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BOARD & CASE PREPARATION
Building a system in the TC-100 is really the only way to assess it. We asked for and received the cooling kit for the Intel D945GCLF; it works with either the dual core or single core version, as the layout is the same, and the TDP of the CPUs is very low, 4W vs 8W. A single-core Atom 230 D945GCLF board was the one readily available and on hand, so it was installed in the system.
Some preparation of the board is needed. The heatsinks on the NB chip and CPU must be removed and replaced with the heat transfer blocks (which act much like the bases in a heatsink) provided in the Coolermaster cooling kit. The removal went smoothly. We took the precaution of running the board in the BIOS for a few minutes to let warm and soften the thermal interface material under the CPU and NB chip. Upon power off, the heatsinks twisted off easily when the original wire clips were removed.
Intel D945GCLF single-core Atom board with original heatsinks removed, ready for installation of aluminum alloy heat block .
Heat blocks installed easily enough. A small pair of pliers was useful here.
Risers for the mounting screws were installed to the motherboard tray.
The instructions called for the provided Thermal Interface Material to be applied to the blocks. Ambient room temperature was around 20°C, and the TIM proved to be quite thick. We should have warmed it with a hair dryer to soften it a bit.
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