Date: Tuesday , October 02, 2018
Beautiful matte printing is the first thing that greets you when looking at the packaging for the ARO-M14G. We are used to Thermalright coolers coming in "plain brown wrappers," so this was a bit of a new thing. With a Ryzen themed color scheme it certainly stands out from other coolers and there is no doubt as to what CPU the cooler is built for. The front and back of the box are mirrored with very minimal marketing. Just a picture of the cooler itself, the model number, and the Ryzen logo as well as an "Only for Ryzen and Ryzen 2000," text standing out. The ends of the box are mirrored as well, giving the specifications for the ARO-M14G, with one side having the bar code and other information replacing some marketing on the other. Our unit arrived in perfect condition, being shipped from China, using the larger Thermalright Le Grande Macho RT box as the outer shipping box.
Unboxing was interesting, as the ARO-M14G differs quite a bit from what we would normally consider the standard layout for a CPU cooler. Upon opening the box for the ARO-M14G, you are greeted to the installation sheet resting atop a thin piece of foam. Under the foam is the fan, resting atop another piece of foam. Removing the fan and foam exposes the cooler itself, surrounded by foam inserts. And under the last sheet of foam, you find the "assembly package" box containing all the accessories. Thermalright has never scrimped on proper packaging.
Dimensions: (W)152mm x(H)129mm(D)162mm(with fan)
Material: Aluminum single tower, 6 copper heatpipes, copper baseplate
Recommended TDP: 240w
Contents included with the Thermalright ARO-M14G are everything you need, with a couple extras. You of course get the cooler itself, as well as the TY-147A Fan, which is billed as a "low noise emission" fan. You get all the mounting hardware to install the cooler on your AM4 system, as well as two sets of vibration damping stickers, and an extra set of fan clips if you decide to add an additional fan for push/pull, as well as one additional screw of each type if one happens to get lost, and a small syringe of Thermalright Chill Factor thermal paste. The thermal paste is a surprising addition, as our cooler had thermal paste pre-applied to the baseplate. An added bonus is Thermalright includes a very nice branded screwdriver with the ARO-M14G, it has a strong magnetic tip, and is the perfect length for installing the cooler. It does not come across cheap in any way, and is actually quite nice.
The finish on the ARO-M14G is quite nice. The fins appear near perfectly made, and the addition of the darker color, as well as the RYZEN name embossed in the top plate are very nice additions. The baseplate itself has the nicest finish we have seen to date on any cooler, being nearly perfectly mirror polished. That said the cold plate is not perfectly flat, being slightly concave on both axis, which is not something we normally see. Usually we will see these HSF cold plates be a convex. Testing will prove any issues with this assuredly.
The included TY-147A fan feels amazing. The frame as well as the blades are incredibly stiff, as well the blades have an almost sandpaper like texture to them that we have not seen before. Another part worth mentioning is the fan clips. The fan clips included are fantastic, being a heavier gauge wire than we normally see, they feed into holes on the top and bottom of the cooler, then lever into position locking into the fans mounting holes. No worries about damaging the coolers finish, and making for a relatively easy installation and removal.
The box specified the weight of the Thermalright ARO-M14G at 880g, on the [H] scale it weighed 726g for the cooler only, and 894g with the fan mounted. Fairly heavy for sure, but honestly lighter than expected for a cooler of this physical size. The ARO-M14G is 162mm tall, 140mm wide, and 102 mm deep. But keep in mind that the tower is offset from the base in order to move the fins back away from the DIMM slots.
Installation of the Thermalright ARO-M14G is very easy, as one would hope on a socket specific cooler. As is a recurring theme, if your backplate is still adhered to the motherboard, this installation will be a breeze, otherwise, it is a bit more fiddly, but still not difficult by any means. Some tape to hold you backplate in place will makes things simpler if yours is loose.
The first step in installation is installing the fan clips as well as the anti-vibration pads to the cooler. The legs for the fan clips slip into holes in the top and bottom of the cooler. These legs are a little long, so getting them through the multiple fins will require some attention to prevent bending anything. The anti-vibration pads are self adhesive, and are labeled "3M 467MP 200MP adhesive." These can be a little tricky to install as staring at the fins can play havoc with your eyes. Luckily since they stick to the edges of the fins, there is not a lot of surface area to adhere to, making them very easy to remove and reposition if you don't get it right the first time.
Next comes installing the screw pillars into the AM4 backplate. Here is where having your backplate adhered to your motherboard will make installation easier. Note that once the screw pillard are installed, they do not snug to the motherboard, but have a small gap where the backplate penetrates the holes in the motherboard. If your backplate isn’t adhered to the motherboard, this means your backplate will move loosely until the cooler is installed and torqued down.
After installing the screw pillars the top plate is placed into position and held in place with 4 screws. After applying thermal paste the cooler is then placed on the CPU and tightened to the top plate using two included screws with washers. Finally its a matter of plugging in the 4-pin PWM connector on the fan, and installing it to the cooler using the clips we installed in the first step.
RAM clearance will be a little tight to the innermost slot, and we would suggest installing the innermost DIMM before mounting the fan. The fin tower is elevated however to give you more room for tall DIMMs. Also to note, because of the offset design of the cooler, running push/pull will be a fairly tight squeeze in a lot of cases. In our Corsair 750D Airflow Edition there was not much room between the back of the cooler and the rear exhaust fan. That said, with it nearly pushed up next to the rear exhaust fan, you are getting a bit of a push/pull configuration in our setup.
As you can see, a great mate was achieved. As we expected with the highly polished convex base, the ARO-M14G did remove our Ryzen 7 1700 from it's socket. Some very careful separation of the CPU from the cooler allowed us to still get some decent images of the mate itself. Being such a highly polished base, we used a very thin layer of Promilatech PK-3 Nano Aluminum thermal compound.