- Unboxing, Overview and Disassembly
- Liquid Flow Restriction
- Thermal Performance
First up, Intel LGA 2011(-3). This assumes that you have the appropriate mounting brackets installed already. Take out the 4 metal springs and place one each over the mounting bolts like so:
Apply TIM on the CPU IHS. You may want to try out different methods, including pre-spreading using the provided spreading tool. For the sake of uniformity I am going to demonstrate this using a thin line down the middle, and using the provided Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut TIM:
Place the CPU block over the IHS. Aquacomputer recommends placing it like so:
Note that this is what I refer to as a “goofy” orientation. Once placed, simply use the bolt/spring combo on each of the 4 corners such that the bolts go through the round inserts and thread down in a cross fashion till you run out of thread. You can use your fingers initially as there is enough grip on the sides, and then the provided Hex tool will come handy:
Note that the “goofy” orientation is such that the lettering NEXT is directly visible in a standard ATX vertical layout. TIM spread was pretty good considering that TG Kryonaut is very dense:
I recommend pre-spreading for a more uniform spread here.
On to LGA 115x, again assuming the mounting brackets are changed. Refer to page 2 for more details on this. You may need to remove the middle part of the insulating gasket to get it and the actual backplate to fit around the socket latch mechanism screws:
Make sure the gasket is between the backplate and the PCB. Take the 4 plastic washers and the 4 retention bolts and use them from the other side of the motherboard PCB and into the backplate like so:
This isn’t the easiest of processes given the lack of grip, and the washer has enough flex to where the retention bolts will always have some loose rotation. This can affect the removal of the block once installed as the mounting bolts thread into these better than how these thread into the backplate. It is something I have seen with a lot of CPU blocks and coolers on LGA 115x unfortunately, such is the nature of the CPU sockets without an integrated backplate.
Apply TIM (I used a thin grain in the middle) and place the block on top, and through the retention bolts:
Follow the same steps as before, noting that the springs will go lower than the mounting brackets even more so here:
TIM spread was okay, but not as good as I have with others:
One could argue that is enough for smaller CPUs on the LGA 115x socket, but again pre-spreading did a better job as did using the block in the regular orientation as shown here on LGA 2011-3:
Note also that some motherboards have capacitors fairly close to the CPU socket, and sometimes close enough to void Intel specs and cause an issue in terms of block mounting wherein the capacitors get in the way of a good mount. If you have such an issue, change the block orientation and see if that helps. This is more often the case with m-ITX motherboards where components are densely populated on the PCB. On a larger ATX motherboard, there were no such capacitors present thus attributing the relatively weak contact with the nature of the universal jetplate design that may be more compatible with the slightly concave IHS on LGA 2011-3 to the more convex IHS on LGA 115x. Aquacomputer says they have 3D scans of multiple different Intel and AMD CPU IHS to get an average “deformity” that was accounted for in the design but there is only so much you can do here unless you go with customized internals similar to what EK did with the Supremacy Evo.
Overall, installation was good with no guesswork involved. I will also point out that Aquacomputer went with this method of having the springs under the level of the mounting brackets so as to have the mounting bolts just jut over them and have a mostly level look as opposed to having something tall extending over the height of the CPU block itself. Aquacomputer calls this their Flush Mounting System- FMS.
Let’s now take a look at the block’s performance beginning with liquid flow restriction on the next page.