You may remember that the Thermalright IFX-14 used to be an unrivalled leader among air coolers for CPUs. It was the best in terms of sheer performance. Then it was overtaken by the Noctua NH-D14 after which a number of effective coolers came out such as the Cogage Arrow and the ThermoLab Baram 2010. The release of the Venomous X with its unique fastening mechanism and mirror base could not bring the leadership back to Thermalright but now the company makes another attempt with two new products: HR-02 and Silver Arrow.
We will discuss them in two separate reviews. Why two rather than one review? The fact is the HR-02 and the SilverArrow are designed for different applications. The HR-02 is meant to deliver its best performance in passive mode or with low-speed fans. Such coolers should be tested in a special way and we guess you’ll like this model if you prefer silent computers. The SilverArrow ambitiously aspires to be the best overall in both quiet (but not exactly silent) modes as well as with high-speed fans. Considering this difference, we won’t throw both coolers into the same review but will focus on each of them individually. First goes the Thermalright HR-02.
Packaging and Accessories
The product box is very simple and bears little information. It keeps the cooler from any danger well enough, though. Inside the thick cardboard wrapper there is a polyethylene-foam corset that fixes the cooler in place. Manuals, a sticker and a screwdriver can be found on top of that corset.
A cardboard box with accessories is next to the cooler. It contains everything you need to install the cooler and equip it with fans.
Fans are not included into the box. This is rather odd since the recommended price of the Thermalright HR-02 is rather high at $79.95. The cooler is manufactured in Taiwan.