I selected the Core i7-2600 chip for my new Sandy Bridge system. I have grown to hate the cooling solutions Intel provides with their CPU’s. Intel uses a small fan which results in high RPM’s which are very noisy. If you select a larger fan like a 120mm you can run the fan at a much lower RPM which will greatly reduce the noise. There are some really crazy looking coolers available these days. I selected the Antec KUHLER Flow because it won’t block your memory slots. Many of the larger coolers today require removing them to gain access to the memory slots which is ridiculous.
The problem with most of these aftermarket coolers is installation. Many require you to remove your motherboard from the case to install a back plate on the underside of the motherboard to help support their weight. If you are building a new system it’s no big deal since you already have the M/B out. The other issue is these coolers are designed to fit a wide variety of Intel or AMD CPU’s and the amount of extra hardware you get can be a bit intimidating.
A Sandy Bridge chip is considered a socket 1155 and the Antec mounting hardware is not updated to state that a 1155 is the exact same size as a 1156 socket. The brackets that go on the underside of the motherboard can go one of two ways, and it had me stumped for a few minutes. The hardware is a square so they fit either way and I selected the wrong way which caused the brackets to sit on top of some solder joints that are not flush with the M/B. Once I tried the brackets in the other direction all was good. Pictures are included with the wrong and correct orientations.
A warning this cooler is tall! I used a Cooler Master Elite 330 case and it just sit with a 1/16” to spare. While building the system I was convinced I made an error buying this case / cooler combination. Luckily it all fit perfectly. While mounting the cooler to the backside bracket you need a special wrench that Antec includes. The cooler blocks two of the four screws to hold it down, so a screwdriver cannot be used. It will be impossible to remove this cooler once it’s installed in the case. You will have to take the M/B out.
|Triple AAA battery for reference to size|