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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  • TrantaLocked - Monday, November 27, 2017 - link

    Lining up the pins should be super easy just from above, and you can feel and see if the pins have dropped through each hole by paying attention to elevation of each corner of the heatsink.
  • JonnyDough - Monday, August 1, 2016 - link

    I have no issue with getting them to work, but they still suck. I like AMD's retention clip, no tools needed. The only issue is when it's in a tight mid-tower case or has a heatsink butted up against it. I don't like needing tools to seat or unseat a heatsink, but if a long standard screwdriver was the only tool needed to make it simpler and quick I'd be all for it. Too many coolers mount one direction (up or rear blowing) and are too difficult to either seat, unseat, or both.
  • mikato - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    Yes, those push pins are terrible.
  • FriendlyUser - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Excellent, very useful review! People really need to know if they have to budget a cooler or not and what improvement to expect.
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    I recently built a system around an Athlon X4 860K that shipped with AMD's FHSA7015B. I had some reservations about using the boxed cooler, but apathy won out in the end so locked it down over the chip and forgot about it. It does what its supposed to do and at this point, I just can't rationalize going through the trouble of pulling out the thumbscrew on the side panel, removing it, and installing something else. It's not worth my time so for someone like me an OEM boxed cooler is good enough.
  • cowbutt - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    It'd be interesting to see the results for the copper-cored 150W TDP Intel BXTS13A for socket 2011-3 CPUs (e.g. i7-5xxx). When I got mine about 18 months ago, it was about £15, so about half the price of a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo in the UK. If it's anything like the BXTS15A, that seems pretty reasonable for the performance it offers.
  • evilspoons - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    It's actually remarkable how many similar-but-different coolers Intel has sold. I went through about 15 of them from a pile of stuff at work and only found two that were the same, meaning I had 14 different heatsink/fan combinations. (FWIW some were almost the same but with different fans, but the fans were substantially different in power rating...)

    Note to future self: if chucking aside Intel stock heatsinks for potential future re-use, label what CPU the came with to save yourself a headache.
  • dave_the_nerd - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Wow. The stock cooler on my i5 really _is_ crap.
  • Ratman6161 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Maybe it isn't. If your system is running fine and you were not having any problems with it, reading an article doesn't suddenly make it crap :)
  • dave_the_nerd - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    It's been fine for three years. But I can get temps up into the 80s if I'm running Prime95.

    To futz with it, or not to futz with it. That is the question. :-)

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