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

Tom's Hardware Verdict

Cooler Master added RGB capability to its blue-collar workhorse cooler, Hyper 212, and it proves to be the ultimate successor to the storied Hyper 212 lineage. While the RGB fan also provides slightly better thermal results, the added features don’t mean a higher price premium.


  • +

    Simple installation

  • +

    Improvement over previous Hyper 212 coolers


  • -

    Underperforms compared to similar Cooler Master products

Features and Specifications

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 heatpipe cooler traces its lineage back well over a decade, which might as well be considered prehistoric in the PC industry. Historically, it's been the plucky go-to cooler beloved by overclockers and system builders due to low cost and relatively good performance. Now, Cooler Master has made two Black Editions of the Hyper 212, fitted with either a FP120 Silencio or SF120R RGB 120mm fan.

Both the stealth and RGB versions feel like direct descendants to the Hyper 212s of yesteryear, with each performing like they were designed to be focused on entry-level to mid-range quad-core gaming builds. However, if overclocking more than four CPU cores to the upper-end of the silicon stratosphere is on your agenda, you might consider alternatives as this pair of Hyper 212s lacks at wrangling thermal loads on HEDT (high-end desktop) CPUs. This is no real surprise, though, as the Hyper 212 has always been a heatpipe cooler for the masses.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition Specifications
Height6.25 inches / 158.8mm
Width4.93 inches / 125.5mm
Depth2 inches / 50.8mm (3.13 inches / 79.5mm with fans)
Base Height1.49 inches / 37.8mm
Assy. Offset0 inches (centered) 1.1 inch / 27.94mm (with fans)
Cooling Fans1x 120 x 25mm RGB
Connectors1x 4-pin PWM 1x RGB
Weight1.54 pounds / 700g
Intel Sockets115x, 1366, 2011x, 2066
AMD SocketsFM2(+), FM1, AM2(+), AM3(+), AM4
Warranty2 years

As expected, the included standard fare of both versions of the Hyper 212 Black Edition are nearly identical, save for the RGB control integration in the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition that has become rather standard for most Cooler Master products featuring 4-pin RGB functionality. Both the Silencio and RGB ship with an additional fan bracket to allow the cooler to operate in push/pull configuration if desired.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition (Silencio) Specifications
Height6.25 inches / 158.8mm
Width4.93 inches / 125.5mm
Depth2 inches / 50.8mm (3.13 inches / 79.5mm with fans)
Base Height1.49 inches / 37.8mm
Assy. Offset0 inches (centered)1.1 inch / 27.94mm (with fans)
Cooling Fans1x 120x25mm
Connectors1x 4-pin PWM
Weight1.44 pounds / 565g
Intel Sockets115x, 1366, 2011x, 2066
AMD SocketsFM2(+), FM1, AM2(+), AM3(+), AM4
Warranty2 years

Both coolers support nearly every current Intel and AMD desktop processor socket except for Threadripper and offer a two-year warranty.

Like all Hyper 212 models, the current Black Edition coolers feature a direct-contact, quad-heatpipe tower design with minimal flair. The heatsink base and heatpipes themselves feature a handsome, ‘dark chrome’ plating that offers reduced, reflective gleam, while still providing a touch of dark shimmer.

Both the 5-blade Silencio and 9-blade RGB fans have a rather conservative design considering some of the current exotic fan and lighting trends. The 9-blade SF120R RGB fan sports narrow, elongated blades, while the 5-blade FP120 features wide, sweeping blades.

Make a note of that blade count and shape, as this will make for an interesting comparison a bit later.

The cooling tower fins of the new Hyper 212s utilize more of the same dark chrome plating that plays well into the overall Black Edition theme, especially the non-RGB model. Each cooling tower is topped with a brushed aluminum top plate featuring the Cooler Master logo and caps to conceal the heatpipe ends. The aggressively finned mounting block also secures the mounting hardware via a machine screw through the mounting plate tabs on either side of the base.

Cooler installation is relatively simple. The fan is decoupled from the cooling tower and then simply snapped into place once the Hyper 212 is secured. Both the RGB Black and Silencio models use a standard 4-pin PWM fan header. The RGB version can use the included Molex-powered lighting controller or be integrated with the RGB controls of a certified compatible motherboard from Asus, ASRock, Gigabyte or MSI.

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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: