Corsair Air Series A50 CPU Cooler

Installation and Mounting

Like many other modern aftermarket coolers for Intel sockets, Corsair chose to use an X-bracket for the back of the motherboard and a top bracket to hold the heatsink to the X-bracket.  This is a proven bracket style that helps to distribute the weight of the heatsink, while being able to apply ample pressure between the heatsink and CPU.  The included AMD AM2/AM3 mounting bracket (not shown) uses the standard AMD socket frame clips.

Corsair's recommended method of applying thermal compound is to apply a pea sized amount to the center of the CPU's heatspreader, then installing the heatsink (which will spread the thermal compound with pressure).  Included in the A50 packaging is a small tube of Corsair branded compound.

An X shaped bracket is used on the back of the motherboard to help support the A50.  The bracket is used universally for Intel socket 775, 1155 and 1366 motherboards.  It works by sliding the pins between notched positions (depending on what socket you have).  There is no mention of Intel socket 2011 compatibility.

Around the CPU socket, there are no clearance issues.  There was ample room to complete the installation of the A50 successfully.  The heatsink is held in position by interlocking grooves on the base of the heatsink and the H-bracket.  Thumbscrews with phillips screwdriver heads are used to hold everything tightly together.  Corsair includes directions in the installation manual on the order of which to tighten the thumbscrews in order to achieve even pressure and thermal compound distribution.

The common clearance issue with aftermarket CPU coolers is interference with memory slots.  The A50, like most large coolers on the market, will only permit use of memory that is low-profile (aka standard).  Memory with tall heatsinks will not fit if the DIMM slots on your motherboard is overlapped by the cooler.  In the case of the A50 cooler and the ASRock Z68 Extreme3 motherboard, one DIMM slot is blocked from using a higher profile stick of memory.