Packaging & Accessories
While I usually spend time to capture photos of the unboxing event, I forgot to do so on this one, so I won’t be going into photo detail. The block itself comes in Swiftech’s usual very generous package including:
- Apogee HD
- 1155 Backplate
- 1366 Backplate
- Socket 775/1155/1366 thumb screws
- Socket 2011 thumb screws
- Pair of 1/2″ fittings
- PK1 Thermal Compound
- Pair of G1/4 Plugs
The block ships with 1155 screws and backplate installed such that the backplate does secondary duty in protecting the block during shipping
This is how the block ships except with black barbs and plugs.
Removing the base you can see the multiport top and base. The base is a variable pin width design. Also notice the centrally located bowing/sealing o-ring in the top and the perimeter is mounted very securely using not just 4 or 6 bolts, but 8 total for a very secure perimeter seal. The outer o-ring is also nicely held in place by a good channel and generally stays put for easy maintenance.
A close up of the variable width pins purposely designed, smaller in the middle and larger as you move away from the center. There is generally good and consistent CNC machining.
Without a doubt, the most refined and easy to use mounting system of any block out there.
When looking at a mounting system for LGA2011, I’m looking for two main features including prescribed mounting pressure and ease of installation.
Prescribed Pressure Included
Most or at least many of the mounting systems out there fail to include features that prescribe a fixed amount of mounting pressure that ensures every user will install the block not only with the right amount of pressure, but an equal amount of pressure on all four corners so the block is level. With bowing becoming fairly standard it is very easy to mount those blocks with more pressure on one side vs. the other resulting in the block rolling over and putting it’s contact patch off center and resulting in worse performance than ideal. Fortunately, that is not the case here, as the system is thought through and takes care of this all too common problem. The Apogee HD mounting system uses thumbscrews with a designed length such that the user screws the screw down and travel stops when complete. This amount of travel is designed specifically to compress the springs a certain amount. Fully compressed the springs measure around 19lbs, so the prescribed mounting force is somewhere between 0 and 19lbs per spring. While I didn’t measure it, I suspect the force is dialed in at around 40-50lbs. The important thing is, you can’t do too much and the user is forced to apply the same amount on all four corners. This is how all blocks should be designed. Exemplary!
Minimized Loose Parts (Easy Installation)
The second area I look for in regards to LGA2011 mounting systems is ease of installation by reducing the number of loose parts. I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself chasing a loose washer that has decided to part ways during the mounting process, I have even found myself removing motherboards to go after a loose nut that somehow traveled under a motherboard at a time or two, so I have really come to appreciate when a mounting system is simplified by reducing the number of loose parts. The Swiftech Apogee HD system again hits the nail on the head in this area taking what could have been potentially a block, a hold down, four thumbnuts, four washers, four springs, four more nylon (possibly 18 individual parts), and made it 1 component. The hold down plate is not flopping around loosely, and every single thumbscrew and spring is cleverly retained onto the block hold down plate via e-clip. No more holding the block with one hand as you reach over to grab tiny little washers you can barely hang on to and praying that everything goes without that ‘oh crap’ moment that seems all too typical of the other systems. The Swiftech Apogee HD system has it all contained on one very simple and easy to use single component. Granted the 2011 screws and springs do have to be installed on the block to replace the 1155 system, but during that critical block install moment, you only have one loose part to deal with. It just doesn’t get any better than this for easy and user friendly. I have not seen any other manufacturers do very well in this area, they are almost all some sort of loose parts type system. On LGA2011, the Apogee HD is the only system with a single loose part block system, another example of what a mounting system should be…an actual “Easy Mount” and they didn’t even call it an easy mount…:)
The Swiftech Mounting System is the simply the ultimate 2011 mounting system out there by a long shot, prescribed pressure + 1 component easy mount!