The Bottom Line
Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
There are plenty of ways to look at the evolution of the Macho series of air coolers from Thermalright, and how it all culminates into the cooler we are going to see today. What we do know is that the Macho series was originally made with 120mm fans for cooling. The series later moved to the Rev.A with a TY-140 fan in control of the cooling, and most recently, Thermalright released the much smaller Macho 90 we just had a look at. At this point, there is no doubt that Thermalright's past successes are paving the road to new successes. Today, with yet another take on what a Macho series cooler should be, we get to see exactly where the evolutionary path of the Macho series has led.
The cooler we are reviewing today keeps the same physical dimensions as the Rev.A, but there are some changes afoot that make this latest version stand out in the crowd of Macho coolers. Things like nickel plating the pipes, and also anodizing the top of the cooler black, really help dress things up. Rather than offering a TY-140 fan in tan and blue, this time around, we are back to the basics with a black and white offering to better match motherboard and chassis color schemes. Of course, some other minor changes have been made as well, but we have to save something for the rest of the review.
Thermalright has taken the larger Macho Rev.A and modified it, giving it the new moniker of Macho Rev.B. While the Rev.B is not leaps and bounds different from the Rev.A, the Macho Rev.B is definitely a different take on the cooler. Stick with us through this review because even if you missed out on the original 140mm Macho cooler, or even if you were never aware of the Macho series in general, now is the time to pay attention. Thermalright has definitely put the right foot forward when offering this latest Macho series incarnation, the Macho Rev.B.
Thermalright offers just the basics when it comes to their specifications list. As for the cooler body, we see the size stays exactly the same as the cooler body of the Rev.A. The only major change in the top section of the chart is that the Macho Rev.B has taken on an additional ten grams in plating, and now weighs 720 grams. It also states that the cooler has six 6mm diameter heat pipes, but it isn't until they cover the copper base that there is any mention of the nickel plating that covers both the base and the heat pipes. The chart does not tell you that there are still thirty-one aluminum fins, each 0.150mm in thickness, and each fin also has sixty tabs cut into it to channel and direct the airflow from the fan that comes along in this kit. The chart also does not mention that just as the Macho 90, the Macho Rev.B also has a black, anodized top fin.
Speaking of the fan included in the kit, the chart does state that we are given the TY-147 fan this time around. Essentially, all of the specifications identically match those of the TY-140. The TY147 and TY-140 share the same 160 gram weight, 1300 RPM maximum speed, 73.6CFM airflow rating, and 21 dBA noise level. The only real difference is that the frame of the TY-147 is black, and all seven of the blades are white.
Since Thermalright is based over the pond, coolers do take quite a bit of time to get packed up, put in a container, shipped, and passed through customs before they can hit U.S. shelves. Understandably, the Macho Rev.B is not available on this side of the pond right now. We did look around at various online locations, and we found that most locations that stock the Macho Rev.B are sticking close to the 42.99 Euro pricing of the MSRP. That works out to roughly $52, and just a couple of cents in USD. At this price, our outlook isn't that high, as most coolers in this price range tend to be pretty mediocre. However, by the end of this review, you may be slightly surprised at what this cooler is capable of, and just how well this thick tower cooler fits into most systems.
We are sticking to our guns here and calling the bright green, attention grabbing side the front of the package. Here, the top section offers the company name and web address, and there is a huge image of the Macho Rev.B in the center, just above the naming. To the right, Thermalright flaunts some previous awards they have won.
The left side features this black panel with white text that offers customers a very condensed specifications chart. The chart is repeated twice more in languages that cover their other markets.
The second large panel we run into is a duplicate of the other; here the bright green and black has been reversed behind the cooler, and for the naming.
The last panel we run into on the Macho Rev.B box offers six images covering the base, the fan, the screwdriver, the mounting, the heat pipes, and the low noise rating. Below their tagline in the middle, Thermalright packs in some awards they have received on previous designs.
Inside of the box, we find layers of foam covering the fan, underneath the fan, and also below that where the cooler is housed near the bottom. All four sides use the same density foam, and the hardware is riding upright in the box, next to the cooler. This packaging is top-of-the-line, and allowed our Macho Rev.B to arrive in perfect, unblemished condition.
Thermalright Macho Rev.B CPU Cooler
As we look into the face of the Macho Rev.B, we start with a single black fin at the top, followed by thirty others in the stack of fins. From this angle, the pipes appear to run straight up from the base, and again, we see the two-piece copper base used in this design.
From this side, we first notice the huge offset the Macho Rev.B offers to free up the memory area. Also, below all of the louvers and bent sections of supportive fins, you can see how three pipes run straight up through the fins, while the other trio is angled to go behind the first set.
Since looking into the back of the cooler would give essentially the same view we saw in the front, we laid the cooler down to show that the back is cut away to allow for a second fan.
There are two sections where the sides are bent so that each fin is supported by the one below it to keep spacing correct. There is also a cutout on the side, but rather than being used to lock in the fan clips, it is just there for design, and has no real effect.
Looking at the top of the Macho Rev.B, we find a large hole near the back of the fins to provide access to mounting hardware. As mentioned previously, there are sixty cuts in each fin, and the tabs are bent downward into the flow of air. We can also see there is a slight offset to the three pipes in front, and those in the back, allowing the second set to get more airflow.
At the other end of the Macho Rev.B, we can see that all of the fins are identical in design to the top one, and we can also see that these fins are pressed over the nickel-plated heat pipes. The base components are soldered to the pipes, and the base also gets plated to fight corrosion as well.
In typical Thermalright fashion, we are given a highly polished, slightly convex base to mate to the CPU. Being slightly higher in the center allows for slightly more pressure on the CPU, and should provide better thermal transfer than something that is dead flat.
As we tend to do, we had to raid the hardware early, but now we have the fan clips installed as intended. There are holes at the back for a trailing fan application if desired. We also see that Thermalright includes a full set of fan isolation pads to keep things from vibrating or rattling.
If you want the most out of the cooler, and like the fact of having airflow above, and more importantly, well below the cooler, the fan can be installed in this orientation, but it will raise the overall height. This is just how we chose to use the fan, as the manual shows it running longer side to side to keep within the 162mm height specification.
Looking at the Macho Rev.B in profile, you can see the offset to this design really comes into play to allow the fan to slide in without any issues with the memory, as you will soon see in the build images. These fan clips also slide into the cooler easily, and are super simple to use to lock the fan in place.
Accessories and Documentation
In a thin compartment surrounded by foam, you will find a sealed bag of hardware, and a much longer Phillips #2 screwdriver. This screwdriver can be used for the entire installation process, but it is also long enough to run through the cooler to mount it, and since it is magnetic, you won't drop any screws.
This time around, we do get a universal backplate for AMD and Intel sockets (all except LGA2011 of course, and it also has a plastic isolation layer to protect the motherboard. To the right is the top mounting ring, and along with some other bits, the mounting ring will allow the cooler to be mounted in place.
At the top, we see a set of four standard standoffs with nylon washers under them to lock the backplate to the motherboard, and to the right, there is a set of four to use specifically with LGA2011 mounting. At the bottom, there are the screws to pass through the motherboard, and to the right, there are the top bracket and cross bracket mounting screws.
Here we see the fan isolation pads prior to peeling them off and sticking them to the fins. To the right, we see an LGA775 preload spacer, and also two sets of four white spacers; the smaller set is for Intel use, and the larger set is for AMD installations.
These are the last bits of hardware found inside of the sealed bag. We get the cross bar to mount the cooler to the rest of the hardware, a single pair of fan clips, and a packet of Chill Factor thermal paste.
There is also an installation manual for the Macho Rev.B. The manual begins by showing all the parts you need to complete the installation, and section offs AMD from Intel installations. With the use of quality renderings, they guide you through the installation process. We also found a Thermalright sticker tucked inside of this manual.
This is the TY-147 fan that comes along with the Macho Rev.B. The major difference between this fan and the previous TY-140 is that the TY-140 is tan and blue, and this version is (obviously) black and white. This fan also offers a four-pin connection so the motherboard can control the fan speeds via PWM.
Installation and Finished Product
The back plate is drilled the same way on both ends, so the orientation for Intel mounting matters very little. Once the plate is aligned, simply slide the longer screws in with the smaller white set of spacers on them.
To get this far, we already locked the spacers down with the screws through the backplate. After doing that, you can set the top bracket into place, and lock it down with four of the shorter screws.
After applying thermal paste, we set the Macho Rev.B into place, and with easy access to the front side of the cross bar seen near the bottom, we have the provided screwdriver sitting in the rear screw. The screwdriver is tall enough to easily reach the screws, and since it is magnetic, it allows you to easily hang the screw from the driver, and guide it through the cooler.
Even with such a large cooler in play with our motherboard and memory, we can see two heat spreaders showing in front of the 140mm fan. If you do plan to run the fan as specified, keep in mind that the fan will encroach upon the first PCI-e slot, but since we have an open air chassis, the height of the cooler is of no concern,
Not only were we able to keep the spreaders on both of our sticks, but this image plainly shows that all four DIMM slots can be easily accessed, even with the fan still in place.
Looking at the Macho Rev.B from the top of the motherboard, we see that the majority of the cooler is over the CPU and behind it, and while there is the potential for a fan to go on the back of this cooler, with a chassis fan in play, it really may not be needed.
There is no easy way to say this, but we find the Macho Rev.B to be huge for a single tower design. Even as large as it is, we were still able to mount the cooler before the motherboard, and had access to all of the screws.
Test System Setup, Thermal Tests, and Noise Results
Test System Setup
To see our testing methodology, and to find out what goes into making our charts, please refer to our CPU Cooler Testing and Methodology article for that information.
The chart makes it seem that the Macho Rev.B did slightly worse than average as it places on our chart. However, keep in mind that this cooler, and its 52.5 degree stock result, is only six degrees away from the top of the chart, and nearly thirty degrees better than the stock solution. Not too shabby for a silent cooler.
In the chart, coolers like the D14 and the TD03 keep close company with the Macho Rev.B. The Macho Rev.B is even just slightly more than a degree behind another dual radiator AIO. Considering the Macho Rev.B's close company, the 72.75 degree result at nearly half the price of the others really starts to show the Macho Rev.B in a much better light than the actual numerical placement in the charts.
Noise Level Results
The Macho Rev.B jumps to the top of the chart, which is technically the bottom, but that is where you want to be when it comes to this chart. Thermalright shows us that the TY-147 fan is a solid choice when it comes to silence, as at idle, we found the fan turning at 820 RPM, and delivering only 24 dB of noise.
Even when it came to allowing the fan to spin as fast as possible, at reported speeds of 1350 RPM, we were pleased to find the TY-147 still near the top of the list, in second place with a 36dB rating.
What we end up with after processing all of the data is a very affordable solution to cool your CPU in any condition, and the Macho Rev.B does it with some style, and complete ease of installation. There is not one step along the build process that is tough to complete, and the magnetic screwdriver is a huge plus for a cooler like this. Considering there is nothing that plays up with the DIMM slots, the motherboard screws are all still accessible with the cooler already installed, and the fact that only one screw is somewhat challenging to install, the design of the Macho Rev.B is quite the accomplishment. Even that single screw isn't too difficult to deal with; it just takes a steady hand, and a view below the back of the cooler. Even with the thermal armor in place on both the top and the bottom, we had no issues with fit where other coolers have cause issues in the past.
The sound level testing could not really have gone much better for the Macho Rev.B. Taking top honors in our voltage limited testing, and a strong second place with 12 volts coursing through it, is something we only saw in certain high priced coolers before this. When it came to the thermal testing, we did not think the Macho Rev.B would do as well as it did. Considering the fact that it kept company with $90 air coolers, and much more expensive AIO coolers, the value of the Macho Rev.B just keeps going up and up.
Any way you try to attack this design, the Macho Rev.B ends up on top. It is silent, it handles its job well, and it looks good doing it. The only real fault we can find with the Macho Rev.B is simply the fact that most of our readers will not be able to buy one, and there is no real word on when they will arrive.
In the end, we are left with a very successful design from Thermalright. Thermalright didn't just take an old cooler, color a top fin, and plate this and that. Instead, they really went over this design with a fine toothed comb, and in our opinion, made a great step forward from the Macho Rev.A. If this cooler were in the States, it would only cost you slightly more than $52 to obtain one, which really just rubs salt in the wounds of those of us on this side of the pond.
For those of you over the pond with current access to this cooler, we strongly urge you take a long hard look; and for those of you without access, this is definitely a cooler worth waiting for, the question is just how long that wait may be. Thermalright has delivered a very solid product that really puts a different spin on what this level of performance should cost, versus what others on the charts are actually charging for this level of CPU cooling.
|Quality including Design and Build||96%|
|Bundle and Packaging||99%|
|Value for Money||100%|
The Bottom Line: Thermalright proves with the Macho Rev.B that you don't need a dual tower cooler, and AIO, or any other $100 solution in the pursuit of silence and great results. Not only that, it has been updated aesthetically and will go along with any color theme.
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