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Is the H55 hopeless? Mounting nuts spin under mild torque.


lawout

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I have just installed a H55 in combination with an i7-6700k on a gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD3 board. It's my first water cooler. It's probably going to be returned.

 

The main issue is that just as a newegg reviewer noted, the little nuts that are embedded into the backplate and which the mounting bolts thread into rotate when you try to tighten it. It's an incredibly poor design. I saw that review but figured since the issue was reported by only one user he must have gotten a bad one. Nope. The "nuts" spin as soon as the torque gets past very loose. I can't find a way to really grab those nuts and keep them from spinning.

 

Terrible design. It does seem to make enough contact with the cpu, I suppose they don't need to be really clamped down hard.

 

Is the film that is on the cooler copper going to be melted on to the cpu? I've never removed a cooler that has that kind of film.

 

Separate issue is that it's not clear how to connect the pump and the fan. I have the radiator fan on the board cpu_fan connector, and the pump on the cpu_opt connector. There is no guidance in the comic book level instructions provided with the cooler. The radiator fan runs at 100%. Nothing I have been able to do in the gigabyte ami bios or the gigabyte windows software makes any difference in how the fan runs. That's probably a gigabyte issue, but may be related to the connectors I have it attached to?

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Called support, got through right away and talked to a guy that knew this stuff. That's really good.

 

No fix for the rotating nuts, but he stated that the H55 is 'old' and all of the newer mountings are different. He suggested that if the temps are ok it's safe to leave it as is.

 

Re the fan speed. There is no online or printed guidance for this but he said the pump should go to cpu_fan, and the radiator fan should go to any case fan connector. This works, it's now very quiet.

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I think you need to have a H55 to comment on the screws and most of us don't. I would agree, if it sits flat on the CPU and temps are OK, then there isn't an issue. You don't need clamping force. You just don't want space between the cold plate and CPU lid.

 

The ideal connector for your fans is very motherboard specific. Each vendor/model may have different types of headers and/or control behaviors for each. However, the two things that are always true are 1) You need a constant 12v - 100% setting for the pump header on the H55, regardless of where you connect it. 2) You want the fan connected to a header where you have some level of control over it.

 

Most motherboards have a PWM header on the CPU_FAN. Newer boards have dual PWM/DC headers that can be either. The rest of the chassis fan headers can be any combination of DC, PWM, or both and that's where it gets hard to make universal rules about what is best for you. Some motherboards have better or more expansive control options on the CPU_Fan header with more basic or no control on other headers. Since the pump needs a constant 12v and no other control, it can usually go anywhere. If you have good fan control for your chassis fan headers, you current arrangement is likely fine. If they are a little lacking, you can swap them and put the pump on a case fan header set to 100%/12v/Full speed or whatever Gigabyte uses for terminology. The fan can go on CPU fan. Nearly all boards require you to have something on CPU fan to boot and this is a situation where you need to read through your manual to see if there are any hidden rules about your headers or their type. Z170 is a newer board, but there is quite a bit of variance not only between brands, but also within vertical price tiers for a specific brand.

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Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is another type of fan control. The fan receives 12v at all times, but will change speed when it receives a 'control signal' from the source. DC motors/fans control their speed by reducing voltage, usually along a 5-12v pathway with 12V maximum speed and 5v the minimum.

 

There is no way to tell what kind of header you have without some investigation. Fans are easier. A fan with a 4 pin (hole) connector at the end is PWM. A fan with a 3 pin/hole connector is DC. Motherboards these days tend to have 4 pin headers regardless of whether it is a PWM header or not. You really have to dig into the manual and check. It's not all together clear anyway. All your headers are 4 pin, but your CPU & OPT headers have a different pin-out than the SYS_Fan headers. I suspect this means the SYS_Fan headers are masquerading as PWM, but I would really need to dig around without the board to play with. You can probably figure it out in the BIOS controls.

 

You don't need to change anything if you are able to control your fan as you like and that pump is receiving a full 12v/100% signal.

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