Why This Is So Hard To Put On
A discovery came to light when I was fiddling
with a pair of newly acquired Thermaltake Aircoolers.
(The famed “Golden Orb,” of course!)
The mounting clip is VERY hard to put on, and the
reason for it is a matter of bad engineering that is
INCREDIBLY easy to fix!
The mounting clip has a small sliding part designed to
tighten its hold on the CPU socket as the heatsink is
twisted into place. The problem is, the sliding part’s
retainers snag two of the heatsink fins.
So you REALLY have to wrench it on, which effectively shears
the fins off enough to let that clip clear. This is
why a Golden Orb gets easier to install the more it’s
Of course, shearing the aluminum fins before you
shear the CPU socket’s heatsink retaining ears is the
trick, and sometimes the socket goes first. This is
precisely why some people have mangled their sockets
trying to install a Golden Orb.
HOWEVER, you can fix it yourself before its first use
and it’s super-easy to attach from the word go.
How To Make It Easy
- Simply take the heatsink and clip and set the heatsink
fan-end-down so that the text on the clip is
right-side-up. The sliding portion will be to the
- Lift the clip gently, but not so much that it
comes off the two guide pins on the heatsink, and
twist it counter-clockwise until it stops moving,
which will be just before it reaches the end of the
travel range the guide pins have.
- Now lift the
heatsink and look under that right side, and you’ll
see a small metal fold (which holds that sliding part
of the clip I mentioned) pressing against a fin.
- Mark that fin and the fin immediately to the right of it.
Those are the two you’ll need to notch on that side to
allow the clip to clear.
- Detach the clip and put it
back on the heatsink the other way round and repeat
the process, so you mark all the fins it will snag on
no matter which way you install the clip.
- Now take the clip back off.
- With a small pair of wirecutters, cut off about 1mm of
the bottom of each fin you marked, reaching in from
the side of the fin toward the center up to about
halfway in to the base of that fin.
- Break off the
material and dispose of it.
- File the edges down flush
if necessary so that the bottoms of the modified fins
don’t have rough edges to bind against the clip.
you look at the modified heatsink from the bottom with
the clip off, the second and third fins clockwise from
each guide pin will be notched.
That’s it! The clip will now work fine and MUCH more
easily, without risking the socket’s retaining ears!
You might need to trim three fins instead of two,
depending on how precisely the guide pins align with a
fin. If the pins do, trim two fins. If not, probably
three. So test it out and trim accordingly.
The Golden Orb can also be adapted to fit a S370 easily
without having to use excessive force.
- To do so, detach the clip and remove that sliding part by prying
it gently off. (Don’t booger it up too badly as you’ll
need to put it back on.)
- Squeeze the raised portions
of the grooves the guide pins travel on with a pair of
pliers (being careful not to crush the two fins that
hold the sliding part you pried off earlier) until the
only rise about a milimeter up from the clip instead
of 2 to 3.
- Put the sliding part back on and
assemble on the PPGA Celeron you couldn’t get the
heatsink to tighten down on before.
With this modification you don’t have to use anywhere near as
much pressure to mount the heatsink on non-Coppermine
Celerons. You can easily undo it by using a pair
of needlenose pliers to increase the bend on those
guide pin channels, as the bumps determine both the
pressure needed to apply the heatsink and the contact