CoolerMaster Hyper212 Review

Propane - 2007-10-28 17:02:01 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: Propane   
Reviewed on: November 23, 2007
Price: USD 39.99


One thing that has always plagued computers is heat.  The physics behind the computer is where this heat comes from, and if too much heat is present, you will see your computers performance drop, and even in extreme cases, become unusable.  To battle this problem of heat, a heatsink is used.  These heatsinks transfer the heat from the computer's main chip, the CPU, to itself, which has a larger surface area, allowing the heat to dissipate faster. Most heatsinks nowadays are growing larger and larger and attempting to get more and more air flowing over them.  Recently, the idea of the heatpipe, a hollow pipe filled with a liquid that has a low boiling point, was introduced and a lot of heatsinks then added these to their spec sheets.  What CoolerMaster did with the Hyper212 was shrink the heatsink's size but increased the number of heatpipes that run through the heatsink.  While the Hyper212 does not hold the record for the number of heatpipes, it does have more than most, coming in at four. They also allow for two fans to be attached to the heatsink to add additional airflow, where most heatsinks only have one.  Will these changes allow the CoolerMaster Hyper212 to outperform its larger brothers?  Let's find out.


Closer Look:

The packaging that the CoolerMaster Hyper212 comes in is very simple and elegant. The front shows the included fan through a clear plastic casing. The back shows some pictures that were probably taken by a professional and are completely fingerprint free! The back talks about some of the features of the heatsink, including its dual fan design and copper base.






The sides of the case lists what sockets the cooler can be used on and the official specifications.


Closer Look:

The contents of the case include an instruction manual, the heatsink, one CoolerMaster fan, mounting hardware for both AMD and Intel sockets, CoolerMaster thermal paste, an extra fan bracket, and a set of screws. The heatsink itself came in a plastic box that people with Intel CPUs will be familiar with (they are very similar). The other items came packaged in two cardboard boxes that were placed underneath the plastic box that housed the cooler. The portion of the heatsink that physically attaches to the CPU is covered with a small piece of plastic to protect it from finger oils and scratches which would severely harm the performance of the heatsink.

The items bellow, starting with the instructions and going around clockwise, are as follows. The instructions include how to install the heatsink on both AMD and Intel sockets and give you this information in several different languages. The square plate that is above it is a backplate that is used on the AMD sockets and not the Intel, so I won't be using it in this review. Above that are the two C shaped metal brackets. These attach to the bottom of the heatsink for Intel sockets to give the screws that extra little extension so they make it the entire way through the motherboard. These C brackets screw into the heatsink as opposed to snapping in, so you know they won't be going anywhere. To the right of the two C brackets is the top plate for the AMD sockets. This plate is similar to the C brackets but again, won't be used because I don't have an AMD system. Next is, of course, the heatsink. It only comes with one fan attached so it is up to you to provide and install the other one. To the bottom-right of the heatsink is a small packet of screws used to install the heatsink. To the bottom-left of the screws is the additional plate that is used to connect a fan to the other side of the heatsink. The final packet has rubber grommets that keep the metal of the screws from shorting out the motherboard and a small tube of CoolerMaster thermal paste.





The two plates used for AMD sockets can be seen bellow.  The large square piece goes on the back side of the motherboard, while the spider-like piece attaches to the block of the heatsink with four screws. These then attach to each other to provide a solid connection.



The mounting hardware for the Intel socket is a lot simpler. The C brackets attach to the heatsink as can be seen below; then four screws go through and are attached with several small nuts, forming the same, strong connection.


The heatsink itself is very thin and has brackets for two fans, with one already in use by the stock fan. The four heatpipe configuration can be seen in the top down view of the heatsink, which is the most unique part, along with the two fans, about this cooler. The fins are separated by a couple of millimeters, as is standard with most heatsinks. On the top fan bracket, CoolerMaster can be seen elegantly inscribed, which is a nice addition if you like to show off your computer's internals. The included fan has a 3-pin power connector that is used by plugging it into your motherboard's fan header. There was no 3-pin-to-molex adapter provided, but those are easily obtainable, although it would have been a nice addition.



I only have an Intel computer that uses the LGA775 socket, so this section will be particular to this socket, although it appears that the installation for AMD sockets is not much different.

Most larger, high-end, CPU coolers nowadays use a backplate that sandwiches the motherboard in between the cooler and the backplate. The CoolerMaster Hyper212 is different. It instead uses several bolts that go through the holes provided in the motherboard for this purpose and is then tightened down with 4 nuts. This is very unique to me, so I was excited to see how the ease of install went as compared to the coolers that utilize a backplate. In the picture below, you can see how the heatsink attaches to the motherboard.







I cleaned off the old thermal paste from my CPU and attached some extra mounting hardware to the bottom of the heatsink. These extra mounting plates were rather small and attached with four screws. The four bolts that actually attach the cooler to the motherboard then go through these additional plates and through the motherboard. Turning the motherboard over, you can then attach the nuts, securing the heatsink in place. I was surprised with how easy this method was and was especially glad that I did not have to tighten little thumb screws in awkward positions. The small mounting brackets can be seen in the picture below under the heatsink.


The Hyper212 took up just about as much space as my old Tuniq Tower, but two fans were on the Hyper212, which should help increase airflow over the heat dispersing fins.




The testing of the CoolerMaster Hyper212 will be carried out by testing it against a Tuniq Tower. The CoolerMaster Hyper212 will be allowed to set in for about 24 hours. This will allow the thermal paste to fill in all the tiny imperfections that are found in all heatsinks. Then, the idle temperatures (the temperature of the CPU when the computer is doing nothing) will be recorded along with the load temperature (the temperature when 100% of the CPU is in use). To test the load temperatures, I will run OCCT, a CPU stress testing program, to top out both cores of my CPU. I installed an extra fan to the Hyper212 to give it maximum performance for one test, and only used the included fan on another. All fans, regardless of cooler, were set to their highest setting if they allowed such a setting.

Testing Setup:


As the results show, there was very little difference in between the temperatures that were yielded by the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 and the Tuniq Tower. The results also show that running the CoolerMaster Hyper212 in a one fan configuration increases temperatures by a small amount.




I also checked temperatures while my computer was overclocked. I only did a low grade overclock, increasing my FSB (Front Side Bus) from 266 to 300 MHz, netting me an additional 333MHz of processing power. This will cause an increase in temperature, and will further test the CoolerMaster Hyper212.




The CoolerMaster Hyper212, while smaller than many of its other high performance brethren, did preform at the top its class. At load, the CoolerMaster showed very comparable temperatures with its Tuniq counterpart. At the top of the air cooling ladder, gains are usually in the range of one to three degrees Celsius. While it may seem like a small gain, it is a gain nonetheless. Many people equate high end air cooling with high noise cooling. While this is true in many instances (higher C.F.M fans produce more noise for the most part), it is not so with the CoolerMaster Hyper 212. While the 212's two fan design might make you think that additional noise would be present, there was none that I could detect; however, this is highly dependent on what additional fans you decide to use, if any. An added benefit is that using two fans does decrease temperatures by a few degrees in most cases. It did in this review. With the CM Hyper212 also being easy to install (with its unique design in how it connects to the motherboard), and easy to modify (by adding fans), you can't really go wrong with this cooler. Another added bonus is that the cooler is only 40 dollars, which is less expensive than most of the other high performance heatsinks available today. I wouldn't be surprised if this cooler took over the "top dog" position for air cooling and was suggested to people around the world as the cooler for overclockers and enthusiasts. I know that I've found a new cooler of choice.