Installation and Finished Product
Just like I explained in the hardware section, you are going to need to set in the threaded nut and place the retention clip over it. Keep in mind, for both AMD and Intel, the bar is folded down, and you slide the nut in from the bottom. The clips will not work of the back plate is flipped.
Align the nuts of the back plate with the retention holes. Since there are holes drilled on both ends, this plate will go on either way, end to end. The loading block is installed to add some space, making the cooler much snugger, and uses more pressure on the IHS.
Going back to the cooler, I needed to install the Intel mounting legs. The only thing to keep in mind here is to make sure the legs get put on with the tabs bending away from the fins. It is going to be near impossible to install if these are reversed.
Once you apply some TIM to the IHS of the CPU, set the cooler into place, and grab the gold screws to mount the cooler to the back plate. These screws are only threaded so far up the shaft, and you continue to screw them in until the thread stop and you cannot screw them in any further.
When I said this cooler is super low profile, I wasn't joking in any shape, way or form. As you can see, or rather it is what you cannot see over the memory that is impressive. Zalman really does offer a solution to go where not many other coolers can go.
I also mentioned that since the fan takes are in through the center and blows out in all directions around its diameter, it should offer a fair amount of air flow to the heat sinks that surround the socket, helping to cool more than just the CPU in the very tight confines of some Mini-ITX cases.
Stepping back away from the motherboard, you can now see the CNPS2X in all of its sexy copper colored glory. There definitely is not going to be any issues with getting to the 8-pin plug or sticking in whatever memory you want, we just need to get to the testing and see what this is capable of.