Today I am going to be taking a look at a new kind of budget orientated cooler. It is dubbed the Hyper 103. It features a 92mm fan and three DCH heat pipes which are otherwise known as Direct Contact Heatpipes. It’s compatible with all of the latest sockets although I can’t imagine such a cooler being used to cool a £250+ CPU. Either way, it may surprise us and be a very decent cooler for the money, just like the 212+ and EVO were. They actually performed very close to my Noctua NH-D14 on an i5-3570K and cost more or less a third of the price.
Will the Hyper 103 be able to carry on a low budget legacy which its bigger brother(s) set in the past? Is this a cooler worth considering if you’re on a seriously tight budget? There’s only one way to find out and with that being said, that’s enough waffling… let’s open up the box and then get to grips with the cooler to find out how it really does in our testing.
About Cooler Master
Cooler Master was founded in 1992 with the mission of providing the industry’s best thermal solutions. Since its establishment, two decades ago, the company has remained faithful to this mission, emerging as a world leader in products and services for companies dealing with devices where heat issues must be resolved.
In pursuing this mission, Cooler Master is absolutely committed to delivering solutions that precisely meet customer requirements for features, performance, and quality. Moreover, we strive to be a reliable long-term partner for our customers that they can truly depend on. It aims to be the first and foremost name that comes to mind for companies around the world seeking thermal solutions, and seeks to build such a reputation through outstanding technology, sophisticated design, and superior service.
|CPU Socket||Intel® LGA 2011/1366/1156/1155/1150/775
AMD FM2/FM1/AM3+/AM3 /AM2
|Dimensions||108 x 89.5 x 138.5 mm (4.3 x 3.5 x 5.5 in)|
|Heat Sink Dimensions||96 x 61 x 138.5 mm (3.8 x 2.4 x 5.5 in)|
|Heat Sink Material||3 Direct Contact Heatpipes / Aluminum Fins|
|Heat Sink Weight||500 g / 1.1 lb|
|Heat Pipe Dimensions||Ø6mm|
|Fan Dimensions||92 x 92 x 25 mm (4.7 x 4.7 x 1 in)|
|Fan Speed||800~2,200 RPM (PWM) ± 10%|
|Fan Air Flow||15.7~43.1 CFM ± 10%|
|Fan Air Pressure||0.35~2.63 mm H2O ± 10%|
|Fan Life Expectancy||40,000 hours|
|Noise Level||17~30 dBA|
|Bearing Type||Long life sleeve bearing|
|Rated Voltage||12 VDC|
|Power Consumption||1.8 W|
|Fan Weight||80 g / 0.18 lb|
The packaging in which the Hyper 103 comes in is somewhat simplistic but I do like the overall design. The front of the packaging shows us the cooler itself and highlights a few of the features such as the DCH heatpipes, the X-Vent and Air-Guide technologies which I will talk about in the closer look section of this review. It also displays that it has silent cooling performance. On the side and the back of the box, there is a whole host of information about the cooler which were listed in the specifications section previously. The back tells us about the dimensions of the cooler as well as some of its key features in a number of different languages.
Opening up the box will first present you with a white box which houses the accessories such as the mounting kit, thermal paste and the instructions. Underneath that lays the cooler which has its fins padded by foam but the fan is left to rest against the box which could result in broken blades if the box takes enough of a knock during transit. However, it shouldn’t present too much of a problem as they’re usually shipped in big boxes rather than individually.
Upon first inspection, it looks like you’re getting a lot of cooling power for the money. Baring in mind that it is roughly a £20 cooler, there is quite a lot here. The cooler itself is 138.5mm tall and it has a 92mm fan strapped to it. Hopefully it won’t sound like a jet taking off due to the smaller fan.
The fan that is on the Hyper 103 is a 4pin PWM based fan and has blue LEDs which cannot be turned off. They are not intrusive enough for it to be an issue though, well, not in my opinion at least. The fan can be replaced if the user wishes to do so. However, I cannot see this being a probable thing because you’re purchasing the cooler on a budget for a reason, and it is unlikely that you’re going to want to splash out on a fan on top as well.
As mentioned before, there are three Direct Contact Heatpipes (DCH) on this cooler which is something which we don’t really see much of anymore and that is somewhat unfortunate as the performance is (from my experiences) a lot better than those without it. It makes sense when you think about it. The heat goes directly into the heatpipes which are dissipating it into the fins rather than it being transferred into a metallic block, then into the pipes and then finally into the fins from there.
Mounting the CM Hyper 103 is a simple affair. Just like any other cooler with a back plate, it requires you to put four screws through the mounting holes which then feed through the motherboard into which you screw the cooler down on to. These coolers are a little different from what you’d normally get with other coolers though. Instead of having a complete mounting kit into which the cooler bolts into, the mounting bracket is a part of the cooler itself.
Once you’ve applied your thermal paste, the cooler is then slotted into place and you can begin assembling the final stages. The cooler is held on by securing it with four locking screws. You don’t have to worry about over tightening it as they are made to go to a predefined level to ensure that you do not damage your CPU and/or motherboard. Simply screw the four nuts into place, and there you have it – a mounted Hyper 103.
Are you trying to bring the temperature of your computer down but you’re on a tight budget? Do you just want something better than the stock cooler and are not overly fussed about overclocking or the best possible temperatures? Cooler Master may have just the thing for you. Let’s summarise the performance of the Hyper 103 and my experience with it.
As I had previously used a 212+ as well as a 212 EVO, I went into this review with fairly high expectations for a budget orientated cooler. I am pleased to say that it was most definitely not a letdown in this instance and it did live up to my expectations. Cooler Master seems to have a knack for producing some quality budget coolers and this one is definitely yet another fine example.
The CM Hyper 103 was able to keep my i7 cool enough whilst it was running at stock clocks but the overclock proved too much to handle which I cannot say that I am surprised. Unfortunately for the Hyper 103, it was not able to keep my i7 from hitting the 100°c market at which point it is an automatic fail. It made a valiant effort but the heat of the i7 proved too much to handle.
The other thing which did surprise me is how quiet it is in low to medium load levels. I can barely hear the fan and it is right next to me on my test bench. It is definitely audible when the temperatures start to rise and in turn so do the revs of the fan. However, it would make for an ideal cooler in HTPC situations where space is not at an extreme premium but you’d still like a decent, quiet cooler.
Given the price tag of £20, or thereabouts, I have to commend Cooler Master and say that they have done an excellent job at creating a quiet and effective cooler for the money. It may not be able to handle hot running i7 CPUs under overclocked conditions, but it most definitely can handle any CPU on the market without an overclock.
For the performance on offer, at its current price, and if you can find them as they are not readily available at the moment, it’s a brilliant cooler. I’d have no problems recommending this to anyone on a budget. For that very reason and even though it doesn’t claim the performance or design crown, it is most definitely worthy of an Editor’s choice award as I would happily recommend this cooler to anyone on a tight budget. This is yet another brilliant cooler for those on a budget. Cooler Master, you’ve done it again.
Many thanks to Cooler Master for providing us with a sample for today’s review.
Cooler Master are very good at creating awesome budget coolers. The Hyper 212+ and EVO were brilliant for the money which left this cooler having to live up to a certain expectation. I’m glad to say that it did and it actually superseded my expectations. For the performance and the price of the cooler, it’s a must have for anyone on a strict budget.