20 - 01 - 2018
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Thermalright Le Grand Macho Passive CPU Cooler Review

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thermalright le grand machoa

   People who are looking to get the best possible cooling efficiency for their CPUs rarely ever pay attention to noise levels and that makes sense especially for gamers and enthusiasts (even professionals who deal with video editing and 3D animation) since most of the time their graphics cards mask all other noises while in use (sometimes even while idle). There are always those however who are not interested in the best possible cooling performance and place low noise levels above all else. We're mostly talking about people who have their systems in their living rooms or bedrooms and so we all understand just how important is for them to have a silent system. Lucky for all of them Thermalright has been paying attention and has also been spending quite a bit in developing the best passive CPU coolers in the market like the Macho Zero and the latest Le Grand Macho which we have here with us today.

   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 Le Grand Macho is basically a pumped up (larger) version of the award winning Macho Zero which we reviewed just over a year ago so that alone should speak volumes about its build quality and "potential" cooling efficiency. If that by any chance however is not enough for you then with a thermal design power (TDP) of 300W when used with a 140mm fan according to Thermalright the Le Grand Macho can easily outperform any CPU air cooler in the market. Thermalright also improved the zero-clearance feature so whereas the Macho Zero had 45.1mm between the lowest fin and the mainboard tray the Le Grand Macho has 46mm and although this may not seem as much still it should allow memory modules to fit easier and also have a small breathing space between their top and the fins. So the time has come for us to see what Thermalright has been up to lately with their brand new Le Grand Macho passive CPU cooler.





















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Thermalright has placed the Le Grand Macho inside a green and white box that has a large product picture at the front above the Thermalright logo.



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Some awards are placed on the left side along with a picture showcasing the gap between the Le Grand Macho and the rear case fan.



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The product features are listed on the opposite side of the box.



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At the rear of the box Thermalright has placed the product specifications in English, German and French.



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Inside the box the heatsink is placed inside 6 thin foam spacers and the bundle is placed inside a second cardboard box.



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Once again Thermalright offers one of the richest bundles we've ever seen with a CPU cooler so aside the Le Grand Macho heatsink you are also getting a long Philips screwdriver, pair of fan mounts, 4 rubber fan pads, thermal paste tube, backplate and all the pieces needed to mount the Le Grand Macho onto Intel LGA 775/1150/1151/1155/1156/1366/2011/2011-3 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+ compatible mainboards.











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Measuring 159mm in height, 150mm in width and 120mm in length the 900g heavy Le Grand Macho is without doubt one of the largest single-heatsink CPU coolers in the market today (also larger and heavier compared to its predecessor).



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The top fin is painted black and although this doesn't affect performance in any way it does improve the looks of the cooler.



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Thermalright has placed a total of 35 aluminum fins (each 0.4mm thick) on the Le grand Macho (4 more compared to the Macho Zero).



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Thanks to its special design the Le Grand Macho has zero clearance issues since it supports up to 46mm tall memory modules.



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With a total of 7 nickel plated 6mm copper heatpipes the Le Grand Macho should be able to surpass its predecessor the Macho Zero (the Macho Zero has 6).



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The enlarged nickel plated copper base is identical to that of the Macho Zero and also features the same mirror-like finish.



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Just like the Macho Zero the Le Grand Macho should be used with the available fan duct which is sold extra.



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The fan duct basically connects the rear of the cooler with the rear 120/140mm case exhaust fan resulting in improved heat dissipation (the downside with that however is that unless you have exhaust fans at the top heat building inside the case will have nowhere to go).











cpuz3930k system




   We always take things quite seriously when it comes to work so just like with the previous LGA1366 database we will not be testing each CPU Cooler on its own and with different ambient temperature levels and thus we can actually have yet another valid CPU Cooler database. Testing a CPU Cooler automatically means that you need to know where it stands against the immediate competition and to accomplish that we have spent both money and time through the years, something that we plan to continue to do so in order to get the most accurate results for the end consumers who read these lines. Every CPU cooler in this database is tested with the bundled 140mm/120mm/92mm/80mm fans while working at both idle speed and 100% of their speeds for all the temperature tests. CPU Coolers that do not come bundled with a fan/s are measured using a Noctua fan (size dependent on the model) to test for the temperature tests but due to the lack of a stock fan dBA level tests are obviously skipped. Single (120/140mm) watercooling solutions are tested with the radiator mounted at the rear of our test rig while dual/triple/quad (240/260/280/360/420/480/560mm) solutions with the radiator mounted at the top. For the dBA tests every cooler in the database was measured both while on idle mode or with the fan controller in the minimum setting and while on extreme load or with the fan controller all the way to the highest possible setting (PWM fans do that on their own without our intervention). Every single test takes place in a temperature controlled room of 23 degrees Celsius Ambient Temp with the help of two AC units placed diagonally inside the room. The Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste is used with every CPU Cooler in our latest LGA2011 database (although initially this was not the plan we had to change things to get the most accurate results). Finally it's very important to point out that just because a CPU Cooler is better than another when tested with our test rig that does not necessarily mean that the same performance differences will apply 100% for other CPU models and in other situations (such as different ambient temps and system configurations).

     To successfully record the load temperatures we use the latest OCCT application for around 6-10 minutes to push the processor to its limits and after that is done and the temperatures are recorded we wait for about 10-20 minutes for the CPU to cool down and record the idle temperatures. This is done to allow time for the thermal conductive material to achieve the optimal performance level. Same procedure is then repeated with the Passmark BurnIn Test as a failsafe just in case the OCCT results are wrong. This procedure takes a lot more time than the usual peltier/thermometer tests but this way not only can we deliver real world results to our readers based on real CPUs but we can also triple check the results using a variety of programs. Last but not least the temperatures were recorded using both the latest versions of AIDA64 and RealTemp while the noise level tests are performed using a high precision ExTech HD600 Decibel Meter placed about 10-15cm above the CPU Cooler. Still although the same testing procedure applies to all units do take into consideration that unlike the official numbers which are measured in special noise isolated labs with just the fans here we also have both the rest of the cooler and the rest of the system (although all system fans are turned off when recording noise levels).





















thermalright le grand machob

   As you can all see unlike when we reviewed the Macho Zero this time over we tested the Le Grand Macho with and without the 140mm fan duct so you can all have a better idea of what to expect in both cases (the Macho Zero was tested with the Fun Duct). Obviously judging by our charts using the fan duct improves heat dissipation quite a bit so I think it’s very crucial to get one if you intent to use the Le Grand Macho passively. On the other hand the fan duct costs slightly less than an average 140mm fan and certainly doesn’t perform on par (and there’s also the small drawback we mentioned earlier) so you may want to consider that option too (besides some fans are almost inaudible even at full speed). The size of the Le Grand Macho could be an issue in small HTPC cases so potential buyers with small cases should do their research prior to getting one. As for the installation part well thanks to the long Philips screwdriver the entire procedure takes but just a few minutes to complete just like it did with its predecessor.

   Right now the Le Grand Macho passive CPU cooler by Thermalright retails for USD69.99 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and for 59.99Euros inside the EU (PC-Cooling.de) while the 140mm fan duct retails for USD8.99/4.99Euros. With that in mind if you’re after the best passive cooling performance you will need to spend USD79/65Euros to get both the Le Grand Macho and the 140mm fan duct a price tag which is not really bad considering the end result. Of course if passive cooling is not your thing then a NH-D15 would be a better choice but if you are into passive cooling things can’t get any better than the Le Grand Macho (at least now currently and not for the same price) and that’s why we give it our Platinum Award.



- Build Quality
- Black Nickel Color
- Excellent Performance
- Passive Cooling (Silent)
- Zero Clearance Issues
- Bundle
- Price (For Some)



- Size (Overall)
- Fan Ducts Sold Separately