Author: Greg Baden
Installation for the Alaska wasn’t nearly was what I was expecting. It happened to take me much longer than usual, 3-4 times longer to be precise. I’ve had weird and difficult installations before, but nothing was like what I experienced with the Alaska.
The first part was to install metal fan clips to the heatsink. Typically you would think that they would lock on easily to the heatsink, or there would be a slot or something, but there wasn’t. The user’s manual was nearly useless on helping with the installation. After a while of being confused I figured out that the clips were actually supposed to go into the holes on the top/bottom fins. Trying to get both ends in was difficult alone, but then you had to extend them down through all of the fins, making it even more difficult.
The next step was my favorite part of the installation, installing the thermal grease. Included to apply the IceTherm II thermal grease was a plastic applicator. It was easy to apply a thin layer of thermal grease with this simple piece of plastic.
Installing the mounting bracket was pretty simple, but it still had a strange setup. You have to attach the screws to secure the bracket on the side of the base, rather than the top or bottom.
Once you got both brackets attached you had to attach the backplate to the motherboard. I find the best way to do this is to put the bracket down first, then align the motherboard overtop of it.
The next step was the most time consuming part, which really shouldn’t have been. After aligning up the backplate on the motherboard you could then put the heatsink over the CPU. The idea is to attach the heatsink to the backplate via four hex screws with springs. The screws didn’t seem to align very well, and it was difficult to attach them because you couldn’t use your hands or a screwdriver. You had to use the included hex wrench to attach them, which might as well be useless on a motherboard with all of the obstacles in the way. It appears you could use a screwdriver to fasten the screws, but this wasn’t the case, at least for a Phillips screwdriver.
It was time-consuming, but I eventually got the system to work.
Then you just had to attach the fan with the metal clips, which didn’t seem like the sturdiest or most reliable setup.
You may have some clearance issues with the CPU cooler hitting the top of the case (assuming you have a top-mounted motherboard case). Mine was very close to hitting the top of the case, but didn’t; if you look in the pictures I also have a lot of room above the motherboard, as well as fans that are low profile.