Board Deconstruction and Block Installation
Deconstructing the ASUS Rampage V Extreme
In its default configuration, the ASUS Rampage V Extreme motherboard has four heat sinks – one covering the Intel X99 chipset, one to the right of the primary PCIe x16 slot containing the LED-lit ROG logo, the VRM cooler, and a heat sink over the rear panel assembly.
After removing the board's coolers, you can easily see why Bitspower includes blocks for covering only two of the four areas covered with heat sinks by default. The sink to the right of the primary PCIe x16 slot has a single function – to house the LED-lit ROG logo. It does not provide cooling for any on board components. The cooler located over the rear panel assembly acts as an additional heat radiator for the VRM sink, wicking heat from the VRM sink via the attached heat pipe. The VRM and X99 chipset coolers are the only two blocks responsible for direct-cooling board components.
From the under side of the board, you can better see how the various chipsets are held in place and protected. ASUS included a heat sink / guard underneath the VRMs for an alternate heat dissipation path and a guard plate underneath the chipset area as well. The LED and rear panel sinks are held to the surface with screws only (no back plates).
Once the coolers are stripped from the board, it is easier to gage what parts to integrate into the new build with the Bitspower blocks. There is nothing needed to be cooled under the rear panel sink, while the areas under the chipset and VRMs do contain some sensitive circuitry. Because of this fact, it is advisable to use the board included chipset and VRM guards. The added bonus is that the VRM guard does help with cooling.
Installing the Bitspower AIX99R5E Kit to the ASUS Rampage V Extreme
The Bitspower blocks integrate perfectly in the Rampage V Extreme board with the chipset block acting as a sheild for the PCIe and lower left quadrant of the board and the VRM block fitting securely to the right of the CPU. I also decoupled the rear panel sink from the heat pipe and mounted it for added aesthetic purposes. The upper right section of the board looked incomplete without it.
The acrylic top of the VRM block has eight holes acting as pass-thrus for the screws fixing the top to the base plate. The screw holes sit below the surface of the top so that the hex screw heads sit flush to the top plane. The hole in the center in between the two ports does does not go all the way through the block. It is used for mounting with the CPU block interface plate.
Going to the underside of the board, you can see the stock ASUS guard mounted to the board. The Bitspower chipset is held to the board with hex screws and plastic washers to protect the board's surface. The ASUS board guard has pre-cut holes allowing for mounting the chipset block with the guard in place.
The VRM sink fits the allocated area like a glove. It allows for plenty of room between block and the CPU as well as for using the two ATX12V power connectors. It is about the same size as the stock VRM heat sink, so it also does not conflict with the upper or lower DDR4 DIMM slots that are in close proximity to the top and bottom sides of the block.
The Bitpower block mounts to the board using two hex screws through the bottom of the board. You are able to use the stock under-VRM guard if you use the larger hex screws included with the kit. If you choose not to use the VRM guard, you need to use the smaller hex screws in tandem with the included plastic washers for mounting. It is recommended to use the stock VRM guard to provide secondary cooling for the VRMs though.
Fixing the Rear Panel Heat Sink
If you choose to use the rear panel cover / heat sink with the build, it requires either cutting the heat pipe or removing the heat pipe from the rear panel cover. The heat pipe is pressed in place with very sturdy adhesive, requiring the use of a heavy duty heat gun or other heat source to remove. However, removing the heat pipe requires alot of heat, it took me using a 1500 watt heat gun at full power for 10 minutes on the sink before the adhesive started to break down. Once the adhesive breaks down though, it is just a matter of twisting the heat pipe out of the rear panel sink. The rear panel heat sink is a solid block of aluminum so it takes quite a while for it to cool back down. In my testing, the block got so hot that it started to melt the duct tape covering the test surface – it takes a lot of heat to melt duct tape.