Zalman CNPS8700 LED CPU Cooler: Update of a Classic

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Installation on our LGA775 platform was fairly straight forward. Utilizing the four mounting holes around the socket, a "X" shaped backplate on the back of the board is mated to a plastic mounting frame on the other side with screws.

On our test bed motherboard there was approximately two millimeters of clearance between the frame and several small capacitors.

An AMD installation is much simpler as no mounting frame is required. The standard clip is basically a "native" AM2 socket clip, and it engages directly onto the standard AM2 (or the earlier 939/754/940) heatsink retention bracket that comes installed on the motherboards.

Thermal compound is applied to the processor and the heatsink is placed atop of it. The metal clip is slipped across the heatsink between the heatpipes. One side of the clip latches onto the mounting frame. On the other side a small lever must be slipped over the clip and into one of two notches (one for Intel, the other for AMD). The lever not only gives you leverage to depress the clip, but actually is the other piece that hooks into place. This took us a few moments to figure out the details as the instructions and diagrams were not very clear.

Depending on how you orient the frame, the lever may cause interference. On our test motherboard with the lever pointing downward, it interfered with the northbridge heatsink. To the rear it was blocked by the VRM heatsink. When pointed above it overhung the edge of the board by almost a centimeter which could get in the way of a power supply if it was mounted inside a case. The heatsink itself also may exceed the board's edge depending on the location of the socket. No matter what motherboard you use, though, there should be at least one orientation where the lever won't cause any problems. On another positive note, no tools were needed to mount the heatsink.

Both the heatsink and lever may overhang the edge of the motherboard.

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