IntroductionWhile people tend to associate high-end, stylish cases upon hearing the words "Cooler Master", most don't imminently think of their cooling segment even though that word is in the company name. Cooler Master has for years been quietly churning out quality CPU and GPU coolers whilst letting their cases take the main spotlight with the critics. Today we are going to take a look at the Cooler Master Hyper 212 CPU cooler. While the design isn't unique, it does follow a pattern set forth by some very efficient CPU Coolers. From a distance it would be difficult to tell the 212 from our current performance leader and award winner, the Noctua NH-12P; the designs are so close.Let's dive in and see how the Cooler Master Hyper 212 looks; and more importantly, performs.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Cooler Master Hyper 212 is a multi socket cooler ready to take on AMD and Intel's best processors. The 120mm fan that is designed to move a high volume of air while producing a very low acoustic footprint has nine blades and rotates at only 2000 RPM. The cooler its self uses four standard 6mm heatpipes that are shaped like a U attaching to the base of the cooler and leading up to aluminum fins. This design gives the Hyper 212 eight points of contact between the base and the cooling fins, so the transfer from one area to the other should be quite good. I was able to find the Hyper 212 available on several e-tail sites under the actual product number, RR-CCH-LB12-GP; but on PriceGrabber only one shop had it listed as a Hyper 212. The prices were right around the 40 Dollar mark no matter what it was called, making this cooler considerably less than the Noctua Cooler we tested that uses a similar design. At this price point the Hyper 212 will be competing with the Rosewill Z5, our current leader in this price category.
From the looks of the front of the box it appears Cooler Master is trying to bore us with their minimalist approach. There is very little of the cooler showing behind the small window area of the box.
More of the same on the side; the specifications are listed here.
From the back we can finally see what the cooler actually looks like. The back also makes some statements about "dual cooling" that I have to take issue with. In two spots it talks about dual fans but the cooler only comes with one. I did not see a disclaimer stating that only one fan comes in the package so it will be easy for some to be misled and at the same time disappointed.
The other side lists possible applications and processor types. On the Intel side it states "Pentium" without mentioning Socket 775. It is reasonable for you and me to assume it is referring to modern Socket 775 motherboards, but for someone shopping at a retail shop this might look like the only cooler for their Pentium III that the store carries.
Once you open up the package you can see that the cooler is encased in plastic which keeps it from being moved around during shipping.
Head on we can see the Hyper 212's nine cooling blades.
Cooler Master has given us ample length on the 3-pin fan cable, long enough to reach even the farthest motherboard fan header.
The cooler is not as deep as you might imagine. This will help out when using tall memory or a motherboard with an extra large Northbridge Cooler.
The back of the cooler holds a bit of a surprise. As you can see the cooling fins do not go all the way across from one side of the cooler to the other. We will have to see if this effects performance compared to the Noctua and Rosewill designs that travel from one extreme to the other.
Nothing special about the other side, it is like what we looked at before.
From the top you can see the additional hardware for mounting a rear fan.
The base is like many other coolers we have looked at in recent months. There are light machine marks, but the cooler is smooth to the touch.
Accessories and Documentation
Accessories and Documentation
We have seen this same hardware coming with Cooler Master Coolers for years now. Motherboard removal is guaranteed in all situations. This is one area where I would like to see Cooler Master take some inspiration from others and make it so we do not have to remove the motherboard to install a CPU Cooler. That process went out of fashion a couple of years ago.
The documentation and information inside of it is presented well. The instructions were easy to follow along with, and it is a Multi-language document.
Test ResultsTweakTown uses a different method for testing CPU heatsinks which allows for an even playing field across all product tests. We feel that by using the same ambient temperature and strict lab-like testing procedures we are able to accurately compare one product to another. More information on our testing procedure can be found in the T.E.C.C. article here.
Under load the Cooler Master Hyper 212 is an average cooler compared to the other coolers we have tested. The idle temps are around average as well, nothing really special here either. Let's have a look at the acoustic level and see if we can find something to get excited about.
The Hyper 212 is one of the quieter coolers we have tested. If you eliminate the ASUS Triton 75 that we reviewed last week with its aftermarket fan, only the Noctua NH-12P remains in the way of the 212 taking the crown in this category. The Noctua is a 60 Dollar part so I think a trade off of 20 Dollars for just a couple of inaudible dBs would be worth it.
Final ThoughtsI touched on the word 'excited' earlier, or lack thereof. This is where the Cooler Master Hyper 212 sits at. It is a solid cooler with great acoustics but it brings little to the table to make me jump for joy. In all honesty I think the fact that in all circumstances you are forced to remove the motherboard to install the cooler is what has me feeling this way. Many manufacturers have taken the time to make an effort to eliminate this process for consumers, but Cooler Master has changed nothing to their mounting hardware for at least three years. What is exciting about the Cooler Master Hyper 212 is the acoustic performance. In nearly all situations the fan is inaudible and this can be a big selling point for consumers. The price is also a contributing factor; at 40 Dollars the 212 is less than many of the coolers we have looked at, and if it performed just a little better it would have been my new stand-out in this price range. That honor still goes to Rosewill's Z5 with the 212 coming in at a very close second.Cooler Master does have a vast distribution system and getting your hands on a Hyper 212 is going to be a lot easier than finding the Rosewill Z5. A big plus for consumers is that they can walk into many retail locations and pull a Cooler Master product right off of the shelf, and from what I saw on my tour of the local brick and mortar shops this last week the Hyper 212 is going to be there with the other mass quantity CPU coolers.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:26 pm CDT
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Chris Ramseyer started his career as a LAN Party organizer in Midwest USA. After working with several computer companies he was asked to join the team at The Adrenaline Vault by fellow Midwest LAN Party legend Sean Aikins. After a series of shake ups at AVault, Chris eventually took over as Editor-in-Chief before leaving to start Real World Entertainment. Look for Chris to bring his unique methods of testing Hard Disk Drives, Solid State Drives as well as RAID controller and NAS boxes to TweakTown as he looks to provide an accurate test bed to make your purchasing decisions easier.
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