CrazyPC had the kit I needed

Thermalright Socket AM2/AM2+ Bolt-Thru-Kit

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The “Thermalright Socket AM2/AM2+ Bolt-Thru-Kit” as its named is also compatible with AM3 mountings and Cogage heatsinks. In this article, I unbox the accessory pack in order to mount a Cogage True Spirit Socket 1366 heatsink. The test system for the mounting is my AMD 965BE CPU, Biostar TA890FXE AM3 motherboard, and AirKing Utility Blower. Special thanks to forum member and benchmarking team captain Brolloks – he sent me this brand new CPU in the “Secret Santa” gift exchange! Forum membership and the friends you make has its rewards sometimes!

Misspent Youth

Ok, so this isn’t about my childhood exactly. In fact, it was just a week or so ago. However, hanging onto that youthful spirit and doing things which some may consider “ill-advised” lowers your cholesterol (this claim has not been evaluated by the FDA). For a few days I was first running the Cogage True Spirit with it standing atop my AMD 1090T CPU without any retention mechanism. This is used on a benchmarking rig which stays horizontal and is unbridled by the traditional confines of a typical computer case. Despite any explanations I could offer I won’t tell you that it is a “legitimately good” idea to run your system like that. In my life experience however, legitimately good ideas can be boring – play it safe, color inside the lines, do what you are told. *Yawn* So taking this “legitimately bad” idea and running with it, how’d things turn out? It was good enough to let me have some fun and get my 1090T to 4.7Ghz for a CPU-Z validation. This was just CPU-Z benchmarking to see how high I could get the CPU frequency without pushing obscene voltage on air cooling. If you have to ask about stability, you should know better… it took me a few attempts to get a CPU-Z validation. Not bad.

With Age Comes Wisdom?

As we grow older we sometimes grow wiser. I like to think I grow wiser every few days, so true to form after a few days I got around to ordering a proper hold down kit and thats the focus of this article. After trying my local Microcenter to pickup the hold down locally and coming away empty handed (they had several Intel hold down kits, but were sold out of AMD kits), I turned to CrazyPC – there are lots of places to order a simple accessory like this, but they have a banner ad on Overclockers.com and I like vendors who support our community.

CrazyPC had the kit I needed

CrazyPC had the kit I needed

After placing my order I received the package in the mail just a few days later. It was packaged within a small box, filled with packing peanuts to protect the smaller box inside with the contents I was after. Checkout the packaging and the box for the Thermalright AM2/AM2+ Bolt-Thru-Kit below.

Filled to the brim with packing peanuts

Filled to the brim with packing peanuts

Despite being omitted on the box label, this also works on AM3

Despite being omitted on the box label, this works on AM3 as well as heatsinks like the Cogage True Spirit

The back of the box has instructions and pictures

The back of the box has instructions and pictures

Close up of the mounting instructions, short and sweet

Close up of the mounting instructions, short and sweet

The kit comes with a hold down bracket, a back plate, 4 spring loaded screws, and a handy wrench which helps to tighten things down. Tightening is simple. Get each screw started, then tighten each one a couple turns at a time and rotate around until they don’t turn any further – don’t apply too much muscle, the screws bottom out once fully inserted and thats good. Rotating around as you tighten each ensures pressure is applied evenly – you’d really have to screw up to damage your processor doing this, but extra caution doesn’t hurt.

Contents of the Thermalright AMD hold down kit, with Cogage True Spirit and AMD 965BE CPU

Contents of the Thermalright AMD hold down kit, with Cogage True Spirit and AMD 965BE CPU

To get started, the stock retention bracket and backplate must be removed.

Stock Backplate

Stock Backplate

The stock retention mechanism provides lugs for the stock AMD heatsink to clamp onto, this is removed by removing the 4 screws

The stock retention mechanism provides lugs for the stock AMD heatsink to clamp onto, this is removed by removing the 4 screws

The Thermalright backplate included in the kit is solid metal with a plastic sheet to electrically insulate the backplate from the back of the motherboard, ensuring metal to metal contact does not occur and your motherboard is not shorted. The stock backplate is entirely plastic as you can see above. The backplate fits right into place and is secured later when mounting the heatsink

Replace the existing backplate with the one provided in the kit

Replace the existing backplate with the one provided in the kit

The Thermalright hold down bracket is adjustable to accommodate various heatsinks and sockets, and has a peg in the center to firmly secure the heatsink.

Round peg on hold down bracket

Round peg on hold down bracket

Round hole on Cogage True Spirit base

Round hole on Cogage True Spirit base

Gratuitous shots of the CPU used in testing, thanks brolloks!

AMD 965 Black Edition - This is its easiest job it will ever have, its future holds benchmarking torture, LN2, high voltage, and an untimely death

AMD 965 Black Edition - This is its easiest job it will ever have, its future holds benchmarking torture, LN2, high voltage, and an untimely death

Quick processor specs

Quick processor specs

Finally a few shots of the heatsink installed, securely, with the Thermalright AM2/AM2+ Bolt-Thru-Kit:

Straight on shot of the heatsink mounting

Straight on shot of the heatsink mounting

The mounting hardware, though simple, looks pretty sharp

The mounting hardware, though simple, looks pretty sharp

An overhead shot of everything in place, with the AirKing blower ready and waiting

An overhead shot of everything in place, with the AirKing blower ready and waiting

Side shot of my benchmarking setup with heatsink properly installed

Side shot of my benchmarking setup with heatsink properly installed

Conclusion

I can’t even say this hold down kit works as advertised – it works beyond advertised. This hold down kit should accommodate any similar Thermalright/Cogage heatsink with the center peg design pictured here, like the Cogage True Spirit. It can be purchased at your preferred vendor, or at crazypc.com when it comes back in stock (I might have bought their last one). I leave you with this, a short video of the mounting hardware and blower in action. This setup does 190CFM of airflow on low, 310CFM on high – please pardon the audio, theres a fairly noticeable sound of whooshing air!

Matt Bidinger (I.M.O.G.)

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Discussion
  1. I.M.O.G.
    Ugh, that is a pain. If they haven't already told you, ask if Nick can provide you an ETA on when they will be back in stock. Or just buy elsewhere if you are in a rush. But Nick usually is very responsive to communications when I've needed to contact him in the past.

    It definitely doesn't spin freely - I can get it to shimmy just a hair.

    As for the pressure film, the stuff I was looking at getting if anyone stumbles across this was pressurex ultra low. It reads between 28 and 85 PSI, and you can get a decent estimate of pressure visually without paying for the more expensive lab results which require mailing the sample in. It costs $65 for a linear foot, which is about 10 inches wide and 12 inches long (about 120 square inches). Cutting it carefully into the sizes we require for testing mounting pressure, it costs less than a dollar per use if you do it right... And you get pressure readings which I haven't seen any site benchmark or test for. We'll be the first, unless someone else reads this and takes the idea before I get around to buying the film and ensuring its part of our cooling reviews. :)
    Ugh, that is a pain. If they haven't already told you, ask if Nick can provide you an ETA on when they will be back in stock. Or just buy elsewhere if you are in a rush. But Nick usually is very responsive to communications when I've needed to contact him in the past.

    It definitely doesn't spin freely - I can get it to shimmy just a hair.

    As for the pressure film, the stuff I was looking at getting if anyone stumbles across this was pressurex ultra low. It reads between 28 and 85 PSI, and you can get a decent estimate of pressure visually without paying for the more expensive lab results which require mailing the sample in. It costs $65 for a linear foot, which is about 10 inches wide and 12 inches long (about 120 square inches). Cutting it carefully into the sizes we require for testing mounting pressure, it costs less than a dollar per use if you do it right... And you get pressure readings which I haven't seen any site benchmark or test for. We'll be the first, unless someone else reads this and takes the idea before I get around to buying the film and ensuring its part of our cooling reviews. :)
    The reason I was asking was because of all the posts I remember reading a while back with the TRUE's mount being a bit loose. It seems there were a lot of TRUE's that would almost spin freely when mounted to the board, but a washer between the mount and the base fixed this. I am actually trying to hunt one of these down, so that I can mount my U120 to the X3 that just got added to my sig. I should have had one from CrazyPC, but it seems that something went haywire in the shipping. Now that they are OOS, I have the choice of either getting a refund and ordering elsewhere, or waiting til they come back in stock.:bang head
    Felt like it was on there really solid, but I don't have any means to test the pressure with any accuracy. I have talked to the company which makes the pressure sensitive film to get those sorts of readings, like joec has written about in the past, however I haven't yet made a purchase of material. Thats something I'd like to do in the future however. The material isn't cheap, but in small quantities it isn't unreasonable either.
    I giggled at it once, then it blew my drink over. Now I treat it how I'd like to be treated. ;)

    Ya, the kits good. Imagine it wouldn't be hard to figure out how to work it on other heatsinks also, with minor modifications. Beats the string I was using for sure... the HS base actually has some odd markings from the fan vibration and shimmying across the CPU when I wasn't watching.