Cooler Master Hyper 212X CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


The Cooler Master 212 series has long been regarded as one of the best CPU coolers on the market, making it an extremely popular choice for system builders. Is it the best performing cooler on the market? No, not really, but it’s been hard to compete with the kind of performance improvements it gives over stock CPU coolers, and it does it for a very reasonable price. Now, Cooler Master have taken their most popular cooler and made it better than ever, by improving the hardware, they’ve managed to give it a performance boost and reduce the noise from the cooler, and that’s obviously a very welcome improvement on a cooler that was already doing rather well.

“The latest in the extremely popular Hyper 212 series, Cooler Master’s Hyper 212X is based on the same patented CDC Quad heatpipe array as the 212 EVO but features several improvements that boost performance and further reduce noise. Thanks to our brand new Smart Engine and POM bearing, the 212X is incredibly durable and will virtually last a lifetime.” said Cooler Master

Equipped with four direct touch heat pipes, an aluminium fin array, improved fan blades, a new bearing and more, the 212 cooler has never been so good. So let’s jump in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

  • High-performance Copper heatpipes with a fusion bonded copper powder wick.
  • Patented CDC technology – 4 direct touch heatpipes creating a gap-less contact surface
  • Aluminum Fin Array with New Tunnel Effect layout for improved heat dissipation.
  • 4th Generation Bearing – MTBF of 160,000 hours thanks to highly durable POM components.
  • Redesigned Fan-blades that create vortices to boost airflow without creating more noise.
  • Smart Fan engine – stops the fan when blocked to prevent damage, and automatically restarts the fan when it has been cleared.
  • Universal mounting system for all Intel and AMD platforms.

The packaging is nicely designed, with a clear image of the cooler and some of the main features detailed at the bottom.

Around the back, a quick run down of some of the main specifications, but nothing we don’t already know.

In the box, you’ll find the cooler, the universal backplate and a small box of components.

The component box is really nicely laid out, with the user manual, some extra fan brackets, the mounting support and a handy pack for all the screws.

This little sorter box makes it super easy to see the components you need and even comes with a full tube of thermal paste, allowing for multiple applications of the cooler.

Cooler Master Hyper 612 VER.2 CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the biggest names in the business, they’ve been making system components for many years now and they’ve got endless experience to draw on. It’s no secret that Cooler Master have created some of the best budget coolers in the business and are still a popular base-line for many system builders. Their latest cooler, the Hyper 612 isn’t likely to win awards for greatest cooler in the world, but it does offer the possibility to run both passively and actively, with multiple fan configurations and it does it for a very reasonable price, so there’s certainly a lot to consider here.

  • Hyper 612 ver. 2 generates only max 20 dB to provide a good operating environment.
  • Without fans, the big fin area will give you dissipation for passive usage.
  • Adopts the innovative patented CDC (Continuous Direct Contact) technology – side-by-side heat pipe configurations with no gaps creating a smooth surface for heat conduction.
  • Folding fin design with good air guiding ensuring high efficiency heat dissipation.
  • Quick-snap fan bracket design for simple installation.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, although it’s nice to see that it supports both 2011 and FM2+ sockets, as well as all the usual popular options.

In the box you’ll find two plastic quick-mount clips, an installation guide and a component box.

In the component box, there’s all the screws and brackets needed for all supported sockets, two metal fan clips and a universal plastic backplate. What is nice to see, is that the thermal grease comes in a syringe, so it’s good for more than one application.

The included fan is of a good quality, with shaped blades to help better direct airflow.

What’s also nice to see is a fully sleeved cable, often we see the coloured cables just before the cable reaches the fan motor, but that’s not an issue here.

The fan comes fitted with a 4-pin PWM connector.

The 612 features a six heat-pipe design, which are “U” shaped to pass through the left and right side of the cooling tower.

The top plate has been stamped with the Cooler Master logo, nothing fancy, but it adds a little to the overall design. X-vents are place around the heat pipe on each fin, which will help guide airflow and create vortices for better cooling.

There’s a sizeable fin stack here, which will come in handy, since this cooler can be run passively on CPUs of up to

The cooler is nothing fancy in terms of design, but it’s not exactly ugly either. I think it’s safe to say it walks a fine line between practicality and style.

A protective sticker covers the heat-pipes; don’t forget to remove this before usage!

The six heat-pipes us a CDC (Continuous Direct Contact) desig; no gaps mean a nice big and smooth surface for conducting heat.

Cooler Master New Year New Cooler Competition

The new year is almost upon us and to celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the good people of Cooler Master to help you welcome in 2015 with style. A great PC deserves a great cooler, so we’ve grabbed three of the most popular Cooler Master coolers to help you upgrade your rigs. We’ve got a Nepton 120XL and a Nepton 240 water cooling radiator, as well as the awesome Hyper 612 Ver.2 air cooler.

We’ll be picking three lucky winners at the start of 2015:

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

If you would like to show your support to eTeknix and Cooler Master you can like your respective Facebook pages. It’s a great way to stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and competition announcements.

ENTER HERE

Cooler Master Hyper 612 CPU Cooler Revealed

Cooler Master are a popular choice when it comes to CPU coolers; they’ve got some of the best high-end coolers on the market, and their budget friendly models are still some of the best selling coolers around. Now they’re back once again with their new and improved Hyper 612 Ver. 2.

The Hyper series has always been a popular choice, mostly thanks to it’s impressive price vs performance ratio and we expect the new 612 will offer the same award winning formula once again. The cooler has been designed to operate passively for completely silent performance on CPU’s of up to 95W. For those who need more performance, you can use the included PWM fan, and even add a second optional PWM fan if you need to.

  • Two different ways to mount the fan (plastic clip or wire clip)
  • Four anti-vibration rubbers
  • No interference with memory due to special design
  • Easy mounting procedure

The Hyper 612 Ver. 2 will be available in Europe from the end of this month and while price and availability will vary based on region, it’s expected to be found at most major retailers for around 39.90 EUR.

Thank you Cooler Master for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Cooler Master.

Kingston HyperX Fury 240GB Solid State Drive Review

Introduction


The SSD market today is bursting at the seams with various types of solid state drives catering for every level of budget and with varying degrees of performance including drives that are now pushing the SATA !! interface to its absolute limits along with drives which pack insane amounts of storage compared to those drives which were around only a year ago. Similarly the number of manufacturers on the market is slowly growing, but those who have been in the business for a number of years are those that stand out above the rest and this includes Crucial, OCZ, Corsair, Plextor, Sandisk and Kingston of whom we’re looking at today.

Like the SSD, the HyperX line of products has been around for some time now and when we look at their SSD line up, we are somewhat limited in choice with only one mainstream HyperX drive available – namely the HyperX 3K, which replaced the first generation HyperX, offering a better price point with good levels of performance. Even though the 3K brings a more attractive price point over the [now end of line] HyperX, it is still somewhat expensive compared to drives from a number of other brands and with the launch of the HyperX Fury product line, Kingston have come up with an even cheaper drive to open up the doors into HyperX to a larger group of users.

Designed purely to offer a lower price tag for the budget conscious buyer, the HyperX Fury SSD is built around a SandForce SF-2281 controller with Kingston’s own MLC NAND. This combination of components allows the drive to offer compressible read and write speeds of around 500MB/s and incompressible speeds of 470MB/s read and 220MB/s write. Kingston stress however that this drive is all about offering a compelling price point for an enthusiast grade drive not its out-and-out performance.

Where we find the HyperX 3K coming in a large box with drive bay adaptors, screws and manuals and this all adds up nudging the price of the drive up as well. The Fury restricts this additional cost by shipping in a slim card packet with a plastic cover holding the drive in place. Inside all we get is a 2.5mm shim for installing the drive into 9.5mm drive bays and a HyperX sticker for your notebook or gaming rig.

Kingston Launch Web Assistant For Storage & Memory Upgrades

When it comes to working out the specification of your new gaming system or when you’re looking to boost the performance of your existing setup, memory and storage are two of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of getting the most out of what you’ve got. Since the launch of the solid state drive only a few years back, we’ve seen desktop performance rocket up to a whole new level and as the processors and graphics cards progress to new heights, the memory kit is for most of the time forgotten about or underestimated. Whereas selecting the right graphics card for example is pretty easy, selecting the right memory kit for your needs is not as clear cut. When we take every memory kit that is on offer on the market (as well as the SSDs )and throw it all into one basket, the number of hardware combinations and possibilities, as well as price points that there are to choose from is monumental. With such a huge number of products on offer, how are you sure that the kit you’re choosing is the right one for you?

One way of filtering out the select products that would be suitable for your system would be to look around the review sites such as ourselves, where we show you some of the latest performance, mid-range and budget options that there are on the market, giving you an idea of what product you want to be ordering next. Whilst this is all fair and well, we have to be fair and honest and say that not everyone is going to want to go through piles and piles of reviews to see what is best for their needs, either because of the time it takes to read reviews, or because they’re not that technically minded. We therefore see numerous users taking to our forums to ask what would be the best drive or memory kit for them to get for their system for XYZ price bracket, but what if there was an even easier option out there which could guide you through the selection process, showing you only the products which are best suited for your needs; a user with a gaming motherboard would ideally like a gaming memory kit to compliment the performance, whilst a typical home office user may want a budget kit which does what it needs to without burning a hole in the wallet.

Fortunately though Kingston have been busy working away over the last few months to develop a massive database of every motherboard, server, notebook and more; after which they individually select which of their memory kits and SSDs is best suited for that particular users needs with the option on offer to then purchase the hardware directly from Kingston and have it delivered to your door. These selection pages don’t just cover the Windows platform, as Apple systems more commonly than not use very similar desktop components to those used in the rest of the market, we find Kingston offering up a good range of suitable kits for Mac users.

 

With the next generation of motherboards and processors only a short time away now, the time to upgrade is also very close and if you’re not too sure on how to actually do the upgrade, fear not as Kingston have also got you covered. In addition to the massive web database and product selection tools, they also have a library of setup guides and videos on offer which take you through the upgrade process step-by-step, clearing any doubts or worries that you may be doing something wrong. With technology so far advanced compared to where it was a number of years ago, it is actually far easier to upgrade your system than it used to be.

Kingston don’t just supply the retail market with components, they also cover the OEM market, providing a number of manufacturers products for direct use in their systems and to reflect this, Kingston also list the relevant upgrade kits for each of their OEM partners. Here are just a few of Kingston’s partners:

So if you’re a budding enthusiast who wants to know that they are giving their system the very best, or a non-technically minded home user who wants some guidance, head over to Kingston’s Memory and Storage Search Page where you can find the right product and how to get the best out of your system – oh and did I mention that this information and help is TOTALLY FREE? Surely that deserves us giving Kingston a huge thank you to making your tech experience as good as possible.

Cooler Master Hyper 103 CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Cooler Master are one of the most established and recognised brands in the PC component industry. They’ve got a wide reach that covers everything from gaming peripherals with their CM Storm range, their chassis products, power supplies and obviously their CPU coolers. They’ve won countless awards in all the areas they cover, and they’ve even earned a few of those awards here at eTeknix. It is with this in mind that we have high expectation of the Hyper 103 CPU cooler I am reviewing today.

The Hyper 103 isn’t going to blow away the much of the competition with its performance, it is after all a small cooler with a budget friendly price tag. We will however be looking for competitive performance in this price range and given that Cooler Master already make some of the best budget coolers on the market, we don’t doubt it’ll do well.

Priced at around £18 it is hardly going to hurt your wallet and if you’re looking for a budget friendly solution this will likely be one of the first products you find. As you can see from the specifications below, the cooler has a good range of support for all major socket types for both AMD and Intel, but enough of the boring stuff, let’s get right to it and see what else the Hyper 103 has to offer.

The packaging is nothing too fancy, keeping with the usual informative design that we across the rest of the Cooler Master range. There are a few features listen on the front such as the tower design, triple heatpipes and the silent performance.

Around the back and the side of the box we have more details about what sockets the cooler supports, as well as the full specifications (see above).

In the box I found a couple of user manuals that detail the installation process as well as some warranty information. The mounting kit consists of the metal backplate, 2 Intel brackets, 2 AMD brackets, a set of screws / bolts and four plastic clips.

The mounting kit is well designed and durable, the back plate is reversible, one side if for AMD, the other is for Intel.

Kingston HyperX Predator USB3.0 1TB Flash Drive Review

Kingston HyperX Predator USB3.0 1TB Flash Drive Review


Every now and again I get the chance to have a product a little ahead of every other reviewer in the world and in some cases, I’ve been able to claim the world’s first review as well. There is however one drive that I’m sure many reviewers are waiting to get their hands on, and thanks to Kingston I’ve been able to get a hands-on world-exclusive look at the HyperX Predator 1TB USB3.0 flash drive.

A few months ago I had a look at the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G3 64GB flash drive which features a build and design that is fairly similar to that of the 1TB drive that I have to play with today. However, this is of course a little more special with its HyperX branding and of course the mammoth 1TB capacity.

As opposed to most flash drives that we’ve seen from Kingston, the HyperX Predator 1TB is far more worthy othan the typical plastic packaging that is pretty much the standard these days. Instead, this drive comes in a rather sleek looking metal tin, with a fitted foam interior, that holds both the drive and the accessories that come with it. Alongside the mammoth 1TB USB drive, we find a keyring for attaching the drive to a set of keys or hand-cuffs; as after all you really don’t want to be letting this drive out of your sight too soon – or at least this is how I felt whilst I had it in my possession. The other accessory we get is a short USB extension cable which for many users will be a well used accessory due to the fact that the drive is a little wider than a typical USB drive meaning it may have compatibility issues with some USB ports.

Looking closer at the drive the sheer physical dimensions are staggering. Granted it is a rather chunky looking drive and it is 7.2cm long x 2.6cm x 2.1cm. Of course we do have to remember that there are a whole heap of flash ICs packed into a comparatively small space. The brushed metal surface is finished off with the Kingston and HyperX Predator branding and on the end is a loop for attaching the drive to the included keyring.

The need for the USB cable in some cases becomes more apparent when we look at the drive from the end, you can see it will easily interfere with other devices that are close-by in adjacent USB slots. Just above the drive there is a small hole through which the blue status/activity LED can be seen.

Test system:

  • Asus Maximus VI Formula
  • Intel Core i7 4770k
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum 1866MHz 16GB
  • Asus GTX 780 – DC2OC
  • Corsair H100i
  • Corsair HX1050W
  • Corsair Force LS 120GB SSD
  • Asus MX229Q

We would like to thank Asus for allowing us to use their demonstration system at i49 for the testing of this drive
It’s safe to say that the Kingston Predator 1TB USB flash drive looks the part, but this is not really going to be worth much if the drive doesn’t deliver the performance as well. Kingston have rated this drive with a read speed of 240MB/s and a write speed of 160MB/s – which for any HyperX USB drive is top level performance. This is part of the reason why this drive has had so much exposure because it has been reported to have not only the capacity but also the performance to go alongside that.

To test this drive, I first of all want to see what the underlying performance is through ATTO – just to see how well the drive can deliver behind the scenes.

Looking at the 1024k test, the 1TB drive appears to give virtually the rated performance on the read front that Kingston claim however the write performance does appear to be down. What we have to take into account though is that ATTO works with compressible data which does not favour this drive very well at all.

Next up is CrystalDiskMark, and immediately we can see a huge boost in both the read and write speeds of the HyperX Predator. Topping out during the 4MB sequential read test at 298.4MB/s and 109.5MB/s, we can see that the drive clearly can deliver top level performance when pulling data from the drive. The 512k test is also impressive with speeds topping out at 225.1MB/s read and 112.8MB/s write.

Anvil’s Storage Utility is the last of the tests that this drive is going through and as a final push, the HyperX Predator manages to kick the read speed up to 278.15MB/s and write to 169.17MB/s both passing the rated speeds that Kingston give on the tin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjWqZ8p6i9g[/youtube]

When it comes to top end flash drives, there are many on the market, but there is now one that reigns above them all. Kingston’s HyperX Predator 1TB is not only a feat of technical engineering, but it is also something to marvel over. With solid build quality and construction, the drive feels like it’s worth a £1000 and that is exactly its price point. There have been many rumours and speculations floating about since the drive was first announced earlier in the year about its price, with some thinking it will sell for as much as £4000. However, with a price point of around £1/GB its price is astonishing for what it is.

The performance is also remarkable, granted ATTO doesn’t show great results, but drives of this nature are going to perform better with incompressible data and this is clear with the results from Anvil’s Storage Utilities.

Availability of the drive is something that a lot of people are going to question and at this moment in time, there are only seven working units in the world, of which this one that I’ve looked at is the only one in the UK. Pre-orders are being taken through etailers such as Overclockers UK and Dabs.com, but do expect a some waiting time when you order as these units have only just had their first batch shipped out. Many more units are currently in the manufacturing and testing stages.

All in all though I’m more than astounded by this drive – after all how often are you going to say that you have 1TB of USB storage hanging from your keys? Granted the cost is not affordable for the large majority of people out there, but as a feat of engineering Kingston’s 1TB HyperX Predator USB3.0 flash drive is worthy of our eTeknix Innovation Award.

Pros:

  • Well known and established manufacturer
  • Solid build quality and metal construction
  • Whopping 1TB capacity
  • Top level performance
  • “Bling factor”
  • USB extension cable in the tin for hard to reach ports

Cons:

  • Can get a little warm during continuous use
  • Out of the price range for most users.

eTeknix Says: Kingston have done it again with pushing next-generation storage to the max. The HyperX Predator 1TB USB drive has a crazy level of storage space, but also a top-level of performance to go with it. Did you once fancy 1TB of storage for on the go? Now your dreams have come true with this truly outstanding drive.”

Kingston HyperX Predator USB3.0 1TB Flash Drive Review

Thanks to Kingston for providing this review sample.

Kingston HyperX Beast DDR3 2400MHz 8GB Memory Kit Review

Late last year we had a look at the then latest addition to the HyperX lineup of memory kits with the Predator 8GB 2666MHz kit with top end speeds and kits that ranged right up to 32GB in capacity and in their latest addition, Kingston have got a new line of kits to add to the collection, but they’re not quite what we’d call new under the surface.  Whilst the Beast kits bear a new suit of black heat spreaders, the memory that lies underneath is taken from the Predator kits, however these kits only range up to 2400MHz whilst packing capacities right up to 64GB and lies upon a black PCB the match the heat spreaders.

The new Beast kit lies in between the Genesis and Predator kits in grand scheme of things now giving nine different memory types to choose from and this is the next to top end kit to chose from the entire lineup so I’m looking to see some good performance figures from the kit as I work to put it through its paces.

The black heat spreaders do extend above the PCB which is something that is only seen otherwise on the Predator Hyper X kit and this can cause some compatibility issues with some heat sinks, but with more people moving towards closed loop water cooling options and heat sink manufacturers, addressing the compatibility with items that now clear more kits, this is less of a problem that it once used to be.

Test system:

  • Asus Maximus V Formula
  • Intel Core i7 3770k
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970
  • Corsair H100i
  • Corsair HX1050W
  • Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD
  • Lian Li T60
  • AOC E2795VH

Enabling the X.M.P. profile we can see the Hyper X beast uses an average set of timings at 11-13-13-30 with a moderate 2T command rate whilst running at the top specified sped of 2400MHz.

After CPU-Z had confirmed our settings had been applied, we fired up AIDA64 to check the stock performance of the memory on our Z77 motherboard.

At stock the HyperX beast gives a rather average set of bandwidth results of 21209MBs/ read, 18800MB/s write and 23173MB/s copy with a good latency of 35.3ns. We’ve seen before that overclocking does have a good impact on memory write speeds so there is good scope for unleashing some hidden performance with minimal effort.

Keeping the kit at its stock timings to start, the first step is to overclock the CPU to 4.5GHz to open up some extra headroom within the memory controller and allow the memory to overclock more freely. From there the next step is to raise the memory divider to 2600MHz and with a successful boot the next divider 2666Mz resulted in a series of boot loops – not too surprising considering this speed is getting to the limits of what our CPU can handle. Working on the 2600Mz divider, the BCLK was the next port of call, however with the memory restricted to stock timings, there was no extra speed to be found.

As expected from overclocking,  the write speed sees the greatest improvement in bandwidth, rising up to 21305MB/s. The read speed also sees a reasonable gain up to 23495MB/s whilst the copy stays fairly close to stock at 23238MB/s. There’s also a good drop in latency down to 32.5ns.

Following a good overclock at stock timings, its time to let the motherboard take the leash on the timings as we see how far this kit really can go. Once again the 266Mz divider was tested just to see if there was a boot possibility, but once again this was a restriction by the CPU. Working on the BCLK, an extra 21Mz was there to be played with and with the timings fairly close to stock at 11-13-13-35 2T the memory should see some significant gains.

Given the ever so slight overclock, there is a good gain all round in performance, with read speeds rising to 24673MB/s write to 23352MB/s and copy up to 24610MB/s. Yet again there is also a good drop in latency, right down to 30.9ns.

Pushing just over the 2600MHz barrier seems to have a considerable effect on the kits performance and even when booting Windows, this extra performance is clearly noticeable, especially with the drop in latency from 35.3ns to 30.9ns.

Priced at around £80, the HyperX Beast kits are certainly not a budget option, but what they do offer is top level performance for a price that is only a fraction below that of the Predator kit of that same speed and capacity. Whilst there is a minimal difference in price I’d say this is the better kit to go for, both in terms of performance, but to me they look far superior to the top level kits with their black PCB’s and more well designed heat spreaders. For anyone that’s in the market for a well priced, high performance kit, considering this is capable of speeds in excess of 2600MHz with minimal effort and with great results, Kingston’s HyperX Beast is one animal of a kit.