Thermalright Macho CPU Cooler Review
By
Rafael Coelho
on December 13, 2011
Today we are testing the Thermalright Macho, an enormous CPU cooler with six heatpipes and one 140 mm fan. Check it out!
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Figure 1: Package
Figure 2 shows the contents of the box: heatsink, fan, a small bag of thermal compound, manual, case sticker, and installation hardware.
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Figure 2: Accessories
Figure 3 displays the Thermalright Macho heatsink.
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Figure 3: The Thermalright Macho heatsink
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 illustrates the front of the heatsink. The first thing we noticed was the big gap between the fins, which makes this heatsink suitable for low pressure fans.
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Figure 4: Front view
Figure 5 reveals the side of the large heatsink. Notice that the heatsink is shifted from the base, which allows it to clear the memory sockets’ airspace.
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Figure 5: Side view
The rear side of the cooler is presented in Figure 6. The Macho heatsink supports a second fan, but the product doesn’t come with the wire clips needed to install one.
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Figure 6: Rear view
In Figure 7, you can see the top of the heatsink. The fins have holes with folded tabs, which help to improve the cooling performance.
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Figure 7: Top view
The base of the cooler is seen in Figure 8. Notice that the six copper heatpipes don’t touch the CPU directly; they are soldered to a nickel-plated copper base with near-mirrored finishing.
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Figure 8: Base
Figure 9 shows the detail of the heatpipes curves.
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Figure 9: Heatpipes curves
The 140 mm PWM fan is shown in Figure 10.
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Figure 10: Fan
In Figure 11, you can see the Macho with the fan installed. The cooler comes with four rubber pads to be glued on the fan in order to absorb vibrations.
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Figure 11: Fan installed
Figure 12 reveals the backplate used to install the Macho. You must install the screws at the backplate in the holes matching the socket used by your CPU.
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Figure 12: Backplate
After putting the backplate on the solder side of the motherboard, you need to attach four thumbnuts from the component side, and then install a metal frame over them, as shown in Figure 13.
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Figure 13: Frame installed
After installing the frame, put the cooler over the CPU and hold it in place, screwing the transversal holder to the frame. The “hole” in the heatsink is needed to insert a Phillips screwdriver (you will need a long one) that reaches the second screw. If you don’t have a long screwdriver, you can attach this screw with the wrench that comes with the cooler. However, you will have to remove the motherboard from the case in order to reach it.
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Figure 14: Heatsink installed
The last step, installing the fan, is an easy task. You can see it in place in Figure 15.
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Figure 15: Fan installed
We tested the cooler with a Core i7-860 CPU (quad-core, 2.8 GHz), which is a socket LGA1156 processor with a 95 W TDP (Thermal Design Power). In order to get higher thermal dissipation, we overclocked it to 3.3 GHz (150 MHz base clock and 22x multiplier), keeping the standard core voltage (Vcore), which was the maximum stable overclock we could make with the stock cooler. Keep in mind that we could have raised the CPU clock more, but to include the stock cooler in our comparison, we needed to use this moderate overclock.
We measured noise and temperature with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to get 100% CPU usage in all threads, we ran Prime 95 25.11 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option. (In this version, the software uses all available threads.)
We compared the tested cooler to the Intel stock cooler with a copper base (included with the CPU), as well as with other coolers. Note that in the past, we tested coolers with a socket LGA775 CPU, and we retested some "old" coolers with this new methodology. This means you can find different values in older reviews than the values you will read in the next page. Every cooler was tested with the thermal compound that accompanies it.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the CPU thermal sensors), using an arithmetic average of the core temperature readings. During the tests, the left panel of the case was open.
Hardware Configuration
Operating System Configuration
Software Used
Error Margin
We adopted a 2 °C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the CPU at idle and at full load. In the models with a fan supporting PWM, the motherboard controlled the fan speed according to core load and temperature. On coolers with an integrated fan controller, the fan was set at the minimum speed on the idle test and at full speed on the full load test.
Idle Processor | Processor at Full Load | ||||||
Cooler | Room Temp. | Noise | Speed | Core Temp. | Noise | Speed | Core Temp. |
Intel stock (socket LGA1156) | 14 °C | 44 dBA | 1700 rpm | 46 °C | 54 dBA | 2500 rpm | 90 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 G1 | 14 °C | 47 dBA | 2050 rpm | 33 °C | 56 dBA | 2900 rpm | 62 °C |
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme | 14 °C | 45 dBA | 1400 rpm | 27 °C | 53 dBA | 1950 rpm | 51 °C |
Thermaltake Silent 1156 | 14 °C | 44 dBA | 1200 rpm | 38 °C | 49 dBA | 1750 rpm | 69 °C |
Noctua NH-D14 | 14 °C | 49 dBA | 1250 rpm | 27 °C | 49 dBA | 1250 rpm | 53 °C |
Zalman CNPS10X Performa | 14 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 28 °C | 52 dBA | 1950 rpm | 54 °C |
Prolimatech Megahalems | 14 °C | 40 dBA | 750 rpm | 27 °C | 60 dBA | 2550 rpm | 50 °C |
Thermaltake Frio | 14 °C | 46 dBA | 1450 rpm | 27 °C | 60 dBA | 2500 rpm | 50 °C |
Prolimatech Samuel 17 | 14 °C | 40 dBA | 750 rpm | 40 °C | 60 dBA | 2550 rpm | 63 °C |
Zalman CNPS8000A | 18 °C | 43 dBA | 1400 rpm | 39 °C | 54 dBA | 2500 rpm | 70 °C |
Spire TherMax Eclipse II | 14 °C | 55 dBA | 2200 rpm | 28 °C | 55 dBA | 2200 rpm | 53 °C |
Scythe Ninja3 | 17 °C | 39 dBA | 700 rpm | 32 °C | 55 dBA | 1800 rpm | 57 °C |
Corsair A50 | 18 °C | 52 dBA | 1900 rpm | 33 °C | 52 dBA | 1900 rpm | 60 °C |
Thermaltake Jing | 18 °C | 44 dBA | 850 rpm | 34 °C | 49 dBA | 1300 rpm | 60 °C |
GlacialTech Alaska | 18 °C | 43 dBA | 1150 rpm | 36 °C | 51 dBA | 1600 rpm | 60 °C |
Deepcool Gamer Storm | 18 °C | 43 dBA | 1100 rpm | 35 °C | 48 dBA | 1600 rpm | 62 °C |
Corsair A70 | 26 °C | 56 dBA | 1900 rpm | 40 °C | 56 dBA | 1900 rpm | 65 °C |
Deepcool Ice Blade Pro | 23 °C | 45 dBA | 1200 rpm | 38 °C | 52 dBA | 1500 rpm | 64 °C |
AC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 | 23 °C | 47 dBA | 1750 rpm | 44 °C | 51 dBA | 2100 rpm | 77 °C |
Corsair H70 | 27 °C | 60 dBA | 1900 rpm | 37 °C | 60 dBA | 1900 rpm | 61 °C |
Zalman CNPS9900 Max | 27 °C | 55 dBA | 1600 rpm | 38 °C | 58 dBA | 1750 rpm | 63 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer 11 LP | 25 °C | 45 dBA | 1700 rpm | 51 °C | 49 dBA | 1950 rpm | 91 °C |
CoolIT Vantage | 26 °C | 60 dBA | 2500 rpm | 37 °C | 60 dBA | 2500 rpm | 62 °C |
Deepcool Ice Matrix 600 | 25 °C | 46 dBA | 1100 rpm | 41 °C | 53 dBA | 1300 rpm | 69 °C |
Titan Hati | 26 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 40 °C | 57 dBA | 2450 rpm | 68 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 | 27 °C | 49 dBA | 1950 rpm | 41 °C | 53 dBA | 2300 rpm | 70 °C |
Noctua NH-C14 | 26 °C | 52 dBA | 1300 rpm | 37 °C | 52 dBA | 1300 rpm | 61 °C |
Intel XTS100H | 26 °C | 49 dBA | 1200 rpm | 42 °C | 64 dBA | 2600 rpm | 68 °C |
Zalman CNPS5X SZ | 23 °C | 52 dBA | 2250 rpm | 38 °C | 57 dBA | 2950 rpm | 69 °C |
Thermaltake SlimX3 | 21 °C | 50 dBA | 2700 rpm | 46 °C | 50 dBA | 2750 rpm | 99 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper 101 | 21 °C | 50 dBA | 2600 rpm | 38 °C | 57 dBA | 3300 rpm | 71 °C |
Antec Kühler H_{2}O 620 | 19 °C | 52 dBA | 1400 rpm | 34 °C | 55 dBA | 1400 rpm | 58 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 Pro | 20 °C | 46 dBA | 1100 rpm | 36 °C | 49 dBA | 1300 rpm | 62 °C |
GlacialTech Siberia | 22 °C | 49 dBA | 1400 rpm | 34 °C | 49 dBA | 1400 rpm | 61 °C |
Evercool Transformer 3 | 18 °C | 46 dBA | 1800 rpm | 33 °C | 51 dBA | 2250 rpm | 65 °C |
Zalman CNPS11X Extreme | 20 °C | 51 dBA | 1850 rpm | 34 °C | 56 dBA | 2050 rpm | 61 °C |
Thermaltake Frio OCK | 15 °C | 44 dBA | 1000 rpm | 27 °C | 64 dBA | 2200 rpm | 51 °C |
Prolimatech Genesis | 18 °C | 49 dBA | 1050 rpm | 30 °C | 49 dBA | 1050 rpm | 54 °C |
Arctic Cooling Freezer XTREME Rev. 2 | 15 °C | 41 dBA | 1050 rpm | 32 °C | 44 dBA | 1400 rpm | 60 °C |
NZXT HAVIK 140 | 16 °C | 48 dBA | 1250 rpm | 29 °C | 49 dBA | 1250 rpm | 55 °C |
Antec Kühler H_{2}O 920 | 18 °C | 41 dBA | 650 rpm | 29 °C | 64 dBA | 2500 rpm | 49 °C |
Zalman CNP7X LED | 18 °C | 45 dBA | 1950 rpm | 33 °C | 48 dBA | 2150 rpm | 58 °C |
EVGA Superclock | 14 °C | 43 dBA | 1300 rpm | 27 °C | 58 dBA | 2350 rpm | 47 °C |
Evercool Transformer 4 | 15 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 26 °C | 53 dBA | 1950 rpm | 52 °C |
Xigmatek Dark Knight | 18 °C | 47 dBA | 1700 rpm | 30 °C | 53 dBA | 2150 rpm | 57 °C |
Xigmatek Aegir | 15 °C | 44 dBA | 1500 rpm | 27 °C | 50 dBA | 1950 rpm | 52 °C |
Cooler Master GeminII S524 | 16 °C | 45 dBA | 1300 rpm | 29 °C | 53 dBA | 1800 rpm | 58 °C |
Enermax ETS-T40-TA | 16 °C | 40 dBA | 1050 rpm | 28 °C | 48 dBA | 1800 rpm | 55 °C |
Corsair H80 | 14 °C | 42 dBA | 2150 rpm | 25 °C | 52 dBA | 2150 rpm | 47 °C |
Akasa Venom Voodoo | 13 °C | 40 dBA | 1000 rpm | 26 °C | 48 dBA | 1500 rpm | 51 °C |
Xigmatek Thor's Hammer | 15 °C | 44 dBA | 1500 rpm | 30 °C | 50 dBA | 2000 rpm | 55 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM | 19 °C | 45 dBA | 1400 rpm | 30 °C | 52 dBA | 1900 rpm | 54 °C |
Xigmatek Loki | 17 °C | 44 dBA | 1850 rpm | 34 °C | 55 dBA | 2750 rpm | 60 °C |
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO | 14 °C | 44 dBA | 1250 rpm | 26 °C | 50 dBA | 1750 rpm | 50 °C |
Xigmatek Gaia | 17 °C | 44 dBA | 1250 rpm | 32 °C | 46 dBA | 1500 rpm | 61 °C |
Rosewill RCX-ZAIO-92 | 21 °C | 48 dBA | 2050 rpm | 37 °C | 54 dBA | 2600 rpm | 68 °C |
Thermalright True Spirit 120 | 16 °C | 41 dBA | 1000 rpm | 30 °C | 46 dBA | 1400 rpm | 55 °C |
Corsair H100 | 20 °C | 55 dBA | 2000 rpm | 29 °C | 59 dBA | 2000 rpm | 50 °C |
Zalman CNPS12X | 20 °C | 47 dBA | 1200 rpm | 31 °C | 47 dBA | 1200 rpm | 58 °C |
Thermalright Macho | 23 °C | 41 dBA | 1100 rpm | 36 ° C | 44 dBA | 1300 rpm | 61 °C |
In the graph below, at full load you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the CPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
The main specifications for the Thermalright Macho CPU cooler include:
Like the Zalman CNPS12X and the Akasa Venom Voodoo, the Thermalright Macho is big but quiet. As is the case with both the other coolers, it seems to be focused more on silence than on ultimate performance, presenting a good but not extreme cooling performance.
The Thermalright Macho is one of the quietest coolers we tested so far, showing at the same time a good cooling performance and a suitable price tag. Because of that, this gentle giant receives the Hardware Secrets Silver Award.
Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Thermalright-Macho-CPU-Cooler-Review/1449