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Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU Cooler Review (Page 1)

Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU Cooler Review

Thermalright's Macho 120 SBM CPU cooler gets the job done in thermal performance and shouldn't cause any issues with hardware compatibility.

Chad Sebring | Aug 1, 2016 at 8:20 pm CDT - 3 mins, 42 secs time to read this page
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Thermalright

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing


Thermalright has been building CPU coolers for what seems like forever. Believing it to be the TRUE Copper heat sink that put Thermaltake into the limelight of the masses, they have not stopped developing and innovating since. The TRUE line of coolers was such a success that they still produce them today, but under the TRUE Spirit name now, with many variations. Thermalright has also had much success with the smaller AXP coolers, the Archon, and SilverArrow coolers as well, but one name stands out to us, and that is the Macho line of CPU air coolers.

The Thermalright Macho has to be Thermalright's bread and butter, as they are continuously making changes and improvements to this series. In our history with them, we have seen the Macho 90, and not that long ago we looked at the Macho Rev.B; both coolers impressive in their own right. As we look at the Thermalright page today, we see this line expanded into not only the Macho 90, Macho 120, Macho Rev, and Macho X2, they even have a Macho Direct which is the first Thermalright cooler to use HDT. So, where does this leave us in the grand scheme of things? Well obviously we are dealing with another Macho cooler, but this time engineered to be large, yet more capable for smaller systems like those on Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX motherboards.

The Thermalright Macho cooler we are looking at today is the Macho 120 SBM. We are unsure if the SBM stands for exactly, but we can tell you that this design is based off the Macho 120 Rev.A cooler. What you are about to see is a thinner cooler that takes RAM, motherboard screws, and graphics card proximity all into account. This way, even buyers that do not house their components in massive cases can still take part in what makes Thermalright such a success, with this new design. While we are unsure if the SBM stands for Small Bodied Macho, Super Bitchin' Macho, or Sleek Black Macho, what we do know, is that this cooler is built to impress, and we strongly urge you to take the time to find out why.

Thermalright Macho 120 SBM CPU Cooler Review 01 |

The chart that Thermalright provides just covers the essentials, but there is still some good information to be had here. On the left, things start with the measurements of 130mm of length, 86mm of width without the fan, and 150mm of height. All of this can also be seen in the trio of renderings to the right, as well as noting the offset base and heat pipe arrangement. We see the 560-gram weight, that there are five 6mm diameter heat pipes, and that the base is made of C1100 copper. They also make mention of the base being nickel plated, but this treatment is carried onto the heat pipes as well. What we do not see in this chart is that the five heat pipes travel through 30 aluminum fins, nor is there a mention of the black anodization of the top fin in the stack.

There is also full details for the fan that accompanies the Macho 120 SBM. The 120mm fan of choice is the TY-127, which sports a rounded black frame surrounding seven white blades. This is a 25mm thick fan that weighs in at 130 grams, bumping the total installed weight up to 690 grams all told. The TY-127 will run at speeds from 300 to 1300 RPM, delivering up to 55.8 CFM of air flow. We do not see a pressure rating, but we do see the 33 dB(A) noise rating, as well as the fact that it is powered via 4-pin PWM fan connector.

One stumbling block we have run into is the availability. While we can search other countries and find the Macho 120 SBM, this CPU cooler is not yet listed anywhere inside of the USA at the time of writing (update: it's on Amazon now). While looking around, we found this cooler listed at £43 including VAT. While we hope that when this cooler hits the US shores, we get a dollar for pound conversion, but the reality is that the Macho 120 SBM. With the current rate of conversion, would cost in the realm of $57. Even so, we feel that this is an affordable solution, not as budget friendly as say the Hyper 212 coolers, but still attainable by those that are serious about their cooling needs, and appreciate a bit of style.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT

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Chad Sebring


After a year of gaming, Chad caught the OC bug. With overclocking comes the need for better cooling, and Chad has had many air and water setups. With a few years of abusing computer parts, he decided to take his chances and try to get a review job. As an avid overclocker, Chad is always looking for the next leg up in RAM, cooling, as well as peripherals.

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