Cooler Master TPC 812 CPU Cooler Review



Product: Cooler Master TPC 812
Company: Cooler Master
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: September 9th, 2012

Introduction

Today we're evaluating Cooler Master's TPC 812 CPU cooler, a vapor chamber heatpipe tower design in the enthusiast level premium-range price segment ($70USD). The TPC 812 is a marketed as the 'first ever CPU heatsink to utilize vertical vapor chamber cooling and combine it with heat pipe technology', and is compatible with all modern CPU sockets: AMD Sockets AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+/FM1, and Intel Sockets 775/1155/1156/1336 and Socket 2011.

CoolerMaster TPC 812

The TPC 812 uses six heatpipes mounted in a nicked plated copper base and two vertical vapor chambers, all transfering heat into an aluminum fin array. Shipped without thermal paste pre-applied, the base is protected by a clear plastic sheet that needs to be removed before use and, for us, did not leave a sticky residue that needed to be cleaned before use. A tube of Cooler Master thermal paste was included.

Heatpipe and Vapor Chamber assembly

The TPC 812 is shipped with a single 120mm fan, a sleeve bearing type rated for 40,000hrs - a lot longer than the 2 year warranty covered by Cooler Master. The fan is rated from 19dBA to 40dBA depending on speed, which is 600-2000rpm and controlled by PWM from the mainboard. At 600rpm the fan is rated at a respectable ~20CFM, which increases to a powerful ~86CFM at full speed; the included silent mode adapter restricts maximum speed to 1600rpm, rated at 60CFM. A second fan adapter bracket is included, to upgrade the cooling to a push-pull configuration if you think the standard unit's 300W capacity isn't enough. Likely it is, and a second fan would serve to increase cooling at lower speeds, and hence reduce noise.

The whole unit weighs in at just over 2lbs, or 978g in new money. Standing 138mm tall, 103mm wide and 163mm thick it is designed for mid-tower or desktop tower cases, not slimline or HTPC use. The quality of manufacture appears good, the usual standard we've come to expect from CoolerMaster products - it feels solid and weighty; the aluminum cooling fans aren't fragile and bent by simple handling.

Cooler Master use a bolt through bracket design which necessitates a case with appropriate socket cut out in the mainboard tray to avoid removing the mobo. Based on our install experience, we'd recommend removing the mainboard anyway as you need to have access to both sides of the socket at once, which makes in case installation difficult without a third hand. Installing the bracket is quite simple, consisting of installing stand-offs for the cooler to bolt to; for AMD boards this requires removing the standard socket mounting brackets. The included nut driver tool makes installing the backplate and stand-offs simple, but be careful not to overtighten - a quarter turn past finger tight is all thats needed; modern multi-layer PCBs don't take kindly to being crushed. The heastink bolts to the stand offs simply enough with a central peg applying pressure to the base on to the CPU's heatspreader. Torque down the screws in rotation a little at a time, we recommend you test fit before removing the plastic cover protecting the base of the heatsink and applying thermal paste to the CPU. The spring mounted retaining screws hold the cooler firmly and securely, while allowing a little wiggle room to protect the mobo and cpu from sudden jerks or bumps on the heatsink itself.