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.



The HR-02 Macho from Thermalright is a mighty impressive cooler. Clearly, Thermalright has seen the trend of new hybrid water coolers entering the market and has responded in turn. Thermalright's response is well received. At stock speeds the Macho is a mere 5 degrees Celsius behind the top rated water cooler when set to high. Overclock the CPU and the difference remains largely the same with a difference of only 5.7 degrees Celsius. Impressive considering we are talking about air cooling versus water cooling. If that wasn’t enough, once you factor in sound the HR-02 Macho is downright silent compared to the water cooling units. I can’t say it enough, this is no small feat the Macho has accomplished. All that’s left is to determine just how much all of this greatness will cost.


The charts below show the cost you will pay for each degree in temperature reduction the heat sink gives you over the stock cooler. The two areas that influence this chart are cost of the heat sink and its performance. An expensive cooler that gives you superior performance will be rated as average here since its cost hurts its rating. Conversely, a poor performing heat sink that costs next to nothing will be rated as average since its performance will hurt its ratings. We ideally look for low cost and high performance. All prices were gathered by doing a very quick search of the web for each cooler and listing it here sans S/H and tax (these can vary widely from region to region).

As an example, if a cooler outperforms the stock cooler by 10C and costs USD $5.00 it would be listed in our chart as $.50. You would pay fifty cents for each degree of better performance over the box cooler.

Article Image

Article Image

The Bottom Line

Let me start with the previous model. The HR-02 is a passive heat sink that can be used with a fan. It is large expensive and (without a fan) largely underpowered. Just look at how poorly it ranks in our price/performance chart.

Now look at the HR-02 Macho. WOW! It is a world of difference between the two. The Thermalright HR-02 Macho is easily affordable and has a great value thanks to its solid performance. Make no mistake at all, the other heat sink manufacturers have been put on notice. Thermalright is competing on price here and it has come out of the corner swinging. At $40.00 USD, I have a hard time believing the Macho delivers all that it does, but it does. If you are looking for a new cooler for your box and don’t want to break the bank, the Thermalright HR-02 Macho is exactly what you’re looking for.

Installing the cooler is a bit different than before but this can be overlooked at such a low price for so much metal. Now we just have to find where to buy one.

Article Image

Thermalright HR-02 Macho