Planning & Installation, Continued
With the preliminaries out of the way, we can install our water-cooling blocks. The Koolance CPU block we're using requires a metal support bracket to be installed behind the CPU socket. The support bracket comes with a plastic flange to prevent electrically shorting out the motherboard, which is really quite good. We begin by detaching the motherboard from the case and installing the support bracket:
The CPU block support bracket on the back of the motherboard
With the motherboard detached, we can also remove the stock heat sink that is attached to the motherboard's chipset. In our case, the motherboard is a Biostar 965PT, and the chipset is cooled with a passive heat sink that is held on with plastic pegs.
The motherboard's chipset with the heat sink removed, ready for the water block
Once it's removed, we must attach the mounting hardware that comes with the chipset water block.
During this installation, we noted that the chipset cooler's mounting hardware - specifically a plastic washer - appeared to pressure a resistor on the back of the motherboard. This is the kind of thing you have to watch out for during an install of custom equipment. Simply tightening the bolts for this mounting hardware might have done irreparable damage to the motherboard, so pay attention and take care!
With the CPU and chipset mounting hardware attached, we can re-attach the motherboard to the PC case and start thinking about attaching the water blocks to the CPU and chipset. Make sure to clean the CPU and chipset of old thermal paste before applying a thin layer of new thermal paste for the water blocks.
The CPU with the water block mounting hardware
You may want to attach the liquid coolant tubes to the water blocks before mounting them to the motherboard. Although it's a bit more difficult to work with this way, I was more comfortable twisting on the compression fittings - which take a bit of torque and force - before they were attached to the vulnerable CPU and chipset. Just make sure you've given yourself enough hose to play with and you can trim it to fit later.