System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $2000 Performance PC

Hardware Installation

While most of our hardware followed the simple steps laid out in our handy How-To guide, Cooler Master’s installation brackets were only slightly more complicated.

Rather than have the heat sink bracket’s mounting screws extend directly through the motherboard, Cooler Master designed its Hyper 212 Plus with an extra set of mounting studs on the motherboard’s top side, similar to the standoffs used in traditional cases. The motherboard itself is protected by insulated washers attached to those standoffs.

Nuts attach the heat sink bracket’s standoffs beneath the motherboard, while a support plate reduces bending force against the motherboard. An insulator sheet is factory-applied to both sides of the support plate.

A folding bracket holds the heat sink firmly against the CPU, with spring-loaded screws ensuring proper tension. Please remember to apply thermal compound before final assembly!

Builders concerned about the fit of these graphics cards within a traditional mid-tower chassis can put those fears to rest, as long as they use no more than three 3.5” hard drives. The long cards do, after all, block several hard drive bays.

Savvy readers will have noticed that we forgot to put the SLI bridge on before shooting the internal system photo, yet those with the keenest eyes should  be able to spot it through the side vent in the finished build.

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  • rimmer100
    After the article reviewing the micro-stuttering issue that is being seen with multiple graphics card systems, it would make sense if this was addressed in any build that has more than 1 card. It may be that the computer performs better in the benchmarks but if the stuttering is pronounced, this should be held against it in the final roundup.
  • NoobNeb
    I wish they could ship to Ireland for the competition.. Imagine having that beast of a PC..