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Zalman CNPS20LQ how tight is too tight ?

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November 18, 2012 12:39:04 AM

Today I intalled a Zalman CNPS20LQ 'water' cooler on an LGA 2011 Exon cpu.


(photo from Zalman, not my system)

I have a question about how tight the pump should be screwed down onto the CPU.

I used Innovative Cooling's IC7 thermal compound, warmed a bit in some hot water, and the 'pea' method off application as per their instructions.

I tightened the thumbscrews in an X pattern using only my thumb and forefinger until it was pretty tight but I didn't force anything. I kept going in the X pattern and after a few moments one of the four thumbscrews would be loose so I'd tighten that one down a bit. I pressumed the thick compound was spreading out so I kept at it until the screws stopped loosening.

I'm now a bit worried that I may have made things too tight. This is the first time I install a CPU cooler so I don't really know how tight is tight enough. The contacts under the CPU are like a bunch of little springs. Can these suffer from too much pressure or are they already forced flat by the socket clamp ?

As I said I only used thumb and forefinger while tightening but I did go about as tight as I felt the mounting mechanism could take (which isn't an enourmous amount). I used to be a mecanic so I have a fair idea of how tight things should be. What I don't know is how much pressure the CPU and the socket's contacts can take.

Hard to describe over the internet but I'd appreciate some indication of what might be considered too tight.

Thanks.

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a b K Overclocking
November 18, 2012 2:29:42 AM

Hand tight if its hard to turn then it is too much.
extra pressure sometimes can help set the heat sink if you used too much TIM, but generally hand tight and then check it every week make sure its still good.

Remember heat expands so if you to nail it down to tight you can damage it overtime.
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November 26, 2012 5:09:25 PM

I ended up loosening things and retightening a bit less than before.

When I fired up the computer for the first time over the weekend the cpu temperature at idle (case open) rose slowly to 32 deg C and stayed there for a while. Then all of a sudden it dropped down about 10 degrees and stayed there. Could this have been the thermal compound settling in ?

Anyway, the system appears to be running fine and is very quiet, so I'm happy. I'll be stress testing it next and see what happens to the temps.

Thanks thequn
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November 26, 2012 5:09:51 PM

Best answer selected by Paul P.
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