We will be installing the CNPS12X in our brand new X79 system. So we will be doing the installation just like if we purchased a new system and were building it for the first time. The first thing you want to do is apply the included thermal paste. We are installing the cooler on the socket 2011 so you are going to want to install the mounting brackets on each side of the CPU socket. Now take the attachment clip and install it in the center of the cooler.
Now place the cooler on top of the CPU and secure it by using the included hex key to attach to clip to the mounting brackets on each side of the cooler. You will notice in photos below that the cooler was installed with the airflow going vertically rather than horizontally. This is because we were unable to install the cooler the other way. The cooler was too large for our memory, which is the G.Skill RipjawsZ. The heatspreaders on this memory is not that large at all and most enthusiast memory has the same heatspreaders if not larger ones. So you will need to keep that in mind when thinking about purchasing this cooler.
We installed our test system in the Cooler Master Cosmos II case, which has lots of room inside so the CNPS12X has no problem fitting in there at all. But when we were installing everything the CNPS12X did block the first PCI-Express slot on our motherboard, not a huge deal to us since we are only using one video card, but this is also something to keep in mind if you have to mount the CNPS12X the way we did.
When you power your system on all 3 fans will turn on and light up blue. The LED’s are not super bright, but will be able to be seen through a side panel window. The CNPS12X comes with a resistor cable that will put the cooler in “quiet mode” which make the fan run 850 ~ 1100RPM compared to the “performance mode” of 950 ~ 1200RPM.