Installing the 9700LED proved to be similar to many other coolers out there, including the CNPS8000 we reviewed last month. Your entire motherboard has to be hauled out since they include a special bracket for the back.
One huge gripe I had against the CNPS8000 was that the included bracket contained a sticky coating on the back, which resulted in residue left over once you removed it. I was relieved to see that this bracket was completely unlike that one.
One huge bonus to the 9700LED is that it includes their new thermal paste that applies like nail polish (not that I am familiar with this), instead of pumping it from a tube. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I was hugely impressed by how easy it was to apply an even, thin coat. It’s incomparable to a tube as far as I am concerned.
An immediate advantage the 9700LED has over it’s brother, the 9500LED, is the sheer size. As mentioned earlier, the 9500LED used a standard 92mm fan, but the 9700LED has been upgraded to a 110mm. Because of this, the overall size is considerably larger.
Of course this cooler doesn’t have “LED” in it’s title for fun and games. It has a bright blue LED fan, just like the 9500. As you can see in the picture, this doesn’t light up the entire cooler, just the immediate right side. Personally, I think this looks kind of odd. It works with a top down cooler but doesn’t as well with this. You may disagree, but it’s an observation.
With all of the glamour shots out of the way, let’s see how this baby can cool a CPU!