Articles

Cooler Master TPC 812 Vertical Vapor Chamber CPU Cooler Review

tpc-812

One of Cooler Master's primary markets is centered around industrial cooling solutions, which gave birth to their vapor chamber cooling technology.  The TPC 812 is Cooler Master's first cooler to incorporate this cooling technology into a mainstream enthusiast cooler.  With a total rated heat dissipation of 300W, and priced squarely into the meat of the enthusiast cooler market, the TPC 812 is prepared to make a splash.

 

Introduction

The first ever CPU heatsink to utilize vertical vapor chamber cooling and combine it with heat pipe technology, TPC 812 is prepared to handle the massive heat generated by overclocking and benchmarking. Vertical vapor chamber working in tandem with heat pipes and a specialized heatsink and fin design allow the TPC 812 to outperform the competition.

 

Features

1. The TPC 812 uses 2 separate cooling technologies to transfer heat – heat pipes and vertical vapor chambers.
2. Ready for overclocking, benchmarking and silent cooling.
3. The first-ever CPU heatsink to use vertical vapor chamber technology.
4. 100% pure polished copper base – combined with improved soldering technologies for the best thermal transfer.
5. Special fin design – heatsink receives concentrated cold airflow.
6. Improved air pressure design and fan mounting system.

 

Specifications

Model RR-T812-24PK-R1
CPU Socket Intel Socket:
LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 *

AMD Socket:
FM1 / AM3+ / AM3 / AM2+ / AM2
CPU Support Intel:
Core™ i7 Extreme / Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Core™2 Extreme / Core™2 Quad / Core™2 Duo / Pentium / Celeron

AMD:
FX-Series / A-Series / Phenom™ II X4 / Phenom™ II X3 / Phenom™ II X2 / Phenom™ X4 / Phenom™ X3 / Athlon™ II X4 / Athlon™ II X3 / Athlon™ II X2 / Athlon™ X2 / Athlon™ / Sempron™
Dimension 138 x 103 x 163mm (5.4 x 4.1 x 6.4 in)
Heat Sink Dimensions 134 x 74 x 158 mm (5.3 x 2.9 x 6.2 in)
Heat Sink Material Copper Base / 2 Vapor Chambers
6 Heatpipes / Aluminum Fins
Heat Sink Weight 826g (1.83 lb)
Heat Pipes Dimensions ø6mm
Fan Dimension 120 x 120 x 25mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 in)
Fan Speed 600 – 2,400 RPM (PWM) ± 10%
(1,600 RPM with Silent Mode Adapter)
Fan Airflow 19.17 - 86.15 CFM ± 10%
(59.54 CFM @ 1600RPM)
Fan Air Pressure 0.31 – 4.16 mm H2O ± 10%
(1.99mm H2O @ 1600RPM)
Fan Life Expectancy 40,000 hrs
Fan Noise Level (dB-A) 19 - 40 dBA
Bearing Type Long Life Sleeve Bearing
Connector 4-Pin
Fan Rated Voltage 12 VDC
Fan Rated Current 0.2A
Power consumption 2.4W
Fan Weight 152g (0.34 lb)
Notice * Supplied accessories may differ by country or area. Please check with your local distributor for further details.
Warranty 2 years

UPC Code

884102015229

 

Packaging

DSC 1204DSC 1205

DSC 1206

The TPC 812 comes neatly packed in a dark grey and black boxe, with Cooler Master's purple coloring accenting the edges, while the features and specs are detailed on each face of the box.  In addition to the cooler, a quick reference and multilingual installation guide, a small tube of thermal paste, two additonal fan mounting brackets, and all necessary hardware for universal mounting compatibility (even LGA 2011) are included.



DSC 1207

DSC 1209DSC 1210

The TPC 812 brings alot to the table, and is sized similarly to many mid-range and enthusiast coolers, but is much smaller than dual-tower configurations.  Cooler Master ships a single 120mm fan to wick heat away from the heatsink fins, and includes the necessary brackets to quickly mount another fan for a push-pull configuration.  The side brackets are designed to prevent spillage over the sides of the fan chassis, and helps focus the flow through the fins, improving airflow through the fins.

 

DSC 1211DSC 1215

The fins were designed to optimize air pressure through the fins, and one of the design features which is enabling in this regard are the grooves on the faces which the fans mount on.  The fans are also slightly spaced from the edge of the fins to prevent flow stagnation which hinders overall airflow, and subsequently the conductive efficiency of the heatsink.  Cooler Master has added a subtle touch to top out the visible top fin, by printing their insignia in a light grey color, and the tops of the heatpipes and vapor chambers are capped by chrome-colored plastic.

 

DSC 1212DSC 1213

The TPC 812 has a traditional 6-heatpipe design which each part ways to each side of the fin stack, and here we can see the star of the show:  Cooler Master's Vertical Vapor Chambers.  The vertical vapor chambers are rather blade-like, which yields a significant advantage, which is contact surface area with both the airflow between the fins, and with the fins themselves.  This results in more rapid heat dissipation and greater overall thermal capacity.  The bladed shape also impedes the airflow less, and doesn't create substantial flow vortices that circular heatpipes do, which contribute to noise and pressure fluctuations.  The overall result is greater thermal capacity enabled by the Vertical Vapor Chambers, with little to no noise or airflow tradeoffs.

 

The contact base is a solid copper block with nickel plating and is machine polished to a smooth, mirror-like finish.  The base is thicker than many coolers to accommodate the Vertical Vapor Chambers stacked ontop of the heatpipes.

 

DSC 1216

Cooler Master ships a 120mm fan with an "S" blade design which has shown from experience to push a lot of air while remaining quiet.  The fan is capable of a relatively high 2400RPM for demanding overclocking applications, and it may be limited to 1600RPM with an included 4-pin adapter to ensure it remains quiet.  A holographic sticker adds a splash of eye-catching styling which looks very neat when it's spinning.  When the fan is run at full speed, it is relatively loud, and can be clearly identified over other system fans when they're turned up to full speed.  When using an "auto" fan setting, it's pleasantly quiet and is relatively unnoticeable over the other fans.


Installation

DSC 1217 DSC 1218

Cooler Master's universal mounting brackets are simple and intuitive to use, and is one of the easier coolers I've found to install myself.  The backplate is secured on its own, then the cooler lowered onto it, and the cooler is small enough where my rather thick screwdriver easily accessed the screws to secure it down.  Springs ensure firm pressure without being able to overdue it, and potentially cause damage to your motherboard as time goes by.  Cooler Master has consistently designed some of the easier mounting methods, which becomes especially noticeable as a reviewer when we find ourselves frequently swapping coolers... we notice even slight improvements, and it can be the difference between a pleasantly uneventful experience, and a complete headache.

 If you use high-profile RAM, clearance may become an issue, as our Patriot Viper Xtreme kits came flush up against the bottom of the fan chassis, but with careful coaxing, we were still able to nestle them underneath the fan.


Test System:

CPU: Intel i5-2500K

Thermal Paste: Noctua NT-H1

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V Pro

RAM: 2x4GB Patriot Viper Xtreme II 1600MHz DDR3

GPU: ASUS GTX 560Ti 448 Core

OS HDD: Patriot Pyro 60GB SSD

Secondary HDD: Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD

 

Idle Testing

For idle testing, we booted up the system, allowed the CPU to stabilized at ~0% usage, and then tested for at least 10 minutes, and we used RealTemp to record the CPU temperatures once the temperatures were stable.  We tested two different conditions of the i5-2500K, the first is completely stock and default settings, and the second is overclocked to 3.8GHz and 1.26V. The single temperature recorded was the average between the four cores.

Idle-temps

OC-Idle-temps

 

Load Testing

For our load tests, we used Prime95 to stress the CPU to 100%, and let it run that way until the temperatures became stable (allowing 15 minutes minimum), and then used RealTemp to record the temperatures.  We tested two different conditions of the i5-2500K, the first is completely stock and default settings, and the second is overclocked to 3.8GHz and 1.26V.  The single value recorded is the average temperature of the four cores.

Stock-load-temps

OC-Load-temps

 

Results

We see very strong performance from the TPC 812 up against the monstrous Titan Fenrir Siberia and the comparably-sized Arctic Freezer i-30.  What we see is that the performance gap widens as we increase our power draw (the heat output), due to the Vertical Vapor Chambers beginning to be utilized.  At lower loads, the heatpipes are capable of handling the heat, and the Vertical Vapor Chambers don't see much heat to wick away.  Think of it as an extra lane for traffic alongside a freeway which acts as overflow, when the freeway is flowing smooth because it doesn't have a large vehicle load, the standby lane doesn't receive much traffic, and doesn't help much either.  What this says is that when other coolers begin to struggle, and their temps begin to climb quickly as you increase your overclock because the heatpipes are saturated, the temperatures when using TPC 812 will rise much shallower as the extra "lane" created by the Vertical Vapor Chambers begins to absorb the extra loading.

 

The TPC 812 bests the Arctic Freezer i30 by 2.5 degrees Celsius under overclocked loads, which is 5 percent better, which certainly not insignificant, especially when pushing your clocks into the 4+ GHz range.

 

We will also be testing the TPC 812 on our i7-3930K where we will push the coolers to high temperatures, and see how this thermal curve develops as we push the TPC 812 closer to its rated 300W TDP.  We will update the review once we've completed all of our Sandy Bridge-E testing.

 


Final Thoughts

The TPC 812 is marketed as a high-end cooler, and it performs like one, but is priced rather aggressively at $70 MSRP.  For enthusiasts and overclockers, this makes the TPC 812 a very appealing option at a mid-range price-point, but 300W TDP of high performance cooling capability.  When comparing to the Arctic Cooling Freezer i30, which retails at an MSRP of $50, we see that the advantages for the $20 premium are not as appealing if you don't plan on utilizing Cooler Master's Vertical Vapor Chamber technology by overclocking or using your system in a demanding fashion.  The fan included with the Arctic Freezer i30 is also equipped with a fluid dynamic bearing, whereas the TPC 812's fan has a long-life sleeved bearing, and the Freezer i30 is also somewhat lighter, both work in favor of Arctic's offering.

 

DSC 1215

 

However, when considering overclocking, 24/7 runtimes, or other demanding scenarios, the $20 difference becomes increasingly valuable, as the TPC 812's performance advantage widens with greater loads, and for enthusiasts, the $20 difference is relatively small, especially when comparing to the variety of other much more expensive high-end alternatives the TPC 812 will compete with.  Cooler Master also claims the TPC 812 will go head-to-head with the available All-in-one water cooling setups, and if the community shows this is the case in a wide range of scenarios, then Cooler Master will certainly have added to its lineage of high-value coolers with the likes of the heralded Hyper 212 series.

 

Pros:

  • High heat capacity (300W TDP)
  • Smaller and lighter than many high-end coolers
  • Intuitive mounting system
  • High overall value

 

Cons:

  • Fan rather loud at full speed
  • Fan uses sleeve bearing

 

b_0_0_0_00_images_stories_TechKingsRecommended.png

You have no rights to post comments

Comments   

 
# chengsta 2012-05-06 18:50
okay, something just hit me about this fan. While vapor cooling technology is cool and all... I don't think it'll function as intended because I just realized that it will be on its SIDE. All the illustrations have it standing upright, with the vapor going upwards - not sideways.
 
 
# Inferno 2012-05-06 19:49
Quoting chengsta:
okay, something just hit me about this fan. While vapor cooling technology is cool and all... I don't think it'll function as intended because I just realized that it will be on its SIDE. All the illustrations have it standing upright, with the vapor going upwards - not sideways.


This is certainly a good point, but since it's a vapor, the technology should still help promote convection. Although it's ideal operation would certainly be with the vapor chambers pointed upward, it should still be fairly effective, as temperature differences (and thus density differences) in the vapor should still promote vapor movement within the chamber; increasing heat flow.

This is a great observation, and not sure myself how it didn't occur to me before this point. I am sure that it's most effective in a test-bench configuration.