Cooler Master Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler Review
I used the COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus CPU cooler in my latest build, and I'm writing this review based on my experience and observations with it. This is a very popular CPU cooler, as evidenced by the number of reviews at sites like Newegg, where is gets an overall 5-star rating on nearly 3000 reviews. There are a lot of expert reviews that benchmark performance, such as this one. Read them for yourself, but the gist of almost all of them is that it is a solid performer at an excellent price. I will discuss my experience with it as an amateur builder, and compare it to my only other PC build experience, which was using the stock cooler for an E8400 CPU. I think this may be useful for people who are not building on a daily, weekly, monthly or even annual basis.
As I mentioned, in my previous build I used the stock cooler with the E8400 dual core CPU. Using Core Temp, the cooling has never been very good. Mid-to-high 50s, and this without overclocking. I found that cooler to be a major pain in the rear, with the push button installation, etc. The thermal compound came "pre-installed."
When I came around to this build, I did want to try a little overclocking with the i7-2600k CPU, but even though I didn't expect to overdo it, I wanted to keep it cool in hopes of better performance and longer life. I was able to get the Hyper 212+ for $20 with a rebate.
I found the instructions to be pretty bad. They are small black and white pictures with very little text. I understand that this makes it easier than translating into 40 languages, but the pictures need to be a lot better. I ended up reading a lot of installation guides online, but frankly, most of them were pretty weak as well. Neither were the multiple videos very helpful, because the parts that are challenging require some up-close video or explanation, and you just don't see that. Nevertheless, I found my way.
One issue that hangs me up is the application of thermal compound. This is always skipped over as if it is like spreading butter on toast. Except this is one of the keys to making the cooler work and protecting your $300 CPU. I used this guide on applying thermal paste, which tested many different techniques and had one in particular for the direct contact heat pipe style. Still, I find it odd that the cooler manufacturers don't provide any instruction on this. They just mention it and then skip ahead to tightening screws.
This brings me to the next item. The attachment and pressure mechanism is through screws rather than push-pins for the stock cooler. This is just so much better. It was easy to do, didn't feel like I was going to break anything, and you know when you've got it done right. No chance of slipping out. Maybe this is a standard for cooler design, but this was pretty good.
One other issue I had is that the fan that attaches to the fins protruded over the RAM slots on my MSI Z68A-GD55 (G3) motherboard. I had seen this mentioned in some reviews. The installation procedure is to attach the heat sink first, then attach the fan as the last step. Before attaching the fan, I installed my RAM, and then just shifted the fan up ever so slightly (less than an inch) so that it cleared the RAM. I don't think this makes a difference in the cooling, but it had to be done or it would not have fit with my motherboard.
As far as performance goes, I have been very impressed. Using Core Temp, the four cores were in the mid to upper 20s when idling. This is only slightly above room temperature. Some of this has to be attributed to the Antec Three Hundred Two case, which has excellent ventilation. Still, compared to my previous build (albeit with a different CPU and case) this was 30 degrees cooler. 30 degrees! Needless to say, since I am still using that other computer, I am going to install this cooler on that as well, and I will post the results here for a better direct performance indicator. I have since overclocked my CPU to 4.2 GHz (from 3.4). Core Temps are now in the low to mid-30s. Update: A week later, idling temps are slightly better even at 29-31 degrees. Not sure why the drop, though I may recall hearing that this can happen.
I have read about results from people using water coolers that can do better than this, but for my purposes this is plenty good and the price is very good. As far as noise goes, I have several fans going in my case so I can't tell how much to attribute to the cooler. It does have a large fan though, so I am sure it is not silent. I would recommend this cooler to anyone rather than using the stock cooler. The cost really isn't that much and the difference in performance seems to be significant over the stock cooler. If you are going for super-high performance and overclocking to the max, I don't know if this will do it for you. But I would always invest the extra $20-30 instead of using the stock cooler.
Last edited by bighoo93; 05-01-2012 at 12:24 PM.
Reason: Updated title to include product name.
So, my second Hyper 212 Plus arrived today for installation into my first build, and it gives me a good chance to provide a direct comparison. Recall from the post above that the cores in my E8400 CPU without any overclocking were in the upper 50s according to Core Temp. Today I removed the old stock cooler, cleaned off the old thermal paste, and installed the Hyper 212 Plus. The core temperatures are now in the low to mid 40s. This is approximately a 15 degree difference from the stock cooler, in the exact same setup with no changes. I would say that is worth the upgrade for any system.
Now, I held everything constant as much as possible (it is the same exact system, only with the CPU cooler changed out). I did not increase the speed of the exhaust fan or anything else. So most of the improvement is attributable to the new cooler. Of note, when I removed the stock cooler, it was apparent that the thermal paste had not fully covered the CPU. Maybe this made a difference. I find it kind of strange that the stock cooler is circular, but the CPU surface is a rectangle. There is inherent inefficiency there. The Hyper 212 Plus has a rectangle shape that matches the CPU surface. Bottom line, the CPU cooler is a huge improvement over the stock cooler.
Also, it was much easier to install this time. Not much help for those who are doing it for the first time, but the second time around it didn't seem so bad.