Installation of the Reeven Brontes
Before proceeding with installation, lay out all accessories and cross reference the package content with the illustrated user’s guide. Unlike most low profile CPU coolers, the Reeven Brontes is highly compatible with a lot of motherboard mounting including support for older LGA775 as well as support for AMD AM1 motherboards. The lack of backplate also improves compatibility on compact ITX mainboards where surface mounted components are present at the back of the PCB.
Reeven provides three different types of brackets for use with Intel, AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2+ and AM1 mainboards. These brackets are in matching pairs that are screwed onto the base of the CPU cooler contact surface. For AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2+ motherboards, the mounting latch holders and backplate will have to be removed first. For Intel mainboards, the tips of the brackets are adjustable (by removing a screw) to three levels for LGA775, LGA115x or LGA1366 installation. By default it is positioned in the middle for LGA115x.
Remove the protective plastic from the CPU cooler contact surface, apply thermal compound then line up the motherboard mounting hole with bracket mounting so that the four screws can be secured at the back. Place the silicon washer through the rear screws to protect the motherboard PCB surface from scratches then thread the screw through from the back into the brackets on the top side, making sure to secure in a criss-cross fashion incrementally for an even pressure once fully secured.
On the other side, the bracket itself will not be touching the motherboard and there will be several millimeter gap between the PCB surface and the bracket. Since the Brontes is secured from the rear, the fan does not have to be removed from the heatsink to install, but in case it was removed or replaced, securing the fan into the heatsink is only a matter of putting the wire clip tips to the fan mounting hole corners and latching the center of the wire to the edge of the aluminum fin array. Do not forget to plug-in the fan to an available motherboard header or fan controller once ready.
Compatibility and Clearance Issues
The Reeven Brontes provides 26mm clearance (measured from CPU contact surface) underneath before the fin array begins and measures 114mm long with a 105mm width. The Mushkin Stealth RAM used in this review measures 31.5mm tall in total from PCB base up to the top of the heatsink (standard DDR3 PCB measures 30mm tall). The test system motherboard is an ASUS Maximus VI Gene motherboard with a 28.5mm clearance between the CPU socket and the first DIMM slot and has a 45mm gap between the CPU socket and the topmost PCI-E x16 slot. The Reeven Brontes can be mounted in four different orientations: Type A (heatpipe curve facing south), Type B (heatpipe curve facing north), Type C (heatpipe curve facing west) and type D (heatpipe curve facing east).
For RAM clearance, Type A, B and D provide full RAM clearance, although type A and B is within a hair’s reach on this motherboard and the top fan overhangs on top of the first DIMM slot, limiting full 4-piece RAM kit installation to modules that are 48mm-tall and shorter. Type C overhangs on top and cannot be installed on any standard height RAM modules since there is only 26mm clearance available. Only low-profile, half-height memory modules can be installed under Type C mounting and the first two DIMM slots are obscured as well so RAM must be installed first before the memory module. PCI-E clearance is fully compatible including Type B mounting although the tip of the Brontes will be close to the back of the video card.