Introduction and First Impressions

The Le Grande Macho RT is a massive air CPU cooler design from Thermalright that pairs a very large heatsink (with 7 heat pipes) with a quiet 140 mm fan. It certainly looks impressive, but you'll want to read on to find out how it performed on our test bench!


"With the Le Grand Macho RT we offer an actively cooled version of our famous semi-passive flagship. Thanks to the silent-running TY 147 B with fluid dynamic bearing, the Le Grand Macho RT can cool up to 280 watt.

The design of the heat sink has not been changed and is still asymmetrical. This offers the highest possible compatibility to the most recent motherboards. Thus it is guaranteed that the Le Grand Macho RT neither blocks the RAM spaces, nor the top-most PCIe slot on current ATX-boards."


While the Le Grand Macho RT is one of the largest coolers I've tested, it is still a little smaller than Thermalright's famous SilverArrow dual-tower cooler. In fact, the 159 mm height means it will fit a large number of enclosures (with 165 mm being a common limit).

The single-fan design of the Macho makes it look like a good candidate for low-noise air cooling, and it's physically larger than the Scythe Ninja 4 cooler I reviewed back in January - which was, incidentally, the quietest cooler I've tested to date.


Why install this giant on a mini-ITX board? Why not!

Continue reading our review of the Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT CPU cooler!!

Corsair Releases ML Series Fans With Magnetic Levitation Bearings

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 12, 2016 - 09:42 AM |
Tagged: magnetic levitation, fans, Corsair ML Series, corsair, case fan, air cooling

Corsair has announced the launch of their ML Series fans, which use the company's new Magnetic Levitation Bearing, along with a custom rotor design. Corsair says this combination will "deliver higher airflow, lower noise and better cooling".


Corsair ML Series fans (Image credit: Corsair)

"When powered, the magnetic levitation bearing completely suspends the fan blades from the motor housing, delivering almost frictionless operation. The huge reduction in friction, in comparison to all conventional physical contact bearings, allows the ML Series to offer lower noise at higher RPMs giving PC Enthusiasts a true no-compromise fan."

Corsair will offer 10 variants of this new ML Series, with 120 and 140 mm versions in different colors, as well as RGB options (of course!).


Corsair ML120 Pro LED in white (Image credit: Corsair)

"ML Series also provides next-level fan customization. ML PRO fans feature removable color co-coordinated corners fitted to the fan’s vibration dampening rubber grommets, allowing easy color matching to accent your build’s color scheme. ML PRO LED goes even further, mounting four ultra-bright LEDs into the central fan hub to radiate vibrant, even lighting through the fan’s frosted blades."

As to performance, Corsair offers this information from their press release:

"All ML fans offer a huge PWM range, giving users total control over how their fans perform. Value silence above all else? At their lowest speed of 400 RPM, the ML Series will push more airflow at near silent 16 dBA (decibel A-weighting). Performance junkie? ML Series fans push up to 97 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air. Be it a low noise case, high density radiator or anywhere in-between, the ML Series delivers best-in-class performance."

Corsair provides this video for the launch of the ML Series:

The fans are available immediately, and prices start at $24.99 for a single ML120 Pro fan, with 2-packs of the standard version starting at $34.99

Source: Corsair

Phononic's New Hex 2.0 TEC Is CPU Cooling Alternative For SFF Systems

Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 9, 2016 - 05:57 PM |
Tagged: thermoelectric, SFF, air cooling, TEC, mini ITX, phononic

An interesting cooling option for small form factor systems popped up in my email recently that is a new twist on an old technology. A company called Phononic has developed the Hex 2.0 which is a compact heatsink that pairs a tower air cooler with a TEC baseplate. At 810 grams and measuring 125 mm tall, the Hex 2.0 is Mini ITX friendly and is claimed to be competitive with closed loop water coolers with up to 240mm radiators (more on that below).

Phononic Hex 2 TEC Cooler.jpg

Hex 2.0 uses many of the same high quality components and design choices of traditional tower air coolers. A shrouded 92mm fan is sandwiched between two aluminum heatsinks with 40 fins each. There are eight 6mm heatpipes  that pull heat from the hot side of the thermoelectric (TEC) cooler and dissipate the heat. The TEC (which has a copper baseplate) uses an electric current and two dissimilar conductors and the principle of electron transport to pull heat from the “cold side” of the cooler to the “hot side” of the cooler. That hot side then needs to be cooled, and Phononic has chosen to use a tower air cooler for the job (people in the past have also paired TECs with water loops). The TEC is the notable bit about the Hex 2.0, and is what allows the small heatsink to offer as much cooling performance as it does in such a small package.

Hex 2.0 has connections for a 4-pin CPU_Fan connector, Mini USB for software monitoring and control, and a 6-pin PCI-E power connector. The four pin controls the 92mm fan which typically idles at 1000 RPM but can max out at 2,650 RPM, 33 dBA, and 44 CFM. The Mini USB connects to the motherboard and users can use a dashboard application to monitor the cooler, choose a cooling mode (to balance noise and performance), and control the LEDs on the cooler. The 6-pin connector powers the TEC cooler which appears to be capable of drawing up to 35W of power. The fan is able to spin down to zero RPM when the processor is not under load as the TEC and heatsink is able to pull and dissipate enough heat without the fan though the exact point where it would need to turn on will depend on your case and its own airflow.

Interestingly, this product is already available and reviews have already been posted around the net. According to TweakTown, the Hex 2.0 does indeed compete with 120mm liquid coolers such as the Silverstone Tundra TD03 (which is a decent cooler that I’ve used before) and Antec Kuhler H20 1250 (I’ve not tested that one but Morry did a full review of it). When placed in “insane mode” and the fan is allowed to spin up to maximum RPMs, the Hex 2.0 thermoelectric cooler actually beats the 240mm Corsair H100i GTX in quiet mode. While it will be louder, that is pretty impressive to see a 92mm fan HSF up there in cooling performance with a much larger water cooler!

This cooler is nicely packaged in a silver aluminum and black nickel plated aesthetic. Cooling performance seems to make it a possible alternative cooling option for SFF builds that can give you similar cooling performance in a case where a pump and radiator would be difficult or impossible for fit. That’s the upside. The downside to this cooler is the price. At $149.99, this is going to be a tough sell though it is not entirely unexpected considering the niche nature of it. The 1 year warranty leaves a lot be desired as well, I would have liked to see something a bit longer especially at that premium price.

What are your thoughts on this pint sized TEC(h)?

Source: Phononic

Thermalright Releases Le Grand Macho RT CPU Cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | May 10, 2016 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: thermalright, quiet computing, Le Grande Macho, heatsink, cpu cooler, air cooling, air cooler

Thermalright has released a very large new CPU air cooler with an equally impressive name: Le Grande Macho RT.


The Le Grande Macho RT features no fewer than 7 heat pipes from its massive heatsink, and is paired with a quiet 140 mm fan (model TY-147B) that ranges from just 300 RPM to 1300 RPM. While large it is still smaller than the company's well-respected SilverArrow dual-tower cooler, and depending on performance could offer a compelling alternative for low-noise air cooling.


Specifications from Thermalright:

Dimension: L150mm x W120mm x H159mm (Fin Area only)
L150mm x W125mm x H159mm (Heat sink incl.)
Weight: 900g
Heat pipes: 6mm heatpipe*7 units
Fin: T = 0.4 mm ; Gap = 3.1 mm
Fin Pcs: 35 pcs
Copper Base: C1100 Pure copper nickel plated
Motherboard to Fin: 36 + 8 = 44 mm 46 + 8=54 mm

TY-147B FAN:
Dimension: L152 mm x W140 mm x H26.5 mm
Weight: 160g
Rated Speed: 300 - 1300 RPM
Noise Level: 14 - 20dBA
Air Flow: 16.9- 73.6 CFM
Connector: 4 Pin (PWM Fan connector)
Bearing Type : FDB Bearing


The Le Grand Macho RT is listed on for $79.99, which places it in the same territory as the Noctua NH-D14. We'll see how it performs relative to the market once reviews start to appear.

Source: Thermalright

AMD Expands Wraith Air Cooler Lineup With More CPUs

Subject: Cases and Cooling, Processors | April 22, 2016 - 11:36 AM |
Tagged: Wraith, quiet computing, heatsink, cpu cooler, cpu, AMD Wraith, amd, air cooling

AMD has expanded the CPU lineup featuring their high-performance Wraith air cooling solution, with the quiet cooler now being offered with two more FX-series processors.


Image credit: The Tech Report

"AMD has heard the feedback from reviewers and PC users everywhere: the near-silent, capable AMD Wraith Cooler is a resounding success. The question they keep asking is, 'When will the Wraith Cooler be available on more AMD Processors?'

We’re pleased to announce that the wait is over. The high-performance AMD FX 8350 and AMD FX 6350 processors now include a true premium thermal solution in the AMD Wraith Cooler, and each continues to deliver the most cores andthe highest clock rates in its class."


The lineup featuring AMD's most powerful air solution now includes the following products:

  • AMD FX 8370
  • AMD FX 8350
  • AMD FX 6350
  • AMD A10-7890K

The Wraith cooler initially made its debut with the FX-8370 CPU, and was added to the new A10-7890K APU with the FM2+ refresh last month.

Source: AMD
Manufacturer: Reeven

Introduction and Technical Specifications



Courtesy of Reeven


Courtesy of Reeven

Reeven is a new comer to the computer cooling space, offering a wide range of coolers and fans for all aspects of the industry. The latest members of their cooler lineup, the Okeanos and Brontes coolers, offer high performance in two very different form factors. The Okeanos is a large dual radiator, dual fan cooler while the Brontes is a low profile C-shaped cooler touting compatibility across most form factors. While the Okeanos offers support for all known CPU and board types, the Brontes supports all mainstream systems with the exception of the Intel 2011-based CPUs and boards.

Continue reading our review of the Reeven CPU coolers!

BitFenix Introduces Spectre Xtreme Fans for CPU Coolers

Subject: Cases and Cooling | January 14, 2016 - 01:59 PM |
Tagged: bitfenix, case fan, cpu fan, static pressure, air cooling, Spectre Xtreme

BitFenix has introduced a line of Spectre dual-frame fans based on the Pro series with their new Xtreme high static pressure fans. These are made with CPU cooling in mind, and are available in both black (without LEDs) and multiple color LED options.


The Spectre Xtreme fans operate from 950 - 2000 RPM with newly-designed fan blades for airflow up to 66 CFM with "optimum static pressure", making them "an ideal choice for liquid cooling solutions". The fans use fluid dynamic bearings for reduced noise levels, as well as increased efficiency and life expectancy, according to BitFenix.

BFF-SXTR-12025K-RP (1).jpg

"With the introduction of dual frame design of the BitFenix Spectre Pro series we raised the standards of system fans to a new level. The new BitFenix Spectre Xtreme fans offer many features redefining the standards of cooling fans. Spectre Xtreme gives you the best performance and aesthetics using the latest in cooling fan technology and innovative designs.

Cooling fans used in liquid cooling systems not only need to have a high airflow but also they need to be optimized for static pressure. The newly designed blades of the Spectre Xtreme not only look good but also improve the airflow of the fan to 66CFM while maintaining optimum static pressure. This makes the Spectre Xtreme fans an ideal choice for liquid cooling solutions."


In addition to black, the LED versions are available in white, blue, red, and a green color which BitFenix has taken “special care…to match the Green LED with the light emitted from NVIDIA GeForce GTX stock coolers”.

Source: BitFenix

Meet the new Ninja, Scythe's fourth generation cooler

Subject: Cases and Cooling | December 7, 2015 - 02:20 PM |
Tagged: scythe, Ninja 4, air cooling

The Scythe Ninja series of coolers have been around for a while and they have recently updated their design with the Ninja 4.  Including the packaged PWM fan the cooler measures 130x155x155mm (5.1x6.1x6.1") and weighs 900g, hopefully not heavy enough to bend your pins.  The cooling performance that Modders-Inc saw was impressive at high speed but even more impressive at the meduim setting which saw temperatures within 3C of the high speed results but with reduced noise generated by the fan.  Keep your eyes out for more on this cooler as it will appear in an upcoming review right here on PCPer.


"If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. Nobody gets things right the first time and even if done well, needs change over time so a revision is almost always guaranteed to happen. It is not about striving for perfection because what that is cannot be a clearly defined point, but it can be approached."

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:



Source: Modders Inc
Manufacturer: Noctua

Introduction and Technical Specifications



Courtesy of Noctua


Courtesy of Noctua

Noctua is a well respected manufacturer in the highly competitive CPU cooler space, offering products optimized for high efficiency and low-noise. The newest members of their S series coolers, the NH-D15S and NH-C14S, are based on known designs tweaked for maximum compatibility to ensure proper fit on your hot new Haswell, Haswell-E, or Skylake supported motherboard. Both coolers come standard with Noctua's SecuFirm2™ mounting mechanism, ensuring a secure mount between the cooler and CPU.


Courtesy of Noctua

The NH-D15S CPU cooler is a dual tower cooler with a single fan sandwiched between the two radiator towers. The unit can support a maximum of three fans, but may suffer compatibility issues with certain motherboards when used outside of its default single-fan configuration. Noctua designed the cooler with their typical hybrid approach, combining a copper base plate and heat pipes with aluminum finned cooling towers. The base plate and heat pipes are nickel-plated for looks and to prevent corrosion. At an MSRP of $89.99, the Noctua NH-D15S comes with a premium price to match is colossal size.


Courtesy of Noctua

The NH-C14S CPU cooler is single radiator cooler in a horizontal orientation with a single fan. The radiator's horizontal orientation gives the cooler a lower height in comparison to a cooler with the traditional veritical radiators while maintaining equivalent cooling performance. In typical Noctua fashion, the NH-C14S combines a copper base plate and heat pipes with aluminum finned cooling towers for an optimal hybrid cooling solution. The base plate and heat pipes are nickel-plated for looks and to prevent corrosion. The NH-C14S also retails at an MSRP of $89.99.

Continue reading our review of the Noctua S series CPU coolers!

Enermax's slim new air cooler, the ETS-T40Fit-RF

Subject: Cases and Cooling | November 2, 2015 - 02:16 PM |
Tagged: enermax, ETS-T40Fit-RF, air cooling

If you are using a motherboard with very little clearance between the CPU socket and the DIMM slots then you have to choose your CPU cooler with care.  Enermax has designed a cooler specifically for those motherboards, the ETS-T40Fit-RF which is 140x67x165.5mm (5.5x2.6x6.5") which should be thin enough for even the tightest of spaces.  [H]ard|OCP tested the coolers performance and were not particularly impressed by the cooling ability, however the cooler is very quiet and at $45 it is a decent choice for a low cost system which will be situated in a place where quiet performance is needed.  Check out their full review here.


"Enermax is back again today with a new CPU air cooler that looks to conquer size and noise once again. Enermax calls this a "Compact side flow air cooler for 100% RAM compatibility." Does a fan size bigger than the heatsink surfaces and its "side flow air" give us better performance than those we have seen previously?"

Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:


Source: [H]ard|OCP