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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  • mikato - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    Is it noisy?
  • yannigr2 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    AMD should start selling Wraith for $20. If they can make an Intel version, that would have been hilarious. An Intel CPU with a cooler on top of it having the AMD logo.
  • silverblue - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    It might make sense to re-test the Wraith without its shroud to see if it measures up to AMD's claims.
  • Yuriman - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    I'd personally find it a lot more useful if there were some charts showing temperatures with the coolers normalized for acoustic performance, or showing noise while normalized for core temperature or thermal resistance. It's not very useful to know that cooler A is both quieter and performs worse than cooler B when both are at 7v, because they're all PWM and will be targeting a temperature range, rather than running at a fixed fan speed.
  • mikato - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    I agree. Noise is more important to me than this article made it.
  • Einy0 - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Nice to see the EVO 212 is much better than most stock coolers. I have one on both my home PCs and my work PC. Glad to see the $30 investment is worth it... The wraith is sick, too bad AMD still doesn't have a nice cpu to put under it! I can't wait for Zen, I'm so sick of giving all my cpu money to Intel.
  • Peichen - Monday, July 25, 2016 - link

    Why sick of giving Intel your money? Are you not satisfied with the performance you paid for? Are you CPUs dying young?
  • mikato - Thursday, July 28, 2016 - link

    Maybe because he/she has the feeling that Intel is charging more for a given item than they would otherwise be if they had better competition, and he/she does not like paying more than may be normally justified.
  • nismotigerwvu - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    Very cool! It's nice to have a quantifiable value for the improvement an aftermarket cooler can provide. My only nitpick would be to see if a push/pull setup on the 212 was worthwhile. On my system it seems to be a bit quieter since I can keep the fans at a lower RPM, but it could also just be a placebo.
  • Voldenuit - Friday, July 22, 2016 - link

    My old Opteron 165 (Toledo?) came with a heatpipe cooler, so that definitely predates the AV-Z7UB408003 cooler that came with the Phenom X4.

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