CPU Cooler Fit and Included Accessories
CPU Cooler Fit
To test the amount of space surrounding the CPU socket, we mounted the Noctua NH-D15 cooler to the CPU socket. This behemoth CPU air cooler sports a dual fan construction and two huge vertical cooling towers.
From the front and back shots with the cooler mounts, you can see that the board easily supports user of a large cooler. The cooler itself does not inhibit use of the primary PCIe x16 slot as long as the back of the video card does not have large pertrusions.
The cooler fits within the space provided with no contact between the board and cooler components nor with the memory modules installed. With this large cooler installed on the board, you can really see how much room ECS opened up by choosing not to include any type of heat sink covering the VRMs.
The Noctua hold down mechanism is large enough to quickly determine exactly how much space is available around the CPU socket. With no VRM heat sink to get in the way and all power components located above the CPU socket, the cooler's hold down cage easily fits on the board.
The cooler's backplate rests on the socket backplate, minimizing the risk of direct board contact. There are no chips or circuitry anywhere near the CPU socket area, further reducing the risk of backplate-related board complications.
ECS bundled in the bare minimum required accessories for board installation.
The Z97-PK's user manual is well documented, covering covering the integrated board functions as well as the included Windows software in detail. Also included is a driver DVD with all necessary hardware drivers and Window's utilities and a foldout quick-start guide.
The board's rear panel shield is a shiny chrome colored with port identifying text and icons stamped into the plate itself. Under certain lighting conditions, the glare from the backplate shiny surface could make it hard to read.
ECS bundled in two black 6Gb/s rated SATA cables for use with the on board SATA ports. The cables have integrated port locks with straight connectors only.