Articles: Cooling

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Cooling Efficiency Tests

The results of our cooling efficiency tests are summed up in the diagram and table below:

As we can see, Archon turned out 3-5°C more efficient than Macho in all modes including the quietest one when there is only one fan working at 810 RPM. However, since Archon is almost twice as expensive as Macho, we believe that it is not the winner here. In this respect it would make more sense to compare Macho against a cooler priced at $40 and we are indeed going to do so later on. Moreover, we will compare it against more than one cooler. And in the meanwhile let’s check out the potential of Thermalright HR-02 Macho during maximum CPU overclocking experiments:

Thermalright HR-02 Macho (one TY-140 at 1260 RPM)

The new Thermalright cooler with one default fan working at its maximum speed turned out capable of making our processor work stably at 4400 MHz with 1.44375 V voltage and 88°C maximum temperature of the hottest core, as well as at 4450 MHz frequency with 1.45625 V voltage and 92°C temperature. Further processor overclocking turned out impossible, so we had to replace its fan with a more powerful Scythe Slip Stream 140 at 1710 RPM maximum speed:

As a result, we were able to lower peak processor temperature by 6°C at 4450 MHz and hit the maximum frequency for our processor – 4500 MHz at 1.46875 V and 90°C core temperature:

Thermalright HR-02 Macho (one SS-140 at 1710 RPM)

The obtained results are a remarkable achievement for a 40-dollar CPU cooler, because they are more common for processor coolers from upper price segment (not all, though) as well as liquid-cooling systems.

As for the comparison between Thermalright HR-02 Macho and its direct competitors, here is what we propose. Our regular readers may have noticed that lately the only thing different in our permanent testbed and testing was the room temperature. Other than that everything is identical, we use the same exact case and the case fans rotate with identical speeds, we use the same components and same thermal paste for our processor, the same software and even the same mainboard BIOS version. And since the CPU temperature depends linearly on the temperature of its surroundings, we can introduce a temperature delta for each result and then sum everything up in a single table and diagram:

The fire-red color indicates peak temperature of the hottest processor core taking into account the room temperature delta (brought down to 25°C). The green color indicates the changes in noise levels in corresponding test modes:

As we see, at maximum rotation speed of its default fan, Thermalright HR-02 Macho is 3°C better than its closest competitors, such as similarly priced Zalman CNPS10X Performa ($40) and Thermalright True Spirit ($30) with the fans rotating at their maximum speed. However, the difference in generated noise in this case is tremendous. At 810 RPM Macho’s advantage over True Spirit increases to 8°C, and over CNPS10X Performa – to 11°C. It looks like for the latter cooler, which used to the one of the leaders in the mainstream segment, the victory days are over now that Macho is here.

The next diagram sums up the results of our maximum CPU overclocking tests. Besides the frequencies, it also shows maximum temperatures (taking into account the delta value) and the level of noise. Unlike the previous summary diagram, here all participants have been tested in their default configurations (i.e. without any additional or replacement fans). The only exception is Prolimatech Genesis, which is shipped without any fans at all:

Here Thermalright HR-02 Macho performs very confidently. Just like Archon cooler, it boasts the lowest level of noise among all testing participants.

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