This cooler has us torn. We like the design of the original, and seeing the S524 Ver 2 brought it all back to us, and while the original wasn't all that great of a performer, we have to see this cooler for what it is first, then other things will fall into perspective.
First off, realize this is not some super-tower cooler, so we can't expect it to keep up with AIOs and dual-tower designs. Secondly, this cooler is designed to fit into much smaller systems than normal coolers will fit into. We appreciate the new additions and redesigns we found along the way, like locking the base for support and structure, the X-Vents on the fins, even the dimples and holes in them; it all played its part in keeping our CPU from throttling, well away from it in fact, and while doing this, it is also able to barely be heard in any scenario you have the fan under. We liked that even while a bit more challenging to mount, you still get mounting for both sides of the AMD socket, as well as the full Intel setup for various sockets.
The thing is though, along the way, we were finding odd things too. Why does one side of the top plate offer more cooling holes than the other? It shows in the manual that all four orientations are proper to install this cooler, so why not offer the same level of cooling to both sides, as only the owner knows which way it's going on the motherboard. We also found that while Cooler Master mention that if the offset is downward you may block a PCIe slot, they do not mention that it will block the top one in any orientation, and for SFF builders, this can be a really bad thing, as choices on Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX boards aren't as robust as ours is. The thing that we just cannot figure out though is that with everything locked together from the pipes to the pre-cooler, it being locked into the fins, and the plate on top being screwed on, we cannot figure out how this cooler would have been crushed in shipping causing the lean. It seems more likely that the cooler was designed this way from the onset.
If you have the right accommodations, and are desiring a smaller or shorter cooler to fit in your build, the S524 Ver 2 may not be your first choice on thermal results alone. Stepping back to take it all in, yes the cooler has a few issues, but it is easy enough to mount to any motherboard, is near dead silent even at full speed, and this cooler is not going to break your wallet either. While this is not a cooler for the extreme overclocker out there, it definitely has its place in today's market. The one plus that Cooler Master makes little mention of, is that with the option to allow a 140mm fan on this cooler, those thermal results can get much better.
Considering this cooler can be had for just under $43, even if you do opt to get the extra fan eventually, the overall investment is still much cheaper than a lot of other options you have for a cooler such as this. The GeminII S524 Ver 2 shows it has a place in the market, now it is just up to you to see if that place is your system.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||82%|
|Bundle and Packaging||92%|
|Value for Money||97%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||87%|
The Bottom Line: Cooler Master's GeminII S524 Ver 2 shows us near silent operation at a really good price point, and while not great, for a shorter C-style cooler, it was more than capable of taming our system.
PRICING: You can find the Cooler Master GeminII S524 Version 2 CPU Air Cooler with 120 mm Silencio FP Fan for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging]
- Page 3 [Cooler Master GeminII S524 Ver 2 CPU Cooler]
- Page 4 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 5 [Installation and Finished Product]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup, Thermal Tests and Noise Results]
- Page 7 [Final Thoughts]
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