So I'm gathering components for a friend, and stumbled across something I haven't dealt with before.
After the initial surprise, I started to think about CPU coolers, and realized that all I needed was something better than the stock Intel one (which isn't good with IB). However, I got chills when I thought about the backplate on the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo... That was a very ugly installation.
So, here's what I'm asking:
What's a decent (keep in mind, no overclocking) LGA 1155, easy to install CPU heatsink that won't cause problems with RAM or anything? I was thinking maybe something from Xigmatek?
The 212 +/EVO retention clip isn't so bad once you are familiar with it. Even better if the case has a rear access window for the CPU area. My case is a first-gen Antec 300 without MB tray rear-access window so I had to pull my PC apart to install it.
I personally do not trust push-pins with anything much bigger than the stock HSF and even then, only for the first 2-3 years.
The screws have one side ground flat. Once the nut is threaded onto the screw, you do not need to hold the stud anymore. IMO, that actually was the easiest part of the install.
1- line up the plate with a hole
2- push the stud's threaded end through the mobo/plate
3- thread the nut (3-4 turns by hand)
4- repeat from #1 for the 2nd stud, now the plate is locked in aligment with the remaining holes if you picked the right notches
5- thread remaining two studs
6- tighten nuts using a phillips screwdriver and the hex-nut adapter supplied with the HSF
I really don't much like the stock Intel cooler, but if you have a ivy bridge cpu without overclocking, it will be just fine.
Discount the stories you have heard, ivy bridge runs cool. It is only when overclocking with elevated voltage that the chip gets hot.
I really think you should use the stock cooler. Or,at least, try it first.
Here is how to mount it:
To mount the Intel stock cooler properly, place the motherboard on top of the foam or cardboard backing that was packed with it.
The stock cooler will come with paste pre applied, it looks like three grey strips.
The 4 push pins should come in the proper position for installation, that is with the pins rotated in the direction of the arrow,(counter clockwise) as far as they can go. If you want, play with the pushpin mechanism until you know how they work.
Place the cooler so that all 4 pins are oriented over the holes in the motherboard.
Push down on the entire cooler so that all 4 pins are through the motherboard.
When you push down on the top black pins, it expands the white plastic pins to fix the cooler in place.
The trick to getting it on is to push down on a diagonal pair of pins at the same time. Then the other pair.
If you do them one at a time, you will not get the cooler on straight.
Lastly, look at the back of the motherboard to verify that all 4 pins are equally through the motherboard, and that the cooler is on firmly.
This last step must be done, which is why the motherboard must be out of the case to do the job.
It is possible to mount the cooler with the motherboard mounted in the case, but you can then never be certain that the push pins are inserted properly.
If you should need to remove the cooler, turn the pins clockwise to unlock them. You will need to clean off the old paste and reapply new if you ever take the cooler off.