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Cooler Master GeminII S524 CPU Heatsink E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling
Written by David Ramsey   
Monday, 22 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

GeminII S524 Detailed Features

This image gives a better idea of the shape of the cooler. The idea here is that air blown down through the fins will also cool motherboard components such as the memory and VRMs.

cooler_master_gemin_ii_s524_front_34.jpg

For the Intel installation, you'll attach these two mounting brackets to the cooler's base. The captive screws at the ends of the "arms" are in slots that allow them to move a few millimeters back and forth; this is how they accommodate the various geometries of Intel cooler mounting points.

cooler_master_gemin_ii_s524_mounting.jpg

Springs on the captive screws provide the clamping pressure that presses the heat sink down on your CPU.

cooler_master_gemin_ii_s524_captive_screw.jpg

To install the cooler, you hold it inside your system with one hand and hang the back plate on the screws protruding through the motherboard with the other. Four nuts secure the screws; Cooler Master provides a little nut driver head that lets you tighten the nuts with a screwdriver. Having another person handy helps during mounting, but you can do it yourself if you have to.

cooler_master_gemin_ii_s524_backplate.jpg

Compared to many other third-party coolers, the Cooler Master GeminII S524 looks almost dainty in your case. On my ASUS Sabertooth X58 motherboard, the cooler overhangs the first four of the six DIMM slots. The cooler's fins have 47mm of clearance over the motherboard, so most memory will fit with no problem. However, memory with tall fins won't.

cooler_master_gemin_ii_s524_installed2.jpg

Now that it's mounted, let's see how the GeminII S524 performs.



 

Comments 

 
# 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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