Cooler Master GeminII S524 Ver.2 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware; Installation

The Cooler Master GeminII S524 Ver.2 is a relatively small cooler, with a height of only 144mm. This means the heatsink can fit into smaller chassis. Overall, the dimensions of the cooler is 144mm by 141mm by 105mm. With the smaller size comes a much lighter heatsink, with the weight coming in at 392g. The top down view is just the fan, pulling air through the metal and onto other motherboard components surrounding the socket. One of the selling features of this product is it cools your motherboard components simultaneously, but even with other coolers, I have never experienced any issue with motherboard components overheating. Looking into the case, the black fan looks pretty good when installed, and the black color of the fan will most likely not affect the overall color scheme of your build, if you have any. The fan itself comes attached to the GeminII S524 Ver.2 out of the packaging, so there are no mounting clips to worry about. However, it makes it harder to use a different fan if you have any specific preferences.

The included fan is the Cooler Master Silencio FP 120mm, which is similar to some fans Senior Technical Editor Aaron Lai recently reviewed, except he covered the Performance Edition. The fan features a loop dynamic bearing, which is exclusive to the Cooler Master. As Aaron Lai explained in his review, the 160,000 hours lifetime expectancy is ten thousand more than Noctua's industrialPPC fans. Other common bearings found in case fans today are sleeve or ball bearings. Sleeve bearings are cheaper than the other common option, which is ball bearing. Sleeve bearings are common in PC fans, but they are not considered to be the most reliable. Sleeve bearings have a large contact surface area, but in hot environments, the viscosity of the lubricant can change, meaning the fan can fail suddenly after a period of time. However, sleeve bearings are quiet and inexpensive. Ball bearings are more reliable, and will not fail suddenly. However, ball bearings are more expensive and louder, but they have a much lower contact with the surface area.

Most of the GeminII S524 Ver.2 material is aluminum, which is what most heatsinks are made out of. The five continuous heatpipes are made out of copper, because copper is much better at heat transfer than aluminum. However, copper is more expensive and heavier. Around the heatpipes where they meet the body of the cooler, you can see small strips in the aluminum. These small holes are Cooler Master's X-vent design to have optimal airflow. We will have to see how effective these are on the testing page, coming up next. From this picture as well, you can see the aluminum block also touches the main area of the cooler for best heat transfer properties. At this point, I was wondering how I would be able to mount this heatsink without being able to reach a screwdriver under it to reach the mounting points, but due to the design, it features a very different installation process than other products. The unconventional design of the GeminII S524 Ver.2 is good for RAM clearance. There is about one centimeter of room between my RAM and the fins, and I have removed the heatspreaders from my RAM. Luckily, there are different orientations to install the heatsink, so the part that hangs over the motherboard can also be in the other direction if your case and motherboard permits. Due to the different orientations, there should not be any compatibility issues with RAM clearance, unless you have a small chassis. A smaller chassis would remove two potential heatsink orientations.

The bottom view shows how the heatpipes make up the copper baseplate. Also, it is a better view of the different design of the cooler. You can see most of the GeminII S524 Ver.2 sort of hangs, and is held up only on one side. This picture does have the mounting hardware attached already, which are the two arms on both sides of the baseplate. The baseplate is flat, but is not very smooth, just because the five heatpipes are grouped together and partially exposed as part of its Continuous Direct Contact design. At the top, you can see the end of the heatpipes, showing they are equally spaced out, meaning the heatpipes equally distribute the heat throughout the cooler. This also ensures there are no problem spots where the heat gets focused. Overall, the Cooler Master GeminII S524 Ver.2 is solidly built, with good quality components. We will have to find out how it performs in just a moment.

I only have a picture of the backplate after installation, because of how the installation process works. The installation process was not as clear as I would have liked. The small information booklet has pictures to indicate what you should do with numbers, as well as either AMD or Intel in the top right corner to indicate which process you are looking at. For AMD installation, there are two different mounting arms to use, depending on the orientation you would like to install the cooler in. It took me a bit longer to figure out which orientation is best, and which one Cooler Master recommends. At first, I had the cooler hanging over the first PCIe slot, but then I changed to hang over the RAM slots instead. In my case, there were no other orientations that would work. After attaching the mounting arms, you have to do a balancing act by putting the ends of the mounting arms through the socket on the motherboard, and then attaching the backplate.

But wait -- it is not over yet. You then have to attempt to attach four nuts to the end of the mounting arms, which are protruding from the backplate, all without any of it falling out. I was able to balance the backplate on the mounting arms, but it would have been much easier for me just to ask someone to help with the installation. I think there is room for improvement by Cooler Master to make the entire installation process easier for the end user, rather than having end users. As mentioned before, with the different options for the orientation, there should not be any issues with RAM clearance. The only time there could potentially be any issue with RAM clearance would be in a small form factor case, where the RAM has large heatspreaders at the same time. Overall, the installation was relatively smooth, with some improvements to be made to ensure the process is clearer.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware; Installation
3. Test Results
4. Conclusion