NorthQ NQ-3360A Max Tower Extreme CPU Cooler
Author: Rutledge Feman
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 11-12-2008
Provided by: NorthQ
Pages:
Installation

The installation of the NQ-3360A is not only well thought-out, but also well executed. It is by far the best cooler installation system I've seen, although I did encounter some trouble with it.


The first step in installation is to install the fan. The fan comes with four soft pads, one pre-stuck to each corner, which should help dampen vibration and therefore reduce noise. While the fan brackets are tight enough to keep a firm hold on the fan, they were not so stiff as to make them hard to install. The fan can, and should, be installed before installing the cooler into the case, which is far more convenient than trying to install the fan while the cooler is mounted.



The next step is to attach the mounting bracket. This can be done without removing your motherboard (provided you don't already have a backplate attached that requires removal). The bracket pops firmly into the LGA775 screw holes, and then four plastic plugs are inserted as an extra layer of security. When I first saw the installation mechanism for the bracket, I was not convinced that it would be secure, especially for a tower 700g+ in mass, but it is indeed as sturdy as it is simple.

Finally, we should hook one side of the cooler to the motherboard bracket, and then push the other side down. While this would work well on most motherboards, the cooler's mounting bracket came down right on top of my motherboard cooling. This conflict would have occurred even if the bracket was rotated 90 degrees. To solve the problem, I attempted to bend the cooler's mounting bracket to no avail, and so had to lightly modify my motherboards cooling system.

While the installation system is very well designed, there are two serious issues I ran into. The first is the motherboard height clearance. NorthQ definitely should have taken tall motherboard cooling into account when they designed their mounting bracket—this problem would have easily been solved if that one small flap on the bracket was folded up 90 degrees. The other problem is the motherboard bracket. While it's extremely convenient that it snaps in so securely, it is basically impossible to get back off (I still haven't figured out how). Now that we've gone down the (bumpy) road of installation, continue on for some testing and conclusions.


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