With the introduction of the Pentium 4
socket 423 architecture came the heatsink retention mechanism (HRM). No longer
did heatsinks have to be attached by the ZIF socket clips alone. Now with more
support, and more clips, bigger and heavier heatsinks could be attached more
securely and more safely. At least that seems to be the general impression I get
when looking at those two plastic heatsink supports.
In reality, what should only be a Pentium 4
heatsink can sometimes be used on any socketed processor. It all depends on the
heatsink manufacturer, and how many 'birds' they are trying to kill with that
one cooler. But generally speaking, if the heatsink doesn't have the tabs for
the heatsink retention mechanism (HRM) to clip into, it should not be used on a
Pentium 4 processor.
|Socket 423 with holes in the
surrounding PCB for the P4 heatsink retention mechanism. The plastic
supports are simply dropped into place and then locked solidly by
depressing the white spacer pins.|
The CPU socket is a bit crowded
as it is flanked on one side by a row of seven 6.3v 2200uf capacitors, and
on the other by both the ATX and 5V/3V ATX power connectors. Naturally if
the heatsink expels air out either end of the heatsink this crowding won't
have any impact.
The processor socket is only a
scant 4mm or so from a line of capacitors on one side, and the ATX and
5V/3V ATX power connectors on the other side.
While the fit is a tight one, we had
no difficulties installing our heatsink which only used the HRM to
Support for onboard fans is quite
typical with the usual complement of three headers. Two fan headers are
positioned near to the processor socket itself, and the third lies by the last
PCI socket (for a system fan or supped up video card perhaps).
The 850 Pro2 supports fan RPM monitoring,
so the computer can be configured to give out an alert if while monitoring the
CPU fan, something fails (it can happen, read our little article about a
CPU fan that caught fire).
Sometimes these important little
connectors can get stuck in the most awkward of places, but this wasn't the case
with this MSI mainboard. All of the fan headers are easily reachable and the
need for super small fingers or tweezers in not necessary.