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Cooler Master Hyper TX2 & 212

Cooler Master Hyper 212

Manufacturer: Cooler Master
UK Price (as reviewed): £29.38 (inc. VAT)

CPU Socket Support: AMD 940 / 939 / 754 / AM2, Intel LGA775
Weight: 710g
Size: 122mm (W) x 92mm (H) x 160mm (D)

The 212 is kind of like the bigger brother to the TX2 - if has the same basic design (but then again, it's hardly unique) but with one more heatpipe, more fins and a 120mm fan instead. It's a similar size to the Noctua NH-U12F although the fan included is built for performance not silence. It drops right in between other high performance coolers that fritter around the £30 mark, and it might use another variation on a well tested design so does it mix it up with the best of them?

The box is much larger than the TX2's box, even though the actual heatsink is only slightly bigger. The reason for this is that there are separate mounting kits in a smaller box that fills the extra space. It's quite well packed but it's not encased in foam like the Tuniq Tower 120 was.

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Whoever designed the manual looks like they were taught by the same person who draws the instructions for Ikea furniture. It takes a bit of concentration to figure out what's going on, but it is quite easy to follow nevertheless. You can be super manly and just ignore it, but it's ill-advised so just slip the sheet into your pocket and read it when you've got a few minutes alone, like on the toilet perhaps - then act like you know it all when you come to install it later - no one will ever know.

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The heatsink has a slightly strange design where there are actually two sets of fins sitting on the four heatpipes either side of a central partition. Why? Well the only reason we can comprehend is Cooler Master wanted to save a bit on material cost, because it means there's less surface area for the airflow to have contact with, and there's no central partition pushing the air being wasted down it out towards the sides. There may be 70CFM from the fan but a fair percentage is being lost without even touching a fin.

The design does make it easier to carry (like that really matters though) and thankfully the fins are nicely rounded, as opposed to juggling razor blades like with some other brands.

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You can affix another fan to the back but Cooler Master only supplies the single fan with the unit. Doubling the fans will increase the cooling potential and Cooler Master is rightly very specific in the Ikea manual about which direction the fans should face once installed. For the record, they should be pushing the air in one direction, rather than competing for airflow, and the air should preferentially be directed out the back of the case.

The included fan has built-in blue LEDs that go well with the opaque blades but unfortunately you can't them turn off should you want to. It also does a hefty 2,000RPM at 12V. Cooler Master doesn't include a fan controller either, so unless your motherboard has specific BIOS control, your ears are going to have to suffer the full brunt of all that air. After listening to it, there's no way it can be classed as 22dB - it's quiet, but certainly not near silent.

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The copper base has had far more attention than the TX2 - and while it's not a mirror finish it's very smooth and very flat still. The protective cover thankfully doesn't leave a sticky residue when you whip it off, and although the thermal paste isn't pre-applied like the TX2 you do get a small tube of thermal paste in the box.

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Only the fan is plastic (as expected) while the rest of the unit is made from metal making it slightly heavier but of a very sturdy construction. The weight doesn't really matter because of the way the installation is designed...