Sapphire’s Vapor-X CPU cooler uses a backplate that is all but identical to that used by Cooler Master for its Hyper product line. While the backplate offers complete Intel and AMD compatibility in a convenient from factor, simple installation isn’t one of its better properties.
The method requires you to flip your motherboard while directing mounting stand-offs through the front side holes and fastening them from the rear side. Three hands would suffice for this method, so unless you have an assistant, be prepared to test your patience and increase the installation time.
A sturdy metal retention plate is screwed into the protruding stand-offs to evenly distribute the Vapor-X CPU cooler’s 1 kg+ weight. Users with over-sized motherboard heatsinks should be aware that the retention plate extends past Intel’s imposed ‘no-go’ region.
Sapphire’s easy-to-follow and, for the most part, incredibly simple installation method provides a secure, non-interfering mount.
While the Vapor-X’s 163.5mm height may be pushing the boundary of what mid-tower cases can handle, the width, depth and base-to-bottom-fin measurements are surprisingly accommodating in regards to VRM heatsink, DIMM slot and PCI-E connector clearance.
Standard RAM sticks will have no problems fitting under the Vapor-X with room to spare. 40mm-tall modules are at the upper-end of what we would advise using, although it may be possible to obtain an extra few millimeters of clearance by moving the fan mount up the heatsink. Don’t expect any RAM kits with over-sized heatsinks such as Corsair’s Vengeance modules to fit under the cooler.
Hiding the stiff fan cables can become a challenging task, but at least their black colour scheme won’t cause too many style issues. An LED connector draws power from the front fan connector to allow the blue strips and Vapor-X logo to glow.
Sapphire’s gamer-orientated Vapor-X CPU cooler allows a system’s aesthetic appeal to be maintained and, using its subtle blue lighting scheme, can help to create a completely new style.