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Thread: Thermalright AXP-100 H Muscle

  1. #1
    Xtreme Reviewer
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Thermalright AXP-100 H Muscle


    Thermalright is renowned for manufacturing a huge range of affordable air cooling solutions featuring sophisticated designs.In today's review, I look at Thermalright's AXP-100H Muscle, which improves upon the already popular AXP-100 series of coolers. The company's latest creation is the AXP-100H Muscle, a top-flow CPU cooler suitable for small-form-factor PC builds.

    But let's take a closer look at the specs before we start counting those chickens that haven't even hatched yet.

    Packaging,Bundle & Fan

    Thermalright uses red-black colors for the cardboard packaging of the AXP-100 H Muscle and it works perfectly.

    Images for the cooler on both sides.

    This side lists the specifications.

    This side proudly lists off the product features.

    The below images shows the box opened up to show off the contents.3 pieces of foam envelop the heatsink and fan while the rest of the bundle sits ontop in a large white cardboard box.

    Inside the box you will find the AXP-100 H Muscle heatsink, TY-100BW fan, user's manual, thermal paste tube,instructions for fan mounting and all the mounting bits and pieces required for Intel- and AMD sockets (Intel LGA775/1156/1366/1155/1150/1151 and AMD AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1/FM2/FM2+).

    The installation is easy and self-explaining - an illustrated manual (English and German) is included.

    TY-100BW FAN Spec
    Dimension: L108 mm x H101 mm x W14 mm
    Weight: 40g
    Rated Speed: 900~2500RPM
    Noise Level: 22~30 dBA
    Air Flow: 16.0~44.5CFM

    The TY-100BW 14mm thick, 100mm in diameter fan that is included in the box is what you are looking at here. The frame is a light brown, and the nine blades of the TY-100BW are an white. With four wires leaving the fan motor, you can also assume there is a 4-pin PWM connection to feed this fan.

    Closer Examination

    All the materials have been treated to a full nickel plating, giving the AXP-100 H Muscle a consistent colour and shine (because we're worth it), and as expected from a Thermalright product, the whole cooler feels incredibly well built and solid.

    These holes allow you to use your screwdriver to mount the heatsink with ease onto your mainboard.

    This time Thermalright didn't engrave their logo at the front of the heatpipe covers.

    Due to the higher distance between base and heat sink, the cooler is only 7 mm higher than its predecessor. Still, the AXP-100H Muscle is just 51 mm high (or 65 mm with the fan included). The most striking feature of this powerful cooler thus remains the particularly low profile. As such due to the higher distance between base and heat sink. The compact cooler is predestined for HTPC systems or minimalistic work computers.

    The design of the cooler is based on the proven "Downdraft" layout, which vertically deflects the airflow to the motherboard and thus also provides efficient cooling for the surrounding components. Six 6 mm heatpipes in combination with the special design of the 39 aluminum fins allow for a very good cooling performance for a cooler of its size.

    Despite its small dimensions, the C-shaped AXP-100 Mouscle sports six 6mm copper heat pipes evenly spread through the copper baseplate but not making direct contact with the CPU.

    This is two more than Noctua's NH-L12, and indeed more than a number of larger coolers, so Thermalright hasn't slacked on the amount of metal you get for your money.

    Thermalright loves the mirror-like surface on the base of their coolers and i have to say that i do too.

    As you can see the heatsink extends bellow making the center part of it quite thicker thus increasing the total surface of the fins.

    Installation Process

    As well as being compatible with all the usual sockets, the AXP-100 H Muscle claims 'almost full compatibility' with all the mini-ITX and HTPC cases currently on the market, and a list of supported cases can be found on the product's support page.To start off, you have to install a back plate which has the relevant mounting holes drilled out. You need to put four screws through which bolt into the screw nuts on the opposite side of the motherboard.If your mainboard has larger components or protruding pins on the backside, causing interference when installing the AXP-100 H’s mounting backplate, you can choose to install your AXP-100 H without the backplate as showed below.

    Mounting was very easy, four screws is all thast is needed to mount the unit.

    The anchoring mount and the mounting plate are constructed from solid metal.Only the washers are made from plastic. For most sockets, you pass screws through the rear of your motherboard, and fasten everything up with some nuts.

    You then screw the anchoring mount into position, and it's to this mount that the cooler itself is attached via a pair of screws, that can be tightened through the heatsink thanks to some holes in the fins.

    You can mount the TY-100BW in reverse pulling air from the heatsink. This creates a wind tunnel effect, pulling hot air straight out of the case and in turn increasing overall performance.All in all, it's an easy cooler to install, and an extra positive is that it can be installed in any orientation, which is helpful when trying to avoid impeding on your other components. You'll most likely want to mount it outside of your chassis, however, especially with a cramped mini-ITX build.

    Installed - Memory Clearance

    Even with this fan installed, you can see there is plenty of room for medium heat spreaders to fit under the fan.

    Since it doesn't completely clear the memory area when it is slid to the left, very tall heat spreaders may cause issues in that slot nearest the CPU.

    No collisions with the built-in voltage converter cooler on motherboards or vga cards.

    Test System & Methology

    Test System:

    Processor: Intel Core i7 4770k
    Motherboard:ASUS Maximus VI Gene Z87
    Memory: 16GB Mushkin
    Graphics Card: Sapphire HD 6970
    Power Supply: Antec HCG 750W
    Chassis: Cooler Master Silencio 650 Pure
    Boot Drive: Ocz Vector
    Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate Barracuda


    CPUID HW Monitor 1.23
    CPUID CPU-Z 1.65
    Prime95 v27.1

    I am testing the performance as follows:

    Ambient temperatures are kept at 23C throughout my tests.
    The CPU Fan is set to 100% to eliminate inconsistencies as a result of PWM control.
    Idle temperatures are obtained after booting the PC and idling on the desktop for 30 minutes.
    Load temperatures are obtained after running Prime95′s Small FTTs test for 15 minutes.
    To measure noise levels i disable the two front in-take fans, rear exhaust and GPU fan.
    On the following pages you'll have the opportunity to read what AXP-100 H Muscle is capable of.

    Results - Temperature

    We can see that with the AXP-100 H Muscle temperature dropped quite a bit vs the Stock cooler.The AXP-100 H Muscle was able to handle Prime95′s Small FTTs stress test without any problems.It really suprised me how well this low profile cooler performs.

    Results - Noise Level

    Subjective noise level evaluation about TY-100BW PWM fan is that it is a lot more quiet compared to Intel stock cooler.At maximum RPM it is hearable from 2 meters away.With PWM control you can have completely silent computer, when you use the TY-100BW PWM fan.


    The Thermalright AXP-100 H Muscle is, oh, who am I kidding, a cute itsy bitsy cooler that will fit into just about any system imaginable. Okay, back to being an adult. Looking at its small size, it manages to perform reasonably well considering there is no active cooling on the test bench to help it in any way. It manages to offer perfect memory, expansion slot, and power plugs clearance.The cooler is a splendid example of a low profile quiet HTPC/Small form factor air cooler where space is at a premium, and reliability is a must. If you need quiet performance for your low wattage CPU… look no further, you have found your solution!Moving on to the aesthetics, the cooler is so small, it looks neat and if you like black and white colour schemes, then you pretty much have the full package.I think it is important to consider why the AXP-100 H Muscle has been created, it is certainly not to be a high performance low profile CPU cooler, but to be one of the most affordable options. It ticks all the right boxes and is a viable solution for anyone looking to run a HTPC or small form factor system without wanting to spend a fortune on a quiet and effective CPU cooler.

    With the AXP-100H Muscle, Thermalright offers a slightly modified version of the existing HTPC “Value” cooler, which is aimed primarily at price-sensitive fans of compact coolers.My only other thoughts come down to the niche segment this cooler will be applicable to. If you need better cooling, Thermalright has many far better options available. However, the AXP-100 H Muscle is a great option if you need a cooler that is gonna fit where nothing else can without having to shell out more for the more expensive competitors. It is good to see companies willing to offer options to these smaller market segments.With perfect memory clearance, low noise levels, and an attractive price(39.99 Euro), the AXP-100H Muscle is a great cooler for ultra-small form factor systems.

    Last edited by testman78; 12-16-2016 at 04:09 AM.



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