In the midst of a bustling trade show on a hot Taipei day last summer, the heatsink industry was summed up to me in two words; cut throat. So competitive is the industry in fact, that manufacturers have to go to the trouble of fabricating false prototype heatsinks for display at exhibitions like Computex. In other words, new "prototypes" on public display may be partially fake, generally in the sense that critical fin attributes are omitted.
I thought this was odd, until three other thermal solutions companies in the Nangang Exhibition Hall admitted to showcasing fake prototype heatsinks too. The dangers from passers-by with digital cameras was exemplified by Asia Vital Corp (AVC). It employed a small army of booth staff to block photographs, stand in front of showcases and generally foil all of Frostytech's non-subtle attempts to report on its newest CPU coolers... Ironically, all of which were freely available to be looked at on the companies website.
In this review Frostytech will be testing Coolermaster's Hyper 212 Plus tower heatsink - an exposed heatpipe base cooler that comes ready out of the box for socket 1156 Intel 'Lynnfield' P55 motherboards. Naturally, it supports Intel socket 775/1366/1156 and AMD 939/AM2/AM3 processors. For whatever reason, Intel has spaced the motherboard mounting holes for socket 775, 1156 and 1366 all a little differently... but that's another story.
Coolermaster's Hyper 212 Plus heatsink stands 161mm tall, weighs in at moderate 626 grams and packs in four exposed 6mm diameter copper heatpipes on its base. Otherwise the Hyper 212 Plus is a pretty standard 'tower' heatsink. A 600-2000RPM, 120mm PWM fan is supplied with swept-forward impeller blades. Between the fan and aluminum fins of the heatsink are vibration absorbing pads to cut down on rattling noises, a nice touch that. Extra fan clips are included so users can mount an additional fan if desired. The Hyper 212 Plus retails for about $32, and as we mentioned it's mounting brackets are pre-set for LGA1156 hole spacing.
Heatpipe direct touch, or exposed heatpipe base heatsinks are dead common these days because the technique has proven so effective. Particularly among the current crop of processors which feature integrated heat spreaders already. With the Hyper 212 Plus, Coolermaster has selected four 6mm diameter heatpipes which are swagged into a small aluminum block. There is not a lot of mass at the base of the Hyper 212 Plus, so in addition to keeping its weight under 650 grams, heat is rapidly conducted to the fin portion of the heatsink.
To improve heat dispersal, the heatpipes are alternatively spaced 9mm apart as they pierce the aluminum fins. This has the effect of conducting heat to a larger area of the aluminum fins which are set directly in the path of the fastest airflow from the 120mm Coolermaster A12025-20CB-4BP-C1 fan.
The 120mm PWM fan is held in place on the Hyper 212 Plus heatsink with wire fan clips. To counteract an unbalanced impeller, which can lead to vibration and rattling noises, small rubber patches are applied to the four corners of the 120mm PWM fan.
The Hyper 212 Plus accommodates a fan on either side of the aluminum fin tower, and by using the extra fan clips a second 120mm fan can be installed by those that desire a push-pull fan arrangement.
Coolermaster's Hyper 212 Plus heatsink is compatible with Intel socket 775/1156/1366 and AMD socket 754/939/940/AM2/AM3 processors. The heatsink is supplied with a crab-like rear-motherboard metal support bracket that accommodates every variation of CPU socket and a metal 'switch-blade' clip that applies force to the heatsink baseplate. Associated screws and nuts to put it all together, along a small amount of thermal compound round out the accessory list.
Users will need to access the rear of the motherboard to install the Hyper 212 Plus, but once the rear support plate is in position the heatsink can be removed easily thereafter. A single 'switch blade' upper clip is used on all CPU sockets to hold the Hyper 212 Plus firmly in place, using four adjustable spring-tensioned screws - set into either tab 1, tab 2 or tab 3 position.
The screws are set to tab 2 position by default, which is the spacing appropriate for LGA1156/AM2 processors. You'll need to push the screw in from the bottom, and slide it over to tab 1 (the inner-most) position for LGA775, and to the tab 3 position (the outside) for LGA1366. Failure to do so will quickly lead to a lot of grief as each socket spacing is just a hair off the next.
FrostyTech's Test Methodologies are outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course its performance in the thermal tests!
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