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Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

Overclocking On Air: 10 LGA 1156-Compatible Performance Coolers

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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