A tower of heat-removing power.
Despite Ivy Bridge’s move to a more energy-efficient 22nm process, the 3D transistor technology and smaller die size results in one steamy little chip when pushed to its limits. Tweakers wanting to overclock Ivy Bridge need a high-performance cooler more than ever and the new TPC 812 aims to fill that need.
It does so by claiming to be the first heatsink to ever use vertical vapour chamber cooling. In non-nerd terms, this means that alongside the usual heatpipes are two large flat pieces of metal, filled with an unnamed liquid. As the liquid heats at the CPU contact point, it travels up towards the radiator fins, where it cools and liquefies, before returning to the CPU. As far as we can tell, this functions the same way as a normal heatpipe, but within a wider pipe.
This is a multipurpose performer, with mounting kits included for all current AMD and Intel platforms, including the whopping-big Socket 2011. Installation is relatively easy, thanks to the clearly illustrated instruction sheets, though it’s a little fiddly given the many pieces. At full speed the 2,400rpm 120mm fan emits an audible if subtle whir, but the included speed adapter drops it to a whisper-quiet 1,600rpm. We tested at full speed on an overclocked i5-2500k, where it registered an excellent load temperature of 79°C, which puts it towards the front of the pack when compared to other coolers, such as the Thermalright Siver Arrow (77°C) and Noctua NH-D14 (75°C).
Considering this single fan cooler is almost keeping up with the dual-fan behemoths, Cooler Master is obviously onto something with the vapour chamber technique. With its twin chambers, the TPC 812 offers solid performance at a respectable price.
- Intel Socket: LGA 2011/1366/1156/1155/775
- AMD Socket: FM1/AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2
- Weighs 826g
Pros: Solid performance, quiet operation, not as big as dual-fan coolers.
Cons: Not quite top-tier performance, still large despite single fan.
Verdict: 8/10 (Highly Recommended)
Available from Cooler Master, retailing for $85.