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Compatibility and Installation

Zalman CNPS14X is compatible with all contemporary platforms and the installation procedure is very easy and intuitive and shouldn’t pose any problems even for inexperienced users. The first step for any platform is to attach the universal retention brackets to the base of the cooler:

They are so universal that we could only install the cooler onto our LGA 2011 mainboard in one position, because when we turned it by 90 degrees, the AMD retention loops would interfere with the heatsinks on the processor voltage regulator components and wouldn’t let us position the cooler exactly in the middle of the CPU heat-spreader.

Now comes the most interesting part: using a special wrench you should evenly tighten the retention screws holding the brackets:

And trust me, this is a real challenge! Since the heatsinks on the VRM components and the tall memory module heat-spreaders are very close to the cooler, this wrench can only go 1/3 of the turn at a time at best. Moreover, it constantly slips, which makes this seemingly simple task take even longer. There is absolutely no way you could use any alternative tools, because the screws are directly beneath the heatsink. Anyway, after about 15-20 minutes of suffering, the cooler was secured in place. No kidding: this is the procedure you really want to do only once.

As for the clearance between the mainboard PCB and the lowest heatsink fin, here everything is fine and there is no interference with any of the heatsinks on the mainboard or memory modules:

 

The new Zalman cooler looks very attractive inside a system case:

The cherry on top could be some fan LEDs with mild glow, IMHO.

 
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