Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

One of the least-expensive 120mm tower coolers available, Cooler Master’s $30 Hyper 212 Plus still offers many of the features that make its competitors perform well.

Cooler Master adds even more value to its low price by supporting most current processor sockets, including LGA 1156, LGA 1366, LGA 775, Socket AM2, AM2+, and AM3. The company also adds a secondary fan bracket for creating an optional push-pull fan arrangement.

Direct-contact heat pipes respond quickly to changes in temperature, although manufacturers of competing designs might argue that they don’t actually remove more heat. A sanded finish provides excellent flatness at low cost, but relies more heavily on heat paste compared to smoother parts.

Four bolts act as spacers for the bracket screws, each with a threaded hole in its head for receiving those screws. The bolts are secured from underneath by nuts, with a socket support plate stiffening the board. These parts must be attached to the motherboard before it can be inserted inside most cases.

The sink and bracket can be installed or removed after the rest of the system is assembled, but the fan must be unclipped from the sink to reach the bracket’s front screws.

Care must be taken not to over-tighten the bracket screws, as doing so causes them to stick to the bolt. Loosening a bracket screw when it’s stuck to the bolt can cause the bolt itself to turn, freeing the nut that holds it from the under the motherboard. We’ve seen some of Cooler Master’s competitors use reverse (left-hand) thread hardware for under-side parts to prevent this problem, although that solution is a bit more confusing to builders.

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    Top Comments
  • I just love to read toms old school articles like this one :)
    19
  • Other Comments
  • Not a single top down cooler?? That is disappointing, though I can already see the excuse: "they don't have as much performance as the tower coolers".
    -15
  • Argh - unbelievable! I literally just purchased my build on newegg, and they just posted this article. I bought the Arctic Cooling 7 over the Hyper 212+, not having seen the article yet.

    Hey Tom's - what temps are you getting at 3.2 GHz with the Arctic Cooling 7? Did you use arctic silver 5?
    3
  • Test settings page reads: CPU Intel Core i7-860, but CPU-Z screen shot under it reads Intel Core i7-870. Which one is it that you tested Tom?
    3
  • Is there an article testing thermal compounds?
    2
  • mrgreyArgh - unbelievable! I literally just purchased my build on newegg, and they just posted this article. I bought the Arctic Cooling 7 over the Hyper 212+, not having seen the article yet. Hey Tom's - what temps are you getting at 3.2 GHz with the Arctic Cooling 7? Did you use arctic silver 5?


    no worries there you will be fine
    0
  • i had the 212 and sunbermtech both were running really good and cool. but i would buy the sunbeamtech with the easy exchange fan kit.
    0
  • I just love to read toms old school articles like this one :)
    19
  • What no Coolermaster V10 or Thermaltake SpinQ Vertical?
    -5
  • kumaitiNot a single top down cooler?? That is disappointing, though I can already see the excuse: "they don't have as much performance as the tower coolers".
    falchardWhat no Coolermaster V10 or Thermaltake SpinQ Vertical?
    You would have to ask the manufacturers, since they picked the coolers.
    8
  • prolimatech megahalems
    -3
  • If NH-D14 is in this, where's Prolimatech's Megahalems and Thermalright's Venomous X?
    -4
  • just bought a freezer pro too :(
    2
  • BobalinaIf NH-D14 is in this, where's Prolimatech's Megahalems and Thermalright's Venomous X?

    Thermalright sent the MUX-120.
    3
  • Why no Megahalems? They're widely considered the best air coolers out there right now.
    1
  • Even though the Zalman CNPS10X didn't win any of the tests, I still prefer its design because of the all copper contact between the CPU and the heatsink. Nice to see some of these tests again...can you also do one to compare the effectiveness of different thermal compounds?
    1
  • Spanky DeluxeWhy no Megahalems? They're widely considered the best air coolers out there right now.


    Some companies didn't respond to the invitation. Sorry, I didn't keep a list.
    4
  • Quick question..these temps you are showing they are all with an ambient temperature of 11C? So when you say 82C over ambient the temps are actually 82+11=93C?
    5
  • the best cpu cooler is now the thermalright vemonous I believe
    -1
  • Interesting article. I knew results would vary from other reviews. That's normal.

    I was surprised the new Thermalright Venoumous X was not included. It's an updated version of the Ultra 120 Extreme specifically designed for the new Intel Core i5/i7 cpu's.

    Didn't THG mention in an older article that those extra tall heatspreaders that sort of look like a comb did not provide any additional cooling over stock heatspreaders?
    0
  • It's clear the AC Freezer 7 is a poor choice for higher end overclocking, but how does it fare as a medium end OC cooler? Could it bring, say, an i5-750 to 3.5GHz without giving in?
    0