Thermalright HR-02 cooler is aimed at high-end users and enthusiasts looking for top cooling performance. Naturally, we’re talking about users who don’t mind paying a little extra for passive cooling. Thermalright just officially launched the HR-02, which comes as a successor to HR-01 Plus, and is currently priced at about €60, here.
Unfortunately, time is not our friend and since the HR-02 just arrived at our doorstep, we’ve prepared a short preview and we'll follow up with the full review soon.
A glance at the HR-02 suggests that this baby should be capable of cooling fast and hot processors, but we’ve seen coolers whose performance didn’t quite match the size, so we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We’re hoping that the concept behind Thermalright’s new puppy is efficient, because it’s pretty much the only thing that can justify the pretty high pricing.
As you can see from the pictures, there are six nickel plated heatpipes (6mm in diameter) branching out both ways from the copper base, meaning that there are six heatpipes going through the heatsink. You’ll notice many openings in the heatsink, which helps prevent hot air pockets, improves airflow and speeds up the dissipation process.
The cooler’s base isn’t dead center below the heatsink as on most CPU coolers. The heatsink is somewhat leaning towards the fan on the back panel or, if you turn the cooler by 180 degrees, towards the top fan. Thermalright did a pretty good job with this move as it makes the case and the accompanying fans work in its favor and improves performance in the so called semi-passive operation.
HR-02 measures 110 x 140 x 160 (L x W x H) and weighs in at 860 grams (without the fan and bracket system). The cooler is a giant indeed and to paint a picture of just how big it is, here’s a comparison to a single 2.5 inch SSD disk.
Thermalright currently has a mounting mechanism that works only with Intel sockets 775/1156/1366, which leaves AMD out of the picture.
With time being of the essence, we had to reach for Intel’s socket 775 motherboard where we used Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor clocked at 2.9GHz (TDP 75W) to perform our preliminary tests. We’ll soon have HR-02 results made with Core i7, and we’ll compare them to results scored by some other high-end coolers.
Our test rig is made of CoolerMaster’s HAF X case with 4 provided fans and passively cooled Gigabyte 9800GT. Room temperature was at 23-24°C. In order to push our CPU and graphics to the max we used Prime 95 and FurMark respectively. The in-case fans ran at max RPM but HAF X didn’t mind and didn’t even run that loud.
Compared to the two-year old and much cheaper Hyper Z600 cooler, Thermalright HR-02 was much more efficient. We’ll soon see whether this is the case after overclocking as well as how does it fare with Core i7 processors, whose TDP goes over 130W.