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Spire Gemini Rev. 2 review

Adequate in a crowded market is just not good enough

Our Verdict

A decent contender, but the average performance doesn't cut it in the crowded chiller marketplace.

For

  • Decent cooling performance
  • Well made

Against

  • Not competitive enough
  • Fiddly universal mounting

The Spire name is one that's going to be familiar to enthusiast PC folk, so the Spire Gemini Rev. 2 ought to have some serious cooling chops to back up its not inconsiderable girth.

We've seen a lot of CPU coolers sitting in the £40 bracket recently. All of them claim superior cooling performance across a wide range of stupidly powerful (and hot) processors and finger-shredding socket configurations.

One of the best we've seen in the last few months was Enermax's first try at CPU cooling with its catchily-titled ETS-T40-TA.

We're still not entirely sure what the marketing team was doing while the engineers were coming up with one of the finest, most bargainous coolers we've tested.

So Spire has a lot of work to do with the Spire Gemini Rev. 2 and a lot of competition to keep in check.

With a dual-fan, push-me-pull-you setup, manual fan-speed controller and six copper heatpipes it certainly seems like it means business.

But how does it stand up to the serious competition?

Vital stats
Heatpipes - 6x 6mm copper pipes
Material - Aluminium, copper
Compatibility - AMD, Intel
CPU TDP design - 130W
Dimensions - 131x71x153mm

Benchmarks

Spire's Gemini Rev. 2 provides some decent cooling performance considering it's got one of the most powerful CPUs warming up beneath it in our test bench.

That said the similarly-priced Enermax cooler has it beat hands down, especially in the peak to idle temperature test, where the ETS-T40-TA posts the quickest time for an air-cooler we've seen.

CPU cooling performance

Spire Gemini Rev. 2 benchmarks

Spire Gemini Rev. 2 benchmarks

Peak to idle performance

Spire Gemini Rev. 2 benchmarks

Tech Specs

Product TypeCooling Fan/Heatsink
Number of Fans2
Compatible Processor SocketSocket H LGA-1156, Socket H2 LGA-1155, Socket B LGA-1366, Socket AM2+ PGA-940, Socket T LGA-775, Socket 939, Socket AM2 PGA-940, Socket AM3 PGA-941, Socket FM1
Fan Speed2 x 1650 rpm
Brand NameSpire
Application/UsageProcessor
Fan Diameter2 x 120 mm
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
Heatsink Height153 mm
Heatsink Width71 mm
Heatsink Depth131 mm
Fan Bearing TypeBall Bearing
Compatibility

Intel Processors:

  • Core 2 Duo
  • Core 2 Extreme
  • Core 2 Quad
  • Core i3
  • Core i5
  • Core i7

AMD Processors:

  • Athlon
  • Athlon II
  • Athlon X2
  • Sempron
Connectors4-pin PWM
ManufacturerSpire
Product ModelSP986B1-V2-2P
Product NameGemini Rev.2 - SP986B1-V2-2P
Package TypeRetail
Product LineGemini
Manufacturer Part NumberSP986B1-V2-2P
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.spirecoolers.com
Marketing Information

Gemini Rev.2 is the Zodiac sign for the twins. We have codenamed our newest high-end thermal solution due to the two towering dimpled fin heat-sinks. Gemini is the ultimate evolution of the hugely successful TherMax cpu cooler series. The increased number of heat-pipes combined with a higher number and density of dimpled fins and crowned with two (2) high airflow fans for extreme cooling performance. Six (6) U-shaped 6mm heat-pipes are in contact through the solid copper base with the CPU, rapid heat transfer to the 52 aluminum dimpled fins providing a larger surface area for optimum heat dissipation. The Gemini Rev.2 is supplied with two (2) 12cm balanced DC fans providing high airflow and sufficient cooling. Compatibility is guaranteed with multi-platform mounting for all current Intel and AMD micro-processors. The Gemini is pure cooling power that takes performance to the level. Spire - Powered by Innovation.

MaterialCopper Base, Aluminium Fin
Weight (Approximate)842 g