You have to take your mainboard out of the system case to install the cooler on any of the supported CPU sockets. But you have to secure an appropriate mounting plate on the cooler’s base first:
Take note of the fastening mechanism for Socket 754/939/940/AM2. There are holes in the plate for less resistance to the air flowing towards the mainboard’s surface, and there are eight holes in it instead of four. As a result, this mounting plate can be secured in two positions of the cooler, making it possible to orient the cooler freely on the CPU socket despite the typical limitations of sockets for K8 processors. On the other hand, the orientation inside the system case doesn’t matter much for a cooler designed like the Sphere.
You insert four or two screws, depending on the fastening type (Socket 754/939/940 and Socket AM2, respectively), into the feet of the mounting plate. Before you begin to install the cooler, you should stick rubber spacers to the screws. They protect the mainboard from scratches as you are tightening the screws.
Then you apply some thermal grease on the CPU and fasten the cooler by means of nuts and key from the reverse side of the mainboard:
You must use the included back-plate for Socket 754/939/940/AM2 mainboards. There is no back-plate for LGA775 and you have to use plastic spacers instead. The LGA775 mainboard bends a little after the installation of the cooler.
Installed on an LGA775 mainboard, the Cooler Master Sphere looks like that:
The cooler is compact at the bottom and won’t interfere with the mainboard’s near-socket components.
The blue highlighting makes this cooler even more impressive:
The highlighting is not too intensive, though. If you’ve got highlighted 120mm system fans, as I do, the Sphere may get lost on such a background.