For our CPU cooling tests, we use the same hardware, overclock and configuration for each and every test to minimize environment variables in testing. This allows for all results across all coolers tested on the platform to be viable as side-by-side examination for direct compare/contrast.
|CPU||Intel Core i9-10850K LGA1200 (Comet Lake), all 10 cores 4.6Ghz @ 1.190v, (3.60Ghz stock speed, single core boost @ 5.2Ghz)|
|Motherboard||MSI Z490 MEG Godlike (bios vers. 7C70v12)|
|RAM||Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB, 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-3600|
|SSD||Corsair MP600 NVMe 500GB, 500GB|
|GPU||Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti|
|PSU||be quiet! Dark Power Pro11 1200W|
|Case||Corsair Graphite 760T|
|Monitoring||CrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU, 4x Dallas One Wire WR-DOW-Y17 sensors|
|Fan Control||Corsair Commander Pro, 100%/50% PWM Speed profiles (liquid cooling pump always @100%, if applicable)|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro 64-bit|
|Networking||Disconnected, not used|
|Thermal Compound||Arctic MX-4|
Data comparisons are based on data collected from testing performed on our new Intel i9-10850K system, including re-visiting many previously covered products which were originally covered on the prior testing platform which pivoted around an i7-5930k (4.20ghz @1.20v).
Prime95 v29.4b8 (no AVX) is used for two-hour intervals, one managing fans at 50% PWM and the other at 100% PWM with RPM measurements being taken every three seconds and averaged across the duration of each two-hour capture. Omitting AVX instruction sets allows for accurate, 100% loads at chosen clock speeds, while allowing AVX instructions would provide higher, albeit, unrealistic synthetic CPU loads and excessive heat production, less indicative of real-world use.
This also allows for a greater range CPU coolers to be tested and compared without the need to configure the system differently for smaller coolers which may not handle the excessive thermal loads being generated during testing, while larger coolers might be better equipped to manage heat output produced by the i9-10850K.
While the test platform is quite capable of a 10-core overclock at 5.0Ghz, we were seeing that 360mm AIOs struggle to keep core temperatures in check at lower fan speeds, providing insight that the enthusiast-grade i9’s need excellent cooling if the goal is overclocking.
HWInfo64 is used for real-time core temperature readout, thermal throttling alerts, motherboard power consumption, CPU speed and logging of data, while a CrystalFontz CFA-633-TMI-KU is used to monitor and later average both ambient room (two probes) and motherboard voltage regulator heatsink (two probes).
We evaluated the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO v2 against a few notable peers in the small air cooling group such as the Hyper 212’s sibling, the Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition, the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo and the be quiet! Pure Rock 2. Each of these coolers represent a similar cooler footprint and similar price point.
While all units of our testing group perform well at 100% fan speeds, each of the single-fan coolers in our chart above didn’t prevent thermal throttling of the CPU during the 50% fan speed tests. The only cooler without any throttling was the dual 120mm fan Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo.
The 1800 RPM SickleFlow 120 fan used on the Hyper 212 EVO v2 registered a bit above its max rating, although within the +/-10% deviation. While not the fastest spinning fan of the testing group, also not the slowest.
The faster fans on the Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black and the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports DUO show a slight increase over the quieter Hyper 212 EVO v2 and the be quiet! Pure Rock 2, but at these decibel levels, the difference is a quiet whisper vs. a faint whisper.
Our acoustic efficiency chart can be misleading on the 50% values for both Hyper 212’s and the Pure Rock 2, because our CPU did throttle during these periods, so while these seem promising, our i9-10850K was running at decreased clock rate over one or more cores for some periods of the testing period.
The new Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo v2 hits at $40, which is slightly lower than the testing group average and $10 less than the current price of the Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo. Budget cooling does involve cutting some costs, which means using a single fan (rather than two) like the Arctic 34 eSports Duo which does perform noticeably better with thermal loads and didn’t encounter CPU thermal throttling.
Our Flir One Pro thermal imaging camera shows some noticeable differences in heat soak throughout the cooling tower itself between 50% and 100%, which is to be expected. There is also a slightly lower thermal signature in the adjacent regions at full speed, which indicates the added benefit of improved airflow.
Considering the low noise levels of the Hyper 212 Evo v2 even at full speed, having a quality fan curve which favors higher fan RPM is beneficial for any system installation. We’d advise double checking the appropriate motherboard CPU_FAN header (or other chosen header) to make sure the cooler has the ability to cool effectively at appropriately reported CPU temperatures.
With the new Hyper 212 Evo v2 now available, those with fond memories of their previous Hyper 212’s now have the chance to install a piece of updated nostalgia into a modern, silent HTPC system or home server, or perhaps as a piece recommended by a mentor for a novice system builder’s first PC.