As far as I'm concerned this is a budget version of Noctua NH-D14. Here's where they saved the money:
- The mounting system and supplied tools. In general this is a fiddly cooler to fit and if you follow their instructions you'll need to take your motherboard out and strip it down.
- The NH-D14 comes with a syringe of NT-H1 thermal compound, which is great stuff. This cooler comes with 2g of Chill Factor in a sachet. Looked too cheap for me to apply. Advise you to get a syringe of some stuff you trust on the side.
- The NH-D14 comes with lots of fan accessories. Extensions, coupling leads, voltage regulation leads to further reduce RPM. The HR-02 Macho comes with just the TY-140. Mind you, the TY-140 is a GREAT fan and I'm picky about fans.
- Noctua has beautiful thoughtful packaging including a metal case badge.
If I were building a premium i7 rig, it'd be a hard choice. Unboxing an NH-D14 -- or any Noctua -- is such a delight. But the HR-02 Macho is every bit as good as the NH-D14 when considering cooling and noise only, so it was a perfect match for my i5 build.
Fitting onto an existing system is a hassle though. For a little extra they could have made that job a lot easier:
- Screws that don't fall out or shift into the wrong positions when you attempt to fit to a vertical motherboard. - A smaller back plate to suit the typical hole in the motherboard tray. - A tool that uses the existing hole through the fins (you can see it in the picture) to finalize mounting instead of a mini-spanner that needs you to take out the motherboard and strip it down.
Debated on taking a star off, but then since most will be attaching to a new build it'll only add an extra 10mins.
Oh and performance? i5 2500k OC'd to 4.8GHz: 26c idle, 62c under full load. I'll probably put a voltage regulator on the TY-140 as an i5 is just never going to need full RPM.
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