be quiet! Shadow Rock Slim CPU Cooler

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The most critical aspect of installation is that the heatsink be securely mounted. A firm mounting results in good contact between the cooler's base and the CPU heatspreader and more efficient heat conduction. Ideally it should also be a simple procedure with the user having to handle as few pieces of hardware as possible.

The mounting system is rather convoluted, with three metal pieces screwed to one another for each mounting hole. Worst yet, a wrench is needed to tighten the assembly topside.

The nuts are used to finish the install, mating the mounting clips to the rest of the system but with three interlocking pieces it's difficult to tighten properly. We ended up using pliers to keep the nut from moving and tightening the opposite side with a screwdriver. The Dark Rock 2, used screws that went through the backplate and linked up directly with the mounting clips.

Positioning of the mounting clips underneath rather than on top of the mounting plate usually results in poor performance. Here you can see the mounting clip slightly pulling away from the base. This extra pressure would be better served pulling the heatsink down to make better contact with the CPU.

Fully assembled on our LGA1366 testing platform.

The heatsink's slim profile kept the fan well away from the memory slots on our test motherboard.

The thermal compound imprint left on the CPU shows very good contact at the center, where it's most needed. The residual TIM is thicker at the sides indicates poorer contact. Note, this is a picture taken on our LGA1155 platform, though it was tested on the LGA1366 platform where it left a similar imprint (long story).

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