Spire Gemini Rev. 2 Reviewairman - December 1, 2011
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So, what I've determined here is that I have a high-end cooler with a mounting design that needs some work. I have found similar quality mounting systems on $20 or $30 coolers, but with a cost of $52.99 its still a tad high. With a mounting system designed the way this one and others like it are, it's almost impossible to achieve even pressure over the surface of the CPU die! Instead of having a full-faced, even contact patch between the cooler and the CPU, you end up with at BEST a line contact or even worse, point contact — both of which will completely destroy the performance of the cooler. For a better explanation and not to cloud the conclusion with too much explanation, see the end of page 2 for more comments as to what can be improved and what works best.
Moving past the mounting design, the cooler itself is of good quality. The base is flat (although the machining marks are evident), everything is plated nicely, heatpipes are capped off and looked good, and the overall design is appealing to the eye. If only it had a mounting that was on the level of the rest of the cooler! I like that the fans come with pre-applied rubber dampers, and the included fan controller is a sweet freebie. The manual is clear as far as the installation process goes and all of the parts are well-described for both Intel and AMD installation types. For what it's worth, it performs well but not to where I would like it to be for it's price point. The numbers that I recorded in the results section are after 4 or 5 individual adjustments (even counting and trying to match the number of turns on each nut at each corner) to even the pressure at the four corners as best as I could, so no, I did not give up easily! I'm not being a snob, I just know what's out there and what works well versus what doesn't. And trust me, proper designs aren't any more expensive to manufacture. The main flaw with this mounting is that the sprung nuts (as I'll call them) do not bottom out soon enough (and the fact that it's 4-point instead of 2 or even 1-point). The nuts bottoming out at the same place on each nut mean that there will be even pressure on all four corners. Unfortunately, these nuts have to be tightened down far too deeply in order to bottom them out and will cause permanent deformation (I already witnessed quite a lot of deflection before I even came close to bottoming them out) of the hold-down bracket — something I was not willing to do.
As I said at the beginning of the last paragraph, there is a bright side to this cooler and what is provided and what comes with it! The only thing I could wish for is that manufacturers out there would understand how to make a proper mounting bracket. There are designs out there that work that cost hardly anything different to build and are miles (kilometers for a lot of you) more effective.
- Looks great
- Fans include rubber dampers pre-installed
- Included, powered fan controller
- Mounting mechanism needs some rethinking