Update 2021-01-25: There is now a Part 3 to this project
For those of you who read my Part 1 of this project you’ll remember I said I’d try installing a better CPU heat sink once I had some cash.
Well I did and it didn’t work. This post will hopefully save someone 1.5 hours of their life.
The mission was to get a Noctua NH-D15 installed in my Dell T340
The first step was to remove the existing heat sink and left over thermal compound:
First thing I wanted to do was make sure the heat sink would fit before trying to figure out the bracket.
I tried it in the recommended configuration and it does fit but I’d lose access to my bottom PCIe 8x slot.
I then rotated the heat sink 90 degrees to a less than ideal airflow path which made it possible to JUST BARELY use the bottom PCIe 8x slot.
If I were keeping the Noctua installed I’d put a strip of electrical tape long the edge of the PCIe card in the bottom slot so if the heat sink ever made contact with the card it wouldn’t blow up.
Ok, so, the heat sink appears to barely fit. Now to mount it. This is where everything went wrong.
The pre-installed CPU socket back plate is not compatible with the Noctua heat sink. I removed the motherboard and then the OEM CPU back plate which also required removing the CPU locking assembly (the arm and bracket that hold the CPU to the motherboard socket) because it was screwed into the OEM CPU back plate.
Once I had removed the OEM CPU back plate I installed the Noctua provided one and quickly realized it wasn’t going to work. The Noctua plate does not have threaded holes so I was unable to re-attach the CPU locking assembly.
At this point there was nothing more I could do, I had to re-install the original OEM CPU back plate and OEM cooler and then put everything back in the case. In theory the motherboard is raised a fair distance from the back of the T340’s case. I could have gotten some washers and nuts and attempted to re-attach the CPU locking assembly using them and the Noctua back plate but this ultimately seemed like a bad idea.
I reached out to Noctua support just to see if they had a compatible back plate. They said “no” and that their products are not compatible with this motherboard.
I’ve also reached out to Arctic, BeQuite!, CoolMaster, Corsair, Thermaltake and Zalman to see if any of them sell a compatible cooler. So far the results are:
- Arctic – No compatible products
- BeQuite! – No compatible products
- CoolMaster – Didn’t read my request properly and didn’t actually answer my question
- Corsair – No compatible products
- Thermaltake – No response yet
- Zalman – No response yet
I will update this post when/if the remaining companies respond to me.
I’m just going to have to live with my current solution which does an adequate job.