Installing the SilverStone Tundra TD03-E
Before we inspect each member of our new CPU cooler collection, let’s establish that our tests consist of methods we have determined to be the best for our one singular purpose. Our methodology isn’t written in stone, and could very likely be changed or modified as we receive justification (and feedback from the community). Our scope is limited to stand-alone products only, meaning those products which can be installed and operated without additional critical components needed or kit construction. This is the reason for this first test, in which the mounting system for each cooler is tested. Since this is not an apple to apples comparison, but rather a subjective description of each of the kits available without any form of quantitative data, it does not affect the numerical scores we give for each product. The purpose of this test is to inform our readers on how the mounting system of each processor cooler can affect the buying experience.
As usual, we will mount the cooler in one of our Intel test platforms. This time, we will be using an XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 motherboard to test the mounting system included with the SilverStone Tundra TD03-E, which SilverStone lists as one of the supported sockets.
Installing the SilverStone TD03-E starts with locating the four silver screws and the back-plate. Unfortunately SilverStone does not individually package each of the mounting kit components, which can lead to confusion between components. Included in the components is also a spacer for the LGA 775 socket which helps to prevent the solder points located at the back of the socket from making contact with the back-plate itself.
Now this is were it all falls apart for the TD03-E’s mounting system. SilverStone;s choice of spacers between the socket and the screw points for the block do not hold the backplate in place. This means that in order to install the cooler on a motherboard, you will need to remove the motherboard from the case, or have a second person help you to hold the pins in place when pushing them through the retention bracket.
With the retention bracket in place, it is all just a matter of adjusting the included thumb screws and connecting the three pin fan plug which is in charge of powering the pump and the LED inside the block.
With the cooler installed, it is time to look at some numbers.