Today, I am going to take a look at a price/performance type heatsink that I have seen recommended on the forums quite a bit when someone is on a limited budget, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus. It is a conventional tower type direct-touch heatpipe design, much in the same vein as the high performance (and cost) offerings from companies such as Corsair, Thermalright, Noctua and Prolimatech. It also is commonly available for less than $30 delivered from several stores, which is significantly less than competitors, too. So, I ordered one through Amazon.com for this test to see if it has what it takes to cool a heat monster like an overclocked LGA1366 quad processor.
Cooler Master is a company that is pretty well known in the computer industry which has been around since the 1990’s and they sell a wide variety of computer related products. They are probably best known for their cases, but they also sell power supplies, fans, heatsinks and notebook cooling solutions. Personally, I have bought two of their cases in the past and I’ve been satisfied with both, but this is the first CPU cooling solution of theirs that I have bought or tested.
Features and Specifications
(Courtesy of Cooler Master)
- Well balanced cooling performance.
- Computer aided heatsink design provides fin optimization with perfect balance between high and low speed operation.
- 4 X Direct Contact heat-pipe for seamless contact between CPU surface and cooler.
- Wide-range PWM fan with unique blade design for efficient airflow.
- Upgradeable to dual fans with extra fan clips included.
- Fan mounting using clips for easy installation and swapping.
- Versatile all-in-one mounting solution for Intel Socket
- LGA775/1156/1366 and AMD Socket AM2/AM3.
- Silent operation with minimal noise level at 13 dBA.
Sandy Bridge 1155
Socket LGA1366 / 1156 / 775
Core™ i7 Extreme / Core™ i7 / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium® / Celeron®
|Dimension||120 x 79.7 x 158.5 mm (L x W x H)|
|Weight||1.38 lbs; 626g|
|Heatsink Material||Aluminum fin|
|Heat Pipes||4 pcs|
|Fan Dimension||120 x 120 x 25 mm|
|Fan Speed||600 – 2000 R.P.M. (PWM)|
|Fan Airflow||21.2 – 76.8 CFM|
|Air pressure (mmH2O)||0.40 – 3.90 mmH2O|
|Bearing Type||Long life sleeve bearing|
|Fan Life Expectancy||40,000 hours|
|Fan Noise Level (dB-A)||13 – 32 dBA|
As you can see from their specifications, Cooler Master has included mounting solutions for all modern sockets being used today and it also comes with a fan, so it is a true “out of the box” cooling solution with nothing else needed to put it to work. The bare heatsink has a mass of 481.2 grams and the fan and fan clipping system has a mass of 166.4 grams, yielding a total installed mass of 647.6 grams, which is 20.6 grams more than their advertised specifications. The mass of the heatsink and the fan/clip assembly were checked with my Ohaus 2610 triple beam balance.
The box this heatsink comes in measures 9 X 6 1/4 X 3 9/16 inches (226 X 158 X 90 mm) and is well constructed and finished with a nice shiny coating with plenty of pictures and marketing spiel. All in all, a box with decent presentation and stiffness to protect the product inside and look good on the shelf at the store. Inside you find the heatsink and mounting hardware sitting in a plastic caddy that protects both well. The instructions included with this heatsink are pretty comprehensive and are printed in nine different languages, making this heatsink ready to be marketed around the world. I found the English instructions to be written very well, unlike the typo-filled and/or badly translated instructions sometimes included with products.
First Look and Installation
After unpacking this heatsink, you see you have a direct touch heatpipe type tower style heatsink that utilizes four 6 mm heatpipes bent in a “U” shape, going through the base and back up into the fins on both sides. It comes with one PWM fan and the fan itself has an unusual design to the blades on the impeller. Instead of having a constant pitch across the blades, the pitch flattens out towards the tip and the shape of the blades themselves are different from any other fan I have seen. With the fan being rated for up to 2000 RPM operation, this fan isn’t quiet by any means, but I find its noise to be roughly comparable to a Scythe S-Flex SFF21G in both pitch and relative loudness, but the sound of it is a bit less raspy. This fan is also sold separately as the Model number R4-BMBS-20PK-R0 Blade Master.
Instead of wire clips, this fan mounts on the heatsink with two plastic clips along the sides, which attach to the fan by the mounting holes at the corners with regular fan mounting screws. The fan clips hold well, but they are a bit fragile at the screw holes. I managed to crack one hole out of the four bracket halves while testing this heatsink, which I was able to repair with superglue. Also included in the hardware is another set of these fan clips, in case you want to run two fans in a push-pull arrangement. Since I will be testing this on a platform that outputs over 200 watts of heat, I will be testing in that configuration except for testing with the stock fan and with my Sanyo Denki compound fan. The fan mounting bracket was able to hold even the Sanyo Denki compound fan securely, even though the fan’s mass is over 700 grams.
For mounting this heatsink on various platforms, Cooler Master has come up with a bit of a unique back plate and crossbar for tension. The backplate is an all-in-one variety that actually works well and the heatsink comes with a socket to tighten the nuts on the mounting studs that go through the motherboard and backplate. The crossbar that applies the mounting pressure is of the “X” shaped variety that pivots in the middle and has detents at the correct stops for the various different platforms the heatsink is designed to mount on and it has captive spring loaded screws at the ends on the “X”. Mounting was pretty straightforward, with no unusual problems encountered.
Once mounted, the mounting tension seemed good, but like a lot of these tower style heatsinks that use an “X” type crossbar to tension the assembly, it will rotate on top of the processor with a moderate side load on the heatsink. The top of the base does have a pin to limit rotation of the heatsink on top of the processor, but it still allows roughly 3-5° of rotation. So you need to be careful not to rotate it when installing or removing fans from it and disturbing your thermal interface bond.
One thing I did notice with this heatsink being installed on my P6T test board is that I had good clearance between the fan and the first ram slot. I think you would even be able to use a stick of ram in the first slot of your motherboard while using 38 mm thick fans on the heatsink. The clipping system that Cooler Master has equipped this offering with will let you mount the fan offset upwards if you do have a clearance problem with your ram slots and intake fan due to tall heatspreaders. Good job, Cooler Master.
Fans used for testing were as follows:
|Fan(s)||Size (mm||RPM||CFM||dBA||H2O Static |
Pressure (in H2O)
|Stock Coolermaster Fan |
|120 X 25||600-2000||21.2 – 76.8||13 – 32||.0157-.1535||4.32||166|
|2x Scythe S-Flex SFF21F||120 X 25||1600||63.7||28||N/A||2.4||178|
|2x Scythe S-Flex |
|120 X 25||1900||75||35||N/A||2.88||182|
|2x Sanyo Denki San Ace |
|120 X 38||2600||102.4||39||0.26||6.24||243|
|2x DeltaFFB1212VHE||120 X 38||3200||151.85||53||0.445||12||403|
|1x Sanyo Denki San Ace |
|120 X 76||6200/2700 |
The testbed system is configured as follows:
- Case – In Win Dragon Rider. The 220 mm side door fan has been shifted downward to give clearance for tall heatsinks such as this one. No other alterations have been made to this case.
- Motherboard – Asus P6T
- Processor – Intel Core i7 930, overclocked to 4000 MHz @ 1.304 v.
- RAM – Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600
- Video Card – eVGA 7900GTX
- Power Supply – HEC Cougar series (German HEC, not US model) S700
- Hard Drive – Western Digital Caviar 250 GB SATA hard drive
- Optical Drive – Lite On DVD-RW drive
- OS – Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Service Pack 2
- Arctic Cooling MX2 thermal paste was used for testing as I have found it to give good consistent results with no appreciable break in and it applies and cleans up easily.
- All testing was done with the side door fastened to the case except for testing with the Denki 9CR1212P0G03 which pushes so much air I didn’t want to trap any waste heat inside the case.
I have now moved my test rig into a more modern case design than my old Antec clone. I have done this due to the fact that the Dragon Rider utilizes a 120 mm sized exhaust fan instead of two 92 mm exhaust fans. Having the 120 mm exhaust fan will make it much easier to test LCLC systems such as the Corsair H70 or the new H60, which utilize the 120 mm sized case hole to mount the radiator portion on.
Test Methodology and Results
The testing methodology used is the same as I used with my previous reviews. All energy saving features of the motherboard and processor were turned off to keep it from down clocking the processor speed and vcore. All fan control functions were turned off in bios to keep the fans at maximum speed. For processor temperature monitoring purposes, I am using Real Temp 3.46, with logging enabled at 2 second intervals. For room temperature monitoring, I have added a more accurate meter to my testing arsenal.
I now monitor incoming air temps with a Fluke Model 52-2 meter using a K type thermocouple and it will monitor maximum and minimum temps and also average temps on up to 2 different probes. The Fluke samples every second and the average temp given is derived from these readings. The thermocouple is inserted at the case front where the intake fan draws in cold air. Since I got this meter, I have found that the temp monitor I was using previously was giving higher readings than with the Fluke. Where I was monitoring 20.5 to 21.1 °C temps before with the previous monitor, I am now reading temps around 18 °C on average.
Temperatures in my computer room were maintained as close as possible to around an 18 °C average during the run, as measured at the lower front intake fan by the Fluke. At the end of the test run, I logged the maximum, minimum and average temperature. The maximum and minimum temps are given as recorded by Real Temp, but the average temperatures have been adjusted to a constant 18 °C as derived from the Fluke average temps.
For loading the CPU, I used Prime95 version 25.8 using in-place large FFT’s and ran it for 30 minutes to stabilize temps. After 30 minutes, I would exit Prime95 and let the CPU idle for at least 10 minutes. The highest recorded temperature from the hottest core for each run was then recorded off of the Real Temp log, the lowest temperature on any core was recorded and the average temperature on the hottest core was calculated during the load portion of each run.
Each fan configuration was tested with three remounts of the heatsink, and the lowest average temperature run recorded, to minimize any problems between mount to mount installations. When testing in the extreme performance realm with the SanAce 9CR1212P0G03, it was installed in a push configuration, just like my tests with it on the other premium heatsinks I’ve tested.
The following chart gives the results I obtained with the fans tested above:
The chart shows decent, but not outstanding results for the Hyper 212 Plus. The results between the single, stock cooling fan and the Scythe SFF21F push-pull setup were almost identical, with a very slight edge going to the Scythes. The Scythe configuration was actually quieter than the single Cooler Master fan, but that is due to the SFF21F fans being quite a bit less noisy in the first place. All other configurations showed continued scaling of cooling capacity as the CFM and static pressure went up.
Since I had just reviewed the Dragon Rider case I am using as my test case and had data recorded from the review of it with a Thermalright TRUE Rev. C installed in this case with the same parameters as above, I decided to see how well the Hyper 212 Plus compared to the TRUE Rev. C. I tested the Hyper 212 Plus with the same fans as I had installed on the TRUE, just to see how much cooling difference I saw between the two heatsinks. I was using two Gentle Typhoon D1225C12B5AP-15 (1850 rpm) fans in a push-pull setup.
I had two different runs logged with the TRUE when testing the Dragon Rider case, so I made two different runs with these same fans installed on the Hyper 212 Plus and kept the better of the two runs from both heatsinks. I didn’t do three different mounts this time; just one mount on both installs. But experience tells me that both mounts were good when tested. This is by no means a definitive test due to me not going through my normal procedures, but it does give an indication of the cooling ability of both heatsinks in my particular configuration with my hardware.
The following chart gives the results between the two heatsinks when run in the same setup and fan configuration:
What I am seeing from this chart is that while the Hyper 212 Plus does a competent job of cooling, the extra money spent on a higher end heatsink does pay big dividends in better cooling ability. But if you are on a strict budget, the Hyper 212 Plus does deliver good cooling, especially at this level of overclock.
For the price you pay for this complete cooling solution, the performance is pretty good. It was able to cool my overclocked i7 930 without having to resort to replacing fans or lowering the overclock. There are better heatsinks on the market that will provide better cooling performance, but you will also be paying substantially more for the heatsink and fans. This heatsink also comes complete with mounting hardware to mount this to all modern platforms and this fact makes it an even better bargain. Simply put, I don’t think you can find a better cooling solution for your system than the Hyper 212 Plus for less than $30 delivered to your door. As such, this heatsink earns the Overclockers.com Approved rating.
In closing, I hope you have enjoyed reading this review as much as I have had testing this heatsink and writing up the review. I will see you soon with a new review!
– Jim Gautreaux (muddocktor)