Compatibility and Installation
First of all I have to say that Zalman CNPS12X is compatible with all contemporary platforms including the new Intel LGA 2011 platform. You can download the detailed installation instructions from the official web-site. As for us, we are going to discuss the installation peculiarities using our regular LGA 1366 testbed.
The first thing that needs to be done is installing the backplate. You put the plastic caps with bushes onto the backplate feet and then attach the pad with double-sided sticky tape to the center of it:
The threaded bushes in the caps will lock on to the mounts inserted from the front of the mainboard PCB through the insulating washers:
And the pad with double-sided sticky tape will hold the backplate in place during installation:
Once the mounts have been secured in place, you place the steel panels on top of them and top them off with plastic screw-nuts:
The last but not the least is to apply a layer of thermal paste onto the CPU heat-spreader, to install the cooler and press it evenly against the CPU using a steel retention bracket with screws and a hex-key:
The distance between the lowest heatsink fin and the mainboard is no more than 40 mm, but the cooler is very compact that is why it won’t interfere with the tall heat-spreaders on the memory modules or the heatsinks on other electronic components around the processor socket:
I would also like to add that the cooler retention provides significant pressure hold: as you can see, pretty thick steel retention plate bends quite noticeably. At the same time, this retention is extremely reliable: these two pounds of efficiency are definitely not going anywhere.
Zalman CNPS12X looks great inside the system case:
It looks even better when the system is on and all three fans are dispersing not very bright blue glow:
And that’s about it: Zalman CNPS12X is ready to go. Let’s take a closer look at its technical specifications and move on to the cooling efficiency and noise tests.