Cooler Master GeminII S524 CPU Cooler Review

Product: Cooler Master GeminII S524 CPU Cooler
Company: Cooler Master
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: January 23rd, 2012

Cooler Master GeminII S524

The Cooler Master GeminII S524 is a C-style CPU cooler, aiming the cooling fan down to aid in cooling system components as well as the CPU. The GeminII S524 is compatible with AMD socket AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ and FM1 sockets, and Intel Socket 775/1155/1366/1156 mainboards. The included fan is 120mm 4-pin PWM sleeve bearing design, capable of ~34 to ~78CFM with an 800-1800rpm speed range at ~15 to ~32dBA noise levels. Priced at ~$40 USD it's aimed more to the budget minded customer, who is looking for a solid increase in cooling performance in an alternative form factor rather than the now traditional tower design.

CoolerMaster GeminII S524

Like all modern coolers worth their salt the GeminII S524 features heatpipes, five 6mm diameter ones which are mounted in an electrostatically coasted base. The heatpipes curl over in a C-design to dissipate heat into a large aluminum fin array. The fan is mounted directly to the fins using four screws, and the mounting plate allows for fans upto 140mm in size to be used. The included fan is rated to 40,000 hours, and the unit as a whole is warranted for 2 years. The heatsink weighs 490g with the fan an additional 104g, putting it at the upper end of the mid-weight coolers.

Heatsink and Accessories

Measuring 105mm tall it's shorter than most tower coolers but still sizeable and 144mm square. The fin array is 47mm above the base to give more clearance for components around the CPU socket, such as VRM and choke heatsinks or memory sticks with heatspreaders.

Mounting the heatsink is done by bolting it to the motherboard, using the supplied bracket. While a different bracket is used for AMD and Intel sockets, the final mounting operation is very similar. The included instructions are clear and simple, and installation is advised to be performed with the mainboard out of the chassis - effectively, you mount the mainboard to the cooler, rather than the other way round. Once the correct brackets are fitted to the cooler base, it can be bolted to the mainboard. An included Phillips nut driver adapter makes the final half-turn past finger tight simple - be wary of over tightening, as there is no spring loaded clip here to prevent crush damage to the mainboard.

Test fitting the cooler to the mainboard is a good idea, to check which orientation is going to fit best and offer cooling where you want it the most. The fin array can cover the VRMs/chokes, chipset, or memory; final orientation will be determined by your case and need for cooling.