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Thermalright Macho Direct CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Dec 20, 2016 2:40 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: Thermalright

Final Thoughts

 

The Thermalright Macho Direct has a lot going for it. It is big, rated with a 200W TDP, and in our charts, it has been shown to be more than capable of handling even the most serious of overclocks, which can run all day every day. The cooler is easy to set up, mount, and use and everything you need is right there in the box, including the screwdriver.

 

Our thermal results show that while not the best air cooler on our charts, it is close to them, and is even able to keep up with the H80i in Quiet Mode, with less fan speed and noise associated with it too. The noise level or lack thereof is where the Macho Direct shines. Allowing the PWM circuit to control the speed of the fan, you rarely even use half of the possible speed to keep this tower cooled. Even if you do choose to run the fan all out all day, the 35 dB measurement we took at its maximum speed is little more than a hum to deal with at all, and that is only if you keep the chassis within a foot of your head.

 

 

As far as downsides go, we only found two that may make or break this cooler for certain users, and a couple that we just found not to the top standards of what most expect in an air cooler today. As for the real concerns, due to the offset of the fins to the base of the cooler, LGA2011 users are limited to not being able to fill all of the RAM slots. The fins can hang over the slots to the left of the socket, and while the cooler does offer 37.5mm of room for standard memory, most users are using taller sticks with their builds these days.

 

The second thing that can make things complicated is the weighting of the tower. Again, due to that same offset, the tower is back heavy and will not stand upright on its own. This means you could easily have it tumble off the table when trying to assemble the cooler, and when it comes time to mount the cooler to the motherboard, you may want some help holding the cooler while you screw it into place.

 

Outside of that, the only thing we see left is that old-school look. The fins are left in their natural state, and most users have moved to black coolers or fancy shrouds these days. Also, the pipes are left in their natural state as well, so the copper will turn dark over time. We also wish the aluminum base was level with the milled pipes. In the Macho Direct, you may find you need to use a bit more thermal paste than you would with other HDT coolers due to this. Keep in mind too, nickel plating and getting the fins anodized all cost money, and this is a cooler which does not demand a bunch of that.

 

Speaking of the pricing, this Thermalright Macho Direct is as impressive as it is in both thermal and audio testing; you can get this CPU cooler for less than $50. It has been a long time since coolers had all of the necessities to get the job done, and have fallen into what we would consider the budget-friendly end of the spectrum. Pricing the other coolers found near it on the charts, only the Thermaltake is near it in cost, and the Noctua and Corsair in direct comparison cost near double the money. For just $47.99 at Amazon, the Thermalright Macho Direct proves you do not have to get all fancy or break the piggy bank to get excellent cooling and a lack of noise associated with it to do so.

 

At this price, with all of the cards on the table, it is hard to deny that this Macho Direct from Thermaltake is a CPU air cooler worthy of much attention and fanfare. It may look old-school, but everything about this design is up to date and accommodating to most user's needs.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance93%
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features92%
Bundle and Packaging99%
Value for Money98%
Overall TweakTown Rating94%

The Bottom Line: Only fine details like complications to LGA2011 users and the lack of coatings keeps this cooler from a gold award! The Macho Direct is a big cooler, but it does its job handily with a 200W TDP, the fan is quiet under all conditions, and for less than $50, how can you go wrong?

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