Summary: It would be nice to just use the mounting plates provided by the motherboard manufacturer. These seem solid and well insulated from the motherboard. The generic mounting plates provided by Zalman and others are flimsy, ugly and more painful to mount.
Pros: Cools well and is quiet. Narrow enough to allow four DDR3 DIMMs with heat fins on Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 motherboard. This is a big plus!
Cons: The Zalman package should have contained three sets of mounting screws for various motherboard types. My package contained two sets. With the AM3+ CPU socket, the screws provided were about 5/16" too short. Ended up buying four screws (6-32 x 3/4"), four washers, and used the original mounting plate provided by the Asus motherboard. Bought allen head screws so they could be tightened from an angle. Mounting plate provided by Zalman is flimsy, plus lack of mounting scr...
Summary: I have seen this installed on other motherboards without the same issues I'm having, but I still can't recommend this cooler for most people. There are easier to install coolers, though they may cost more, and the time wasted on this doesn't justify the savings.
Pros: Looks neat and undoubtedly cools well.
Cons: The installation is, so far, extremely difficult. The problem is a combination of my motherboard, the size of the cooler, and the horrible included hex wrench. Of course, Zalman can't do anything about my mobo, and the cooler's size is an asset, but they sure could spring for a better tool. The included wrench is very hard to hold onto, and with the pressure one must exert at weird angles, it really digs into the skin.
Summary: Do the research or be prepared to modify this yourself.
Pros: It's a big solid copper heat sink. Let's be honest, it's probably overkill for most.
Cons: This came with screws that are easily a quarter inch too short. The brackets would have to be bent considerably to make them reach. I had to go out and find 3 mm bolts and use those. Bolts bottomed out, so not really sure if this is secured down well enough. What a ridiculous mistake.
Summary: Pros: Beautifully constructed, all copper heatsink. Keeps the FX-8350 running nice and cool. Cons: I bought this fan to replace a stock fan that came with my AMD FX-8350 Black Edition Vishera 4.0GHz. Piece of advice, if you don't have a spare set of hands, there is no way you gonna install the fan by you're self, without breaking something. User guide says that the fan comes with three sets of screws, it came only with two sets.
Summary: I would highly recommend not buying just because of the install process. The heatsink works great, but there is a likelihood of breaking something while you force this thing to install.
Pros: Beautifully constructed, all copper heatsink. Keeps the FX-8350 running nice and cool.
Cons: The install process for a AM3+ processor is the worst install I've ever done. It took almost an hour of bending and forcing the screws through the metal brackets to actually attach the cooler. As other reviews have mentioned, the screws are too short and the setup just doesn't work. That a company would actually ship a product and expect users to go through this process to even use the product is remarkable! Zalman makes great heatsinks, that's a given, but they reall...
Summary: Zalman should provide separate brackets for each platform instead of relying on a universal bracket. It makes sense from a business standpoint to use a single bracket (cost savings/single SKU), but this was just too painful to install. It took me around half an hour to screw everything in. I'm sure the thermal paste application was unevenly applied too, because the heatsink kept coming off while trying to screw it in. I would prefer a cooler that is easier to install.
Pros: - Works great. Large copper heatsink with airflow that directs exhaust out of the rear of the case. Zalman pioneered this type of design and it works really well. - It's fairly quiet. PWM controls.
Cons: - This is a real pain to install. I also owned a Zalman CNPS9500 for the LGA 775 platform and installation was straight-forward, quick, and painless. This model, with its universal mounting bracket, is extremely difficult to install. - Their hex tool is pretty useless as it keeps bumping up against components on the motherboard. - Again, this is really painful to install. Brute force was required to keep the heatsink in place, while painstakingly screwing in the screws.
Summary: So far it has done a good job of cooling an I7 with a decent overclock. However, I worry that the extra pressure from the short screws may somehow cause a problem with the motherboard in the future.
Pros: Super quiet and lots of material to dissipate the heat.
Cons: When installed on an 1150 cpu/motherboard the screws are bit too short so it makes installation trickier than it needs to be.
Pros: Fan works fine... just some construction errors
Cons: Fan actually hits shroud at times, I was able to bend it off it enough to were most the time it dosent touch, but if anyone bumps my computer desk.. you have to bump the desk again and again to get it to stop. Poor QC on this one. It's just not worth tearing the whole PC apart to correct the problem and ask for a replacement.