I am installing the MaxOrb EX on my AM2+ motherboard and Phenom 9850 quad-core processor, with Arctic Silver 5 used as the thermal interface material. I did not try to polish the MaxOrb EX base prior to installation, but as it did not ship with a protective covering I did elect to give it a good cleaning, which coincidentally had no effect on the discoloration shown previously. The stock socket retention module must be replaced with the bracket Thermaltake provides. Some AMD motherboards may require swapping out the backing plate for the one included, if the stock one does not have threaded inserts, however this wasn't necessary in my case.
Sharing the same mounting design with the original MaxOrb means the EX also shares the same issues, namely the difficulty in trying to force the spring clip down over the threaded post, hold the nut in place over the post and turn the nut with a screwdriver all at the same time. I really wish Thermaltake had listened to previous complaints about the nut and switched to a different material. It would be so much more handy if it would stay on the end of a magnetic tip screwdriver. Placing the post so close to the circle of fins also means having to bend a few out of the way in order to fit the shaft of a screwdriver in close enough to tighten it. Once in place however the MaxOrb EX remains firmly attached and offers very little chance of movement, and only a slight rotational twist possible. One side of the fins does overhang the memory slots slightly but allows enough room for any standard-size DIMM module. Those that utilize overly tall heatspreaders will likely have fitment issues.
Now that the MaxOrb EX is installed and ready to go, let's run some tests and post our results.