Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
Although a lot of CPU cooler manufacturers are constantly trying to stay relevant and deliver a continuous flow of products throughout the year, there are also companies that tend to build just a few coolers that are really good at what they do. The latter companies are able to ride successful designs for a few years, and still stay competitive. One such company that fits into the latter category is Thermalright, and proving this concept, it has been nearly two whole years since we saw their last smaller form factor cooler, the AXP-100. This also sort of leads us into a discussion of why this cooler was designed; the AXP-100 was designed to fit inside of the smaller mini-ITX cubes and SFF chassis, where standard tower coolers tend to fail.
Since they had huge success with the original Macho design, Thermalright thought they should make a smaller version to appeal to the small form factor chassis market, and not just offer the much larger versions that are just too big to fit. In this pursuit of compact design, Thermalright also realized that many users demand coolers that can handle rigorous workloads, but also customers expect silence as well. In this latest submission, this is precisely what we have at hand. The new Macho 90 is a smaller bodied cooler, claimed to run in a near passive configuration, and should still be able to tame most of the current processors on the market today.
The new Thermalright Macho 90 ships with a fan, but keep in mind, it can only produce near 40CFM of air pressure, hence the near passive operation. Taking all of that into consideration, along with the fact that this is a stout little cooler, we may not even pass all of the testing. Also, with no rated TDP for this cooler, and the fact that there is no LGA2011 hardware, there has to be a limit to what this cooler is capable of in extreme environments. Unfortunately, that isn't the intention at all. Think silence for a HTPC, or even something very quiet in the office, where the processors are left virtually stock, but should do better than the stock option, while still offering a custom cooling option that fits in the tightest of spaces.
The specifications are not what we would call expansive; Thermalright offers just enough to get by in this chart. In the test to the left, we see that they mention the 102mm length and width, along with the low 135mm of height that will allow this cooler to fit into much smaller cases. We also see that this cooler is 450 grams in weight, not including the hardware. The cooler is based on four 6mm diameter heat pipes, and uses a nickel-plated copper fan and base. What we don't see is that there are twenty-seven 0.15mm thick aluminum fins that have been louvered and shaped for the most effective use of the limited air flow offered by the fan.
We are given a TR-9225BW-1 92mm fan to cool this tower. This fan adds an additional 102 grams of weight to the cooler, and we are given the important stats for it. This fan will spin from 800 to 2000 RPM, and it's rated to stay at or below 27 dBA of noise. At full speed, via the four-pin PWM connection, this fan can deliver 39.36 CFM of air flow.
Shopping around for the Macho 90 inside of the States right now is fruitless; this cooler is simply not available here yet. We are told that over the pond, the Macho 90 will be available with a MSRP of 29.99 Euros, including the 19% VAT. With the help of a current currency converter, we found that is roughly $36 dollars in the U.S. market. Considering how things are seemingly stacked against the Macho 90 from the start with its limited air flow and compact size, we feel that the price is justified, especially once you see what this cooler is actually capable of achieving.
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