- About the Gigabyte XCF700…
- Design Overview
- Installation Process and Motherboard Clearance
- How its tested??
- Temperature Readouts and Observations
- Thermal Paste Spread and Conclusion
- View All
The installation experience is frustrating. It has flaws that need to be worked on. The motherboard used for this process is the Gigabyte Z97-Gaming GT, an LGA 1151 socket. All LGA 115x sockets have same mounting space.
Issue with Spacer and backplate installation
According to the instructions given in the manual, the installation process includes eight threaded spacers and rubber spaces for installing behind and front of the PCB. All the spaces are thin, meaning there will be a large gap between the metal plate and the PCB around the LGA socket. I don’t mind the spacers rested at the backplate, but tightening it is a pain. You’ll have to balance the back plate, the screws and its spacers to perfectly align itself while turning it around. Tightening the spacers from the front is not easy as motherboards have variable clearance surrounding the socket. Tightening the threaded spacer towards the top left where the chokes are present is not a fun task.
Issue with mounting plate
The mounting plate is secured by installing two screws on either side through the CPU cooler’s base. But the two set of screws provided for this has thinner threads. I had to use the screws from the AMD pack and that worked. There was another problem that despite tightening it on both sides, the mounting plate constantly moves on either side.
A preinstalled mounting plate is a better option. But it can have a proper support if it has two screw mounts on both sides of the plate (as shown above). Now comes the problem of installing the heatsink with the fan on, as per its instructions.
Issue with final installation
The XTC700 is provided with four spring loaded bolt with a phillips head. Once you put the bolt on all four sides, you tighten it using the provided wrench. This is a problem as the clearance between the bolts and the fan is difficult and the VRAM sinks on the motherboard make it hard. Z97X Gaming GT is an older design with low-profile VRM sinks. Imagine the difficulty on the motherboard with tall heat sinks and plastic overlays like how Gigabyte Aorus and MSI lineup have them.
Because of the rocking chair effect of the mounting plate and the absence of a large spacer, you’ll find it very difficult to tighten the bolts. Alas, such is the worse case scenario. The best way to install this heatsink is to remove the fans and install using the phillips head. The challenge to install the fan while not force on the heatsink while keeping it on the motherboard is better than the instructions. You’ll still need to manage due to the absence of a thick spacer and the rocking effect of the backplate.
Better Installation Process??
As you can see, the mounting turned out to be better. If the mounting plate had two screw mounts on either side to secure itself against the CPU cooler along with a spacer, it would be much easier.
Cooler Master uses thick metal spacers for its liquid coolers, while Noctua traditionally uses plastic spacers of good quality. Both the manufacturers for its units (Nepton 240M and any of the Noctua Tower cooler) have a two piece mounting plate, keeping the other two side free. With the XTC700, the AMD mounting kit contains two additional support to be mounted over its universal backplate.
There is plenty of clearance from the DIMM slot, but awfully near the first PCIe slot. However, as per observation, newer motherboard have more space between the LGA socket and the first PCIe x16 slot. This is probably to accommodate an M.2 drive and also to allow 120/1400mm tower heatsinks to be installing while maintaining space between it and the graphic card with a backplate.