CPU Coolers: Cooler Master Gemin II SGF524 Review

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Cooler Master Gemin II Sf524Introduction:

Aftermarket CPU coolers come in all shapes, sizes and prices to suit every need possible and in general offer a number of advantages over the core OEM fans that tend to be shipped with the CPUs. Cooler Master's latest CPU cooler for review, the Gemin II SGF524 is no different and the stepped cooling tower is specifically designed to be able to fit over even the largest memory stick heat sinks. The package includes a 120mm fan (with an additional power regulator to limit it to 900rpm for super quiet usage) or can be retro fitted using any alterntaive 140mm fan for enhanced cooling needs, but with increased noise levels.

Specifications:

• Balance cooling between CPU and components on the motherboard.

• Higher ground clearance for better memory module compatibility.

• Larger heatsink for better performance.

• Super low fan speed (900 R.P.M. with Silent Mode Adapter) provides almost noiseless performance.

• Compatible with 14cm fans (optional).

Review:

As with most retro fit CPU coolers, the Cooler Master Gemin II SGF524 is fitted via a dedicated mother board bracket that requires the entire removal of the motherboard from the case. Although this obviously more time consuming (and a little scary if you aren't used to replacing or fixing components in the guts of your PC), it does ensure that the heatsink is correctly seated over the CPU, something that is often slightly tricky using the normal OEM spring mount fixings.

We installed the Gemin II SGF524 on an older P4 system, replacing an older Akasa heatsink and fan combo (using the aforementioned spring mount system) which although noisy offers a good cooling profile for the system (60C at high load using OCCT). As mentioned the installation required removing the motherboard and fitting the GeminII's mounting bracket, which although more time consuming does ensure that once installed the heatsink and fan are simple to fit without the need to constantly reseat feet to ensure good heatsink contact.

Once fitted OCCT was once again used to check the CPU temperatures under high load and the included 120mm fan with the silent mode adaptor included. Temperatures were slightly higher than those of the original Akasa fan and heatsink that was originally installed (~65C at high load), however the difference in the overall noise levels were significant. The lower fan speed of the Cooler Master Gemini II SGF524 manages to keep the CPU as cool, but at much lower fan speeds resulting in a much quieter computing experience. This of course does mean that the 120mm fan that is included, coupled with the Silent Mode Adaptor, isn't ideal for overclocking, but used with an alternative 140mm fan, we feel certain that the heatsink could be utilised in an overclocked system (albeit at the cost of a little more noise).

Price:

£34.31 - Amazon

Verdict:

3/5 - The Coolermaster GeminII SF524 looks impressive, innovative and performed reasonable well. I would however question its performance if you are a serious overclocker. The quietness of the fan was impressive but if you need more performance you will need to upgrade the fan which would produce more noise. The complete removal of the motherboard was a bit of a nuisance and the fixing of the heat sink was a challenge but it was useful to give the PC a bit of house keeping and tidy up the redundant cabling. I would recommend this heatsink as long as you are prepared to carry out a serious operation on your PC, you have sufficient space within your PC case and you aren't that fussed about over clocking