SilverStone includes all necessary mounting hardware and accessories to get the cooler installed and functioning in your system, including fans, mounting hardware, install tool, and thermal compound.
The AR01 cooler comes with a fold-out instructional pamphlet guiding you through install on all board types. The included instructions are adequate, but could have been illustrated and documented more thoroughly. This is especially true when attempting to install the universal backplate on your board.
For mounting the cooler to the board, SilverStone includes standoffs and steel cross-brackets for Intel and AMD socket types. For the Intel LGA115X, LGA1366, and LGA755 sockets, you use the straight brackets and the four standoffs with equal sized threaded sections on both sides. For AMD sockets, you use the C-shaped brackets and the four standoffs with equal sized threaded sections on both sides. For LGA2011 sockets, the straight brackets and four standoffs with different sized threaded sections are used, fastening them directly into the stock LGA2011 socket plate without the need for the included back plate at all. The two nuts and crossbar are used to hold fix the cooler in place using the mount bracket assembly. The included wrench can be used to tighten the mounting nuts to the mounting brackets.
The included universal back plate is coated along the top and bottom at the board contact points to prevents shorting between the board traces and the metal plate. You use the outer holes for Intel socket installation with the raised arms facing the top of the board. The flat section faces the top of the board for AMD socket installation, using the four inside holes for mounting. For Intel board mounting, it is critical that you use the correct mount holes or the backplate will not line up correctly with the board mount holes, leading to board damage or insecure bottom plate installation. With the Intel side face up and the plate in a horizontal orientation, the LGA115X holes are to the upper left of the arm. The LGA775 holes are to the upper right in the arm, and the LGA1366 holes are to the lower left. The mounting holes are not marked, making the install of the bottom plate tedious and overly complex on Intel-based systems.
The mounting cage goes together in a succession of layers. The standoffs screw directly into the base plate with a paper washer placed in between the board and the standoff body. The cross-brackets sit atop the standoffs, fixed in place with four thumbscrews. The intel cross brackets have a series of three conjoined holes that form an inward V when the bracket is mounted correctly. The outer hole is used for LGA1366/2011 sockets, the middle hole for LGA115X sockets, and the inside hole for LGA775 sockets. The crossbar, acting as a hold-down mechanism for the CPU cooler, fit into the threaded poles in the middle of each bracket. The crossbar is fixed in place with two hexagon nuts.
The mounting brackets are designed to allow for cooler mounting in a vertical (front-to-rear) or horizontal (bottom-to-top) orientation. Whether or not the cooler can be mounted in a horizontal orientation depends on the board design.
On an Intel board, the base plate bottom rests on the socket bottom plate with the arms the only direct contact point with the board. This design minimizes the potential for contact or crushing of any components in close proximity to the socket base plate. However, notice how the cooler base plate is off-centered (in relation to the board's base plate) because of the layout of the corner mounting holes.
SilverStone includes a total of eight rubber fan mounts with the cooler so that dual fans can be used with the units radiator if desired. The rivet part of the mount pushed into the fan screw holes with the round ribbed part oriented to sit outside the fans body. Once installed on the fan, you place the fan on the radiator with the rubber body of the mount in contact with the radiator surface. Then you bend the body 90 degrees to fix the ribbed part of the mount in-place using the rounded channels in the side of the radiator.
To disperse the heat from cooler's radiator, SilverStone includes one of their 120mm fans, rated for a maximum speed of 2200RRM and capable of generating airflow up to 80CFM. The fan sits in a blue plastic housing with a total of 9 white fan blades, insuring more than adequate air flow and pressure. The fan blades themselves have feathered notches in their upper leading edge to help direct airflow into the radiator and minimize the airflow dead spot in its center caused by the fan motor. The fan cables are sleeved in a dense, black colored plastic sleeving and ending in a 4-pin PWM-style power connector. The fans is rated to run at 12V, drawing 0.23 amps of power.