Zalman CNPS 14X Review
With such a universal mount it was suspected from the outset that fitting the 14X might be a bit of a fiddle. We weren't wrong. As is the case with a great many large coolers, and especially the twin stackers the body of the cooler over hangs the holes in the Motherboard through which the retaining screws to the back plate must pass through. Fitting the 14X to a motherboard that is still in a PC case is a complete non starter, even in the spacious Cooler Master "Test Trooper" that we use for all our heat sink testing, as there simply isn't enough room in the upper corners to get a tool onto the retaining screws. Fitting the cooler out of the case is still by no means a simple task, as the large overhangs again make it difficult to engage and tighten the screws that lie adjacent to the VRMs and heat-sinks which surround most modern CPUs. After a great deal of time and much swearing we did finally manage to get the cooler on, only to find that we now had the problem of getting a screwdriver into the upper left corner of the case to screw down the Motherboard and an even bigger problem getting our hand in to the very small space to attach the 12 pin CPU power cable. As we mentioned in the review of the Zaman Z11 Plus, that particular case comes with a short extension for the 12 pin cable and we have to say that if you're going to fit this cooler into any case you invest in something similar.
Zalman warn that the cooler body is likely to encroach on any RAM taller than 40mm. That said, when we tried the review sample with some particularly tall Patriot RAM, although things were quite close we were still able to use all our RAM slots. Should you choose to strap an additional 140mm fan to the front of the cooler you will almost certainly lose the first slot, and depending on the lay out of your Motherboard, perhaps the second also.