Articles: Cooling

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Technical Specifications and Price

The table below provides a complete list of cooler technical specs and recommended pricing:

The cooler is already available in retail.

Testbed and Methods

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 and it only today’s competitor were tested on an open testbed as well as in a closed system case with the following configuration:

  • Mainboard: ASUS P5K Deluxe/WiFi-AP (Intel P35 chipset, LGA775, BIOS 0601)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2400MHz, 1.2875V, 266x4MHz FSB, 2x4096KB L2 cache, Kentsfield B3)
  • Thermal interface: Arctic Silver 5
  • Graphics card: Sysconn GeForce 7900 GS GDDR3 (256MB, 256-bit, 575/1710MHz)
  • Graphics card cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 in passive mode
  • Memory: 2 x 1024MB Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-9136C5D DDR2 SDRAM (SPD: 1142MHz, 5-5-5-18, 2.1V)
  • Disk subsystem: Samsung HD501LJ HDD (SATA-II, 500GB storage capacity, 7200rpm, 16MB cache, NCQ)
  • Optical drive: Samsung SH-S183L RAM & DVD±R/RW & CD±RW burner (SATA-II)
  • System case: ASUS ASCOT 6AR2-B Black&Silver (ATX) with two 120mm ~980rpm Sharkoon Luminous Blue LED system fans for intake and exhaust and a 120mm ~940rpm GlacialTech SilentBlade GT12025-BDLA1 fan on a side panel
  • Power supply: Enermax Galaxy EGA1000EWL 1000W (a 135mm 850rpm fan for intake and a 80mm 1650rpm fan for exhaust)

The quad-core processor with polished-off heat-spreader was overclocked to its maximum frequency on the weakest of the tested coolers (inside a system case). The resulting frequency was 3312MHz at a core voltage increased to 1.45V.

According to monitoring data, CPU-Z, SpeedFan and Everest processor Vcore equaled 1.42V. Vdimm was increased to 2.25V, and other mainboard voltages remained default. CPU Voltage Reference parameter was set at 0.63x in the mainboard BIOS, and CPU Voltage Damper – enabled.

All tests are performed in Windows XP Professional Edition Service Pack 2. SpeedFan 4.34 Beta 34 was used to monitor the temperature of the CPU, reading it from the CPU core sensor. I would like to point out specifically that the new version of this utility has significantly corrected processor temperature readings towards higher values. So, compared with the previous SpeedFan versiob 4.33 the processor temperature readings rose by 18-19ºC.


The data from SpeedFan matched the readings from Core Tempt v0.95 utility:

At the same time, brand name Asus Probe and Intel TAT reported different temperatures. I believe it is secondary in this case, what utility to believe. It is much more important to find out when the CPU remains stable and enables throttling. The latter threshold was determined empirically and increased from the traditional 82ºC to 100ºC.

The CPU was heated up with OverClock Checking Tool version 1.1.1b in a 24-minute test with maximum CPU utilization, during which the system remains idle in the first and last 4 minutes:

The mainboard’s automatic fan speed management (Q-Fan technology) was disabled for the time of the tests in the mainboard BIOS. The thermal throttling of the Intel Core 2 Quad processor was controlled with RightMark CPU Clock Utility version 2.30.

I performed at least two cycles of tests and waited for 20 minutes for the temperature inside the system case to stabilize during each test cycle. The stabilization period in an open testbed took half the time. The maximum temperature of the hottest CPU core in the two test cycles was considered as the final result (if the difference was not bigger than 1°C – otherwise the test was performed at least once again). Despite the stabilization period, the result of the second cycle was usually 0.5-1°C higher.

The noise level of each cooler was measured according to our traditional method described in the previous articles. The subjectively comfortable level of 36dBA is marked with a dotted line in the diagram; the ambient noise from the system case, without the CPU cooler, didn’t exceed 34dBA when measured at 1m distance.

The ambient temperature was monitored with an electronic thermometer that allows monitoring the temperature changes over the past 6 hours. During our test session room temperatures stabilized at around 24.5~25°C. It is used as a staring point on the diagrams. Note that the fan rotation speeds are shown in the diagrams as the average readings reported by SpeedFan, and not as the claimed fan specifications.

We are going to compare the performance of the new Cooler Master Hyper 212 against that of the efficiency reference among contemporary air-coolers – Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme with a single 120 x 120 x 25mm fan from Scythe (Minebea 4710KL-04W-B29 running at ~1140RPM). Cooler Master Hyper 212 was tested with one and two fans like that. Moreover, the newcomer was also tested with one and two Scythe Minebea fans running at ~1990RPM for air intake/exhaust. Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme did well even with a single quiet fan that is why we ran no tests with additional or other fans for it.

Let’s take a look at the obtained results now.

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