CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D14 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
When running the unit oriented to blow air towards the rear panel, there is plenty of room along all sides to accommodate the cooler as well as any PCI-Express cards installed in the system. The cooler looks to come close to impeding the primary PCI-Express x1 slot, but you should have no issues with using a card in that slot.
From the right side viewpoint, the cooler easily clears the memory modules to its front and the Thermal Armor channels along its right side and back. However, you may have some issues with accessing the armor vent switches with the cooler installed.
The left side of the cooler has even more room than the right side, since the Thermal Armor overlay is just above board level.
The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space you have around the CPU socket. The hold down arms are a tight fit along the right and left sides of the socket, but do fit without issue. However, the hold down arm on the right side of the socket is in tight contact with the Thermal Armor wall. This fitting did not cause any mount related issues with the cooler.
The Noctua backplate sits directly on the LGA1150 socket backplate giving it no direct contact with the board. There is no risk of board damage because of this as well as the lack of components directly in the CPU socket area.
ASUS includes everything you need to get the board up and running, as well as some Thermal Armor-related accessories.
There are several manuals included in the box, including the base user guide, a Thermal Armor accessory installation guide, and a warranty manual. Additionally, ASUS includes a certificate of reliability outlining the TUF series validation criteria, a TUF series case decal, and the installation disc. The included user guide is what we've come to expect from ASUS, detailing out all board features including the BIOS and included Windows software. The included DVD comes with all the drivers, applications, and utilities you will need to get the board operational.
The rear panel shield is a flat black color with all port holes labeled in white lettering for easy identification. ASUS also includes a fan port filter that attaches to the rear panel shield when using the option rear inlet fan.
ASUS packages in a total of four 6 Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the integrated SATA ports. The cables have integrated port locks with a mix of straight and angled connectors. Note that no SATA Express cables are included with the board.
For multi-GPU use, ASUS includes an ASUS-branded two-way NVIDIA SLI cable.
For use with the on-board front panel headers, ASUS included their Q-Connector header plugs. You simply plug the front panel or USB 2.0 plugs into the Q-Connector blocks, then plug the Q-Connector blocks into the appropriate board headers. It makes the installation of the front panel and USB 2.0 plugs much easier.
For slot, port, and header masking purposes, ASUS includes PCI-Express slot covers, DIMM blanks, LAN port covers, USB port covers, SATA port covers, audio port covers, and USB header covers. All included slot, port, and header covers are black colored to blend with the Thermal Armor and are form fitted for a snug fit in their associated locations. Additionally, three temperature diodes are included for temperature monitoring via the integrated board headers, as well as fan screws for securing the optional armor inlet fans to the board.