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RObErT_RaTh 08-24-2005 04:06 PM

Guide: Replacing your North Bridge Heatsink
Replacing your North Bridge Heatsink
By RObErT_RaTh
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for damage to your computer and its hardware nor do I take responsibility for you injuring yourself whilst performing this mod. Anything you do is at your own risk.
This guide is going to show you how to replace your stock standard North Bridge cooler with the Zalman Passive ZM-NB47J which I purchased from our lovely sponsors, David and Karma, for only $12
First thing you will need to do is remove your motherboard from your computer so that you can access the underside of your motherboard to release the original heatsink. If your heatsink is not mounted threw the board then simply take it off because you can still put in the new push pins without removing your motherboard.
Once you have removed your motherboard, locate your North Bridge (NB) heatsink and it's mounting push pins. You can see here in the second picture the pins on the underside of the motherboard.
Unplug your heatsink fan (if it has one) and squeeze and push the pins to release them. Then pull them completely from the holes from the top side of the motherboard so now the only thing holding on your heatsink should be the original thermal paste.
The heatsink may not want to come off easily so don't yank at it, just turn it side to side a bit to help loosen it and slide it off more than pull it off. You may need to work at it for a bit. Once removed you can see the original thermal compound on the NB and the heatsink. As well as the thermal compound there is also what looks to be some sort of clear gummy type of glue helping to hold the heatsink on so be aware of things like this that may make it harder to remove the original heatsink.
Wipe down the NB with some paper towel to get the majority of the paste off and then clean it better with some methylated spirits and the paper towel. It should come up pretty clean.
Now we are ready to begin installing the new heatsink. Get the zalman passive heatsink and wipe down it's base with methylated spirits aswell so that we have a clean surface to work with. Now mount the brackets on each side of the heatsink. It's a little tricky and I found it easier if you slip the nut into the groove first and then screw the bracket into that. Line up the adjustable brackets to suit the holes in your motherboard and then tighten when finished. It's easy if you do one at a time.
Next we need to apply a thermal compound to the base of the heatsink for maximum heat transfer. The instructions say to apply the supplied compound to the chipset but since the base of the heatsink does not fully cover my chipset I applied it to the base of the heatsink instead because there is no point having excess compound all over the place. Squeeze on a little bit of the supplied paste, no need to use the whole lot and smear it out with something like an old credit card ie something firm and flat with a straight edge. Remember, less is more. We only want a thin layer of paste so just keep spreading it out instead of adding more unless you have to. Aeth suggests a layer of around 0.5mm ;)
Now we need to install the push pins, simply push in the supplied pins onto the brackets ready for final installation.
Finally, sit your heatsink on top of the NB and push in each pin one by one and make sure it is locked into place. Try and wriggle the heatsink to make sure it is tight and seated properly
And congratulations you are finished :) Put your motherboard back in your computer and away you go. Run a benchmark or do something that stresses your computer and feel the heatsink to make sure it is warm and transferring heat correctly. If it is ice cold then it isn't seated properly on the NB and you should repeat the installation.
If you have anything I should add to this guide then please let me know.

bigal 09-04-2005 12:56 PM

Good install guide RObErT_RaTh! I have two of these heatsinks in my stock, but I haven't installed one yet. I needed one recently, but I elected to use a Cooler Master chipset heatsink/fan combo. I figured I would get better cooling from that since I didn't have much airflow in the case I was using. How well do you think this Zalman heatsink works compared to the chipset coolers that use fans?

RObErT_RaTh 09-04-2005 01:15 PM

Glad you liked it ;)
I can't compare it to all but when compared with the stock one I think it does just aswell if not better as long as you have decent airflow in your case. These ones can remove heat from the centre of the chipset whereas the HSF combos have the solid part of the fan in the middle and can't cool that directly. Also, with the failure rate of the fans on the first rev. of this motherboard you'd be crazy not to do the mod. I didn't know it but the fan on my dads board had died, that's why I did this guide on his comp. He never likes me opening it (he's paranoid) and if I hadn't I never would have known it was broken :?

bigal 09-04-2005 02:19 PM

The only real way to understand computer hardware is to get your hands in there (with the power off) and try removing and installing parts. If you are careful, you won't break much. If you're good, you'll fix things and make them even better. Basically, it's all in the wrist...

RObErT_RaTh 09-05-2005 03:40 AM

I thought it was, "All in the hips" ;)

XhArD 09-05-2005 05:53 AM

adam sandlers movies always have been and always will be damn funny :P

unholy 09-05-2005 05:56 AM

i say its all in the brain... because ur not physically lifting heavy stuff... well back in the days it was heavy... no the heaviest thing your going to get here is the case with everythink inside! :P

RObErT_RaTh 09-05-2005 06:15 AM

Yeh, I hate steel cases yet I always seem to get one, can't afford the aluminium ones yet. Too much money for me to spend on a case.

XhArD 09-05-2005 10:49 AM

Weight.. who gives a crap? It might be heavy while ur dragging it to a lan or whatever, but the majority of the time its just gonna be sitting on your desk or whatever. Im perfectly happy with my case, its fine. (As you might have noticed by my other posts about PSUs in particular, im cheap :P)

unholy 09-05-2005 01:22 PM

Haha i have a Full sick alimium case, u have to get a real good one like the 2-3 mm thick ones toher wise ur paying for rubbish, oh ross theres a cheaper case then anything that should even exist... to show u just how weak it is, i beat the side panel, yes I bent the side panel with my bare hands... HOW CHEAPO
I have another question, is it worth replacing the Chipset Heatsink or adding a little 25x25mm fan on it? which would you do... mind u i do have adjust room... but dont go over its hard to set the Pci-e into second slot and keep it that way.

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