COOLER MASTER HYPER 212 EVO

91unx7qsvpl-_sl1500_The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo was selected to replace the AMD Phenom II 965 BE OEM cooler. AMD coolers are notorious for being noisy when loaded hard. Even with better quality thermal interface material the OEM fan remained generally noisy.

The stock CPU fan for both AMD and Intel are fine for stock speeds. Overclocking places additional thermal load so Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo finds a ready market.

The radiator assembly is aluminum. The 4 tubes are folded in half to create 8 discrete heat pipes that are threaded through the radiator fins. Its possible to attach a second fan however this is not generally needed.

The Hyper 212 comes with hardware to install on AMD and Intel machines. We had to remove the stock bracket and install a replacement. This is more easily done with the motherboard removed. Screws are provided so that the risers are firmly installed. Holes on the bracket match the hold for AMD and Intel motherboards easily. The 3/8″ nuts are much easier to install with a nut driver. Cooler Master provides a small nut driven by a Philips screwdriver.

We were able to install the Hyper 212 Evo into our Corsair Carbide 300R which has a wide opening in the motherboard tray. Corsair and other high-end chassis to make it possible to install an aftermarket cooler without removing the motherboard. It is a tad tricky and a workbench is helpful.

The Hyper 212 provides 37mm clearance for RAM, which is why the heat spreaders do not fit.  We have G.SKILL DDR3-2133 RAM and we had to move the sticks over one slot to be able to install the Hyper 212. If we ever install additional RAM, we will have to remove the OEM heat spreaders in order to use the remaining slots.

The heat spreaders are held in placed with double sided tape so a screwdriver will be needed to get them off. DDR3 is 30mm tall while DDR4 is 31mm so they fit fine. RAM heat spreaders are not generally needed, they are there vanity reasons. Heat spreaders are not expensive and they are available in many styles and colors. Bare sticks are too generic for vendors competing over speeds and bandwidth.

Over all the cooler itself is 120mm tall and wide and its 51mm thick. Each fan adds 27mm given the use of rubber pads to isolate the fans. Using 2 fans, the Hyper 212 Evo is an imposing piece of equipment. It does fits nicely into our 300R chassis. Our M5A99FX slots leave plenty of room below the CPU cooler so that any heat from the video cards is easily removed. The air flow should be upwards so that the top fans can remove the heat most efficiently.

Then heat pipes converge smoothly to a 37.5mm square pad that matches the AMD and Intel processors fine. The copper of the heat pipe tubes makes for the better thermal conductivity at the CPU interface. The older version of this cooler was not perfectly smooth, with gaps between the heat pipes. The Evo has a sold flat gapless pad that fits the CPU well.

With the fans removed, its easy to maneuver the cooler into place and attach the 4 points that hold the assembly tight. We continued to use Artic MX-4 thermal interface material  which we use for maintenance and repair generally. The Cooler Master TIM is reasonably good as well.

Careful placement to be sure the CPU is properly centered is important. Once placed, giggle it to be sure the thermal interface material is spread evenly. Remember only a very thin layer of thermal interface material is needed. Its best to carefully increase the tension cross corner for best results.

The AMD OEM fan maintained about 45°C when idle, the Hyper 212 manages about 40°C on a hot summer day. Loaded the OEM fan maintained about 70°C while the Hyper 212 manages about 65°C. The Hyper 212 idles at around 1000rpm and loaded it reaches 2000rpm maximum. The overclocked Phenom idles at 5°C over the motherboard temperature. Temperatures will vary depending on the ambient temperature.

Overvolting the Phenom CPU increased the power load significantly and the Hyper 212 managed to handle the load easily. Overclocked, the AMD CPU can exceed 150W TDP. Overvolting simply adds to the thermal load and the Hyper 212 is able to manage.

Installed, the Hyper 212 is a dominating component in the 300R chassis. We also had to move the RAM to allow the cooler to install. This means we cannot use 4 sticks of RAM with heat spreaders like our G.Skill DDR3-2133. Conventional RAM with no heat spreader will fit more easily. A CPU upgrade is easy as the cooler easily comes off. The new bracket replaced the OEM one, and converts AMD to the Intel style posts.

Power off the machine overnight for a few days will help the thermal interface material by thermal pumping. The wide temperature swings drive the thermal pumping effect. This acts to move the material into the crevices as intended. This makes it clear how little thermal interface material is needed. A drop ½ the size of a BB is all that is needed. One very small dot in the center is all that is needed. Remember TIM is to fill very small gaps, too small to be seen so a very thin layer is already too much.

BETTER FANS

We replaced the supplied sleeve fan with a better quality ball bearing fans. The Hyper 212 Evo provides a set of clips to attach a second fan if desired. PWM green fans are not suitable for a CPU cooler but the are popular for chassis use when replacing failed fans or upgrading existing ones. High speed PWM 120mm fans operate at about 2000rpm maximum and they operate at < 1000rpm at idle. Generally the fan controller on a modern enthusiast motherboard can adjust the power as low as 10% at idle which dramatically improves the noise. Fans are not large power consumers like video cards or CPUs.

Using a pair of ball bearing 120mm PWM fans (which are 4-pin targeting the CPU power and CPU option headers on our M5A99FX. The CPU temperature is reduced to 2-3°C over the motherboard temperature at idle. Maximum temperature varies depending on the BIOS settings. The silent profile kept the CPU below 75°C and the full power profile stayed below 70°C even with hot weather. The 2 fans make a powerful vortex of air flow which maximizes heat removal.

Using the silent fan profiles in the BIOS, the noise levels are reduced considerable, even with dual fans on the Hyper 212 Evo. Typically at idle ball bearing fans can slow to below 1000rpm on cold days. Dual fans also help overall air flow by creating a strong current through the cooler. This draws air from near the GPU enhancing the cooling even more.

CHASSIS FANS MATTER

Using 120mm or larger ball bearing fans in the chassis will also support speed control with the 3/4-pin connectors. Molex adapters are readily available for 3-pin fans. Our Corsair Carbide 300R supports 120mm and 140mm fans on the top and the front. We do not recommend side panel fans, which scramble the air flow from the front through the video card, CPU fan and out the rear and top.  Installing a 140mm fan on the top rear bay materially improves air flow where it can augment the rear fan near the CPU.

The air flow with the 300R is from the front with some air flow into the video cards. Most of the remaining air is picked up by the CPU cooler. The top and rear fan draw some air over the regulators to help keep them cool.