Cooler Master Sphere CPU Cooler
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-27-2008
Provided by: Cooler Master
Discuss: View Comments

Installing the Cooler Master Sphere begins much like any other aftermarket CPU cooler. Depending on which socket type you will be attaching the Sphere to alters the installation steps in some small degree. For AMD socket AM2 this six-pronged bracket is attached to the base with four screws. There are four posts that then thread in the corner holes and a set of rubber washers that go between the bracket and motherboard. On the other side of the board is a custom backing plate, four more rubber washers and four threaded nuts. Rather than turning the screws from the top to tighten the cooler down, the nuts are turned from the bottom using this included socket adapter that can be used with any normal Phillips screwdriver.

This is probably one of the strangest CPU cooler mounting mechanisms I've ever tried, and I found it a little difficult to hold the Sphere, complete with mounting bracket and posts, through the top of the motherboard, while tightening down the nuts on the back side. True, the Sphere is rather large in diameter and overhangs the tops of the posts, which would make getting a screwdriver in there to tighten them from the top nearly impossible. Speaking of size, the edges of the fins come in close proximity to the memory slots, just clearing the first DIMM by about a hair. Depending on the layout of your board you may have to use the other slots if you want to be able to swap out memory sticks without removing the cooler first. On the plus side, the closeness of the cooler to the memory and radial direction of airflow means the Sphere should provide some ancillary cooling for the RAM.

The Sphere is just over five inches tall so unless you've got some thick side panel fans or a duct to get in the way, height-wise there should not be a problem fitting it into most full and mid-tower cases. The radial fan is lit from the center with blue LEDs which are visible out through the top of the cooler. Because the fan blades are an opaque black plastic there isn't much light that makes its way out the sides.

Let's wrap things up with testing and a conclusion.

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