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Old 17-03-05, 03:52 PM
FarFarAway FarFarAway is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 0
AMD Socket A CPU Heatsink Installation Guide

I've covered fitting and applying thermal paste briefly.

I can't do too much product testing as I only currently have 2, but I will do some research and look at some reviews and try to put as much here as possible...with links to some sites that stock them in the UK.

If anyone has anything they think will help such as their idle/load temps along with the specs/pics of their cooler, then either pm or mail me @ [email protected] and I can add it all in and get as much info on this post as possibe.

Sites to buy from:





Right - here we go.

1: Choosing the Right One

This is one of the most important parts of the process, if not THE most important part.

Getting the right one for what you want is crucial.

I have an AMD XP 3200+ Barton. This is one of the highest cooking XP processors, I needed a good Heatsink and Fan (HSF from now on).

I asked an "expert" when I got my CPU as I was a n00b when I got all this stuff and was recomended an aerocool "Hurricane" as a HSF. This is actually rated below my CPU but it seems to have coped for quite a long time keeping my CPU below 45deg at all times.

However, below is a list of all my personally recomended HSF's for Socket A procesors (no particular order). I've only done a few, as there are many out there!

These are all rated by me, so no slagging my opinions off! ;-):

Swifttech/SilenX HSF combo (MCX-462V). My HSF! This is an excellent cooler. The base is copper and when I recieved mine it was excellent quality on the core that sits on the CPU die. It was very smooth finish when I recieved it, although laping it would still probably gain a more smoother finish.

Cooling: 8.5

Looks: 8

quietness: 9

Value: 7

Pro's: Very quiet and cool, temp monitor included that changes the fan voltage, AS5 tube included

Con's: Big, not amazing looking.

BUY: Kustom PC's or Chillblast (Swifttech Heatsink only)

Zalmon AlCu/Cu Cooler (7000) This is an excellent cooler and many of you will hear and see it rated highly by lots of people. I have seen and heard one of these in action and it did get a bit noisy when loaded up. Kept my friends 3200+ Barton very cool though, even under intense tests. God quality Zalmon product

Cooling: 9

Looks: 8.5

Quietness: 7

Value: 7

Pro's: Looks sweet as its MASSIVE and can come with a shiny blue LED fan. very good cooling properties, good build quality. Comes with paste.

Cons: Has problems as it is sooo big. Check you board for compatibility: here little bit noisy on full load. The Cu version is heavy.

BUY: Aria, Chillblast or Kustom PC's

Thermal Take Volcano 12 Once again, I've heard good things about this cooler. Its a big red cooler that kicks out a good rate of air to your CPU, keeping it very cool. It also comes with a very cool front 3.5" fan controller with an adjustment knob. This gives you much better control over the fan and the noise. This fan is very noisy when at ful load tho.

Cooling: 9

Looks: 8

Quietness: 6.5

Value: 8

Pro's Keeps the CPU very cool, good fan controller coming with it. Good value.

Cons Very heavy (732grams), Loud at load

BUY Aria, Novatech, Chillblast or Kustom PC's

Akasa Carnival This cooler is a very good budget cooler. The quality of the base is ot good at all from what I've heard; and lapping is highly advised. This fan also comes with a roebus fan controller and some thermal paste. This can be controlled automatically, or manually by the roebus. Its quiet when its on low, but can be a bit whiney when on a higher speed. Good value for money.

Cooling: 7.5

Looks: 6 (not a big fan of yellow)

Quietness: 7

Value: 9

Pro's Lots for your money. Not too loud, fan ontroller included

Cons Unfinished base. Yellow - YUK.

BUY Aria, Novatech or Kustom PC's

ADDED: By Request of muffin as below:

The ThermalRight SLK 947 U

Here's a review below:


2: Assembling the HSF and adding Themal Paste

Right well Your HSF should now be in your little puddies ready to go!!

First things first:

1: Unplug the PSU from the Motherboard. I also thoroughly recommend taking the motherboard out of the case and placing it on an anti-static bag. Before you mess around with any hardware, make sure you've let it sit for an hour or so to let the voltage drain out of it.

2: Get an anti-static bracelet when handling the CPU - they can and will short out due to static electricity. That's the reason I have my friend spare (and knackered) 3200+ Barton here to play with! If you don't have one to hand, then hold onto something to ground yourself. Just be sensible basically!

3: Clean the CPU core carefully with some cleaning fluid ALA pics below:

Follow the instructions on the label on the back!

Seating the CPU

As a side note, be careful to seat the CPU properley. Make sure that the gold tick is in the right place as compared to the plastic bit where the motherboard seats the CPU. Check you motherboard instructions carefully on how to do this correctly. DO NOT EVER FORCE THE CPU INTO THE MOTHERBOARD OR IT WILL BREAK!. Also - make sure you lift up the little level that allows you to put the CPU onto the motherboard first. When placing this back down, apply a little pressure to make sure that the CPU stays in place.

NOW: Apply the thermal paste

I have chosen AS5 for this job but the paste that you get with the products is usually ok.

My method:

I'm a cheat and very lazy, so I apply the thermal paste to the HSF with a credit card, as such:

Although I usually take a bit more care than in this pic!! Thin coats only people

Sensible/Not lazy peoples methods::

Most instructions say to do the following:

Lightly coat the processor core with the provided thermal compound. Only a thin coat should do it. Preferably use a razor blade or a credit card and hold it between you thumb and finger at a 45degree angle.

In blue is the core of the processor where the paste should be applied to. In red are stuff (capacitors and spangly stuff) that you should avoid putting thermal paste on or risk shorting out the CPU!!

Thermal Paste applied? Good, now to:

Seat the HSF

This is another bit where you should be very careful. Make sure the side of the HSF that site over the plastic bit, well, sits over the plastic bit on the motherboard. You can tell this as it is slightly lower than the base of the HSF. Now put the fan as according to both you motherboard manual and the instructions that came with your fan. The three-pin plug on the fan has to be plugged into the CPU FAN slot on your motherboard. Some HSF's instruct to do otherwise. If this is the case, then follow the instructions.

Here is the seating on a motherboard that I possess. It is a bit knackered as its once again my friends old one and he broke off one of the bits that some HSF's clip onto!

Circled in red are the bits that the HSF's generally clip onto the motherboard with. In blue is the little lever that you have to lift up BEFORE you put in the CPU! Oh and in green is where the PSU plugs into this board. It should be removed by now for real!

OK, once you have checked the position of the HSF, use either one of the following:

For HSF's with the three "bracket type connectors":

Place the bracket that is over the plastic raised bit of the CPU seating bit onto the plastic clips on the motherboard.

Then get a small thin screwdriver and carefully pull the brackets over the seating clips of the motherboard. Be careful and take you time. This can be frustrating but just work with it and it'll go down eventually!. Mine involved screwing the HSF's screws down to release some spring like mechanisms and then untightening them to tighten the springs once I was done.

For those who have a HSF with one clip.

These are easier! Just seat them the same as the other type and making sure you hook one of the clips on the middle bracket, push the other down with a screwdriver until it clips into place. Once again, once done, CHECK!

Done: Phew!!

Just before you plug it all back in to admire you're good work, CHECK. Check that the HSF is seated properley over the clips and that it all looks good.

Good...now do some checking.

On first boot:

Gon into the BIOS and go to hardware monitor (or whatever you're BIOS calles it) and check the CPU temp to make sure it looks right. Any really high temps here should get you thinking.....

Then boot into windows...and away we go.

I use my motherboards provided system monitor as below:

This is handy to tell how your temps are doing.

If you don;t have one, then download:

Motherboard monitor:



I thinks this ones ok, but I'm sure there are better out there, so if someone wants to enlighten me, then please do!!

I checked my CPU temp at normal room temperature idle, hot room idle, normal room temperature load (using RHTDRIBL and downloading at the same time but use your own stress tests) and also at hot room idle.

Mine has never been above 50deg when I've checked it!

Hope this is OK, comments are welcome!

Anything to add then please do cause that was knackering!!


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Old 17-03-05, 09:06 PM
FarFarAway FarFarAway is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 0
Umm...I've finished for now so if anyone wants to add an AMD 64 one then please do!!
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Old 17-03-05, 09:34 PM
CrArC CrArC is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 144
I like reps for you! Mind doing one on modding the L12 bridge for overclocking purposes? I can't find a proper one for my 2500+... I wanted to change its default clocks, you see. There are a few pins to bridge as well but whether it's done on the chip or back of the mobo is up to whoever, I just wish I knew which ones
-- λ˛ --
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Old 18-03-05, 09:38 AM
Toxic_Flo Toxic_Flo is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 229
Well done kempez815. very impressed. Rep points for you.


"Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot."
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Old 18-03-05, 10:17 AM
muffin muffin is offline
Advanced Member
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 413
Additions to the reccomended coolers - The ThermalRight SLK-947 and SI-97. Both of which when coupled with a good fan will wipe the floor with any other heatsink
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