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.
Installing the back plate is simple enough. You place the four screws through the required holes for your motherboard socket type, then hold them in place with the retention clips.
On the other side, thought thumb screws go into place and this will hold the backplate onto your motherboard.
Use the appropriate socket brackets and mount them using the four nuts; Cooler master include a special screwdrive>nut tool to help you do this.
Now we’re ready to mount the cooler.
The fixing bracket comes pre-attached to the cooler. Simply clip one side over the motherboard bracket and screw the other end down; it’s all very easy.
Once in place, you can see that there’s a huge cut-away to allow for tall RAM modules. I’m an idiot and didn’t see this, so it’s on the wrong side, but since I’m using an open air test-bench and low ram modules, it really doesn’t matter.
There’s two types of fan clip included, I’ve opted for the quick-release plastic mounts. There’s also four rubber pads included to help reduce vibration from the cooling tower and the fan.
Test System and Methodology
We always use the same test system and tests with CPU coolers that we compare against each other. The full specifications of our test system are as follows:
- ASUS P8Z77-V, LGA 1155 socket, Z77 chipset
- Intel Core i5 3570K with Gelid GC Extreme under the IHS
- 16GB Kingston 1866Mhz DDR3
- 128GB Kingston HyperX SSD
- Antec High Current Gamer 620W
- Cooler Master Test Bench v1.0
- We always use Gelid GC Extreme thermal paste to make sure testing reveals the efficiency of the tested coolers not the efficiency of the bundled thermal paste.
- Prime 95 is run for 10 minutes and then the average maximum temperatures as recorded by CPUID HWMonitor are noted
- The average temperature across the four cores is taken on our quad-core processor
- Fans are mostly left to operate at default PWM profile speeds and with maximum fan speed for reference.If PWM functions are not supported then fixed fan speeds are used and sometimes a low noise adapter if appropriate/provided. If fixed fan speeds or low noise adapters are used it will be clearly pointed out either on the graphs or in the write-up.
- All default result entries on graphs are for PWM performance unless otherwise specified. A variety of fan speed results are done for a particular product review and then removed from the graphs in future reviews of other products to avoid clutter. If you would like to see more fan speed results for a particular product please check its individual review.
- For watercooling tests all pumps have been operated at 12 volts directly from the power supply
- Delta temperatures are always used (Observed temperature minus ambient temperature) and we keep the ambient at 22 (+/- 1) degrees for all testing . Delta temperatures should correct for any marginal ambient differences between 21-23 degrees.
- Acoustic measurements are taken 10cm horizontally away from the CPU cooler with the VGA fan disabled, hard drive in idle and power supply isolated. These are taken at desktop idle and Prime95 load.
- The cooling performance tests are run at stock 3.4GHz (with Intel Turbo up to 3.8GHz) and overclocked 4.5GHz (1.35v) settings. Voltages are fixed to prevent inaccuracy between comparisons.
- All other coolers in the graphs have been tested under identical settings so are fully comparable.
- Each test is repeated 3 times with 3 remounts for consistency of results
- There is approximately a 1 degree celsius margin of error in our temperature recording software CPUID HW Monitor
- There is approximately a 1.5dBA margin of error with our Benetech GM1351 decibel meter
In all these graphs we may have a few “reference” results of particular products that do not fit within that category for comparative purposes.
Stock performance of the 612 is nothing spectacular, actually, it’s quite average on the chart, but it still manages to give the Corsair H105 and the Antec 650 water coolers a run for their money, which is certainly impressive.
At idle, the cooler is just 41dBa and quiet enough that you wouldn’t hear it from within your chassis. It’s a little louder at load, but nothing more than a bit of air turbulence.
This isn’t the best cooler for overclocking, but then again, it was never designed to be. However, it does run a little hot, but there’s more than enough cooling power here for those who are running mild overclocks.
What is good to see is that the fans didn’t get any louder when overclocked, allowing the 612 to beat out four water-cooled units.
The Cooler Master Hyper 612 Ver.2 is certainly affordable, with prices in the UK at just £39.99 from Overclockers UK. Readers in the US get an even better deal, as the cooler is currently just $45 from Newegg.
This may not be the greatest cooler in the world, but it certainly offers enough in return to justify its price tag, which doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but that’s because it’s not. What this cooler offers is good all round performance for a reasonable price and for the most part, that’s exactly what your typical consumer will be looking for. At stock clocks, the Hyper 612 Ver.2 kept our CPU running perfectly and the cooler was quiet enough to never become a nuisance. It even managed to post when overclocked and kept our test system stable, although I personally wouldn’t overclock as high as we did on this kind of cooler, it’s good to know it can handle it when needed. The added bonus there being that the cooling fans didn’t get any louder at higher clock speeds.
The real party trick for this cooler is that it can run passively, although you’ll only be able to take that up to 95W compared to the 180W with a fan installed. The passive mode is great, especially for those running low power systems such as an HTPC or an office system. You’re not going to get as great cooling performance, but as they say, silence is golden.
Build quality is pretty good throughout and while not the prettiest looking cooler in the world, you can see that some care has gone into making it look presentable. What does stand out, however, is the mounting kit. The fittings are of a good quality, easy to use and there were no screwdriver gymnastics needed to get it installed. The addition of a cut-away to allow for tall RAM modules is also nice to see, so it’s unlikely you’ll run into compatibility issues.
- Passive cooling up to 95W TDP
- Active cooling up to 180W TDP
- Dual fan mounting options included
- Fully sleeved fan cable
- RAM cut-away
- Affordable price
- Not ideal for high-end overclocking
“The Cooler Master Hyper 612 Ver.2 is a great all round cooler, it offers tidy aesthetics, an easy installation process, commendable cooling performance and the added bonus of being able to run passively for low-powered systems; it’s as versatile as it is affordable.”
Thank you Cooler Master for providing us with this sample.