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Thermalright HR-02 Passive Heatsink

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Posted October 11, 2010 by Jake in Cooling
thermalright_hr02_6

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by Jake
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Closer Look

A traditional tower design, the HR-02 is reminiscent of several similar HDT coolers that we’ve seen. The overall design is similar and certainly the use of the HDT technology is identical. The most immediately apparently characteristic of the HR-02 is it’s sheer size; this thing is huge. In fact, it’s so big there’s a hole through all the fins to access the mounting hardware with the included screwdriver.

The HR-02 is designed for passive use (hence the huge surface area of fins) but it can also accommodate up to two 140mm fans in a push-pull configuration. Versatility is the name of the game here with the HR-02, something that more manufacturers should take note of.

The cooling fins are spaced together fairly tightly, but shouldn’t pose any problems with the 140mm fan we’ll be using during testing (in addtion to a passive setup). The cooler is quite heavy at 860g, as this doesn’t include the fan and bracket system. With the beautiful finish, the one drawback here is that this cooler is unfortunately prone to fingerprints and smudges. That may not matter to some, particularly in a non-windowed case, but if you’re picky about such things, keep it in mind. One other note about the fins: those edges are not very sharp, so you shouldn’t worry too much about cut knuckes during installtion. Below you can also see the hole through all the fins to allow for installation access to the mounting bracket.

The Thermalright HR-02 features six heatpipes (for a total of twelve if you look at them as individually bisected) to transfer the large quantity of heat which the CPU produces. The heatpipes are made of nickel-plated copper, with heatpipes wrapping through the base and up the aluminum dissipation fins. The heatpipes are not Direct Touch technology, instead integrating into the base as we typically see in Thermalright designs.

Looking at the contact area at the bottom, we see the heatpipes and contact point for the CPU. The base is machined with a reasonably decent finish; you don’t really see a mirror finish but Prolimatech claims the base has been precision-machined for optimal cooling. The proof will be in the pudding when we test the cooler.

There is thankfully a backplate with the HR-02, making installation immeasurably easier than the antiquated push-pin method that Intel insists on employing. This will help ensure solid pressure against the processor, and the presence of a backplate shouldn’t pose any concerns with pressure stress on the motherboard at all. The only drawback is that you may have to will likely have to remove your motherboard, unless your case has a hole cut out of the motherboard tray to allow for a quick swap.

Installing the cooler first and then affixing the fan afterward is the recommended order of operation here. The HR-02’s mounting system is unique and a bit unusual; the fan clips are inserted directly into the heatsink at the top and bottom via machined holes (shown below). Normally we see modern designs include side-mounted clips or rubber ones, so this is certainly a different design. The HR-02 is designed for one or two fans, either 120mm or 140mm, so this versatility may account for the unique fan retention method.

Installed in an ASUS Maximus III Formula, you can see the massive size of the HR-02. The TY-140 fan has 120mm mounting holes so the clip setup here is a bit odd but it did stay tight without any issues.

The HR-02 interferes with the DIMM slot nearest to the cooler, as the fan and clips overhang on this particular motherboard. If you have memory modules with low heatspreaders, or another motherboard, the HR-02 may not pose any issues. It does depend on your particular setup though, so keep it in mind.

Let’s move onto testing.

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