Installation and Finished Product
For the installation on the Z68, I aligned the holes in the plate with the screws in the socket, and simply slid in the threaded screws so that I can get the black risers on them to hold this all in place for the rest of the installation process.
The risers actually are threaded at the top, and this allows you to thread each of the screws snugly to the motherboard. At this point the back plate is secure, and we need the top brackets and the nuts to get to the next step.
When installing the Intel brackets, you need to have the curves facing the socket, and with the oval holes to mount them, it does take a little work to align it evenly, but once you got them right where they need to be, secure them in place with the nuts.
Once you put a little paste on the CPU, remove the sticker from the base and set the cooler into place. To get to the mounting screws, you don't have to pull the shrouds, but rather just slide the fan out of it for access. Once in the right place, the groove in the cross bar, and the tabs on the top of the base locks the NiC C5 into one place, and doesn't allow any sort of wiggle room.
Looking down onto the NiC C5 when it is installed, it is a bit blurry at the motherboard level, but even from back this far, you can tell there aren't going to be any clearance issues around this cooler.
I moved the memory into the incorrect slots just to show what can be achieved with the NiC C5, but you can see that the cooler sits much lower than these heat spreaders do, maybe even as low as a set of naked stick, but with the thin design, it doesn't matter.
Once you get down and close to the memory modules, you can see there is more than enough daylight showing through between the memory and the cooler. This is also the same room afforded on the back side of the cooler for socket LGA2011 users with memory on both sides of the CPU.
The rounded edges of the shrouds aren't just to give the cooler a girlish figure. These curves were designed to allow access to both screws on the right of the cooler to allow you to drop this motherboard into a case with the cooler already installed, while offering room for the screwdriver to access these screws.
Since it matched the D-Frame so well, and this is the coolers intended environment, I had to snap this image. With an open air chassis you have access to the VR controller for the fans, and you also have access to try and improve on the cooling with some monster fans if you have them. Remember, this is a 230W TDP cooler intended for overclockers, and access to both the cooler and the components around it are the key to its design and success.