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While the Cooler Master GeminII M4 resembles the Scythe's Big Shuriken 2, its performance does not. At comparable noise levels, the Big Shuriken 2 beats it handily, with temperature differences in the double digit range. If the M4 had fared any worse, it might have even fallen behind tiny, 40 mm tall Scythe Kozuti.
Comparing the design of M4 to more successful heatsinks, one possible explanation for its poor performance becomes apparent. The Kozuti's efficiency is thanks in part to its fan mounted directly over the heatsink base, blowing air over the CPU without any impedance. Our current champion, the Noctua NH-L12, has a similar setup but on a bigger scale. Not only does the GeminII M4 have a fin stack to blow through, the stack is thicker at the center above the CPU. The fins aren't arrayed to take full advantage of the fan, either; there are naked spots underneath the fan in a couple of places. It seems to be a poor allocation of resources compared the Big Shuriken.
Another big issue is the incredibly loose fan clips. The fan is not adequately secured so the vibrations it produces are transmitted to the clips and heatsink fins, causing them to rattle against each other. This cases an annoying hum and increases the overall noise level. The fan itself actually has a fairly smooth sound but once you attach it to the heatsink, this positive impression fades.
It's impossible for us to recommend the US$30 Cooler Master GeminII M4 when the Scythe Big Shuriken 2 can be had for only US$5 more. Its cooling ability is better by leaps and bounds, and it's almost the exact same size. We do prefer the M4's mounting system but that consideration is heavily outweighed by the Big Shuriken's performance.
Our thanks to Cooler Master
for the GeminII M4 CPU cooler sample.
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Articles of Related Interest
Reeven Kelveros & Arcziel CPU Coolers
Scythe Big Shuriken 2 & Reeven Vanxie CPU Coolers
Fans from Noctua & Corsair at Computex 2012
SPCR's Updated 2012 Small CPU Heatsink Test Platform
NH-L12 Low Profile Cooler
Kozuti Low Profile CPU Heatsink
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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