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Rebuilding my X58A-UD3H desktop, installing a new Zalman CNPS9900MAX(Blue) CPU Cooler, & upgrading to Windows 8.1


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Over the last few weeks I've been planning to do a rebuild of my desktop that I had first completed in 2010.  The original build was:


·         HAF-932

·         GA-X58A-UD3H

·         i7-930

·         12GB RAM

·         1TB WD1002FAEX Black OS/DATA drive

·         Windows 7 Pro x64

·         Blu-Ray read/write optical drive

·         HD5850


Over a year ago I had toyed with the idea of replacing my Cooler Master cooler I had originally installed with a Zalman to add a little extra bling with the side window of the HAF-932 and to get a little better cooling with the 300W rated cooling of the Zalman CNPS9900MAX.  Instead, I chose to use the Zalman in the build Updating a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and i7-3770 in a PC-KW9X with a Zalman CPU Cooler and was very pleased with it's cooling capabilities (and the bling effect).


Because of the great performance of the Zalman on the Z77 I picked up another when it was on sale last spring with the intention of using it to upgrade the X58 sometime.


Last year I had upgraded my Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8.0 Pro and when I tried to do the Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade in the Store the upgrade would fail -- I had a Windows 8.0 security update that had failed to install properly a few months earlier.  I was going to have to do a Windows Refresh on Win8 before I could upgrade to Win8.1


So, began a process of using Belarc to document everything that was on my desktop and making multiple backups of my critical data.  I made a detailed checklist and revised it.  iTunes and PhotoShop Elements were the only two programs I had to de-authorize and uninstall so that I could install them again after the Refresh 


Finally the moment arrived!


I did one final backup of the entire machine then I did Refresh.  Windows 8 provided me a list -- 3 pages long -- of all the Apps that were removed while refreshing my machine!


Next I updated the Refreshed Windows 8 without re-installing any Apps except for my WHS2011 Connector -- when my clean Windows 8 (all my data was still intact just my apps were gone) I backed it up again, installed and ran Belarc again for good measure then I did the windows 8.1 upgrade through the Store.


After the 8.1 upgrade I backed everything up again.


Then I completely dis-assembled my desktop -- blew all the dust out -- took the old Cooler Master cooler off of the CPU and installed the Zalman CNPS9900MAX(Blue) -- took out a floppy drive that I had installed 2 years ago but never used -- added a 4th VelociRaptor to create a 4 drive RAID0 for my Video Editing work drive


When I finished this 2013 rebuild, my desktop was configured:

·         HAF-932

·         GA-X58A-UD3H

·         i7-930

·         CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS9900 MAX (Blue)

·         12GB RAM

·         OS Drive: Corsair GS 240GB SSD (this drive is attached to a SATA II port which caps the through-put Read/Writes to 300MB)

·         Data Drive: 4*WD2500HHTZ in RAID0 (attached to 4 SATA II ports – the RAID0 is created in Disk Management in Windows 8.1)

·         Windows 8.1 Pro x64

·         Blu-Ray read/write optical drive

·         HD5850

·         2nd NIC DGE-530T



When I installed the Zalman I used Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste that I applied onto the CPU in an X pattern that I had found effective during my Repurposing an Acer Aspire Revo AR3610-U9022 Net-Top with a SSD and Windows 8 in the technical article I referenced called Puget Systems Thermal Paste Application Techniques.


My old Cooler



My i7-930 with Thermal Compound cleaned off




Video of Removing Old Cooler, unboxing and installing Zalman CNPS9900 MAX (Blue)





Zalman CNPS9900MAX (Blue) installed



Rebuilt Desktop Gigabyte X58A-UD3H Powered Up


Edited by Joe_Miner
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Well I'm done upgrading my desktop. Fairly easy, fairly quick - relatively. Made the usual Acronis backup. I also ran Belarc since it was mentioned here. I like the reports; they look good.


I was going to use the 'X' paste application method, but then remembered my standard method which is to tightly wrap a baggie around my index finger and use it to spread the paste. Gives me a great deal of control - thickness and area. The CPU temps back it up, and that's with mobo fan control set to lowest speed on a scale of 1 - 10. Wondering if anyone else has ever tried that? 

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Check the results in the Puget Systems paper I referenced above and in my 3610 upgrade blog posting -- the smooth spread technique did have great coverage but resulted in quite a few small air bubbles but the performance was only slightly worse than the X technique in their testing.  I went with the X technique based on Puget System paper.  The Smooth spread technique is what I used on the X58 in 2010 and I was never happy with it's performance though it may have been more the cooler I used rather than the technique or the simple fact that I had no idea what I was doing at the time.  YMMV.

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What was the cooler?


Hyper 212 has been out for a relatively long time. Thoughts on where it stands?


*I just checked and it has a 5-star rating with over 8000 reviews on Newegg.

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What was the cooler?


Hyper 212 has been out for a relatively long time. Thoughts on where it stands?


*I just checked and it has a 5-star rating with over 8000 reviews on Newegg.


The CPU Cooler I removed was a Cooler Master V8.  I replaced it with the Zalman CNPS9900MAX (Blue).


With the Cooler Master V8 when stress testing the CPU I was getting core temps of 88, 85, 86, & 84C on all 4 cores.  With the CNPS9900MAX I got:




With the 4 VelociRaptors I'm getting the following performance:


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