Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Reviewairman -
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With the fan removed, there isn't really a true front/back or left/right. The only distinguishing factor is that of a locating pin on the top of the base of the cooler, which is not shared with its predecessor. There is, however, still a small hole drilled into the top of the base by a few millimeters. This is for centering the hold-down bracket used in its mounting. Looking at it head-on (the direction that air will be flowing from the fan[s]), the layout of the heatpipes could have been slightly altered to expose all four on each side to a direct line of incoming air. In its current configuration, only two ends on each side receive fresh air, while the other two are directly behind these and are blocked slightly. This isn't the end of the world, but could have served as an inexpensive revision to the Evo aside from its redesigned base. Standing at only 159mm tall and 51mm wide (~80mm with a fan), the Hyper 212 Evo is dimensionally identical to that of the Hyper 212+. Also like its predecessor, it has four, 6mm direct contact heatpipes.
Stamped into each fin of the heatsink is the Cooler Master along with a subtle pattern outlining the edges where the heatpipes reside. This too is shared with the Hyper 212+, even down to the overall pattern of the fins themselves. To save on tooling/production costs, Cooler Master seems to have chosen to not redesign the fin profile or heatpipe layout/pattern. That being said, these two heatsinks can be assumed to be identical in every way — except the refined base. On either side of the Cooler Master logo are the ends of each of the four heatpipes, which protrude from the top after being bent into a U-shape. Looking at the bottom of the cooler, we see the "CDC" design in action. The heatpipes themselves are nearly touching and are only separated by about 0.5mm. Even with tiny gaps already, Cooler Master chose to fill these tiny areas with some kind of gray epoxy to make the base as flush as possible. This one area is what makes the Hyper 212 Evo what it is compared to the previous Hyper 212+.
Looking at a top-down angle on the heatsink, the shape of the fins can be observed. They are mostly rectangular with only a couple of distinguishing features. The main functional features on the fins are the four small notches (two on each end) which end up being the surface onto which the fan holders are secured. The other noticeable shape are a semi-circle cutout at each corner, but I do not know if they serve any purpose. The ends of the heatpipes are naked, but they aren't unattractive. The ends of some heatpipes can be rather ugly depending on the way that they are terminated, and in this case they are not aesthetically unpleasing. The interface on the top side of the heatpipes and base looks good. There are very little gaps and the heatpipes fit nicely inside; some manufacturers have trouble getting this right! Cooler Master did a good job here (and on the Hyper 212+ as well) on accomplishing a snug fit.
Now, it's time to take a look at the base. I immediately noticed a huge difference as soon as I got the protective film off of it. Nearly the entire surface down here is a bright copper color, with three miniscule stripes across the surface where what tiny gap that was there has been filled. When it comes to direct contact bases, I will say this cooler should get a medal! As far as flushness and overall cleanliness of the machining, I give it very high marks. What you may notice is the lack of reflectivity (which generally means a nicely-machined base), but I have found that this isn't typical of direct contact heatpipe bases. On the other hand, the machining marks are visible but are very faint. Just because a base doesn't have a mirror shine doesn't mean that it's of low quality.
Moving past the heatsink itself and to its fans, I discovered the generic Cooler Master fan that can be found across the board with other heatsinks and even provided in Cooler Master cases. It is packaged with the rail clips already attached to it along with four rubber dampening pads — one for each corner. The fan is constructed of a black, slightly transparent plastic and has the Cooler Master logo on its front and its back. It uses a 4-pin PWM connector and is specified to draw 0.37A at 12V. Cooler Master specs this fan to run between 600~2000 RPM, flow at a rate of 25~83 CFM, and produce approximately 9~36dBA. At full stride, 36dBA will by no means go unnoticed, but we'll see how the computer manages the fan speed on its own.
Snapping the pre-assembled fan on and off is a breeze, and takes only seconds to do so. I like this design much better than those pesky wire fan clips or rubber nails that can be damn-near impossible to get put together with the heatsink in the case! Anyways, the mounting method of this Hyper 212 Evo is identical to that of the earlier Hyper 212+. The backplate is attached to the rear of the motherboard using the supplied nuts and screws, and the legs that attach to the heatsink's base already have the spring-screws in place. The screws used to hold the backplate in place have female thread on the inside to which the spring-screws on the legs attached. This method applies even pressure on all four corners once all four screws are tightened down and the legs "sit down" onto the backplate screws. No sweat here, certainly an easy installation.
Now that the cooler is peacefully resting in its new home, it's time to get the heat kicked up and the thermal energy flowing through this thing!