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10 Mammoth CPU Coolers: Size Does Matter


All installation clips

How long it takes to install this cooler depends entirely on the CPU socket. The fortunate souls in this case are the owners of the older generation CPUs, namely the Socket 478 and the Socket A. The installation for these sockets shouldn't take more than five minutes for nimble users, since the motherboard remains in the PC during the process.

For Socket A , you first need to fasten a clamp over the socket by snapping it onto the nibs of the socket. Make sure that the arrows on the clamp are facing the socket markings, so that the cooler later sits directly over the die. If the clamp is fastened in the wrong direction, the CPU may be irreparably damaged. Next, the cooler can simply be fastened with two screws. Here the cooler should be held straight and the screws fastened on both sides evenly, to avoid damaging the sensitive die. After the cable is attached, the installation is complete.

Installing the unit on Socket 478 is nearly as quick and painless: two brackets are inserted into the retention module. The cooler is placed on the CPU and attached with two screws. After the fan connector is attached to the mainboard, the installation is complete.

For Sockets 754/939 and LGA775, however, the user can expect to spend up to an hour installing the cooler, since the motherboard must be removed and then reinstalled. Aside from that, the installation isn't really that difficult.

For Socket 754 / 939 , after the motherboard is removed the enclosed backplate should be mounted on the back of the board and fastened with clips. Washers protect the board from damage. Then the cooler is attached to the clip.

No backplate is used for the LGA775 ; instead two fastening clips are attached to the board and tightened from below. Once again, special washers are used to protect against damage. Finally, the cooler is attached to the clips, using the trusty two screws.

For these sockets the fan connector also needs to be attached. Users can decide for themselves whether to re-mount the motherboard in the case before or after the cooler has been installed. Installing the cooler while the motherboard is still in the case is not particularly difficult; the only tricky part can be trying to reach the 3-pin adapter on the board.