- Unboxing, Overview and Disassembly
- Liquid Flow Restriction
- Thermal Performance
The two-piece mounting brackets simply clip in place around the cutouts at the bottom of the block, and I have the Intel mounting brackets in place here for my installation demo:
First up, Intel LGA 2011 (-3). Apply TIM on the CPU IHS (I used a thin line in the middle as seen below for the demo):
Take the 4 M4 threaded screws from the Intel pouch, have a metal spring and washer on each of them like so:
Place these through the holes in the mounting bracket on the block, and lock them in place using the metal nuts from the other side till the nuts are at the top (or bottom as you see it) of the M4 threads:
This gives you a ready to install block with screws in place.
(Edit: November 6, 2016: Alphacool informed me there is an error in the manual and that these locking nuts are NOT meant to be used with LGA 2011-3. Please do NOT use them, as it does affect mounting pressure. Tests were re-done with the corrected installation.)
Now simply place the block over the CPU, orient the screws over the cooler mounting holes on the motherboard and tighten the screws in a cross fashion for uniform mounting pressure. Be sure to have the sticker removed from the cold plate:
You are technically done with the block installation as far as functionality goes. There are some aesthetics steps that can be taken though. Take out the provided rubber caps and push them over the screw tops:
This provides some friction to keep the screw covers in place which now go over each screw/cap like so:
It does look neater, and I like the inclusion so people can decide to go either way they want.
TIM spread was not very good though:
There isn’t really any leeway since I screwed the block in all the way and any less would have been even worse. I tried different application methods but I did not end up pleased with any, including pre-spreading the TIM. The springs provided flex too easily thus not providing a lot of mounting pressure. This may hurt thermal performance, but let’s wait and see.
(Edit: November 6, 2016: As per Alphacool’s information regarding the error in the manual noted above, it might explain the poor contact here.)
Now on to LGA 115x. Take the Intel backplate and place it so:
Orient it so that the notches in it align with the socket latch screws on the back, and flipping it over results in something very similar to the starting point for LGA 2011 (-3). This we do the same as before, just with the different screws:
Apply TIM (I used a small grain in the middle here), and install the block as before:
TIM spread here too was not very good, as a result of the same springs used. No issues with any manual error here either. The smaller IHS and die does make it a smaller factor, but here is the TIM spread for that exact application from above:
Remember to plug in the LED cable if you want the block logo to light up:
Let’s now get to testing, beginning with liquid flow restriction on the next page.