Review: CoolerMaster Ultra Vortex HSF

Cooling
Viewing page 3 of 4 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

INSTALLATION

Removal of the motherboard is mandatory unless you happen to have a case that has a large opening on the motherboard tray beneath the CPU socket area. Even if you do, it may be safer to pull the motherboard out. The Ultra Vortex was installed on my standard socket 478 test platform, the Intel D845PEBT2 motherboard.

The process was somewhat convoluted:

  • Remove standard HS retention bracket from the motherboard.
  • Place the back support plate so that the four corner threaded posts line up to the holes around the CPU socket.
  • Place the heatsink so that its four corner mounting holes line up to the holes around the CPU socket.

Uh-oh! At this point, I ran into a serious problem. As the picture below shows, the center mounting lug that's used for the K8 but useless here, knocks up against the northbridge heatsink on the Intel motherboard, impeding proper contact between base and CPU. Hmmmmm.


NB heatsink on Intel D845PEBT2 motherboard interferes with center mounting lug on Ultra Vortex.

What to do? There were two basic options:

  1. Move to a testing rig that does not present this problem. Then there would be the issue of thermal consistency between the new board and old... and given the huge number of HS that were tested with the current board, I decided to go with the second option.
  2. Cut or bend the offending center lug so that the HS will mount properly on the current board.

It took work with tip snips, a vise, some hefty pliers and many offerings to the Gods of Workshop Profanity, but in the end, the tough steel of the Ultra Vortex's mounting bracket succumbed to my assault. Amazingly, I managed to avoid any other damage to the HS.


Offending lug bent back to allow proper installation.

So, to describe the installation process from the beginning again...

  • Remove standard HS retention bracket from the motherboard.
  • Place the back support plate so that the four corner threaded posts line up to the holes around the CPU socket.
  • Place the heatsink so that its four corner mounting holes line up to the holes around the CPU socket.
  • Discover interference between NB heatsink and the middle mounting lug on one side of the Ultra Vortex.
  • Bend the offending lug out of the way.
  • Line up the HS to the holes around the CPU socket.
  • Flip the board over with the HS roughly in place, and get at least one machine screw in from the bottom, about halfway. That's right, the screws have to go in from the bottom. It's how the thing is designed. This is because the fins would interfere with a screwdriver if you tried to go in from the top.
  • Engage each of the screws in turn, but don't tighten any of them all the way.
  • Once all four screws are engaged, tighten each one in turn, going from corner to opposite corner, taking several turns around the four screws before fully tightening all of them.


It was easiest to flip the board over when tightening the screws.


Finally mounted on the test platform.

Overall, the installation process is not easy and cannot be recommended for anyone who has little experience or mechanical savvy. It's difficult to know how many other socket 478 boards would have this interference problem with the center mounting lugs meant for K8. I would imgaine a few, anyway, because of the low position of the lugs. As for the socket 478 mounting lugs intefering with installation on a K8 board, again, it's difficult to say, but I would certainly not rule it out. At time of writing, CoolerMaster does not appear to have a motherboard compatibility list for the Ultra Vortex on their web site.



Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

Cooling - Article Index
Help support this site, buy the CoolerMaster Ultra Vortex HSF from one of our affiliate retailers!