Cooler Master Hyper 612 PWM and GeminII S524 Reviewairman - August 16, 2011
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Both Cooler Master heatsinks in this review perform two separate purposes to achieve the same task — to keep your processor cool. The Hyper 612 does so by sparing no extra space with its massive size and the GeminII S524 maintains clearance in mind as it will most likely be used in something like a SFF (small form factor) PC where space may be an issue. Of course, a cooler that aspires to be as small as possible in order to fit in low volume areas requiring less mass generally won't perform as well under high-heat loads. However, most likely where space is an issue, the generally unspoken but almost immediate result that you should expect is more concentrated heat and thus higher temperatures. Though the GeminII S524 isn't a hugely strong competitor in these tests, it is by far the smallest of the comparison models, and truthfully, it serves a different purpose. The Hyper 612 PWM is meant to be big, bulky, and a powerhouse performer for keeping your processor cool. On the other hand, there's no way that this monster would EVER fit into a mini ITX case. So, if it's not some large tower heatsink and still performs far better than the stock cooler, then something like the GeminII S524 would be a good choice.
I have always liked Cooler Master's products as they are well-constructed, thoughtfully designed, and generally good performers. I liked the Hyper 612 PWM's idea of using a less dense fin array, which allows for more airflow and offers a lower pressure drop through the cooler. Because of this, the Hyper 612 PWM, with only a single fan, is able to achieve what you'd expect from a cooler with two fans. I'm sure that adding an extra fan into a push-pull configuration would offer even better performance. On the other side, due to the Hyper 612 PWM's huge size, I came across two potential clearance issues. The top exhaust fan of the case used is only millimeters away, and the fan on the cooler is physically touching one of my RAM modules. It is indeed a trade-off, but I think that shaving off a few millimeters could have made it a little less obtrusive. The GeminII S524 accomplishes several different things. First, it's low profile so it can fit in small cases such as an HTPC or a general media PC. Next, it has great side-to-side clearance and a very small, immediate footprint. On top of all of that, it can be rotated into four (effectively 3) different positions allowing for the "overhang" of the cooler to provide airflow to other crucial components such as the northbridge, voltage regulators, and even RAM sticks. Having this one positioned over the passive northbridge heatsink on the test board, I noticed about a 5 °C drop in temperature. It's clear however that the GeminII S524 isn't made for gracious amounts of heat. It is small, and I can say with my experience tgat there is a direct correlation between size and performance!
To put everything together into my final words, I like both of these coolers and they do well at what they are supposed to — although they are in two far separate categories. We have the massive, heat gulping Hyper 612 PWM, and then we have the small, conservative, and thoughtful GeminII S524. Both are easy to install and offer great performance for each application. For the Hyper 612 PWM at a price of $49.99 it is definitely a great alternative to spending upwards of $80 and $90 on similarly performing coolers. The GeminII S524 price has not been listed yet, but at my estimated price of between $40 and $50 it is also a great choice for someone with a small, low-clearance case!
- Nearly silent during normal operation
- Easy to use and install mounting hardware
- Hyper 612 PWM: Strong performer on overclocked processors
- GeminII S524: Thoughtful design clears any potential component interference
- Hyper 612 PWM: Massive size can interfere with memory; maybe other components too
- GeminII S524: Lacks some performance when overclocked heavily