp Idle: 41-40-41-39

CoreTemp Load: 74-72-73-70

Sound

Article Image

Article Image

Since the HR-02 Macho uses the same fan as many other Thermalright coolers the only difference in sound will be caused by turbulence from the design of the cooling fins. Here we see the Macho making ever so slightly more noise than the Archon but much less noise than other coolers listed. Overall the sound was very difficult to notice and created a low frequency hum that fades away once you start focusing on work or play.