What, this old thing? Cooler Master’s Hyper 212 Evo is the new‑and‑improved version of our standby CPU cooler. It’s just $35 and offers performance far exceeding other coolers in its price range, so it’s the first thing we reach for when we build a new budget-conscious rig. Given that LGA2011 CPUs don’t come with heatsinks, the Evo is the closest thing we have to a stock cooler, and it will be the standard against which all other Sandy Bridge-E coolers are judged.
The plastic fan clips on the Evo are much easier to use than the wire clips that originally came with the first Hyper 212-Plus.
When we reviewed the Hyper 212 Evo in our January 2012 issue, we had two major complaints about it: The backplate mounting procedure remained annoying, and the cooler didn’t have LGA2011 mounting support. Both of those problems have now been addressed.
The Hyper 212 Evo is a skyscraper-style heatsink, with four direct-contact copper heat pipes rising into an array of aluminum heat-dissipation fins. From the base of the heat exchanger to the tips of the heat pipes, the cooler is 6.3 inches tall, 3.13 inches deep, and 4.7 inches wide with the included 12cm PWM fan attached.
Thanks to the unified backplate on the LGA2011 socket (a crossover from Intel’s Xeon platforms), the Evo’s mounting process is greatly simplified. The LGA2011 X-shaped crossbar now screws directly into the mounting holes on the included backplate. No more accidentally unscrewing mounting bolts when removing the cooler.
In our test bed, the Evo continues to impress, cooling our i7-3960X at 4.2GHz down to 74 C. It’s not the best cooler in this roundup, but it outperforms coolers three times its price. And although its height may be a concern in narrow cases, the heatsink and fan do not interfere with any RAM slots, unlike many other coolers in this roundup. The Evo remains an inexpensive, inexplicably kick-ass cooler.
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo
Powerful, inexpensive performance
Not the freshest design; Mounting annoying on earlier brackets.
Dimensions HxDxW (inches, with fans)
1 lb, 4.6 oz
4 copper direct-contact
1x 12cm PWM
Add’l Fan Support
1 (clips included)
CM Hyper 212 Evo
NZXT Havik 120
All temperatures in degrees Celsius. Best scores bolded. All tests performed using an Intel Core i7-3960 at 4.2GHz, on an Asus P9X79 Deluxe motherboard with 16GB DDR3/1600, in a Thermaltake Level 10 GT with stock fans set to High.