Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Review

airman - 2011-11-04 11:27:56 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: airman   
Reviewed on: December 5, 2011
Price: $34.99

Introduction

A well-known and well-proven CPU heatsink in the computer world is the Cooler Master Hyper 212+. For those looking for a budget cooler in the < $30 range, the Hyper 212+ is hands down the most recommended model for both price and performance. It's extremely popular across the the entire world and holds the trophy for best bang for the buck in my mind — many other will agree. Taking into consideration the amount of success that the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ has gathered, I'm excited to take a look at Cooler Master's new version of the heatsink: the Hyper 212 Evo. I have always enjoyed Cooler Masters' products due to their simplicity, favor towards function over form, and of course the products' performance.

Though the original Cooler Master Hyper 212+ was heavily praised, many users and ongoing reviews of the cooler threw criticism towards its poor(er) quality base and suffered from large gaps between the heatpipes and the rest of the base. You can find a clear picture of this condition on Page 2 of our 2009 review of the Cooler Master Hyper 212+. These gaps, as explained in this review, trap excess heat and slow the heat transfer in this area tremendously! However, in the recently-released Hyper 212 Evo, Cooler Master introduced a new "technology" deemed CDC — or Continuous Direct Contact. This design change pushes the heatpipes much closer together, eliminating these pesky gaps and increasing the heat transfer capability of the base. The revised base is really the only design change that I can distinguish. There is a difference in the supplied fans; the fan with the Hyper 212+ offers more static pressure at 3.90 mmH2O versus only 2.7mmH2O with the Evo version. However, even though both operate at 2000 RPM the Hyper 212 Evo's fan moves slightly more air at 83CFM versus the 77CFM of the Hyper 212+. I would imagine that static pressure is of less concern on an air cooler (dense fin heatsinks and water cooling radiators enjoy it though) with the likes of the Hyper 212, so I think the Hyper 212 Evo will be a winner by a slight margin.

In this review, I will provide a complete evaluation of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo from its unboxing, a close-up look of the heatsink, manufacturer-provided specifications, and features to a rigorous test session where its performance will be compared to other heatsinks currently available on the market. Let's get started.

 

Closer Look:

The packaging of Cooler Master's Hyper 212 Evo is just like that of about every other recent Cooler Master product. It is presented in a rectangular box sporting the white and purple color scheme that Cooler Master proudly wears. "Hyper 212 Evo" is written on every face of the box paired with the teal-green Cooler Master logo. The front of the box has an angle-view picture of the cooler with the fan attached, along with the right side of the box. The left side of the box lists a table of numerical specifications (which I will provide on Page 3) such as its dimensions, weight, fan RPM, socket compatibility, and more. The rear of the box lists only four bulleted features, but in eight different languages (including English of course) and a few wireframe drawings of the cooler at different views with its features dimensioned. Inside of the box, the cooler is housed in a clear plastic clam shell with a plain white cardboard box that contains all of the mounting hardware and thermal paste. The fan is already attached to the cooler.

 

 

 

Included accessories shown above are: universal backplate and mounting crossbars, nuts and screws for its mounting, four rubber dampening pads along with plastic rails and screws in order to attach an optional additional fan, hex tool, thermal paste and the user's manual (not shown). The mounting mechanism on this unit is very simple and appears to be the same as the original Hyper 212+, and shares roots with the mountings of some of Cooler Master's larger offerings. With everything unpacked and out of the box, let's take a closer look at the cooler.

Closer Look:

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!

Specifications:

CPU Socket
Intel Socket:
LGA 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775

AMD Socket:
FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2
Overall Dimensions
120 x 80 x 159 mm (4.7 x 3.1 x 6.3 in)
Heatsink Dimensions
116 x 51 x 159 mm (4.6 x 2.0 x 6.3 in)
Heatsink Material
4 Direct Contact Heat Pipes / Aluminum Fins
Heatsink Weight
465g (1.03 lb)
Heatpipe Dimensions
ø6mm
Fan Dimensions
120 x 120 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 in)
Fan Speed
600 – 2,000 RPM (PWM) ± 10%
Fan Airflow
24.9 – 82.9 CFM ± 10%
Fan Air Pressure
0.3 – 2.7mm H2O ± 10%
Fan Life Expectancy
40,000hrs
Fan Noise Level
9 - 36 dBA
Bearing Type
Long Life Sleeve Bearing
Connector
4-Pin
Rated Voltage
12 VDC
Rated Current
0.22A
Power Consumption
2.64W
Fan Weight
104g (0.23 lb)
Warranty
2 years

 

Features:

 

All information provided courtesy of Cooler Master @ http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/product.php?product_id=3053

Testing and Setup:

Testing of this heatsink will involve applying a load simulated by Prime95, using small FFTs in stock and overclocked scenarios, where both idle and load temperatures will be recorded. Load temperatures will be the maximum value displayed in RealTemp after running eight threads in Prime95 for one hour, and idle temperatures will be the minimum recorded value by RealTemp with no computer usage during a period of one hour. The temperature values for each of the four cores will be averaged and displayed in the graphs below. The ambient temperature is held at a constant 23 °C throughout testing of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo as well as the comparison units. All the data shown in the graphs below is in degrees Celsius. The included thermal paste from Cooler Master will be used during testing and thermal pastes on other heatsinks from their respective manufacturers will be used. The fans on each cooler will be run at full speed for these tests.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heatsinks:

 

 

 

 

What we see here is a completely expected trend, as far as the Hyper 212 Evo's individual results go. Being a direct contact heatpipe cooler, I expected low idle temperatures in both the stock and overclocked scenarios. For the load temperatures, I expected the opposite due to the lesser weight/overall size of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo compared to the other coolers. Regardless, this cooler put up some great results!

Conclusion:

Cooler Master is already well-known throughout the computer enthusiast community, and doesn't have to do anything to keep its reputation where it is now. However, with the extreme craze over the 2+ year-old Hyper 212 but it appears the stark criticism of its low-quality base drove Cooler Master to improve even further upon its lacking design. What Cooler Master did to the base of the Hyper 212 Evo certainly assisted in cleaning up those loose ends and offers nothing for users to complain about anymore! Other than the newly-designed base, the Hyper 212 Evo is, from my observations, identical to the original Hyper 212+. I will say that the base on the Hyper 212 Evo is probably one of the best, if not THE best direct contact design I have ever seen on a CPU cooler. The gaps between the heatpipes themselves is nearly non-existent and the ridges that are found in the gaps are filled with an epoxy, making the base completely flat.

As far as performance goes, this cooler is an excellent $35 well spent. What I've found with other direct contact heatpipe coolers, even this one, is that the idle temperatures are almost always superb. This is due to the very quick heat transfer rate of the cooler, thanks for the direct interface between the CPU and the cooler. Coolers without direct contact heatpipes require that the heat from the processor travel through an additional interface (the base itself) before making it to the heatpipes. With a light-weight and small cooler, the idle temperatures achieved here are quite good. The load temperatures are nothing to shake a stick at either, but the numbers are exemplary of a small cooler. Even though the idle temperatures are great, the heat capacity of the cooler prevents it from having superb "load" numbers. Without as much mass as the other comparison units, the ability to handle a high heat load tapers off.

For someone looking for a budget cooler for a build that may even see some heavy overclocking, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is an excellent choice — especially for the money. The performance results and overall quality and simplicity of the cooler make it a very nice heatsink to work with and use. Installation is easy and applies even pressure, the fan clip-on mechanism is super fast and hassle-free, the fan itself is not loud at all, and the performance numbers are good. I will not hesitate to offer this cooler as my #1 suggestion to those on a budget!

 

Pros:

 

Cons: