Installation and Finished Product
When it comes to installing the X73, things start easy, as all we did was ensure the studs were slid inward and dropped the backplate into the holes in the motherboard. There is nothing that holds it in place, so you can either flip the board or hold the plate and board in one hand and install the standoffs with the other hand.
Either way, you decide to do it, this should be the result. Specific to this set of hardware, at this time, the backplate and standoffs are not locked into place, but that is intentional and will work correctly after the next step.
Be sure to apply the paste, if, like us, you removed the factory-applied stuff, and then set the head unit in place by aligning the standoffs to the holes in the top bracket. Once that is done, lock it all into place using the knurled nuts, taking the time to give equal turns in an X-pattern, and using a screwdriver to make sure that last thread is used.
Looking over the tops of the Patriot Viper memory, we can see roughly a third of the head unit behind it. This view also gives a perfect perspective for those looking to try to stuff NZXT AIOs into tiny cases. Not this specific one, of course, but the smaller models.
We thought it might have just been the X53 that overstepped its boundaries, but we find the same with the X73. There are options to correct the fact that the cooler presses against the memory, but we feel those solutions are an unsatisfactory answer to something that should not have been an issue in the first place. Two-stick kit users, you will not have this issue, it only happens when all slots are populated
Access to the 8-pin EPS power connection is wide open, there is room to all of the motherboard cooling solutions, and the wiring leaving at the top of the motherboard makes the most sense so that long runs are not needed.
Again, as we saw with the X53, taking the radiator well past what conventional cases offer for distance above the motherboard, we have our tube runs sweeping back and forth to try to keep the fittings level. You are going to have to work hard to find a case that this cooler does not have plenty of distance between the head unit and radiator mounting location to cause an issue with fitment.
Booting the system for the first time, we get our first view of the infinity mirror LED ring, and we also see the NZXT logo illuminated in the center. Both can be changed through Cam to static colors or use various modes and can be done so independently from each other.
If we were in a chassis with an inverted motherboard layout, we can leave the head unit installed as we have it, flip the motherboard 180-degrees, and with a twist of the cap on the head unit, we would see the NZXT logo right-side up. This is a nice feature that has been overlooked for years!
Last updated: Feb 6, 2020 at 06:11 am CST