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Hardware Installation

System Builder Marathon, March 2010: $750 Gaming PC

The main concern when choosing the Xigmatek HDT-SD964 cooler for a Socket AM2/AM3 build is that mounting is only possible in a vertical orientation. CPU heat isn’t a problem for us with a 140mm top-mounted exhaust fan, but this drawback would likely disrupt front-to-rear airflow in other enclosures.

While use of many coolers, such as the popular 120mm Xigmatek HDT-S1283, will limit RAM heat-spreader height or even prevent use of the first DIMM slot altogether, our 92mm cooler doesn’t cause any such interference.

This was a simple build that went without a hitch. Of course, we wouldn’t expect to run into many problems putting less than $700 worth of components into a roomy mid-tower case like the Antec Three Hundred Illusion.

Stretching the +12V CPU lead up to the motherboard’s eight-pin connector is a bit unsightly. But thankfully, the lack of a clear acrylic side panel meant we didn’t need to be too picky about the final cable management.

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