So lets get this stealthy looking cooler installed and see how well it drops temps. The instructions are pretty good, and the method for install is slightly unique, I would suggest following them fairly closely.
First thing flip the cooler over and set it on your work surface top down and peel off the protective sticker. As you can see the base is pretty well machined. Of course this is direct contact, so there are gaps on the base surface. This is about as good as it gets for perfect contact on this type of cooler.
Putting together the clips for attaching the heatsink to the backplate reminded me of building with an old Erector set, it’s also the reason for the smaller screwdriver.
The design is sort of clever actually. You simply attach the ends to the clip, with one of the small screws. Insert the screw at the correct hole to match your socket type, in this case 1155. Then you attach the assembled clip to the base. Make sure you are checking your screws. There are two different lengths. The shorter ones attach the ends to the clip, and the longer attach the clip to the base.
Next you want to put the mounting screws through the correct holes in the backplate. The holes are clearly marked on the backplate for socket type which is convenient. You want to do this so you can get everything lined up correctly.
As you can see the backplate is two straight pieces connected at the middle with a screw. This allows you to easily adjust the backplate to your hole locations, very nice.
At this point you will want to apply your thermal paste. It is recommended that with a direct contact base design that you put some on the heatsink as well as the CPU lid. I recommend that you put a bit on the heatsink base, then take a plastic card (think credit card etc.) that you won’t necessarily need again and spread the paste across the heasink surface. Essentially you are trying to fill the gaps somewhat. I suggest leaving the bit on the CPU in a drop in the middle.
Here is where the install process goes south. Take the heatsink and line it up with the screws through the backplate. When you think it is close enough press it firmly onto the CPU. Now you have to attach those screws into the mounting clip ends from behind the motherboard. This is not clever. As you can imagine, you will have to keep the coolers base pressed firmly onto the CPU, keep the mounting bracket from falling out, and try to use a screwdriver to turn the screws into place. Oh did I mention the small screws yet? Well these are small, and small screws have small threads, and small threads need to be lined up perfectly or they bind as they go in, so be careful.
Once you get each screw started move onto the others until all four are started. Then in a cross pattern tighten them down to ensure you have an even contact with CPU.
With the cooler in place attach the PWM plug to the CPU_FAN header on the motherboard. You will also install the fan controller into an open expansion slot at the back of your case. The wires are not terribly long, you will want to use a slot near to the cooler.