The EVO 120 came with a full color installation guide that letter coded all the parts for ease of recognition. I installed it on a
MSI K8T Neo, replacing a Zalman CNPS7000-Cu CPU cooler. When I installed the Zalman, I had to replace the stock motherboard backplate
with one that was compatible with the new Zalman unit. That meant I had to pull my mobo to complete that install. The EVO 120 is
meant to be a straight replacement for the stock cooler, which meant that I had to pull my mobo again to replace the motherboard
backplate with the stock one. Personally, I don't think there's ever a reason to deviate from the stock motherboard backplate, and
I wonder why other companies do. Akasa got it right with the EVO 120 for the AMD CPUs—don't make the user pull their motherboard
when they shouldn't have to.
First Install - Part 1
Alright, on to my fun install. Installation is very easy for the AMD platform. For the Intel platforms, the installation in the manual
appears much more complex, with more than twice the number of steps to complete. My first attempt at installation led me to discover
that the EVO 120 was bent, probably between 95 and 100 degrees, instead of the 90 degrees it was supposed to be. This bend meant that
when I tried to put the cover back on my case, I could not. The EVO 120 stuck up too far, and the case lid just rocked back and forth
on top. This was not to my liking.
First Install - Part 2
My second attempt at installation worked, but with a slight issue. I pulled the EVO 120 out of my machine and very, very carefully bent
the heatpipes to get the L shaped device back to 90 degrees. So, I put the device back in, only to discover that it was snug against a
supporting part of the case. Yikes! This is one tall device, and may not fit in everyone's case. I pulled it again, bent the heatpipes
slightly again, and then put a piece of foam on the top of the fan where it was coming in contact with the support bracket. Finally, the
EVO 120 was installed.
All that was left was the case plate for the rheostat fan controller. You can turn the fan speed (and noise level) up and down with this
little knob that sticks out of the back of the PC. The only thing that sucks about this is that you have to give your PC a reach-around
if you want to make an adjustment. This can be a pain if the back of your PC is not accessible. I'm spoiled because all of my fan controls
are on the Matrix Orbital. One of these days, when I'm feeling frisky, I'll crack the case open again and rewire. There's nothing more fun
than rewiring your PC!