Intel i7 860 LGA 1156 processor
ASRock P55 Deluxe motherboard
Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 i7/i5 ready dual channel kit
Sapphire Radeon HD 5850 1GB video card
OCZ Z Series 650 Watt power supply
Ikonik Zaria midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP2
I cannot overstate how fragile the pins are in LGA 1366/LGA 1156 sockets. The LGA 1156 is smaller so harder to damage, but be EXTREMELY CAREFUL when the pins are exposed.
LGA 1156 has a different retaining mechanism from earlier Intel sockets. Observe the socket and the CPU to find the socket’s “keys” and the corresponding slots on the CPU to get the proper orientation of the processor. CAREFULLY place the CPU in the socket, close the retainer and slide the loose end under the locking lug on the motherboard. Carefully lower the lever and lock it in place, STOP if you get what feels like too much resistance, check and make sure the CPU is mounted properly.
Prep the CPU and cooler base with isopropyl alcohol. Place thermal compound on the CPU surface. You will need to use more than you normally would with a flat cooler base, I usually squirt a thick line along the center of the CPU, and use a credit card to spread from the center of the CPU out to each edge. You must spread the thermal compound when installing a CPU cooler with exposed heatpipes as the base will not properly spread the compound itself.
Secure the baseplate and retainer bracket along with the other hardware. You will need all included hardware excepting the second pair of fan retainer clips. (you’ll need them too if you are installing a second fan) There should be four standoffs, four nuts, and a wrench shaped like a small cylinder.
Before getting started you should familiarize yourself with the baseplate and retainer bracket. As I mentioned earlier, these will install the cooler on all three Intel sockets and AMD too. For Intel installation, the baseplate will be installed with the “legs” facing the motherboard. Do not remove the protective tape on the baseplate, it serves to insulate the baseplate from exposed electrical components on the back of the motherboard. When used with LGA 1366 and LGA 1156, the three holes in the center part of the baseplate will correspond with the three screws in the motherboard’s existing baseplate. Though I’m not doing an AMD installation, I should mention that if using with AMD, you will need to remove the motherboard’s cooler mounting hardware.
The “legs” of the baseplate have three openings cut into the slot which will correspond with with the three Intel sockets. LGA 775 uses the innermost opening, LGA 1156 uses the center, and LGA 1366 uses the outer.
Observe the retainer bracket. It will “snap” into different positions, for Intel you will position it so that it is “square”, the legs equally distant from each other. If you look at the ends of the “legs” you will see that each one has three positions to place the mounting screws in, similar to the baseplate.
Finally, take a look at one of the offsets. You will see that one side of the threaded end is ground flat. The flat side will face the flat side of the opening in the baseplate leg. I’d try one before mounting the baseplate just to get the feel of it.
Flip the motherboard over and place the baseplate on it. As I mentioned, the screws in the existing baseplate will correspond with the holes in the cooler baseplate. Move the baseplate around until the holes in the motherboard correspond with the openings in the baseplate’s legs. It took me a while to get it right, partially because there are two sets of holes in the motherboard. Thread the offsets one at a time through the baseplate “legs”. You will have to turn them so that the ground side faces the flat part of the leg opening. Thread a nut onto the offset. After you get all of the offsets installed, take the wrench and a screwdriver and tighten each nut. Don’t overtighten them as there are electrical components under them.
Flip the motherboard over. If you have installed the fan on the cooler, take it off, you’ll install the fan after the cooler is mounted on the motherboard. Look at the top of the cooler base, there is an opening in it. The pin in the center of the retainer bracket will be placed into this hole. (if you thought that installing the baseplate was a balancing act, just wait until you try to keep the bracket in this hole)
Determine how you want the fan oriented. Since it will mount on either side, at this time you just need to decide whether it will face up/down or front/rear. Gently place the cooler base onto the CPU surface. Start one of the mounting screws into the corresponding offset. Next start the one diagonally away from it. Do the same with the other pair of screws. In a diagonal fashion, turn each screw a turn or so until all are snug.
Now install the fan. You may find it easier to stand the motherboard on its edge. Place the fan on the radiator with the anti-vibration pads facing the fins. Look carefully at the photo, the sharp angle of the fan retainer clip will be over the fins rather than over the fan. It took me a while to figure this out, even looking at the instructions. The clips look like are a real pain to install, but they actually are of the best design I have used for fan installation. Install one clip, stretch it over the recess in the side of the radiator, then install the other clip. Plug the fan connector on the CPU_fan bus on the motherboard, and you’re done. Finish building the rig.