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Thermalright XP-120

The Optional LGA775 RM Bracket

Thermalright also provided us with an LGA775 mounting bracket. It is not included in the XP-120 package, and must be purchased separately. With this mounting bracket, you can mount any Socket 478 coolers to your LGA775 platform, as long as it uses a similar mounting mechanism.

Inside the main box, is a folded cardboard box which holds and protects the contents. The whole package only consists of one backplate, a pair of mounting brackets and four screws.

The mounting brackets are separated into two parts. This enables the heatsink to be mounted in four different orientations, instead of just two on the Socket 478 or Socket 754/939/940 platforms.

All you need to do is place the mounting bracket over the socket, and the backplate on the reverse side of the motherboard.

Then align them together and screw them together. This causes both mounting bracket and backplate to sandwich the motherboard in between.

Now, you can place the XP-120 (or any other cooler/heatsink using a similar mount) over the bracket and lock the clips in place.


Issues With The Thermalright XP-120

Although the XP-120 is designed to clear of surface-mounted components on the motherboard, it may still interfere with other components due to its huge size. Components like memory modules, graphics card, ATX cable might get in the way, depending on your heatsink orientation and your motherboard layout.

It's virtually impossible to install the XP-120 without removing most of the components that are near the CPU socket, especially inside a cramped case. The retention clips, which are located under the fins and between the heatpipes, makes it especially hard to install the XP-120 without first removing the motherboard from the case.

In some cases, memory modules with a tall heatspreader might get it the way of XP-120. In this case you will have to shift the interfering module to another DIMM slot or change the orientation of the heatsink. Again, this depends on the orientation of XP-120 and your motherboard layout.

The XP-120 has quite a few compatibility issues due to its size. So, be sure to check out your motherboard layout, particularly around the CPU socket. Make sure the XP-120 fits your motherboard before you buy it.

Its successor, the SI-120, improved on this compatibility issue. So, if you like the XP-120, I would highly recommend you take a look at the SI-120 instead.

Fortunately, for those who still want to use the XP-120, the fact that the XP-120 supports four different orientations gives us a lot of flexibility. In fact, it greatly reduces the risk of not being able to install the XP-120 on any particular motherboard.


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