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Installing the Condor is about as simple as it gets, but, because of its size, good system planning is essential. Each cooler is
customized for a specific card, so there is no confusion with multiple brackets
or which mounting holes to use. Installing it is as simple as placing the card
onto the base and screwing them together. It can be a little difficult to align
the screw holes properly, so Aerocase includes two toothpicks to help keep the
card aligned while the screws are installed. This low tech solution worked well so long as the
card was level (which required the base to be propped up), but the card had a tendency
to slide out of alignment if given a chance.
Aerocase recommends using the metal backplate that comes with the stock cooler
if there is one, but this is not a requirement and no backup plate is included.
Our test card did not have with a backplate, but we had no problems installing
A pair of toothpicks are included to help align the screw holes.
Fully installed simple.
Not surprisingly for such a large cooler, the Condor is quite heavy, and placed
our test card under a lot of stress when installed. It weighs more than a pound,
and most of that is suspended above the top of the card, producing a lot of
cantilever force. When the card was installed in the system, it was visibly
twisted. If possible, it is a good idea to support the back corner of the card
in some way.
The photo below shows where the heatsink hangs in relation to the video card.
Our sample was the reverse wing version that is intended for use in systems
with tall, tower-style CPU heatsinks. The regular version positions the heatsink
over the CPU, where it borrows airflow from the CPU heatsink and the system
fan. The reverse cooler will be out of system airflow in most
cases, as it is in our test system; the regular
version is probably preferable if it will fit. Alternately, Aerocase recommends using the reverse wing
model in systems with both exhaust and intake fans to ensure that the
bottom portion of the case gets adequate airflow. Another trick is to remove the covers of the PCI slots to encourage additional in/out flow near the heatsink.
Our sample hung over the expansion slots, but there is also a version
that positions the heatsink over the CPU socket.
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