In terms of what you get out of the box, I will admit I was surprised to find very little. You get the cooler (with the fans pre-attached), a bag of parts (separated for Intel and AMD), a sachet of Arctic MX-4 thermal paste (a not too shabby brand) and the backplate to mount it to your motherboard.
What you are not provided with, however, is an instruction manual. Instead, you are given a card with a QR code which points you to a website which has installation instructions. This was where I hit the first snag. While the instructions are not necessarily bad, they are at times unclear. For example, to accommodate for the various mounting systems, you are given 3 separate ‘off-stands’ for the cooler. At a glance, these all look remarkably similar and, unfortunately, in the instructions finding the right one for you isn’t clear. Fortunately, thanks to my experience, I used the right ones. For a beginner, however, this might give some difficulties.
Another grumbling point I have are the fans. These are fitted to the cooler via an insert to the top and bottom. While removing them is easy enough, getting the fans back on (particularly once fitted to your motherboard) is a pain. I’d have much rather have seen the ‘side clipping’ design that many other manufacturers use. You are, incidentally, also required to remove the fans so you can attach the mounting clips to the base of the cooler.
My advice for anyone installing this would, therefore, be to remove them, install the mounting clips, then to re-attach them before mounting it to the cooler. If you don’t, you’re going to have a bad time and probably end up scratching your cooler quite a lot before you successfully get the wires to ‘slot’ in.
From out of the box to ready to run, this cooler took me around 30 minutes to install. This is around 10 minutes longer than a cooler usually would require and frustratingly, this is due to factors that could so easily be improved. For example, providing people with an actual physical paper manual. While the online one isn’t terrible, it does also lack fine detail. Finally, I would simply scrap that fan mounting design. Don’t get me wrong, I can see what Arctic was trying to achieve and perhaps other people will not experience the same difficulties I had. For my pudgy fingers though, this was overly delicate work.
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