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on September 29, 2017
My Overclocked i7-2700k has the ability to overpower this if I overclock it past 4.6GHZ at stock voltages. And what's interesting is that the radiator fins remain tepid to the touch even while under heavy load, while the CPU reports a temperature of 72C. That seems to indicate that the heat pipes aren't carrying enough of the warmth to the fins where the fan can blow the heat away. Next time around I'll either go with a 6-pipe model, or with water cooling. However, with slight undervolting I can stay under 70c at full stress load, so it is good enough.

Nevertheless, these are immensely popular among less-serious overclockers, and it works quite a lot better than the stock cooling fan. With judicious overclock tuning it keeps the system happy, at 28c idle and <70c under full load. So it is easy to understand the popularity.

Installation is tricky, and best done with nothing else in the case, so there's room to work (or with the motherboard removed from the case). I noticed that no matter how tight the thing is bolted on, there's a tendency for it to shift while the thermal paste is fresh, if I nudge the cooler. I guess this doesn't really matter, though it startled me the first time it happened.

Overall i/ is an economical alternative for moderate overclocking.
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on June 6, 2017
I updated my system last year to a AsusTeK M5A99FX Pro 2.0 with a AMD FX-8350 running at 4 GHZ, not overclocked. I decided to use the stock fan but would consistently get warnings of over 65C and after about a year it shut down twice on me last week for overtemp. Opening the case I see there was SOME blockage of the CPU cooling fins. (I apparently was not good in doing preventative maintenance) BUT it was on the edge of overheat even after cleaning if I was doing anything such as rendering a movie or running multiple VM's. So I ordered this and installed it this week. It runs on average 6-8C lower out of the box and when it went through MY stress test (rendering movie and running multiple VM's) it never got over 59C, worst case. I am not a gamer, overclocker or stress my machine other than the items mentioned so I find it interesting that the fan supplied with the CPU is marginal at best. I do have two other large case fans so I don't think its an airflow issue. In any event, I am happy with the new fan and the sound is MUCH quieter.

On my motherboard the air flow from the CPU FAN is directed into the power supply fan. Also there is an issue where the CPU fan was not tall enough for my G.SKILL F3-17000CL9D-8GBXM RipjawsX Series 8GB RAM causing me to have to bend slightly the fins on the last memory module so the fan heat sink would make flush contact with the CPU. Also I thought the AMD motherboard hold down provided with the FAN was a bit on the cheesy side, but it worked (with some effort).

It was a bit more of a struggle to get the FAN to fit my CPU snugly than I thought it should be, hence dropping it a star. But I am happy with the cooling provided by the new fan, much better than standard AMD fan and WAY quieter...
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on July 28, 2016
I'm going to start with the things I didn't like.

The instructions suck. They tell you to put thermal paste on your CPU before mounting the bracket that goes behind the motherboard. Due to the vague illustrations, I did not realize it needed a bracket behind the motherboard, when I was skimming the instructions. Simply put, I ended up having to put thermal paste on it twice because it's impossible to take a motherboard out of your case, attach the mounting bracket and put the motherboard back in place without contaminating the thermal paste. Even a single finger print or eye lash or piece of dust is enough to contaminate it and have an impact on the performance of your heat sink.

Another thing I didn't like was the tool used for tightening on the nuts for the bracket. I tried using it but ended up using a wrench instead.

Finally, I find the heat sink isn't exactly what I'd call secure. Even after tightening it down and making sure I had everything properly lined up, the whole thing will still twist a little bit. It's noticeable when you're trying to re-attach the fan.

I've seen other reviews saying they ended up with mounting parts that were defective. Fortunately, I did not have this problem.

What do I recommend buying before attempting this?

It comes with its own thermal paste but you could always buy better. I went with some Arctic Silver 5, like most people. You'll also want some lint free wipes (coffee filters work but I do not recommend them because they're a bit stiff and tend to cause scratches; I used PEC PAD wipes sold here on Amazon that I bought for cleaning photos and negatives) and either rubbing alcohol (at least 90% but 99% is preferred; can usually find at least 91% at Walmart and most stores) or one of those cleaner kits. Also, if you don't have a small wrench set, you might want to get one, unless you plan to rely on the tool included in the kit. You definitely need a screw driver but most people would know this already.

So, how do you put this thing on?

Be sure to consult the instructions for each step. Also, before you do anything, take the heat sink and fan and verify you have enough clearance for it on your motherboard and in your case. This heat sink is rather large. There is a risk of it crowding a RAM slot or being too tall to even fit in your case.

The first thing you should do is attach the bracket to your motherboard as per the instructions for your CPU. If you've already mounted your motherboard to your case, you will have to take it out. I used a wrench because I didn't have enough space to flip it completely on its back and use the included tool.

Detach the fan from the heat sink.

After you do that, put the X shaped bracket through the gap behind where the heat sink makes contact with the CPU. Keep the adhesive strip on for now. Test and make sure the X bracket matches up with the mount points you attached to your motherboard. Once you confirm you have it correctly adjusted, place your CPU in the socket (if you haven't already) and secure it.

Clean the CPU cap (the part where the heat sink will connect with the CPU; use a lint free wipe and the alcohol or cleaner solution) and place thermal paste in accordance with the instructions for your thermal paste. If your thermal paste lacks instructions, the idea is to have just enough paste covering the part of the cap directly above the core(s) for your CPU. If you can't find specific directions on google, you could try putting a small plus sign of paste in the middle. To get the appropriate amount of paste, you need only an amount equal to a single line covering about 50% of the length of the CPU cap. So, if you do a plus sign, it only needs to be about 25% of the length of the cap. If your CPU doesn't have a cap, just place a rice sized dot in the center of each core. Again, most CPUs have instructions for this online.

Once you've done that, take the adhesive strip off of the heat sink. I recommend cleaning the spot you took the adhesive off of (again, using a lint free wipe and cleaning solution) but it's not absolutely necessary. If you want to confirm whether you put enough or too much paste on, you can place the heat sink against the CPU, apply some pressure (just enough to get the paste to spread) and twist the heat sink a little each way. If you pull it up and the paste is going over the edge, you have too much and should use a lint free wipe to clean the excess along the edges. There should be at least enough to cover a circular area over all cores.

You should now carefully line up the brackets and orient your heat sink. Proceed with lightly screwing in each screw. Once you've got all 4 screws started, go around and tighten them all down.

Finally, reattach the fan, plug it in and you're done.

So, what did I like about this?

Once I finished putting it on, it lowered my idle temps quite a bit (down to about 27 C idle and about 48 C under load with the core temps topping out around 63 C under load) and it fixed the overheating problem I was having with my stock heat sink. Supposedly, over time the temps will get better as my thermal paste settles but I don't expect a huge difference. The fan hasn't noticeably raised the noise level in my PC, which is fairly quiet. I had a little trouble keeping the fan from touching the heat spreader on the closest RAM stick but I managed to wiggle in a tiny gap. The top of the heat sink comes really close to the other side of my case but there is a gap there. Overall, I'd say I'm satisfied.

When I first put my stock heat sink on, it did a fair job (but not great since even a small overclock caused it to overheat) at keeping the CPU cool. However, about 3.5 years later my idle temps had nearly doubled and games were starting to make it overheat. I had a choice to make. I could either clean off my stock heat sink and CPU and put on new thermal paste or I could buy a new heat sink. I decided that if I was going through that much trouble, I might as well invest in a good heat sink. This heat sink is compatible with a large range of CPUs. Furthermore, I don't plan to stop using my i5-3570K any time soon. So, even given the age of the CPU, I think I'll get my money back out of the heat sink. I'm wishing I hadn't been lazy and bought this heat sink back when I initially put this PC together.

For anyone curious, these are my motherboard and case.

ASUS P8Z77-V PRO LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS
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on February 4, 2018
I've done hundreds of custom CPU coolers & liquid cooled jobs and never gave up out of frustration before. After spending over an hour and almost damaging my motherboard a few times, I finally called it quits on this and used a stock cooler. I simply could not get this to clip to my older AM3. They give you this two piece clip that falls apart the moment you touch it, making it real PITA to work with. Maybe mine was defective or something but I would not recommend a Cooler Master cooler to anyone.
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on January 4, 2018
I installed this on an older LGA 1155 ATX board. It was pretty easy to install and the instructions are as clear as pictures alone can be. I prefer written instructions but that’s just me.

The only problem I found was that during the installation and alignment of the x-clamp that holds the heat sink to the chip was that the heat sink has a tendency to shift and slide around. This isn’t an issue as long as you catch it and pay attention but a more solid way of attaching the clamp to the heat sink before install would eliminate the issue.

The trick is to get it perfectly aligned. Then line up and just barely thread the screws on. Then align the heatsink again and while holding it in place, tighten down the screws.

Other than that minor (but risky) annoyance, I have had no issues. I have an 1155 socket i7 overclocked to 3.9 ghz from the stock 3.4 and it never gets hotter than 50 C with this cooler.

It’s pretty quiet but you’ll also want to make sure you put the fan on the proper side so that it blows in line with any case fans. You don’t want them blowing against each other and creating s vortex rather than pulling air through the case.

It’s pretty big but it fit in my Corsair atx mid tower without issue. It has maybe a centimeter clearance from the RAM.

The power cable is nice and long and the fan shroud has slots so you can tuck the cable to conceal it.

Overall it’s a nice cooler. This is day two so I will update in 6 months or so. I’ve done tons of builds for myself and others and usually go with Corsair hydro coolers but this is a budget build and coolermaster is supposed to make a good product.

Docking one star for the potentially fatal installation flaw but other than that it is a nice, large, effective cooling solution.
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on January 16, 2018
Second purchase of this cooler. First one still running fine after 2.5 years. This one is for a new PC. Another heatsink I had required me to blow out dust far more often than this Cooler Master product. Fan is silent too. Installation is simple enough if you follow the instructions carefully. However, I wouldn't recommend putting the thermal paste on until the last possible moment. There's a lot of "board flipping" to attach the hardware and you'll inevitably get it on your hands or something else.

Also to note: it isn't said directly in the product description (but it is seen in pictures of the product) - this comes with thermal paste. You don't need to spend an extra $5-10 on paste. It was plenty for my needs.
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on February 26, 2018
I was surprised to find out that, when I added a 2nd fan to this heat sink in push-pull configuration, I got better heat dissipation on my oven of a FX9370, then I did with a Corsair H80 closed loop liquid cooling system. While the Corsair was fine for most every application, I found that trying to mine Monero with this CPU, running anything more than 4 cores would eventually overheat the chip and shutdown the motherboard. It just couldn't dissipate all the heat fast enough.

I threw this on the CPU sort of as a last resort, as I didn't want to spend upwards of $200 to upgrade the water cooling system for a CPU miner. Lo and behold, I was able to get to mining 6 cores with this heat sink and added fan, reliably, day in and day out. Actually I could get away with 7 cores most of the time, but when something starts taxing the system and buries that last core, the CPU will still overheat..

I was so impressed I bought a second one, and I will be putting that on an FX8320 I picked up that I plan to overclock roughly. We'll see how well that works out, with a chip that has much lower power requirements.
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on August 10, 2017
First off, I'm not sure why Amazon has combined all the reviews for cooler master heatsinks into one group. That being said for the M4, it is a significant upgrade from the stock heatsink and much quieter. Idle in the 20s and gaming around low 50s. Not bad, that's even with the thermal paste they provided. Instructions were minimal and I mostly winged it with the help of YouTube.

My biggest issue would have to be that it's so fat that it tends to block slots (ram, pci, or other slots) due to it's large width. It becomes an issue for smaller mobos like my own and quite honestly defeats the purpose of a low profile heatsink.

Luckily, I made it fit (by about 1cm) and only because my ram is average height.

In the end it's kinda a counter intuitive design but luckily it worked out for me and make sure you check to see if you have enough room.

Here's a picture and forgive my lack of cable management, I made a horrible case decision (first time PC builder mistake)
review image
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on September 13, 2017
I am not someone who overclocks my systems. But I recently did a custom build around an Asus Maximus IX mb with an I7 6700k 4.0 ghz, unlocked quad core, 16 gigs of RAM etc... so installing a solid cooler on the processor seems wise. My cpu temp as I write this is fluctuating between 28 C and 31 C with no fan installed. Unless it is running under load it pretty much stays in that neighborhood. And putting it under a continuous load running Fur Mark it takes a couple mins before it reaches 80+ C. This is without the fan installed on the cooler fins. I am not a gamer and nothing I do or expect to do would put it under that kind of load for that long. I use this desktop in my living room plugged into my flat screen Samsung as monitor. So I do not want constant fan noise (the fan is not loud but more sound than I want in this environment) coming from the system. At it's current price this cooler is a great value for my purposes.

Installing it was another matter for me. Even following the online videos which did not cover my special needs (it appears). But after doing it wrong the first time I finally figured out I needed to add in the included 'risers' (I wonder what these little round, black, sleeve looking thingys are?) that came in the package in order to get the cooler seated properly on my processor. No one in the videos had a situation where they needed the risers and many if any did not show them as a part of the package. Thoroughly reading, and I mean thoroughly reading, the not great picture instructions eventually bailed me out.
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on March 14, 2017
I'm really impressed with how well this dissipates the heat in my machine, and how quiet it is while doing so. I haven't noticed the fan spinning up or spinning down a single time so far.

HOWEVER, I really dislike the way the cooler wiggles back and forth after you've bolted it down to the CPU. It feels like I'm going to damage something. But, since I don't really root around in my machine, and the machine never moves, it's not really that big of a deal. But if you are planning to haul your rig around with you at any point, I might suggest you look at a cooler that fits a little more snugly/doesn't turn back and forth after being mounted to the motherboard.
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