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Zalman retained the same basic structure and design of the 7000 series: A large number of flat thin pieces of metal are bolted very tightly together. One portion of the joined edges is polished to serve as the base, and the other pieces bent to form a near-complete radial arrangement of fins. Two openings in the fin array allow space for the joining bolts, the central captive steel spring clip and the integrated fan. It is a unique design for which Zalman have a couple of Korean patents, and patents are pending in 20 other countries, including the US, EU and Japan.
Hard to tell it apart from a 7000.
The photo below shows clearly that the profile of the 7700 was designed to clear tall motherboard components around the CPU socket. The motherboard compatibility is probably not much worse than the smaller 7000 because the greater diameter flare happens at a good height above the motherboard.
As usual for Zalman, a superbly polished base.
The central rocker-style steel tension bar remains at the heart of the mounting system. It is a logical extension of the simple clip mechanism that has been used for CPUs for well over a decade. Where Zalman has been innovative is in developing interchangeable mating ends and mechanical interfaces for the various processor form factors.
For the Socket 478 platform, two metal bars or "yokes" are employed. These drawings from the excellent manual illustrates it well.
For the socket 775, a retention bracket system that goes above and below the CPU socket is employed. The retention brackets must be installed before the motherboard is mounted in a case. Again, drawings from the manual:
The setup for the AMD 754, 940 and 939 processors are all the same, as the same heatsink retention system is employed. A replacement backplate is supplied, but it is identical, as far as we can tell, to the ones that come stock on recent A64 motherboards, so replacement may not be necessary.
Here are photos of the 7700-AlCu shown on mounting mechanisms for the various platforms.
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