When I built my Hyper-V lab (Colossus) with a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H I used the Intel Supplied stock cooler which did a good job under normal loads in keeping my i7-3770 cool but I found when I pressed the 3770 for an extended period of time, such as with Prime-95, I was getting core temp’s in the 70’sC degrees range. Additionally, several have commented in the Forums that with the beautiful side window in the Lian-Li PC-KW9X the stock cooler didn’t have any “bling” effect.
Last “Black Friday” I had found an incredible deal on a ZALMAN CNPS9900MAX-B 135mm Long life bearing CPU Cooler Blue LED that I had picked up but never used on my X58 like I had planned. Since I have no plans to overclock Colossus the 300W stated cooling capacity of the CNPS9900MAX-B seemed like way overkill on my Z77X-UD5H with a i7-3770 but I decided to tear down Colossus anyway and rebuild him with the Zalman. The Zalman CNPS9900MAX-B was much easier to install than I had originally expected.
During the tear-down I took the opportunity to move a few other parts (like SSD’s and HD’s) around between Colossus and other computers.
I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. After running overnight with Prime 95 and 5 VM’s also active I got core temp’s that only peak at 55C degrees on the i7-3770 in Colossus.
The Zalman also provides a definite “bling” for the Z77X-UD5H:
I moved my SSD’s to other machines and moved the Crucial M4 128GB over from the N40L MicroServer to be the OS drive in the Z77X-UD5H after updating the firmware from 0002 to 000F. The Firmware update was very simple to do. The SSD is mounted in the Lian-Li PC-K9WX with 4 screws – to isolate the SSD from direct contact with the metal plate of the HDD cage I used two pads of Post-It notes (the thin green pad you see in the picture above — about 10-15 sheets each) between the SSD and the HDD cage.
I installed just one ST3000DM001 to be my VHD drive above the SSD OS drive.
One of the AMD mounting legs was broken on the base mounting bracket – since I was mounting a i7-3770 ( Intel socket 1155) it didn’t matter in my case but it probably explains why I was able to get the Zalman at such a deep discount on Black Friday.