The Cooler Master EVO 212

The Cooler Master EVO 212 is the “special guest” of this review. We included it because it is one of the most popular mainstream coolers, combining good performance with broad compatibility and a very reasonable retail price. Although we do have one more aftermarket cooler in this review, it comes from a CPU manufacturer and is essentially based on the designs of their stock coolers, so the EVO 212 is the only cooler that greatly stands out from the rest.

 

The EVO 212 is a tower cooler with four copper heatpipes and a vertical 120 mm fan. It is designed to absorb the thermal energy away from the CPU and transfer it to wide aluminum fins using the heatpipes. Then the energy is being transferred to the airflow generated by the fan more effectively, as the surface of the many parallel aluminum fins greatly outweighs that of most stock coolers.

What makes the EVO 212 so efficient and popular is the direct contact design. The heatpipes come in direct contact with the CPU’s surface, increasing the energy absorption efficiency. Copper is soft and easy to damage, thus this design has greatly inferior mechanical strength than most other tower designs that have the heatpipes supported inside a metal base, but this has virtually no shortcomings for most users that will not be mistreating their computers (as well as being indicative of the pricing).

Other than the direct contact heatpipes, the EVO 212 has no other advanced features. Naturally so, as the company wanted to keep the manufacturing cost low. The aluminum fins are inserted to the copper heatpipes and not soldered, while the base is not machined down to a perfect finish. The cooler’s A12025-16RB-4BP-F1 120 mm fan is a small surprise, as it has a rifle bearing engine, an enhanced version of sleeve bearing designs for lower noise and higher durability.

Vendor Cooler Common Bundle Core Fins Fan
(mm)
Mass
(g)
Cooler Master EVO 212 Aftermarket, ≈$30 Cu
+4 Cu HP
Alu 120 436
Introduction The Intel Coolers
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  • ZeDestructor - Monday, July 25, 2016 - link

    Yes they could, but then you'd be reducing yields, which would drive final price up. Reply
  • pseudoid - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Did I miss the part about the SkyLake (LGA 1151) uPs? The Intel boxed Core I7-6700K Skylake uP comes with no cooling fan. I found that the Noctua coolers are a better fit for my needs, especially the iron-clad 3yr. warranty! Reply
  • LordanSS - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Thank you for this review.

    Although I already expected the 212 EVO to pull ahead (it's tough to match it on price/performance), was interesting to see the differences on the other stock ones. And the Wraith came out as a pleasant surprise.

    Maybe in the US it's all about Intel and their CPUs, but in other areas of the world, like here in South America, AMD and their APUs are not doing poorly, with very good (local) pricing and decent enough performance for usual Office and light work cases, and people even use them for League of Legends and DotA2, which are very popular games around here, and not too graphics intensive.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    I went to Intel's list of Skylake desktop CPU's and found only two that has around 90W of TDP.
    The 212 is only 25C above ambient at 150W.
    Anything larger or more expensive than the 212 is pretty much overkill for modern CPUs.
    Reply
  • wintermute000 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    "modern [Intel standard desktop] CPUs"

    FIFY
    Reply
  • Ascaris - Sunday, July 24, 2016 - link

    "modern [Intel standard desktop] CPUs at their stock clock and voltage settings" Reply
  • Byte - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    The hyper 212 is a bit overrated and dated, but then again i used it to test a bunch of 6700k i had fun delidding with liquid ultra and it kept them cool to 4.6/4.7GHz pretty easy. Reply
  • phylop - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    I would love to see you guys post an anthology of coolers throughout the ages. Include comparing how older coolers would perform on modern CPUs and vice versa. Reply
  • Teknobug - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    The 212 is probably the best bang per buck for HSF, can't go wrong with it. I also have a TX3 which is nearly as effective as the 212 and about $10 less, however there is one thing you must do if you're going to use it on an Intel system- ditch the flimsy black/white plastic locks and steal the ones from an Intel HSF to replace them with. Once you do that, you got a pretty solid HSF even for decently OC'd CPU's. Reply
  • Zap - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    IMO stock coolers are perfectly fine for systems that run stock speeds and aren't intended to sit running torture tests all day.

    Noisy? Did you enable "smart fan" in BIOS? Is that in normal use or hammering it with Prime95?

    Bad temperatures? Did you install it properly? For whatever reason many people can't figure out push pins when they are super simple to use. Is your temperature "comfort level" calibrated for overclocks when you're just building a stock clocked system for family to use? Fact: Your stock clocked CPU does not require low temperatures.
    Reply

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