Thermalright HR-02 Macho Quiet/Fanless Cooler

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COMPARISONS

CPU Coolers (ref. 140mm fan): °C Rise Comparison
Heatsink
Fan voltage / SPL @1m*
9V
7V
6V
18~21 dBA
13~16 dBA
11~13 dBA
Thermalright Archon SB-E
37
40
42
Prolimatech Armageddon
39
42
45
Thermalright Venomous X Silent Edition
40
43
44
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
39
43
45
NZXT Havik 140
40
43
47
Noctua NH-C14
(top mounted)
40
44
48
Noctua NH-C14
40
44
49
Thermalright Silver Arrow
39
45
49
*Note: there are minor differences in measured SPL due to the variety of fan orientations and mounting methods offered by the compared coolers.

As a single fan heatsink, the Macho doesn't really stand out against the other top tier coolers we've tested. Its cooling proficiency was similar to the smaller Venomous X.

Dual Fan CPU Coolers (ref. 140mm fans): CPU °C Rise Comparison
Heatsink
Fan Voltage / SPL*
8V
7V
6V
18~20 dBA
15~17 dBA
12~14 dBA
Prolimatech Genesis
36
37
39
Thermalright HR-02 Macho
36
37
40
Noctua NH-C14
37
39
41
Thermalright Silver Arrow
37
39
41
Noctua NH-D14
38
40
42
Thermalright Venomous X
39
41
42
NZXT Havik 140
39
40
43
*Note: there are minor differences in measured SPL due to the variety of fan orientations and mounting methods offered by the compared coolers.

The HR-02 is a much stronger performer when a second fan is added, challenging the Prolimatech Genesis for the champion's crown.

FANLESS

The HR-02 is marketed in part for its fanless cooling potential. In Taipei last month, Chris Lee of Thermalright urged SPCR Editor Mike Chin to test the Macho without direct cooling in a case equipped with an exhaust fan. Chris felt the HR-02 would take on all comers in such a setup.

We decided to test Thermalright's claim by installing it on a system in a case with modest airflow. We used our small heatsink test platform featuring an overclocked/volted Core i5-2400 running at 3.6 GHz with 1.30 V, which produces more heat than a i5-2500K at stock settings. We are quite sure that our standard 1366 test platform simply produces too much heat for any fanless cooler to handle.


Inside our test system.


A closer look.

The system was installed inside a popular quiet case, the Fractal Design Define R3. We used the two included stock fans, one mounted as a rear exhaust, and the other installed in the upper intake position. The two ceiling fan placements were unblocked to maximize ventilation. A passively cooled Radeon HD 5450 was used for video but it doesn't contribute much heat.

Passive Cooling Results: Thermalright HR-02 Macho
Fan Voltage
Exhaust Fan Only
Exhaust + Intake Fan
SPL@1m
CPU Temp.
CPU Temp.
SPL@1m
12V
24~25 dBA
68°C
66°C
26~27 dBA
9V
20~21 dBA
71°C
69°C
22 dBA
7V
18 dBA
76°C
74°C
18~19 dBA
5V
15 dBA
87°C
83°C
15~16 dBA
Ambient temperature: 22°C.
CPU throttling temperature: ~100°C.

The Macho didn't blow us away in passive operation but it performed well enough to keep our test CPU from overheating with very limited airflow. With only a single stock fan running at just 5V, the CPU remained stable, albeit with a very high temperature of 87°C. An 11°C improvement was attained at 7V, a much safer level, but any higher and the system would no longer be considered quiet by our standards. Having an intake fan didn't make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things. There was a 4°C improvement at 5V but this was cut in half at higher speeds.



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