[SOLVED] Need advice on air CPU cooler

Avik Basu

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I need to buy a new cooler for my CPU and this is my first time so I have a couple of questions about it.

One of the coolers I'm looking at is the Hyper 212 Black Edition but there seem to be two of those with a huge price difference. The basic Black one costs double the price of the RGB black one whereas both of them have the same RPM but the RGB one comes with more fins. Doesn't that make the RGB one slightly better since I've heard more fins mean better cooling? Why does the basic one cost double? Is the RGB one inferior somehow?

Of course, that's the costlier option. The other cooler I'm looking at is the Antec A400 for a budget solution. But I can't find any reviews on it. So I want to ask how good of a performer is it? And how much of a performance difference is there between it and the Hyper 212 Black? I know that it has a slightly lower RPM than the Black. I'm sure, looking at the price of the Black, it is a better performer than the A400. But can the A400 be used as a good budget cooler to avoid the costlier road?

To give an understanding of my situation, my room gets very hot for most of the year but especially in summer. It can easily reach 34C. Around winter and spring, the CPU would idle at 43C-48C and get as hot as 68C-73C. Now it idles at 53C-58C and can get as hot as 75C-80C. Although I have two intake fans I doubt the air that they are blowing in is much cooler than what the two exhausts are blowing out.
I just started playing PUBG and I have to play at low settings with the FPS capped at 30 to keep the temperature at around 69C-72C. But there are spikes in when the matches are loading and the temperature touches 80C-84C. Then there are moments after a couple of hours when the temperature goes to 78C-79C for a few seconds while playing a match. And it's not just PUBG but GTA 5 took it over 80C on highest settings and AC Odyssey can take it to 75C-79C on medium settings. My usage is about 3 hours of gaming and an hour or two of basic work per session. I'm not an overclocker and I don't do anything other than gaming that would put stress on my PC.

Also, will either of these two cooler fit my case?

My specs are :-

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (with stock cooler)
Asus B450-E Gaming motherboard
G.Skill Trident Z 3200MHz 2x8GB RAM
Asus GTX760 DC2 2GB DDR5 GPU
Corsair TX650M 650W PSU
WD Black 1TB HDD
Cooler Master Masterfan MF120R A-RGB 3x1 case fans
Carbide 175R Case with 1x fan.
 
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Phaaze88

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1)The RGB/ARGB version of the same fan is always weaker. The LEDs add to the total power draw and the manufacturers want to keep the power draw under a certain threshold, whatever that number is.

2)There's more than 2 versions of the Hyper 212: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/cpu-cooler/#m=50&W=0
I'm not seeing 2x the price difference between the ones you're talking about, so I assume it's a country/region-specific thing.

3)You'll need to spend more than that to get more reasonable temps.
Get the Hyper 212, and you will find that the temps changed very little, or not at all, and that is due to Ryzen 3000's boost curve.
The extra thermal headroom created by the Hyper 212 will allow the cpu to reach for higher boost clocks, and you'll be back to square 1 on thermals.

4)My suggestion: Get, or save up, for a 240mm AIO for that cpu, mount it in the top of the chassis as exhaust, and keep the rear fan as exhaust. Liquid coolers are more efficient in warmer climates.
You're welcome to leave your ARGB fans in the front, but depending on how restrictive your chassis' front panel is, the front fans might need to be given up entirely. Test to be sure.
 
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Phaaze88

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1)The RGB/ARGB version of the same fan is always weaker. The LEDs add to the total power draw and the manufacturers want to keep the power draw under a certain threshold, whatever that number is.

2)There's more than 2 versions of the Hyper 212: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/cpu-cooler/#m=50&W=0
I'm not seeing 2x the price difference between the ones you're talking about, so I assume it's a country/region-specific thing.

3)You'll need to spend more than that to get more reasonable temps.
Get the Hyper 212, and you will find that the temps changed very little, or not at all, and that is due to Ryzen 3000's boost curve.
The extra thermal headroom created by the Hyper 212 will allow the cpu to reach for higher boost clocks, and you'll be back to square 1 on thermals.

4)My suggestion: Get, or save up, for a 240mm AIO for that cpu, mount it in the top of the chassis as exhaust, and keep the rear fan as exhaust. Liquid coolers are more efficient in warmer climates.
You're welcome to leave your ARGB fans in the front, but depending on how restrictive your chassis' front panel is, the front fans might need to be given up entirely. Test to be sure.
 
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Bobbrugge

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I used the hyper evo 212 for years. I switched to a CLC 280 AIO and dropped 20C.
A stock cooler is less than ideal. If you have a small case, the 212 won't fit with a closed case, meaning you will have to leave the side cover open.
At least with a 212 you can change the fans very easily and if you are after a certain color, you can get fans that are a single color.
They say the Noctua version cools as good as a 240mm AIO, and it might, but it weighs almost 5 lbs. Whats that going to do to your MOBO? I would expect over time, and with heat, it would weaken and maybe even eat a MOBO. Maybe it has a steel backer plate or something.
I used mine with an AMD CPU which is only supposed to run 62C max. Not sure what you have under the hood, but the 212 may not be enough still. I would think you could almost certainly guarantee lower temps with anything over a stock cooler.
EDIT: Looking at your case, the 212 may cause fitment issues. If you don't care about your side cover, the 212 would probably be ok. The other thing I see about your case is not a lot of case fans. You said you have 2 intake and 2 exhaust? Where? Do you have room for more intake?
 
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I wouldn't bother with an AIO for a Ryzen 3600. Spending around $100 or more on a cooler for a mid-range processor with limited overclocking headroom seems like a bit of a waste, and AIOs tend to be less reliable than air coolers. And even something like a 212 Black is likely to run somewhat cooler and should stay quieter under load than the stock cooler.

If you are seeing double the price for the non-RGB 212 Black, than that's probably because supplies are low and the store is price-gouging on their remaining inventory. Normally, the RGB version should cost around $5 more.
 

Avik Basu

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@Phaaze88
I'm not really looking for RGB fans but they are the ones that are easily available. I know there are other Hyper 212s but the only other one available to me is the Hyper 212 LED which too does not only have LED but only has one color and I'm not sure if it can be turned off. I'm looking at the Hyper 212 RGB Black because it can not only have different colors but since the box says that it is compatible with popular RGB programs I'm assuming I can even turn the RGB off if I don't like it.

I thought AIOs weren't useful for a PC in a hot room. I don't know how liquid cooling works so forgive me if this is a silly question but if the cooler is using warm air coming in through the intakes then how is it cooling the liquid in the cooler? With air coolers, I thought it was mostly about expelling the hot air instead of trying to cool it with new air. Also, liquid cooling makes me nervous. I'm worried about the liquid leaking. I know the probability of it is low because if that happened regularly then people wouldn't buy them. But it still makes me nervous since I don't have the budget to replace whatever the spilled liquid might damage. Of course, if it meant that that's the better solution then I won't be against it.

Also, what did you mean by testing it? Test it how? All I have is my stock cooler. And If I use the AIO as an exhaust then will it be an exhaust for everything else in the case too or just the CPU?

@Bobbrugge
Do you use your PC in a hot room?

I know that Noctua is a highly praised brand when it comes to air cooling. But I would have to get one imported from Taiwan via Newegg and I don't feel too comfortable about that, especially during a pandemic. Not sure about its weight though.

The website for my case says that the max height of a cooler it can fit is 160mm. And almost all coolers with 120mm fans are just a couple of mm short of 160mm. Wouldn't that mean they should fit?

I have 2 intake fans in the front, one of them came with the case. And 2 exhaust fans, one at the back and one right about the CPU. I do have room for 2 more and I do plan to fill them up. But if I end up getting an AIO then I won't have to buy new fans since I can just move the top one to the front and have the 240 AIO at the top as @Phaaze88 said. If not then adding new fans isn't my priority right now.

@cryoburner
I have heard air coolers are better than AIO. But I think the condition where the PC is plays a big big role in what works best. Considering my condition would you say air cooler would work better?

And it is a matter of availability. I think the basic Black would have to be imported. Not sure about the RGB Black. But neither of them are showing how products are usually shown on Amazon. The prices are lesser on Newegg, but again, I'm not too comfortable about importing.
 
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Phaaze88

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1)I live in a similarly warm climate as you - the warm room temps do not affect load temps. They do affect idle temps to a small degree though.
Running heavy loads - say Cinebench R20 - for several hours at a time can raise room temps slightly.

2)Whether air or liquid cooling, you won't succeed in getting temps lower than the room temp, and the temperature inside the chassis will always be some 10-15C higher, unless it's an open test bed.

3)A Hyper 212, regardless of the model, isn't a big enough step up above the Ryzen stock cooler. You will get similar cpu load temps, because the cpu will then be able to reach for higher boost frequencies.
Then you'll be back here because the Hyper 212 didn't help temps.

4)Your idle temps and load temps are fine. It's the combination of:
-Ryzen 3000's boost behavior
-Corsair Carbide 175R's constrained front air intake. It doesn't matter that you have fans in the front, they still won't bring in as much air compared to a mesh panel, or no panel.
-The greater thermal density of the 7nm process VS a higher one

5)By 'testing', I meant the front case fans you're currently using. Test with them in the front VS removed, because front intake fans in some enclosed front panel models have the funky behavior of RECYCLING the already exhausted warm air.

6)"I thought AIOs weren't useful for a PC in a hot room."
It would be just as 'hot' if you were on air. A liquid cooler - at least a 240mm - would have the advantage of lower idle, and thus lower temps overall.
Thermals also wouldn't bounce around as much either, as liquid has a greater thermal tolerance than air and takes longer to saturate, but you can get around this by simply getting a bigger air cooler.
Don't bother with a 120 or 140mm, as those would be in the same position as a Hyper 212.



TL; DR(I do get long-winded at times)
-Both idle and load thermals that you've reported are fine.
-The Hyper 212, or it's alternatives, is not strong enough for your objective. You need to invest in a larger air cooler or a 240mm AIO.
 
3)A Hyper 212, regardless of the model, isn't a big enough step up above the Ryzen stock cooler. You will get similar cpu load temps, because the cpu will then be able to reach for higher boost frequencies.
Then you'll be back here because the Hyper 212 didn't help temps.
I haven't seen any reviews correlating this. Those I've seen has shown the 212 Black getting around 10 degrees lower temperatures at idle, and around 15 degrees or better under heavy all-core loads, while also spinning its fan at around 1500 RPM, as opposed to around 2500 RPM on the Stealth, making it significantly quieter as well. A Hyper 212 might not be as much of an improvement over the larger, heatpipe-equipped Wraith Prism that comes with the 3700X, but it's definitely a step up from the Wraith Spire that comes with the 3600X, let alone the smaller Wraith Stealth that the 3600 ships with.

Spending close to $100 or more on a higher-end aftermarket cooler for a Ryzen 3600 would be a bit silly for most, since at that point, one might be better off using the money to get a 3700X instead.
 

Avik Basu

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@Phaaze88
Are you talking about the fans or the radiator too? Like, are you saying 2x120mm fans of a liquid cooler will be stronger than even a 140mm fan of an air cooler? Or are you saying that the 2x120mm fans and a 240mm radiator are better than a 140mm fan and heat pipes of an air cooler? Not that I'm disregarding what you're saying but even air coolers come with 2 fans. Granted that that would make the cooler even bigger and I'm not even sure if a single fan one would fit.

Also, I ran some tests as you said and in idle mode, the temp is around 50C-53C with/without intake fans and with/without from cover. I also tested it out with PUBG and at 60FPS on medium settings, the temp is around 73C-75C with/without fan and with cover. But without fan and cover, it went to 64C. Then I tried it at 90FPS on medium settings, the temp is around 75C without fan/cover, 77C without fan but with cover, 80C with fan and cover, 66C with fan but without cover. So I don't think that front fans are hurting much except for maybe 1C-2C more with cover. But without cover, they are definitely performing better under load.

I know that 75C-77C is a bit warm but under control temps. But there are spikes that go over 80C. Also, when playing the Vikendi map the temps go even higher with the spikes going around 87C-89C. That can't be good. And this is on low settings (for Vikendi). When I upgrade my GPU I would like the graphics settings to go to at least high if not higher. The CPU temp will surely rise more then.

@cryoburner
If I go for the Hyper 212 RGB Black I'd have to spend about that much anyway. Maybe half of that for the Hyper 212 LED. Also, wouldn't the doubled RPM of 2 fans of an AIO be better than the RPM of a single air cooler fan?
 

Phaaze88

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I haven't seen any reviews correlating this. Those I've seen has shown the 212 Black getting around 10 degrees lower temperatures at idle, and around 15 degrees or better under heavy all-core loads,
What, on an Intel cpu? It's not going to be the same with the OP's Ryzen 3600.
There's already an airflow restriction due to the Carbide 175R, and we also don't know what the all core turbos are now, but I'm sure it's not hitting 4.2ghz - never mind single core 4.2ghz, that's not the issue here.
If the OP were to put a Hyper 212 on there right now, it'll give the cpu more reason to reach towards 4.2ghz, and the thermals will be right back where they were before.

There's nothing wrong with 80C on these chips, but to go out of the way to get much lower than that is going to require 'overkill' coolers:
-to get around the higher power consumption from the cpu reaching towards it's max boost across all cores
-to have extra headroom left from what ever that point may be
I agree that's silly, but I'm not the one making a big deal out of it when there's really nothing wrong yet.
 

Phaaze88

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Are you talking about the fans or the radiator too? Like, are you saying 2x120mm fans of a liquid cooler will be stronger than even a 140mm fan of an air cooler?
No, I'm was talking about air and liquid themselves. Air saturates quicker than liquid does.

Also, I ran some tests as you said and in idle mode, the temp is around 50C-53C with/without intake fans and with/without from cover. I also tested it out with PUBG and at 60FPS on medium settings, the temp is around 73C-75C with/without fan and with cover. But without fan and cover, it went to 64C. Then I tried it at 90FPS on medium settings, the temp is around 75C without fan/cover, 77C without fan but with cover, 80C with fan and cover, 66C with fan but without cover. So I don't think that front fans are hurting much except for maybe 1C-2C more with cover. But without cover, they are definitely performing better under load.

I know that 75C-77C is a bit warm but under control temps. But there are spikes that go over 80C. Also, when playing the Vikendi map the temps go even higher with the spikes going around 87C-89C. That can't be good. And this is on low settings (for Vikendi). When I upgrade my GPU I would like the graphics settings to go to at least high if not higher. The CPU temp will surely rise more then.
You didn't bother to check the core frequencies. That was the most important part of the test...

Why are we only looking at the 212 and not the Arctic 34 eSports DUO or either be quiet! Pure Rock 2 or Shadow Rock 3 for the same (or lower) price.
IDK, maybe the OP can't afford them, or they're not available for them?
 

madmatt30

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The 3600 only comes with the smaller wraith stealth, I think people are underestimating a 212, it's capable of knocking 15-20c off the stealth temps.

I think your estimates of temp differences are with the bigger wraith spire that comes with the 3600x.
 

Avik Basu

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You didn't bother to check the core frequencies. That was the most important part of the test...
How do I check those? From what I see in the report it says all 6 cores were at 37.0 max and clock speed at 3810.39MHz according to HWMonitor in all the reports. I still have the reports if you wanna see them. But I don't know how to show them unless I copy/paste each report individually. That's gonna make a really long post.

I tried Afterburner and it showed AC Odyssey and GTA 5 behaving themselves and staying at low to mid 70s with sometimes touching 80C-82C but coming back down a few seconds later. But PUBG went the other way. It generally stayed at the mid to late 70s but sometimes it would go to 80C-82C and either come back after a few minutes or stay there until the end of the match. I'm guessing it's more about the game than the CPU. I know PUBG has optimization issues and who knows what else. Or maybe both of them have a hand in it.

I'm not in a rush to change my cooler. I would like to avoid it if I can. But the way it had acted and is still acting with PUBG I just wanna know if I need to take precautions. And if not then when do I need to start worrying? I read many comments about people saying they get 60C-70C temp with their new coolers at 100% usage. I'm getting nearly 80C at about a quarter of the usage so it makes me worry.

The 3600 only comes with the smaller wraith stealth, I think people are underestimating a 212, it's capable of knocking 15-20c off the stealth temps.

I think your estimates of temp differences are with the bigger wraith spire that comes with the 3600x.
Even with front air intake issues like me?
 

madmatt30

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How do I check those? From what I see in the report it says all 6 cores were at 37.0 max and clock speed at 3810.39MHz according to HWMonitor in all the reports. I still have the reports if you wanna see them. But I don't know how to show them unless I copy/paste each report individually. That's gonna make a really long post.

I tried Afterburner and it showed AC Odyssey and GTA 5 behaving themselves and staying at low to mid 70s with sometimes touching 80C-82C but coming back down a few seconds later. But PUBG went the other way. It generally stayed at the mid to late 70s but sometimes it would go to 80C-82C and either come back after a few minutes or stay there until the end of the match. I'm guessing it's more about the game than the CPU. I know PUBG has optimization issues and who knows what else. Or maybe both of them have a hand in it.

I'm not in a rush to change my cooler. I would like to avoid it if I can. But the way it had acted and is still acting with PUBG I just wanna know if I need to take precautions. And if not then when do I need to start worrying? I read many comments about people saying they get 60C-70C temp with their new coolers at 100% usage. I'm getting nearly 80C at about a quarter of the usage so it makes me worry.



Even with front air intake issues like me?
Yes, poor case airflow won't make a difference to the fact that the 212 has a far bigger surface area and a bigger fan, it will dissipate heat faster than a wraith spire.
The fact that it throws heated air straight towards the rear exhaust also means its taken out of the case faster.

It absolutely will drop temps, I have no doubt at all.
Not the best cooler around and only popular nowadays really because its so cheap for its performance level.
Its a fairly decent aftermarket cooler but nothing more.
 

geofelt

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My sympathies. 34c.(93f.) is very uncomfortable.
Any cooler, liquid or air(excepting peltier) starts at ambient and the good ones will be 10-15c above that at idle.
That is what you have.
There is not much you can do about it except perhaps installing an air conditioner for your room with an outside exhaust.
It sounds like your case fans are able to supply the cooler with a reasonable amount of fresh air.
Your GTX760 is an older/hotter card that is contributing to heat inside your case.
If you could replace it with a modern card like a GTX1050ti, it would perform better and generate less heat.
 

Avik Basu

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@Phaaze88



With cover, PUBG medium settings at 60FPS



Without front cover, PUBG medium settings at 60FPS



Without front and side cover, PUBG medium settings at 60FPS

It rained today so the room has been a bit cooler and the front fans have been getting cool air, unlike other days but it still reaches 80C and stays there for a few minutes.
I hope all the information you need is in the screenshots.
 

Avik Basu

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Yes, poor case airflow won't make a difference to the fact that the 212 has a far bigger surface area and a bigger fan, it will dissipate heat faster than a wraith spire.
The fact that it throws heated air straight towards the rear exhaust also means its taken out of the case faster.

It absolutely will drop temps, I have no doubt at all.
Not the best cooler around and only popular nowadays really because its so cheap for its performance level.
Its a fairly decent aftermarket cooler but nothing more.
How is it compared to liquid coolers of the same price range?
 

madmatt30

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How is it compared to liquid coolers of the same price range?
A liquid cooler for the same price as the 212?

Unless you're being badly ripped off on the 212 then I wouldot;entertain it, a cheap 120mm aio has no redeeming features apart from aesthetic value.

You're introducing an extra element of possible malfunction into the build when you run an aio.
I don't trust cheap models, the pumps tend to cheaply made, the tubing is too thin and the pump pressure is too low to be of any great efficiency.

I'd honestly like to see some photos of your setup internally if possible, that drop when the front panel is removed is so severe I'd honestly have expected more difference to be made with the side panel off than the front.
 

Avik Basu

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A liquid cooler for the same price as the 212?

Unless you're being badly ripped off on the 212 then I wouldot;entertain it, a cheap 120mm aio has no redeeming features apart from aesthetic value.

You're introducing an extra element of possible malfunction into the build when you run an aio.
I don't trust cheap models, the pumps tend to cheaply made, the tubing is too thin and the pump pressure is too low to be of any great efficiency.

I'd honestly like to see some photos of your setup internally if possible, that drop when the front panel is removed is so severe I'd honestly have expected more difference to be made with the side panel off than the front.
I should have been more clear. The 212 RGB Black would cost me about $85 in my currency. But let's round it off at $100. Still too cheap?






A bit messy but way cleaner than my previous setup.
 

Avik Basu

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Your GTX760 is an older/hotter card that is contributing to heat inside your case.
If you could replace it with a modern card like a GTX1050ti, it would perform better and generate less heat.
I was planning on upgrading a couple of months back. But with the lockdown happening and news of the next series of GPUs coming out in a few months I decided to wait.
 

geofelt

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Your tests indicate that there is an issue getting fresh air to yout cooler to let it do it's job.
My reading of the specs for your case allows 3 120mm fans to be mounted in front.
I think I would first see how you do moving the top fan to the front.
This should do several things.
  1. More fresh air will come into the case. That air will exit someplace taking component heat with it.
  2. The current top exhaust is diverting cooling air from the cpu cooler. Without the top exhaust, the cooling air will go more directly over the cooler and out the back.
  3. If your front intakes are filtered, your parts will stay cleaner. Now, the top exhaust is drawing in unfiltered air from adjacent openings.
To answer your original question, either a hyper212 or an antec 400 will fit. Your case allows up to 160mm for a cooler.
Most any single tower type cooler with a 120mm fan will perform similarly.
Such a cooler will capture the natural airflow better than your current downdraft type.
You need no more.
I personally found the hyper212 difficult to get mounted properly, but it would do a good job.
If you can find one, at a reasonable price, the scythe kotetsu is an outstanding 120mm cooler which I have used before.
For mounting, Noctua is the simplest, but their coolers are more expensive. NH-U12s is excellent.
 

madmatt30

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^geofelt - the am4 mounting on the 212 coolers is way way easier than the old am3 and Intel mounts, mainly because the stock AM4 backplate is much bigger so it doesn't actually have to be replaced anymore.

Edit - I'm wrong, it's virtually the same 🤣
I assumed it was the same as the replacement AM4 mounting kit for the older 212 - which made much more sense.
 

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