ASROCK 939Dual-SATA2 and SI-120


Arno Wagner

Just to document this:

The ASROCK 939Dual-SATA2 mainboard and the Thermalright SI-120 are
compatible, but just barely. The problem is that the mainboard
does have the right holes, but the original retention module is
not screwed in with a backplate, but mounted with 4 holes and
platic pins. The SI-120 expects to be screwed into a metal backplate
with two screws.

If you want to mount this cooler on this mainboard you either have to
find a K8 metal backplate somewhere or to make one yourself. Screwing
the retention module directly to the mainboard is possible with large
enough washers, but not advisable at all. It seems some Gigabyte
mainboards also need a back plate, I have orderd one and
will post here whether it fits.



Kai said:
It seems I just hit the same problem. I want to mount a Thermaltake Big
Typhoon on this Asrock board and was wondering how to remove the retention
module (which I did and then reapplied it) and where this dreaded back
plate is supposed to be. If I remove the plastic retention module there's
"nothing" left. However, there's a second "H Clip" (plus a sponge and
mylar layer to keep it away from the board) supplied for all non-K8
installations which obviously fits this purpose. It seems I can just use
this. But I'm wondering about the requirement of removing the retention
module. I haven't seen any other retention module yet, but from the
installation instructions it seems that the module is screwed to the board
exactly thru the "middle" holes which should be used for mounting the Big
Typhoon (or SI-120). So, it's obvious you have to remove the module before
mounting the cooler. But the Asrock module doesn't have any screws there
because of the four plastic clip mounting. So, I'm wondering if I can
actually keep the module in place and still install the cooler thru it.
If I put the CPU in place, stack the cooler on it and the other H-Clip on
top of that there is still a four millimeter gap between the H-Clip and
the retention module surface. I can just push the two long screws thru the
retention module holes and the two H-clips and screw them tight with no
problem and the retention module still in place it seems!
The only problem I see is that four millimeter gap. I'd prefer there to be
no gap at all. If there is a gap there is a chance that I screw one side
tighter than the other, so that the clip will place more pressure to one
edge of the CPU than to the other. Do you anticipate the same problem?
From the installation instructions it looks like I should be using one or
two of the standoffs to bridge this gap. Though it looks like the standoff
won't be able to fully bridge the big gap between the board and the
H-clip. Actually, that gap would remain much wider than it is with the
retention module still in place. Or did i get something wrong here?
It seems to me that keeping the retention module in place is preferrable
to removing it. What do you both think?
Question to stanmc: What retention module did Thermaltake supply? There's
none with the typhoon coming (but four standoffs) How did you solve the
problem of differently tight screwing?

Kai, I bought a Thermalright not a Thermaltake heatsink. It came with an
RM, but not a backplate. Thermalright offers a backplate for K8
installations. It is metal with an insulating layer. After you pull the
pins on the AsRock RM you attach the Thermalright backplate and then
place the Thermalright RM in place on the other side of the board and
use the supplied screws to attach it. The SI-120 clips/snaps into the
Thermalright RM.

As for the Big Typhoon I see several clips which I suppose go on both
sides of the board. I don't know how the clips are intended to be
attached and can't find an install guide on the Thermaltake site. I did
find this review of the Big Typhoon with some mention of the
installation of the unit. I think they do intend for you to place one of
the K8 clips on the bottom and one over the heatsink and screw them

The installation comments begin on page 2. Best wishes.

Arno Wagner

Previously stanmc said:
Built this same combination a few months ago. Ordered the backplate that
works with the XP-120 from the dealer and it install perfectly. The
Instructions for the SI-120 said I had to use nail polish remover to
loosen the original retention module from the motherboard, but in the
case of the AsRock939 that is not needed. I just unscrewed it, put the
Thermalright supplied RM in place and screwed it to the metal backplate.
Worked perfectly.

I got my backplate today and can confirm this. It seems the backplate
is standardised by AMD in the CPU cooling guidelines, so any generic
k8 backplate should work. The holes are standardised as well, ASROK
just added four more for their own retention module.
AsRock939 Dual Sata2 with Athlon64X2-3800+ 1GB ram and using Fedora Core
4 in SMP.

Ha! I was to cheap for that. No SMP here. But I was sorely tempted.