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Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo vs Hyper 212 LED (2021): Which CPU Cooler Is Better?

Replacing your PC’s stock cooler is one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can get to improve its overall performance and longevity. To do so affordably, you can check out the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo and Hyper 212 LED, two popular CPU coolers that have been available for a long time due to their cost-effectiveness and efficiency. So how are they Hyper 212 Evo and LED coolers different and which one should you choose? Check out our comparison below.

Hyper 212 Evo vs Hyper 212 LED CPU Cooler Comparison Chart

ModelCool Master Hyper 212 EvoCooler Master Hyper 212 LED
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler, 4 CDC Heatpipes, 120mm PWM Fan, Aluminum Fins for AMD...Cooler Master RR-212L-16PR-R1 Hyper 212 LED CPU Cooler with PWM Fan, Four Direct Contact Heat Pipes,...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Heat Sink Dimensions4.6 x 2 x 6.2 inches4.5 x 2.3 x 6.2 inches
Fan Dimensions4.7 x 4.7 x 1 inches4.7 x 4.7 x 0.9 inches
Fan Speed600 – 2000 RPM ± 10%600 – 1600 RPM ± 10%
Fan Airflow24.9 – 82.9 CFM ± 10%66.3 CFM ± 10%
Fan BearingSleeve bearingRifle bearing
Fan Noise Level9 – 36 dBA9 – 31 dBA
Thermal TransferContinuous Direct ContactDirect Contact
Heat Pipes44
Connector4-pin4-pin
Fan Life Expectancy40,000 hours280,000 hours
InstallationBackplate mountingSpring clamp
Release20112016

Design

The Hyper 212 LED has LED lights unlike the Hyper 212 Evo.

The Hyper 212 Evo (left) doesn’t have any lighting while the Hyper 212 LED (right) has built-in red LEDs.

Size-wise, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo and LED have nearly the same dimensions. Their fans are of the same size while the Hyper 212 Evo’s heatsink is only slightly slimmer. Both plastic fans clip onto the aluminum fins with simple plastic brackets, which are easy to mount and remove. However, the Hyper 212 Evo uses a typical sleeve bearing while the 212 LED has a better rifle bearing; this difference is explained in more detail in the next sections below.

The most noticeable difference between the Hyper 212 Evo and 212 LED is, of course, the latter’s LED lights. The Hyper 212 LED has red lights on its fan, adding a nice bit of flair if you’re into that for your PC. The LED lights are only available in red, though. The other important difference is on the heat pipes. While both use 6 mm copper heat pipes, the Hyper 212 Evo doesn’t have gaps between the pipes along the section in contact with the CPU. This directly impacts cooling performance.

Both Cooler Master air coolers are compatible with nearly all major motherboards. Also included are mounting brackets for motherboard sockets for either Intel or AMD processors. You can upgrade the Hyper 212 Evo and LED to dual fans easily through their quick snap fan brackets and a second set of fan clips.

Cooling Performance

The Hyper 212 Evo cools slightly better than the Hyper 212 LED.

Cooler Master used different heat conduction technologies for the Hyper 212 Evo (left) and 212 LED (right).

Two crucial factors affect the Hyper 212 coolers’ actual cooling performance: the fan speed and the heatsink architecture. The Hyper 212 Evo’s fan, which has a sleeve bearing, can reach up to 2,000 revolutions per minute, blowing a maximum of 82.9 cubic feet of air per minute. The rifle bearing fan on the Hyper 212 LED is slower by around 400 RPM, maxing out at 1,600 revs per minute to create around 66.3 cubic feet of airflow per minute. As such, during intense CPU tasks, the 212 Evo can output more airflow to keep the CPU cooler.

In addition, the Hyper 212 Evo features Continuous Direct Contact technology, which essentially means there are no gaps between the heat pipes as they make contact with the CPU. This flat and tightly packed vapor chamber array cools more evenly than the Direct Contact design of the Hyper 212 LED’s heat pipes. The gaps between the pipes can result in uneven heat distribution and reduce the heat sink’s efficiency.

However, while it sounds impressive, the Hyper 212 Evo only cools by around 5% more than the 212 LED. During actual testing, this amounts to around a 1-degree difference both at minimum and maximum RPM. Load temperature testing at a normalized 40dB also shows barely a difference in the cooling performance of both Cooler Master Hyper coolers, which we’d note is considerably less impressive than more expensive CPU coolers (as can be expected).

Noise Levels

The Hyper 212 LED is quieter than the Hyper 212 Evo.

The different bearing types of the Hyper 212 Evo (left) and LED (right) generate different noise levels.

The sleeve bearing on the Hyper 212 Evo’s fan uses oil or grease for lubrication. Because this type of lubricant can dry up faster under high temperatures, it directly affects the friction, vibration and resulting noise levels of the fan. In comparison, the Hyper 212 LED uses rifle bearing, which is much quieter. It’s similar to sleeve bearing but there’s rifling on the liner that pulls the lubricant and spreads it throughout the friction surface.

CPU cooler tests show a considerable difference in their noise levels both at minimum and maximum RPM. The Hyper 212 Evo produces around 32 decibels while on idle and reach up to 53.7 dBA at max load. Meanwhile, the Hyper 212 LED is as quiet as other pricy CPU coolers at 29 dBA while idle, and at 47.7 dBA at max RPM. So despite only being 1 degree warmer, the 212 LED is quieter by around 6 decibels.

Mounting and Life Expectancy

The Hyper 212 LED is easier to mount and lasts longer than the Hyper 212 Evo.

Mounting the Hyper 212 Evo with its included backplate kit (left) is more involved than the clamp for the Hyper 212 LED (right).

Cooler Master has improved its mounting solution over the years, as can be seen when comparing the Hyper 212 Evo and LED. Released 5 years apart, the Hyper 212 Evo uses a backplate mounting system while the 212 LED has an improved universal bracket design that only requires a spring clamp. You’ll need to attach a backplate, screw in nuts and bolts, and line up a mounting bar for the Hyper 212 Evo. The process is much simpler on the Hyper 212 LED, since you only need to put the spring clamp through the heatsink and hook it on both sides.

As to overall durability, the rifle bearing on the Hyper 212 LED gives it a life expectancy of around 280,000 hours. That’s around 4 times that of the Hyper 212 Evo, showing a big advantage over the basic sleeve bearing. Considering that these coolers are available at the same price point, you can expect to get more out of the Hyper 212 LED than the Evo.

Verdict

The Hyper 212 LED is better than the Hyper 212 Evo.

With easier mounting, quieter operation, and longer life expectancy, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 LED wins this comparison quite easily. It’s a great budget cooler that’s recommended if your PC is still using a stock fan. Installing the Hyper 212 LED will result in considerably cooler CPU temperatures, netting you better performance overall. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo can cool your CPU slightly better, so if you can get it at a discount, it’s well worth considering.

FAQs

📌 What’s the difference between the Hyper 212 Evo and Hyper 212 LED?

The Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo and LED differ in their fan bearing type, heat pipe transfer technology and mounting bracket solution. Results-wise, the Hyper 212 Evo cools slightly better while the Hyper 212 LED is quieter.

📌 Is the Hyper 212 Evo loud?

Yes, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is one of the louder CPU coolers available today. It’s moderately loud when the PC is idle.

📌 Do you add thermal compound with the Hyper 212 Evo and LED?

Yes, there’s a small tube included with both the Cooler Master Hyper 212 LED and Evo that you need to apply on the CPU before placing the heatsink.

📌 Does the Hyper 212 Evo and LED have AM4 support?

Yes, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo and Hyper 212 LED have AM4 support out of the box.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Derick Bondoc

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, gaming and snacks.