ThermalRight Macho Direct – Test and Review

For the past several months the guys from ThermalRight officially introduced several new models part of the Macho series. Every single one of them has something unique and its specific purpose. The purpose of Macho Direct is to provide very good cooling performance for the mainstream users on a tiny budget.

The cooler is already in my hands and to be honest I am really curious and very excited to check its performance while having hard time cooling my AMD Vishera FX-8350 processor running with full load for 14:30 minutes at frequencies of 4000mHz, 4200mHz and 4400 mHz per core.

Of course, let’s proceed with this article by opening the package and checking what is inside and after that checking the main features of the product and performing some tests.


ThermalRight Macho Direct arrived to me for doing a detailed test and review inside a carton box with dimensions typical for the series but at the same time it looks amazing painted in black and bright red. Of course, on the front side of the package there is a big picture of the cooler and some basic details regarding the product, while the full technical specifications, description of the technologies used and some additional smaller pictures regarding the product are located on all of the other sides of the package.

So let’s open the box and check what’s inside…

 First look inside of the box The cooler itself
IMG_0809 IMG_0811


By opening the package for first time, I noticed the typical, pretty extensive installation manual right on top of the white carton package holding all of the additional accessories and the mounting kit. Beneath it there was the TY-140 black fan and beneath the fan was the heat sink itself. Both the fan and the heat sink were located inside styrofoam sheets forming two compartments and protecting them from all sides from any damage.

First things first, so let’s start with checking the accessories pack.



Being part of the Macho series actually set some specific requirements and that includes high quality and wide range of possibilities, which of course will demand a very extensive accessories pack. Regarding the build quality I will talk a bit later, so let’s pay some attention to all of the accessories provided with the cooler. Of course, all of the accessories were packed in separate transparent nylon bags ensuring that all of them will be together with the cooler and in perfect condition.


The standard ThermalRight Macho Direct package provides:

  1. Black and very solid metal back plate required for all of the Intel and AMD sockets
  2. A semi-transparent white isolation pad to protect the motherboard from short circuits with the metal back plate
  3. Silver metal square front plate required for all of the Intel and AMD sockets
  4. 4 x Nut thumbscrews with rubber dampers for all of the sockets
  5. 4 x LGA2011 Type B thumbscrew pillars
  6. 5 x M3 L8 screws (one is spare)
  7. 3 x M3 L7 screws (one is spare)
  8. 5 x M3 L6 screws (one is spare)
  9. 4 x fan clips for installing up to two fans in push-pull setup
  10. 4 x AMD back plate washers
  11. 4 x Intel back plate washers
  12. 8 x anti-vibration pads for installing up to two 140mm fans
  13. Plastic back plate cap needed for AMD sockets
  14. Chill factor thermal compound
  15. An installation manual
  16. The very well known screwdriver

Even though the cooler is most probably the cheapest one from all of the big models in the series designed to operate with 140mm fans, it is equipped with a huge accessories pack that includes all of the accessories needed to provide the best possible compatibility and cooling performance.

Enough about the package and the accessories, let’s proceed with examining the structure of ThermalRight Macho Direct.


ThermalRight Macho Direct HEAT SINK STRUCTURE

Of course, to describe the product itself in the best possible way I spent some time examining the cooler’s structure and it actually offers a structure which is very similar to the other models in the series featuring the heat sink formed as a pretty massive single tower, a single TY-140 PWM cooling fan and the standard mounting kit provided by the company.

All together they form a CPU cooler structure with dimensions of 140mm(W) x 102mm(D) x 158mm(H) without the fan, when the fan is added to the heat sink the overall dimensions of the cooler are 152mm(W) x 129mm(D) x 158mm(H) and weight of 660 grams.

To keep the tradition, let’s focus first on the contact plate.

 The contact plate  Asymmetrical design
IMG_0823 IMG_0825


Thermalright Macho Direct is designed with nickel coated C1100 pure copper contact plate forming the contact surface on the bottom with dimensions of 45 x 40 mm. The contact plate itself holds in line the 5 x Ø6mm copper heat pipes but for this model without nickel coating, which are aligned according to the convex form.

And here comes the interesting feature with regard to the arrangement of the heat pipes and that is the heat pipes gap. Actually, the contact plate does not reach the processor since there is about 1 mm deep gap between the heat pipes, which is not a manufacturing fault but it is made with purpose. And according to Thermalright it gives the Macho Direct an outstanding cooling performance for a HDT cooler.

Of course, to follow the Macho tradition and to improve the compatibility of the cooler the heat pipes are bent from the center to the back side of the cooler which will move the aluminum fin stack further away from DRAM slots and modules.

In addition, the top part of the contact plate is actually formed as a crossbar, which is needed so this cooler can be fastened to the mounting kit.

As a next step of this article I believe it is time to check the aluminum fin stack.

Side view  Front view
IMG_0819 IMG_0817


Thermalright Macho Direct offers an asymmetrical to the center of the cooler single tower heat sink with dimensions of 140(W) x 105(H) x 102(D) mm and featuring 31 absolutely identical performance 0.4 mm thick aluminum fins with 2.2 mm fin gap. A design, which is typical for the series and made to allow for a particularly low air resistance. The additional perforation of the cooling fins acts against heat buildup between the individual lamellae layers and supports the efficient temperature dispersion.

One more interesting feature regarding the Macho Direct are the pre-drilled holes on the outer sides of the aluminum fin stack, which should be used to attach the metal clips for the fan.

I believe it is time to check what the fan provided in the package has to offer.

The fan brackets TY-140 PWM
IMG_0828 IMG_0830


The fan provided in the package is just one TY-140 PWM with dimensions of 150 x 140 x 25 mm, which has been especially optimized for the Macho Direct. The fan itself is designed with an entirely painted in black frame and propeller with 7 very wide and at the same time not very sharply angled blades working at 300 – 1.300 revolutions per minute range, providing airflow level range of 28,1 – 125 m³/h at noise level of 15 – 21 dB(A).

The connection between the propeller and the frame is done by 4-pin PWM powered and regulated Enhanced Hyper-Flow Bearing (EHFB) made to provide extremely quiet, stable and long life operation.

And to boost the overall cooling performance and decrease the overall noise level, there are 8 rubber dampers provided in the package, which could be used with up to 2 fans. Of course, I’ve already added 4 of them to the fan frame, before attaching the fan to the heat sink.

And to install the fan I had to add the 2 metal clips to the heatsink’s pre-drilled holes and after that attach the fan to the front side of the heat sink.


And this is what the cooler looks like with the fan installed.


According to the official technical details the cooler can work with up to two fans for maximum cooling performance, which can be installed on the front and back sides of heatsink in push-pull setup with the provided in the package 4 very rigid metal clips.

With the fully assembled cooler, let’s check the mounting kit and proceed with the tests.

According to the official technical details, Macho Direct is compatible with:

  1. Intel sockets: LGA1156, LGA1155, LGA1151, LGA1150, LGA2011, LGA2011-3
  2. AMD sockets:  AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, FM2, FM2+

Of course, for doing the tests with my AMD FX8350 rig I will use the AMD brackets and these are the parts needed so the cooler can be installed on the motherboard.


But before I proceed with the actual installation I had to check the AMD installation manual, read the instructions carefully and prepare all of the mounting kit parts.

The backplate assembled  The mounting kit installed
IMG_0839 IMG_0841


To prepare the back plate first thing to do was to add the semi-transparent isolation pad for avoiding short circuit with the motherboard, the bolts which will be used to hold the back plate to the motherboard and the four AMD plastic washers. And the last step before I attach the back plate to the motherboard is to add the plastic back plate cap needed for AMD sockets.

To attach the ready back plate I had to add it on the back of the motherboard and fasten it with the 4 nut screws with rubber dampers and fasten them by hand.

And the final step before installing the cooler is to add the front metal plate to the motherboard and fasten it with four small bolts using the screwdriver provided in the package.

And here I would like to underline something which is really important!

 The thermal compound should be applied as a thin layer and the preferred by many users “pea” method is not practical for this cooler because of the deep gap between the heat pipes.


And this is what this massive CPU cooler looks like installed on the motherboard:

 Heat sink seen from the front Heat sink seen from the side
IMG_0846 IMG_0845


As you can see from the pictures above, with the heatsink installed on the motherboard the cooler is not blocking any of the DRAM slots and can be used even with memories with taller heat spreaders.

And this is what the cooler looks like installed on the motherboard and inside the case ready for testing.


Since the cooler is installed and ready to face the tests, I believe it is time to check my testing rig and continue the article.


ThermalRIght Macho Direct TESTS

CPU: AMD Vishera FX-8350

  1. At standard frequency 4.020 MHz (at 1.356V)
  2. At low overclock frequency of 4.220 MHz  (at 1.392V)
  3. At medium overclock frequency of 4.420 MHz (at 1.416V)

Motherboard: GigaByte 990FXA-UD3

Video card: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R927XOC-2GD

Memory: 2 x 4GB Geil Black Dragon 1866 MHz

Hard drive: Kingston SSD SV100S264G

Hard drive:  WD Server Edition WD1002F9YZ 1TB

Case: SilverStone Raven RV-03

Power supply: Antec HCP-750W

Cooler: ThermalRight Macho Direct

Thermal paste: Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound

To cool the Macho Direct heatsink I am going to use the standard TY-140 fan working at full speed installed on the front of the radiator.

The tests will be conducted in a closed system with:

  1. 2 x SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans on the bottom panel of the case putting fresh air in and spinning at about 1200 rpm
  2. 120mm fan behind the motherboard cooling the socket and spinning at about 1000 rpm.
  3. Room temperature of about 18 degrees.

Both SilverStone AP181 – 180mm fans were connected together to the chassis 1 connector and were rotating at maximum speed.

And here I want to describe my testing method.

I will install ThermalRight Macho Direct and do stress tests using Prime95 AVX software with constant load on the AIO for 14:30 minutes with custom settings of minimum FFT size (in K of 128), max FFT size (in K of 128) and Run FFTs in place at standard frequency of 4.020 GHz (at 1.356V), at low overclock frequency of 4.220 GHz (at 1.392V) and at medium overclock frequency of 4.420 GHz (at 1.416V) using the fan provided with the AIO system rotating at maximum speed of 2500 revolutions per minute.

Now let’s check out the test results:

Macho Direct @4020MHz 1.356V Macho Direct @4220MHz 1.392V
Thermalright Macho Direct @4020MHz 1.356V Thermalright Macho Direct @4220MHz 1.392V
Macho Direct @4420MHz 1.416V
Thermalright Macho Direct @4420MHz 1.416V


All of the test results have been summed up in the following charts:

Thermalright Macho Direct Results Temp

And the fan speed during the tests:

Thermalright Macho Direct Results RPM

I believe the time to express my feelings and thoughts regarding the product has arrived.

ThermalRight Macho Direct CONCLUSIONS

1. ThermalRight Macho Direct performance:

ThermalRight Macho Direct is definitely a cooler for which I enjoyed spending several hours first to examine its structure and later to put it through some serious tests and according to what I saw I believe it is a worthy addition in the Macho series.

The cooler itself is most probably the cheapest in the series and is definitely made for the mainstream users, which are on a tight budget but are still willing to get the best possible cooling performance. And even though there are several things which were spared in the design of this product, such as a sixth cooling pipe, nickel coating, etc, Macho Direct will provide serious cooling capabilities.

To be honest and according to my previous experience with ThermalRight Macho rev.B  I was expecting that this model will show much higher temperatures throughout the tests but all those thoughts were totally wrong.

Throughout all of the tests the cooler was performing just great and it was able to keep my AMD FX-8350 working stable at all frequencies with a constant and pretty serious load for quite some time. According to the achieved results I can say that it will definitely handle keeping every modern processor working cool and stable at default, middle or a high overclocked frequencies and it is definitely made to satisfy all of the needs of the mainstream users. For the extreme overclock there are other models with more pipes, more and faster fans in the series.

Regarding the noise I have only positive feelings and during all of the tests, even when the fan was working at full speed, there was a tiny noise, which could be heard. After the tests and when I left the cooler to be PWM controlled it was dead quiet.

2. ThermalRight Macho Direct appearance:

Well, what could I say? ThermalRight Macho Direct is a massive cooler, featuring the same design as most of the coolers in the series, without nickel coating on the pipes and without a black top fin. Anyway, the cooler continues to inspire the feeling of really serious and reliable product and offers a stylish and clean design made of shiny silver heat sink, combined with a fan entirely in black which will totally attract the attention of everybody, who looks inside the case.

According to my review, I think that ThermalRight Macho Direct deserves the following award:


Official price (MSRP) for ThermalRight Macho Direct: 37.99 Euro incl. 19%VAT

Official warranty: 24 months

I thank Thermalright for the test sample.


ThermalRight Macho Direct – Test and Review
8.8 Total Score
Great performance/price balance

Noise Level
Additional accessories
User Rating: 4 (2 votes)

Dobrin Krastev is the owner, reviewer and newsman of with more than 15 years' experience in personal computers, server and storage systems, UPS, peripheral devices and software. Passionate about testing and reviewing, AMD overclocking using AM3 990FXA and AMD FM2 A85X test systems and building modding projects.
  1. Reply Boskorp 24.05.2016 at 14:52

    I like the fin design and bent feature. Would like to know the weight of the heatsink itself, w/o the fan. 10q for the review.

  2. Reply PepiX 24.05.2016 at 14:37

    That thing looks scary 🙂 And with the noise results.. yummy..

Leave a reply