Comparing CPU Coolers (NZXT and Cooler Master)

Hi everyone. For my first post, I'm going to ask your opinion on three coolers I'm deciding upon. They will be used on my first build in a while (a 3570k). I do plan on overclocking my CPU a tad above stock (0.3~0.5 Ghz) while still maintaining a decent temperature (below 70 degrees C). I've looked all I can over the internet to settle my mind on a decision, but I just can't seem to make my mind up so here it is.

My dilemma is: Do I go with price (and a few select reviews) and choose the Respire T40 (reviews say it is better than the 212 Plus [GamerNexus]; some reviews say it performs far worse than either of the Cooler Master choices [TweakTown]), or go with majority rule and reputation and pay extra for the Cooler Master selection (and in this subcategory, I am torn between the EVO and Plus; really don't know if there is much of a difference between the two, though most sources say it's a 1 degree difference give or take).

My coolers of choice are:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (currently at $36.99 at NewEgg)
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus (currently at $31.99 at NewEgg)
NZXT Respire T40 (currently at $29.99 at NewEgg; ~$22 from Tiger Direct [with shipping included in the price])

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO:
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus:
NZXT Respire T40:

I am also willing to consider other choices if they are well-defended and within the approximate price range of these coolers (though, I would prefer that the choices be available in Newegg since I have a 15% off coupon from them, plus the shipping's usually free). Thank you in advance for your help and opinions!

Extra tidbits:
The coolers will be used inside a NZXT Phantom 410 (which I think is pretty spacious). I have not decided on a motherboard yet, buuut I'll be making that choice pretty soon.
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    I use Xigmatek Gaias on my rigs. Per Frostytech reviews, it cools within 1C of the Coolermaster Hyper212 EVO (so it's better than the Plus), but is up to 6db quieter. And, it is $20 on Newegg right now (as it often is)
  2. the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is regarded is the absolute best CPU cooler for the price. the best CPU cooler is debatable, but the Noctua that's in my signature is arguably the best. However, I highly recommended the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO for the price/performance ratio
  3. ^Precisely. And, being 2/3 the price, it is absolutely the value winner; or the CM Hyper 212 EVO is the value LOSER.
  4. Gaia worked wonders in my son's build well worth $19.99.
  5. the gaia is cheaper, probably because it only has 3 heatpipes, instead of the evo's 4. I also doubt that all those gaps in the block on the gaia assist in efficiency. But then again, it is cheaper for a reason...
  6. I wouldn't care if it has two heat pipes, or six. Frostytech found that it cools within 1C of the EVO; that's comparable performance. A measly 1C doesn't matter if you're not into competitive overclocking, in which case you'd be spending hundreds on liquid cooling anyway. In a budget rig, $10 might mean a bigger HDD, or a slightly better graphics card.
  7. I've owned both and would say , neither had an edge.
  8. Seems like there's some votes for the Hyper 212 line and several for the Gaia. Almost got me convinced towards the Gaia.

    A quick additional question though (for clarification): Would I be better off using the paste that comes with the coolers or should I get an additional tube of thermal paste?
  9. The paste that comes with either of these coolers will be one of the grey, silver-based ones (rather than the cheap white grease). Much like the coolers, these typically perform within 1C-2C of each other. If you're just building this one PC, you shouldn't need to buy a tube of paste, otherwise a tube of AS5 or MX-2 is a useful addition to your toolbox.
  10. Alright. I believe I've been thoroughly convinced then. Here's to hoping I don't screw up so much that I use up what's included. Thanks for your input everyone!
  11. You're welcome. Have fun with your build. Let us know if you encounter any problems.
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