Published on Sunday, 04 May 2014 23:13
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Since the beginning of 2014 alone 3 of my friends decided to build their very own HTPC systems and all three turned to me for advice regarding what hardware components they should choose. Fortunately money is not really an issue for either of them but since their goal was to keep the cost inside a specific range it did take us a while to locate the ideal components. The trick was to find components with excellent price/performance ratio and for good or bad that wasn't very easy especially since all three chose very small mini ITX compatible cases by Streacom and Impactics. Luckily both Noctua and Thermalright offered very good and compact solutions acceptable by all three but since it's always nice to know what's out there today we'll be testing the latest AXP-200 Muscle by Thermalright.
Thermalright is an elite design house that manufactures cooling products for computer components for the best quality and performance your money can buy. In 2002, AMD released its first generation Thunderbird CPU and since then we have been there every step of the way to counter high voltage and high heat with innovative design and highly acclaimed cooling solutions not only for AMD but for Intel as well. One of early well known solutions was the SK-6. With many positive and rave reviews under its belt Thermalright bolted to the top as the heat sink manufacturer mostly preferred by Overclockers and enthusiasts around the World. To this day, innovation never left our vocabulary as we keep coming up with leading edge designs staying ahead of the competition.
The AXP-200 proved to be one of the best low-profile CPU Air Cooler we've ever used but it's priced somewhat high compared to other similar solutions so Thermalright had to come up with a way to reduce cost and that's exactly what they did. So in the case of the AXP-200 Muscle they removed the fancy aluminum heatpipe caps/covers and the 150mm fan frame from the bundle resulting to a price decrease of no less than 30%. We are very well aware that this means both the AXP-200 and the AXP-200 Muscle are practically the same low-profile CPU Air Cooler and thus there's very little reason for us to even be doing this review but it's also up to us to dig deeper and see whether or not these are the only two things Thermalright changed with this model so follow us as we take a closer look.