As I stated before, this heatsink won't be installed like a normal HSF would. The sheer mass of it would be too great for a simple clipping mechanism to be able to hold it in place without movement, so a different plan of attack had to be developed.
Notice the four holes that surround the socket in the photo above. These are going to be what anchors this monstrosity firmly to the motherboard. How? Actually, it will be relatively simple, but you will HAVE to remove the motherboard from the case to install this sink. There is just no way around it.
Here is what we have after we have installed the standoffs into the holes. Since motherboard manufacturers have two different sizes for these hole (depending on the model of the board), Alpha has included plastic washers that can be used for whichever one you happen to have.
But how are these standoffs secured?
This is a picture of the backside of the socket. After you place the proper size washer in the hole, you insert the aluminum standoffs and then secure them with small plastic hex nuts. A lot of torque is not necessary for these; just enough to allow you to make sure that they won't loosen up on you later on.
Now that the standoffs are in place, it's time to install the sink itself.
A long screw with a spring is what is needed for the installation of the sink to the standoffs. The screws are tightened all the way into the standoffs, and this will apply the proper torque to the processor core. The springs will allow for a bit of flexibility in case your motherboard is just a bit out of spec.
I liked the fact that you couldn't tighten the sink too far down and hurt your processor. While the prices of the Thunderbirds have dropped dramatically over the past year, that still doesn't mean that I want to go out and buy a new one after breaking it. Fortunately, that won't be a problem here.
So now all that's left is to add the shroud and the fan.
And there you have it. The shroud is placed onto the heatsink, and then the fan is screwed down onto the unit. And remember, even when you get the unit without a fan, all necessary hardware is included for mounting it.
Now for an important tidbit of knowledge…
A lot of folks are going to be concerned about the large size of the sink. I was too, especially since I have the Abit KT7A motherboard. This series of motherboard is notorious for the closeness of the capacitors to the socket. As a matter of fact, there are a number of heatsinks that just won't fit onto this board because of this.
As you can see above, there isn't much room left between the sink and the capacitors, but it fit without any problems at all. I didn't have to bend any of them away to allow for the fitting; it just snugged right in and mounted like it was designed to.
So unless you have a motherboard that is even more compact than the KT7A model (unlikely), then you can be assured that it will fit nicely onto the processor.
So now that we have seen what the sink is all about, and also checked out the installation of it, let's see what it can do…