Installation and Finished Product
First things first, and as per the instructions, we made sure to shift the studs inward for LGA115X installation, line the studs up with the holes, and press the backplate into place. At this point, you hold the bracket in one hand while you flip over the motherboard and slide it onto the table for the next step.
Of course, each installation may require slightly different parts, but the next step is to add the standoffs and lock the backplate to the motherboard with them. There isn't a need for washers as the standoffs do allow for a bit of play, and once fully installed, they do not touch the motherboard.
To get here, we applied thermal paste, set the head unit into place, and tightened the four nuts around the head unit. Of course, be sure to tighten them in an X-pattern to get an even application of pressure to the CPU.
As we peek over the RAM to see the head unit, there isn't that much to see! Most of the head unit is below the sticks, and we see a bit of the fittings and the entire rotatable top portion of the head unit.
At this point, we ran into a slight issue! As anyone would likely try to install the X53, we found that the head unit is indeed larger, even though the specifications show the same diameter, they did not account for the collar of the fittings! In our system, the colors are pressing up against the RAM, changing its angle, but not enough to cause us any issues when testing the system. We would have thought this was a no-no to infringe on the RAM like that, but NZXT says to just change the orientation and rotate the top, which is one answer, albeit a messy one.
When installed as expected, the cables are at the top of the motherboard, which makes things super easy and keeps wires hidden and not running over the motherboard too much. When reorienting this cooler, if we want it not to touch the RAM at all, there are only two of the four possible orientations viable for the average user of this product! On the flip side, if you are OK with the RAM issue, clearance is otherwise sufficient, but again, that can change.
Even with a vast gap from the top of the motherboard to where we hung the radiator in the D-Frame, we have more than enough tubing, as our fittings are still pointing downwards, not stress on any of the connections.
Once powered, the head unit comes to life with the infinity mirror ring around the outside, and an NZXT logo in the center. Both can be changed via software to anything RGB, individual of each other, and anything connected to the HUE 2 lead from the head unit will match the X53. There are various preset mode options, a vast array of colors to pick from, and while in CAM, you can also look at the pump speed curve.
Just in case the review somehow left any doubt as to the rotatable top portion, compare this to the previous image. All things are identical, but we have rotated the cap ninety-degrees, so you can see that no matter the orientation of head unit installation, you have twelve segmented stops around the dial. Still, it will also sit at any angle, and it just isn't "locked" by the segmentations.
Last updated: Jan 29, 2020 at 06:11 am CST