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Cooler Master GeminII S524 CPU Heatsink E-mail
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Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Cooler Master GeminII S524 CPU Heatsink
Closer Look: Cooler Master GeminII
GeminII S524 Detailed Features
Heat Sink Test Methodology
Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: Cooler Master GeminII

The Cooler Master GeminII S524's box calls out the primary advantage of the "blow down" cooler design: you get cooling airflow over motherboard components as well as CPU cooling. One thing the box doesn't answer is how to pronounce the cooler's name: is it "Gemini", like the space capsule, or "Gemin Two"? I lean towards the latter.


Inside the box are the cooler, with the 120mm PWM fan already mounted, Intel and AMD backplates, mounting hardware for the cooler, and a resealable baggie of screws and washers, along with a tube of Cooler Master thermal interface material.


The cooler is large, but you won't have any trouble with it clearing anything on your motherboard except perhaps very tall memory. The cooler extends way out over your memory slots.


Five 6mm heat pipes expand out from the cooler's base into the large fin array at the top. Although the heat sink looks large, there's less metal here than there is in most high-end tower coolers. This is confirmed by the heat sink's weight: at 490 grams, it's about one-half to two-thirds the weight of coolers like the NZXT HAVIK 140 (760 grams) and the Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM (806 grams).


The top of the cooler has mounting holes for a 140mm fan, should you wish to replace the built-in fan. However, since the cowling masks the extra area covered by the larger fan, I don't see what good it would do.


The base of the GeminII S524 is flat and polished, albeit not to a mirror finish. There must be something to this "fine grain" finish because I'm seeing it on more and more coolers these days.


Let's take a closer look and then mount this cooler.



# uATX PCIE overlap?Considering purchase 2012-05-26 08:35
I've seen a report of this cooler overlapping the first PCIE slot on uATX mobos... Anyone able to confirm?
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# RE: uATX PCIE overlap?David Ramsey 2012-05-26 08:53
I don't think this would be a problem. The spacing between the CPU socket and the first slot is pretty much the same on an mATX mono as on a standard mono.
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# RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?David Ramsey 2012-05-26 09:10
That should be "mobo" above. Sorry. Typing with one hand here...
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# RE: uATX PCIE overlap?Considering purchase 2012-05-26 09:52
If it were an issue do you think the bottom edge that allows for the 140mm fan could be ground off with a dremel or something?

I guess the key question is whether the extended fan mount bezel is flush with the RAM mounting tabs, as on every Z77 uATX board I've seen the RAM tabs' bottom is the exact point where the first PCIE slot starts. Since RAM slot + tabs is probably ~exactly 140MM (RAM I think is about 132MM, but not 100% sure), it seems like a perfectly center-mounted 140MM wide sink (which the GeminII looks like it is because of the extended lip for a 140MM fan) would be exactly flush with the top of PCIE slot 1, and since PCIE graphics cards usually have width to both sides, I'm kind of inclined to think the report I saw was accurate, but I'm also kind of inclined to think that removing the 140MM fan mount bezel/lip would fix it without altering thermals much.

Anyway, if you have any other recs for CPU sinks that would work well uATX and are under 130MM height and closer to 120MM in the top-to-bottom direction, I'm all ears.

I guess there's the Noctua NH-L12 (128MM, rather than 144), but I haven't been thrilled about it. Maybe I should reconsider.

Ironically enough my initial concern was sinks bumping interfering with the first RAM slot.
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# RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?David Ramsey 2012-05-26 10:02
I'm not sure why you think that "PCIE graphics cards usually have width to both sides". Aside from the perhaps 1mm-2mm height of components or cooler mounting brackets on the back side of the board, the only PCIE cards I've ever seen with width on the back are passively cooled cards with fins that wrap around the card.

Still, I concede the possibility of interference. You probably could Dremel away some of the unused 140mm fan flange, but I think a simpler solution would be one of the single-120mm radiator water cooling setups like the Corsair H80. That should remove all your fitment concerns and provide better cooling to boot.
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# RE: RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?Considering purchase 2012-05-26 10:25
My current GPU has an x-shaped heatsink mounting bracket on the backside about 5 - 10 MM deep and the frontside heatsink extends beyond the bcb and wraps about 3mm to the backside on the the top edge.

Anyway, thanks for replying, it's probably kind of onerous for you to have an extended comment discussion like this.

I've been looking at the H60 very seriously, actually. My major concern is that I feel that despite the 5 year warranty, the longevity and performance degradation over time aren't clear.

I know that every sink/fan based cooler I've used is still working and could probably keep on going for far longer than the useful life of my PCs and worse case probably need a fan replaced or reapplication of thermal grease, but with water cooling there are horror stories of pump seizures and coolant leaks that make me a little a ambivalent. Likewise, I've heard there's a constant, but minuscule, rate of coolant evaporation -- not sure how much it matters. Maybe I should just take the plunge. I've heard Corsair will replace your whole PC if things really go south, but it'd still be a hassle.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?Considering purchase 2012-05-26 10:33
*meant pcb, not bcb.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?David Ramsey 2012-05-26 10:43
It's true: a good air cooler will last forever (with possible fan replacement), while a water cooler will not. That said, I have not even heard of an all-in-one water cooler failure yet. The Asetek OEM cooler in my HP Blackbird case is going on 5 years old and is running fine. Originally designed for a Socket 775 system, it's been through a succession of LGA 1366/1155 motherboards with no problems so far.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?Considering purchase 2012-05-26 12:18
Thanks for all the replies. It's been helpful.

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# RE: RE: uATX PCIE overlap?Considering purchase 2012-05-26 10:04
Actually, I think I've got 150 MM height available, not 130MM. Just double checked.
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