Cooler Master GeminII S Review

gotdamojo06 - 2008-09-23 12:48:53 in CPU Cooling
Category: CPU Cooling
Reviewed by: gotdamojo06   
Reviewed on: October 12, 2008
Price: $34.99

Introduction:

Have you been looking for a new cooler for your processor? Have you just begun down the long, frustrating, and enjoyable road of overclocking your computer? Have you been using your stock cooler for your processor and notice that your temperatures keep on getting very high? Well Cooler Master may just have the solution for you! They have come up with the GeminII S, which is not only a CPU Cooler, but it also is able to double as a RAM or North Bridge cooler. The GeminII S cooler has a 120mm fan that sits atop its collection of fins but also has the ability to install a second 120mm fan right next to it for extra cooling for the motherboard and other surrounding components such as your RAM sticks and your North Bridge. I am very interested to see not only how well this cooler is able to perform when I put it up against some other coolers, but to see what she looks like; so lets go take a look.

 

Closer Look:

The packaging for the Cooler Master GeminII S has the very distinctive Cooler Master design to it, with the pink and black bar around the bottom of the package as well as the background of the front being the White and Grey bars. Taking a look at the front of the package, the top is where you are going to find The cooler Master badge, as well as the different processors that the GeminII S has been rated to be able to cool. The bottom is where you are going to find the GeminII S name, with the "CPU + Board Cooler" placed directly under that. In the middle off to the right of the front is where you are going to get a nice picture of the cooler and the copper heat pipes. When you look at the back of the cooler, you are going to see all of the specifications for the cooler as well as some of the main features that Cooler Master wants you to know about their GeminII S cooler. There are also a few pictures on the back to help show you how the cooler is installed. The first side is going to show you a nice little graph showing you the temperature difference between the components with the GeminII S installed over the Stock Intel Heatsink. The next side is going to show you the different applications that you are going to be able to use the cooler for as well as what the cooler looks like with two fans installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you open up the box for the Cooler Master GeminII S Cooler, you are going to see that it has been fitted in a cardboard protector very well to keep it from moving around which could cause bending of the fins or possibility breakage of the fins. There are quite a few different things that come packaged with the cooler, including the mounting hardware for both the Intel socket and AMD socket types. There is also mounting hardware for the fans if you wish to use the dual fan setup. There is also a bag of screws and other goodies, which include a tube of thermal paste, rubber washers, as well as four nuts.  

 

 

 

Now that we know what the packaging looks like as well as what all comes with the cooler, we can go a head a take a cooler look at the cooler itself.

Closer Look:

Take a first look at the Cooler Master GeminII S, you are going to see its simplistic design, in the fact that it has the fin array covered by a large 120mm fan with heat pipes traveling from the base to the fins. But if you continue to look at it, you are going to see that the fins are positioned in a way that they will be able to cool the heat pipes in a very efficient way, the fins are broken up into two different sections. The way the heat pipes and the fins are setup, it looks like the XP-90c. There are fifty-two smaller fins that allow the fan to have a base to rest on and do not extend much past the cover of the fan. The second section includes the twenty-one fins in the center that extend all the way down the the base acting as a heatsink to pull the heat that the heat pipes are unable to dissipate up to the fan to be expelled. Looking from the back of the cooler, you are going to see that there are a total of five copper heat pipes that extend from the base all the way up through the fins and are evenly spaced apart at the top to allow for maximum heat transfer. Looking at the front of the cooler, you can see that these same five heat pipes are spaced very closely together on the base, allowing them to cover just about the entire base, allowing them to pick up the most amount of heat that they can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fan that is installed on the cooler is a large 120mm fan, it is positioned in a way that it is going to suck fresh air in from towards the top of the case and blow it directly down on the fins, heat pipes, and eventually the base. This method is different from other heatsinks with a top mounted fan as they suck the hot air coming off of the fins and blow it out into the case.

 

Taking a look at the base of the cooler, you are going to see that the it is made of copper with the 5 heat pipes entering through the side. The base is stepped to accommodate the mounting hardware. There are four screws (one in each corner) for you to screw down the mounting hardware so that you can install the cooler in your system atop the processor. I installed the Socket 775 mounting hardware as I use an Intel test system to check the cooling performance.

 

 

Now that we know what the cooler looks like and how it was put together, its time to take a look at the specifications of the cooler as well as see how well she can do against some of the other coolers out on the market.

Specifications:

 

Socket Type

Intel: LGA775
AMD: 940/AM2/AM2+

Heatsink Material

Pure Copper heatpipes & Base; Aluminum Fins

Heatsink Dimensions

124 x 118.4 x 62mm

Heatsink Heatpipes

5

Fan Dimensions

120 x 120 x 25mm

Fan Speed

1000-1800RPM (10% Varrance)

Fan Bearing Type

Long life sleeving

Fan Noise Level

17~21 dBA

Fan connector

4 pin PWM

Fan Color

Black

Total Weight

560g

 

Features:

Testing:

To properly test the Cooler Master GeminII S Cooler, I will be monitoring the highest temperature of the processor at Idle (little to no CPU usage), and at full load (100% CPU usage). My idle test will be done by running the computer for thirty minutes and recording the maximum temperature during that time. I will be using OCCT:PK to simulate a full load. I will run a torture test for 30 minutes with the mixed (CPU and RAM) mode turned on, and gather the maximum temperature during this time. The temperature monitoring software that I will be using is Real Temp 2.60, as it reads all four cores, documents the maximum temperature for a period until you reset it, and most importantly reads the 45nm processor's temperatures correctly. I will be taking the four highest temperatures that were produced during the test, and report the average of the four cores. The stock test will be done using all of the stock settings for the Q9450 @ 2666MHz. During the overclocked tests, I will be using 410MHz FSB with an 8x multiplier to give me 3280MHz overclocked speed, with a vCore of 1.34v. All of the temperatures are measured in degrees Celsius.

Testing Setup:

 

Comparison Heatsinks:

NOTE: Some of the listed heatsinks were originally tested using an E6600; I recently retested and gathered new data after the switch from the E6600 to the Q9450. The new temperatures are represented in the graphs below.

 

 

 

 

 

After taking a look at the results that were gathered during the testing of the Coole Master GeminII S Cooler, I was was very surprised as it was able to keep the processor when overclocked and during stock testing quite cool. It was able to beat out just about every other cooler it was put up against except for the TRUE and the V8. I am very surprised with these results due to the fact of how small the cooler is and it was still able to perform as well as it did.

 

Conclusion:

The Cooler Master GeminII S Cooler is not only a great solution for someone using a smaller case or has other size restrictions, it also has a wide range of additional uses such as cooling other parts of your system like the RAM or North Bridge. The size to performance ratio of this cooler also makes it a great value, as it is quite small but packs a ton of features such as an pure copper base and 5 pure copper heatpipes running through the large array of aluminum fins located under a large yet quiet 120mm fan. The GeminII S does not stand quite a high as the TRUE nor the V8, however the temperatures the GeminII S was able to yield were very close within a few degrees of them. The price of the cooler coming in under $40 also makes this cooler a must have for anyone looking to upgrade their cooling systems for their processor if they are overclocking or are just worried about the temperatures of their system components. The Multi platform design adds even more value to the cooler as you can get it for your LGA 775 chip then move it over to your AM2+ system if you switch system configurations. The 120mm fan located atop the cooler uses PWM features so that it can use less power when you are not under a full load, but will adjust its speed when it needs to. I am torn about the mounting hardware used for the GeminII S cooler, it is a great idea as it keeps your cooler on your motherboard and it is not going to go anywhere, but you do have to remove the entire motherboard to be able to install it, which can become a pain if you are someone like me who changes their system all the time.

Overall, if you are looking for a nice way to cool your processor and you are looking for a low profile cooler, the GeminII S is the perfect choice for you. You don't even have to want a low profile cooler to get this one, it was able to cool my Q9450 within a few degrees of the TRUE and costs less! What more could you want from a CPU cooler?

 

Pros:

 

Cons: