Cooler Master Hyper 612S £34
6th Sep 2011 | 09:11
A CPU air cooler described as "silent" – but is it efficient?
Like a child stuffed full of fizzy drink and sweets by a malevolent anti-Jamie Oliver, Cooler Master is going hyper, at least with its latest Hyper 612S CPU air coolers.
As far as air coolers go, the Hyper 612S certainly ticks all of our must-have boxes, with six 6mm heatpipes running through a solid copper base and up the chunky 140mm tall aluminium-fanned heatsink array.
Cooler Master could be trying to cover its own back by describing the Hyper 612S as a silent cooling solution, but then why not?
It ships with a 1,300rpm 120mm fan that produces a mere 22dBA, but a supplied fan limiter reduces the revs to just 900rpm and a near-silent 16.1dBA.
For those seeking more cooling performance, the Hyper 612S does ship with a second fan bracket, so it can be used in a dual-fan push-pull configuration too, helping Cooler Master potentially cover all bases with a reasonably-priced CPU air cooler.
To give the Cooler Master Hyper 612S CPU cooler a run for its money, we fully installed it onto an overclocked Intel Core 2 E7200 processor.
We took an ambient air temperature reading, an unloaded temperature reading and another when the CPU had been running with a full load for a number of minutes.
The Cooler Master Hyper 612S takes the tried, tested and safe – if seemingly massively wasteful – route of supplying different types of fixing arms for each type of possible installation. These are screwed to the copper CPU cooling base and the whole unit is bolted into place via four nuts and a supplied backplate.
The upside for this is that it does offer foolproof installation. The downside is that because it's bolted into place underneath the motherboard, removing the cooler is an issue.
Despite its larger size, it's good see that Cooler Master has carefully followed ATX specifications, and we didn't have any trouble installing the Hyper 612S into our case.
Having said that, with our motherboard it would be impossible to install a second 120mm fan with the supplied bracket, but that's not to say it'd be the case with every configuration.
Cooler Master is targeting this at the silent end of the market, hence throwing in the fan limiter. Frankly, even without this it's a quiet unit, with it being easily drowned out by other components.
Cooler Master also plays on an optimised fin design that's supposed to enhance cooling at low fan speeds.
Always sceptical, we were surprised to see little cooling variation between the full-speed and low-speed modes, proving that there must be some meaning in Cooler Master's madness. The main difference noted is that we couldn't maintain a stable overclock at 3.31GHz in the 900rpm mode, but it did make it halfway through our testing.
Up and running, the Cooler Master Hyper 612S provides a reasonable 11c improvement over the stock air cooler. That sort of performance matches the Xigmatek Gaia SD1283 but is still beaten by the Prolimatech Armageddon.
There's a lot to enjoy with the Cooler Master Hyper 612S. It's a big cooler that, rather than going down the out-and-out performance route, pulls off onto the silent performance byroads of the CPU air cooling world and succeeds by doing so.
It doesn't provide the best cooling deltas we've seen, but then if that's what you want you're looking at the wrong cooler.
Once this bad boy is installed, it's installed. You'll need to remove the motherboard to get it out, and that's always a pain.
The price is also a quandary as there are plenty of cheaper, smaller and nearly as efficient CPU coolers on the market that you could drop in as its replacement.
If you want an efficient CPU air cooler that's ear-friendly then Cooler Master should be removing money from your bank account for the Hyper 612S as you read this.