Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition and RGB Review: A Legacy for Value

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Testing Results and Conclusion

Comparison Coolers

Using data collected from our cooler tests running on our hex-core, Intel Core i7-5930K CPU clocked to 4.20Ghz and 1.20 vCore, we can evaluate the Hyper 212 Black Edition and the RGB version with other products of similar size and design. We will be pitting this pair of 212s against their sibling, the Cooler Master MasterAir MA410M, and the be quiet! Dark Rock 4.

Both Hyper 212 models trail behind the dual-fan MasterAir MA410M and ultimately the Dark Rock 4 in overall thermal load results. You’ll recall that while each of the Hyper 212 models are identical in all ways except for fans being used, and the 9 narrow blades of the RGB fan look to perform slightly better than the 5 wider blades of the Silencio.

Strangely enough, the 9-blade RGB fan performs better while turning slower than the 5-blade Silencio counterpart at full speed, but it's still not in the performance range of the MasterAir MA410M or Dark Rock 4. Then again, the MA410M is the only cooler here to take advantage of a dual-fan, push/pull setup.

Noise levels favor the single-fan coolers. while the MasterAir and its twin fans provide enough air disturbance to push decibel readings over 36dB (adjusted).

Performing nearly identically in our tests, both of the Hyper 212 coolers provide similar values for acoustic efficiency, while the MasterAir MA410M struggles with a higher relative noise level. In contrast, the Dark Rock 4 sets the bar for both thermal load and decibel level readings.

However, the tables turn on the Dark Rock 4 when unit pricing is involved, causing the overall performance value to suffer. Conversely, the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition turns out the best performance-value margins due to its $40 retail price point. 

Thermal imaging shows a very similar tale between both the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition and its RGB counterpart that aligns exactly with the thermal performance we saw earlier.

Bottom Line

Sitting in a cheaper price tier than the Cooler Master MasterAir MA410M, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition looks rather appealing, despite not cooling as well as its dual-fan sibling. This also makes the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition with the Silencio fan, which is priced just a tick higher than the RGB version, lose some luster by comparison, due to the RGB version having a slight cooling advantage. The price and performance appeal makes the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition the best successor to the Hyper 212 models before it.

Overall, Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition and its stealthy clone, the Black Edition with a Silencio fan, offer loyal followers of the Hyper 212 line new choices for their PC builds. Just keep in mind that with high-end, high-core, high overclocks, these coolers will neither break any cooling records nor overly impress on load temperatures. However, for the frugal-minded, they also won’t break the bank.

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Garrett Carver
CPU Cooling Reviewer

Garrett Carver is a contributor for Tom’s Hardware, primarily covering thermal compound comparisons and CPU cooling reviews; both air and liquid, including multiple variations of each.

    looks to me in the thermal view the motherboard was hotter in one test
  • elbert
    I would have liked to seen either the 212 evo or 212+ to see if it has any benefit over the originals. After all we are seeing differences in those two 212 versions. I really dont care much about the color, leds, and ect but if it preforms better then let use see.
  • ingtar33
    they didn't show the contact area in the photos, strange, the 212 was famous for it's exposed copper heatpipes on the bottom of the contact surface. is there a reason we're not seeing the contact surface? is it because the heat pipes are no longer copper but now less efficient nickle or aluminum? come on THG, do a real review for once, show us the thermals compared to a 212 evo.
  • USAFRet
    Image of the bottom and the pipes:
  • Olle P
    "Underperforms compared to similar Cooler Master Products."Which products?
    How much do these tested ones underperform?
  • g-unit1111
    I feel like the Hyper 212 had its' heyday back in the Ivy Bridge / Haswell days but these days the newer CPUs (especially ones that use TIM instead of solder) need better cooling than what was available back then. But there's no reason why you should buy a $350 CPU and then slap it with $30 of cooling.
  • Co BIY
    I think more interesting comparisons would be with the Windale 4 and the Gammaxx 400. These are the value choices.
  • OscarAce
    Are the temperatures shown on the graph actually over ambient?
    I just can't believe there's such a big difference between those:
    And the ones from your Deepcool Gammaxx 400 review: