AMD Phenom II X4 955BE 3.2 AM3
Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 770 R
G.Skill 4gb (2x2gb) DDR3 1600
Raidmax Smilodon ATX w/500w
XFX Radeon HD 5770 1gb
OCZ Solid 2 Solid State Drive 60gb
750gb SATA 3.5" drive
Asus Wireless nic
Host OS: Win7
2x 80mm Fans
2x 120mm Fans
Noctua includes a note that if your board doesn't have a stock back plate that one can be obtained from Noctua, however the Gigabyte board I have worked just fine.
I removed the stock AMD CPU fan and the CPU as well to clean the old thermal paste off using ArctiClean.
To install the Noctua heatsink, I simply removed the four screws holding in the stock retention clip and replaced it with the two brackets from the AMD set. The SecuFirm2 mounting system is relatively simple, with four plastic spacers, four screws and two brackets. The bag opens a little goofy, so if you are not careful you can spend the next few minutes looking for the screws on the floor. I applied some Arctic Silver 5 and I was ready to place the NH-U9B SE2 on the CPU.
A note here - the brackets orientate the fans in an up/down setup. If you would like to be venting straight out the rear of the case instead of the top, a 90-degree turn kit can be obtained from Noctua. I will have more on that in the conclusion. Also, before installing the heatsink or fans, make sure to plug in the Y-adapter into your 3-pin CPU fan connector. I noticed that it would be tight and probably impossible to plug in once I finished installation of the fans.
Installing the heatsink itself went quickly and without any difficulty. When installing the fan(s), be sure to pay attention on the airflow direction. It is marked with arrows, but if installing both fans, make sure they are pointing the same direction. Where I ran into some hassle was installing the fan retention clips. They work, but are bit of a pain to get on. The worst side was where the RAM slots are located. The clip sat right on top of the G.Skill heatsinks and took longer to install because I naturally wanted to avoid putting any pressure or flexing the RAM. The clip managed to go in, but it took a while and was less than pleasant. I can't help but think there has to be a better way than that.
Testing just ahead...