Earlier this month (June 2016), I upgraded the air cooling system for the AMD Athlon X4 870K processor in my computer. This was a major undertaking, and required the removal of the motherboard from the case. I promised a few people I’d take pictures of the process, and share them. So, here the pictures are.
Now, here’s the explanation, starting from the top left picture, and proceeding across each row, the pictures are in order. The first picture shows the original system configuration, with the AMD heatsink and fan. The pictures show the disassembly process, the removal of the original AMD mounting bracket, the installation of the Cryorig mounting bracket, the installation of the Cryorig M9a mini tower cooling system, and the reassembly of the computer.
Since I took these pictures, the EVGA GT-730 graphics adapter has died. It has been replaced with a XFX Radeon R7-370. It’s not the best system on Earth by any means. But it’s more than sufficient for my needs.
The Cryorig M9a works very well. Combined with the three case fans, the CPU temperature reported by the MSI Control Panel averages in the mid 5oC range (51C to 57C), when all fans are turned up. That’s over 20C lower than the original AMD factory cooler.
It is worth noting that I could not have stuffed a larger air cooling solution into the case. The top of the M9a fits just inside the case, and the fan sits on the first RAM module. The R7-370 also comes close to the plexiglass cover of the case, but I could install a larger graphics adapter if I ever elect to do so.
This was not something I would suggest most people do, unless you have experience at repairing computers, or have made your own custom builds before, or have a friend who has, and is willing to help.