This is one cooler that I would say anyone should be able to install. It is a clever design and works great, let’s get started.
First thing you’re going to want to do is install the long screws in the correct holes in the universal backplate. As is typical, 1155 is in the middle.
Push the screws through the holes in the back of your motherboard. Standing upright the screws are long enough to hold the backplate on if you’re careful.
Next step is to put the plastic spacers on the screws. Note that there is a rubber side and a side with a notch in it. It’s not noted anywhere on the instructions, but common sense says to put the rubber side down on the motherboard protect it. Once installed the spacers will hold the backplate in place allowing you to lay your motherboard down without it falling out.
Now take the slightly curved metal “Intel Clips” and place them on the ends of the backplate screws making sure to use the same hole for each. Orient them in whatever direction you would like your air to flow.
There are four thumb nuts included. Take these and secure the whole assembly together.
The entire pre assembly is now together. You will want to remove the fan at this point. Do so by prying back on side of the clips slightly until it releases. It’s not super easy on this cooler, and if you can’t get it with your fingers you can use a flathead screwdriver and gently do the same. Take care though not to damage the fins on the heatsink if you use a screwdriver.
Go ahead and apply the thermal grease provided. I applied both a small amount to the CPU lid directly as well as to the entire base of the heat sink. I then used a piece of flexible plastic I had handy to spread the paste into the grooves of the pipes in the heatsink. After you have the thermal grease on place the crossbar through the space between the pipes on the top of the base. Line the crossbar up with the mounting screws and firmly press the heatsink onto the CPU.
There should only be two screws left at this point, they are the crossbar screws. Set them into place and attach them using a Phillips or flathead screwdriver.
Reattach the fan and plug it into the CPU_FAN header.
As you can see the process is the same for both coolers as they both use the same mounting hardware. The only real difference is that the T40 is slightly larger. Now that we’ve got our coolers installed let’s see if they will hold up to the image of performance NZXT would like us to believe in.