Installation and Finished Product
As it usually is, the first step of the installation is to put the backplate in place. Remember to pull the backing from the 3M tape, as it helps hold the backplate in place, for those times when you may need to remove the cooler, but do not want to remove the motherboard to do it. The plate can be installed with north and south reversed, as the backplate is drilled to allow socket mounting screws at both ends.
On this Intel system, we installed the LGA115X standoffs into the backplate, placed the top brackets on, and screwed the knurled nuts down to lock it all in place. With the AMD system, you use the plastic spacers, put the bracket on, and then use the provided screws to lock it all down.
At the top of the base is a cross-bar bracket to secure the cooler to the mounting hardware. The top cover of the cooler must be removed to access them, as seen here. Alternate between the two screws every couple of turns until you run out of threads. Other reviews have complained of socket clearance, but we saw no such issues with our motherboard.
We had wondered if the Patriot RAM would be too tall for the cooler, but as you can see, the fan is in the lowest position, and there are a few millimeters clearance. You could be running something taller like Dominator kits, but keep in mind, you will have to raise the fan, which not only increases the overall height but also moves some of the airflow of the fan over the top of the cooler rather than through the tower.
It was not as easy to see from the front view, but once we got to the side, you can see it isn't just one or two sticks that could be an issue. The ML fan hangs over all of the RAM slots on our motherboard.
Taking a step back from the last image, the sense of enormity is put into perspective. For those with HEDT Intel systems, RAM height is an issue on both sides of the socket, and the 171mm of distance from the front to the back covers almost everything at the top of the motherboard. Even though we can attach the 8-pin in an open-air chassis, for those of you with typical cases, you may want to plug in the 8-pin with the modular cable before installing the motherboard.
At this point, we are ready to add some power and get to testing, but the size of the A500 is easy to judge from this view. It is so large that there is very little above the cooler to see of the motherboard, and to the right is just enough room left to read the POST code display. On the left, we started to cover the plastic over the rear I/O, but we can still see the name of the motherboard. As to the first slot access, even though it cannot be seen in this image, we had clearance to use it if desired.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:34 pm CDT