The Cooler Master EVO 212

The Cooler Master EVO 212 is the “special guest” of this review. We included it because it is one of the most popular mainstream coolers, combining good performance with broad compatibility and a very reasonable retail price. Although we do have one more aftermarket cooler in this review, it comes from a CPU manufacturer and is essentially based on the designs of their stock coolers, so the EVO 212 is the only cooler that greatly stands out from the rest.


The EVO 212 is a tower cooler with four copper heatpipes and a vertical 120 mm fan. It is designed to absorb the thermal energy away from the CPU and transfer it to wide aluminum fins using the heatpipes. Then the energy is being transferred to the airflow generated by the fan more effectively, as the surface of the many parallel aluminum fins greatly outweighs that of most stock coolers.

What makes the EVO 212 so efficient and popular is the direct contact design. The heatpipes come in direct contact with the CPU’s surface, increasing the energy absorption efficiency. Copper is soft and easy to damage, thus this design has greatly inferior mechanical strength than most other tower designs that have the heatpipes supported inside a metal base, but this has virtually no shortcomings for most users that will not be mistreating their computers (as well as being indicative of the pricing).

Other than the direct contact heatpipes, the EVO 212 has no other advanced features. Naturally so, as the company wanted to keep the manufacturing cost low. The aluminum fins are inserted to the copper heatpipes and not soldered, while the base is not machined down to a perfect finish. The cooler’s A12025-16RB-4BP-F1 120 mm fan is a small surprise, as it has a rifle bearing engine, an enhanced version of sleeve bearing designs for lower noise and higher durability.

Vendor Cooler Common Bundle Core Fins Fan
Cooler Master EVO 212 Aftermarket, ≈$30 Cu
+4 Cu HP
Alu 120 436
Introduction The Intel Coolers
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  • yannigr2 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Your comment makes you look stupidly indeed. A company is giving a top quality cooler that saves you $20-$30 and you find it stupidly sad?
  • SetiroN - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Yes, I find the fact that the best thing a CPU manufacturer's got going is their bundled cooler extremely sad.
  • yannigr2 - Saturday, July 23, 2016 - link

    Some people will find sadness in everything AMD does. At the same time they will praise Nvidia or Intel for doing the exact same thing.
  • DanNeely - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    I disagree. While part of this demonstrates clearly what most of us already know; most stock coolers suck. It also shows that AMD actually did deliver a good stock cooler in the Wraith. Cooling wise it matches the budget standby Cooler Master 212; and comes close to matching it in terms of sound as well making it the first stock cooler I wouldn't automatically recommend trashing for an aftermarket job.

    If I were nit picking, I'd've liked to've seen an affordable non-tower aftermarket cooler in the mix as well because slim profile cases don't have room for big towers. OTOH by including a 212 in the mix this article can be used as a baseline to compare testing results on them elsewhere.
  • A5 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Meh. If AT is going to get back in the CPU cooler review game, this is a good place to start for two reasons.

    1) Make sure they're starting from a good assumption (stock coolers suck).
    2) Compare it to the current most popular replacement.

    From there, you can start adding in higher-end coolers and comparing them to the baseline.
  • Ratman6161 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    I don't necessarily agree that "stock coolers suck". They suck for most of the people who would be reading this article in the first place :) but are generally more than adequate for people running their system at stock speeds and more or less typical conditions.

    I think Intel has essentially taken the right approach. Bundle a good enough cooler with most CPU's since they are adequate to the task and the people using them won't know the difference anyway. Sell the "K" CPU's without a cooler. If you are buying a K, then then you are probably also a person who wants to chose their own cooling solution too. Everybody wins.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Except in the latter case you're actually losing.

    They USED to bundle the stock cooler, and even if it wasn't used permanently, it was certainly useful for testing boot or as something to hold you over until you save another ~$100 for an all-in-one CLC that couldn't fit your initial PC budget.

    I'd be all in if the lack of the stock cooler also meant they dropped prices on those same kinds of CPUs, but the prices actually went up AND they lost the stock cooler. Double loss for the consumer.
  • mikato - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    I bought non-K Intel CPUs (and AMD CPUs) and aftermarket coolers. Up to this point, I had useless stock coolers that NEVER got used since most of the time I bought a decent aftermarket cooler at the same time I build the computer. There is no point selling them on ebay. They were just an unfortunate waste of resources.

    So now I appreciate both strategies. Either don't include a cooler (and its price), or include a decent budget cooler (for less added price than a low-end aftermarket cooler). Both work for me. But as you say, if Intel hasn't passed on that cost saving then that isn't good.

    It would be interesting to know how many people that build their own computers also use a non-stock CPU cooler (excluding the higher end Intel and AMD's Wraith). And how has that evolved over time since CPUs produce less heat now, and since budget coolers have improved quite a bit for their price.

    To me water cooling is just plain unnecessary and has been for a long time. Air cooling does easily well enough, for less money, and less hassle. You don't get much for spending the extra money.
  • JonnyDough - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    Best comment. I have about 18 desktop PCs, all of them from the last 6 years or so. Only one has a stock cooler and that's my HTPC, because it's so watt that it's quiet with the stock and sits in my living room far from me. I also think water cooling is a waste, when all one needs is a good cooler and some case fans. Water cooling nets just a few degrees difference in ambient case. If your VRMs are getting hot because the mobo maker didn't put a heatsink on it, just throw some cheap heatsinks on it.
  • dishayu - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    It IS useful. It helps put definite numbers to the theory that we already know to be true (that stock coolers suck). It tells users how much of a benefit they would get, going from their stock cooler to a 212 Evo (and subsequently other coolers they test in the future).

    This is good work, show some respect.

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