Zalman CNPS9900 LED: The End of the Nines

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The most critical aspect of installation is for the heatsink to be securely mounted. The more firmly it is installed, the better the contact between the heatsink's base and the CPU itself. It's also less likely to fall off. Ease of installation is also important — a simple mounting scheme means less time spent installing, and a reduced likelihood of screwing up.

A notch in the center of the mounting plate acts as a guide for the AMD mounting clip. On most AMD motherboards the CNPS9900 will point in the "proper" east-west orientation, blowing toward the rear exhaust inside a typical ATX case.

LGA775 installation is a more involved process requiring a plastic plate to be attached to the back-side of the motherboard. A retention module is then mounted on the top-side of the board with four long screws that secure it to the backplate. Finally a metal mounting frame with integrated spring-loaded bolts is slipped over the heatsink and and screwed into the retention module.

The thickness and curvature of the back-side of the cooler makes tightening two of the bolts difficult. A screwdriver has to be inserted at an angle to get access.

Fully installed on our LGA775 test platform.

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