Cooler Master is working on a successor to the legendary Hyper 212 EVO

There's a reason the Hyper 212 EVO has been our go-to air cooler recommendation since at least 2012: at around $25, the price/performance ratio is just about unbeatable. Maybe there's a cheaper or more efficient cooler out there, but the Hyper 212 has always been reliable, and offers a huge bump in cooling power over a stock cooler, good enough to handle an overclocked CPU no problem.

Cooler Master knows it's one of its most beloved products, which is why it isn't handling a refresh lightly. Cooler Master brought an in-development version of the new "H212 Concept" to Computex 2018 to show it off and get feedback on the design.

"It's a concept design and we're asking for feedback at Computex, then going back to the drawing board to do the next 212," thermal product manager Dennis Liu told me. "We want the performance, the look, everything to be perfect for the launch."

Liu walked me through the concept design as it stands. The radiator fins are enclosed on the sides where the fan mounts, to increase airflow through the radiator and improve performance. There are now five heat pipes instead of four. "It will fit almost all types of RAM," Liu said, thanks to a bit more curvature and higher clearance. 

The enclosed sides near the fan will push more air through the radiator.

Most importantly, the mounting bracket is getting a revamp. The only downside to the Hyper 212 was how annoying that mounting bracket was to install, and while the new bracket concept wasn't attached on the show floor, Liu told me Cooler Master knows that's a sore spot. You can see the different mount point in the photo below. It's not awkwardly stuck under the center of the radiator anymore!

The concept also looks pretty different thanks to a black plastic housing over the top of the radiator, which includes an RGB LED. But it sounds like there's plenty of opportunity for change between now and release. For example, the current design wouldn't allow for a second fan on the back side of the cooler, which was an addition a lot of Hyper 212 EVO users liked to make.

If you're a Hyper 212 owner with opinions on its successor, let Cooler Master know. Liu said the cooler should be out by the end of the year.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).