The retention clip is extremely simple to operate. So of course I flubbed it up and got it on backwards initially. Then after actually looking at the directions for half a minute, I turned the clip around and snapped it into place without further issue. I recall days of forcing SLK clips into place with both hands pushing down on a screwdriver, praying to the AMD gods that the tip would not slip off and poke a hole right through the motherboard. Thankfully the simple 180° lever action of the HR-01 makes this installation literally a single-finger operation.
Now that the heatsink is installed, what about that strange dryer-vent thing you ask? Well, rather than provide mounting points to attach a fan directly to the HR-01, Thermalright allows you the option of installing the flexible duct to connect the heatsink to a rear-mounted 120mm case exhaust fan. Fortunately the retention mechanism allows the tower to be rotated slightly which assists greatly in getting the duct installed. If your ATX connector is located towards the rear of the motherboard (like mine) the power cable can get in the way, although it's nothing that can't be worked around.
The duct is molded to fit around the heatsink tower on one side and a standard 120mm fan on the other. They also include screws in case you need to attach the duct to the fan in a more secure way, however I found it stayed in place just fine without them.
I did discover that the tower and duct interfere with my side panel 80mm fan, which I had to remove in order to get the panel back on. If necessary, I could remove the Plexiglas window and rotate it so that the fan hole is in the upper right corner, or I could simply mount the fan onto the outside of the window. I left it just with the bare opening for purposes of this review however.
Since my 120mm exhaust is a blue LED fan, it's nice that Thermalright made the duct translucent, and even in a matching color! Hopefully they will offer other color choices for those with red, green or other colored lighting in their case. I came to realize just how much light my side panel and CPU fans put out however as the case looked rather dark without them.
Now that we've got the HR-01 installed, let's see how it performs.