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Mounting the Water Block

This water block mounts easily to our motherboard. Recall that our gaming system uses an Abit IC7 Max3, which supports socket 478 P4 processors. It also has four convenient holes drilled into the board around the CPU socket. This is good, because our water block is designed to mount through four connecting screws. To install the water block, you'll have to take out the motherboard.

The basic Asetek water block we have has different mounting screw holes for different motherboards. For socket 478 boards, the mounting holes are the outermost holes on the four corners of the block. Before installing the water block, apply a thin, even coat of thermal paste to the copper base of the heat sink.


For more on the importance of thermal paste, see part 3 of my earlier series "How To Build the Ultimate Gaming System on a Budget."

You must first screw a set of four studs and washers onto the board, just under the CPU. Then slide in the CPU and insert the four included mounting posts. The water block drops on top of this assembly. You then use the four included thumbscrews and springs to hold it down. Once the thumbscrews are sitting firmly, begin tightening them alternately, one-quarter turn at a time—just as you might tighten a tire onto a car. Note that installation instructions will vary with the water block that you buy. Don't buy a water block without instructions available.

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