Introduction

Zalman are a major player in the market for PC Silencing equipment. They have a range of Heatsinks, Fans, GPU Heatpipes, HDD Heatpipes and more. In the Northbridge Cooler space their previous flagship was the Zalman NB32J heatsink. StArSkY has one of these installed on his Abit NF7-S v2.0. Today we are lucky to have our hands on one of the new Zalman NB47J heatsinks. Instead of the copper colour found on the NB32J we find anodised blue on the NB47J. Now that I have seen the two different models I have been able to figure out what the 32 and the 47 stand for. The NB32J is 32mm tall, and the NB47J is 47mm tall.

Packaging

The NB47J is boxed up for retail display. The little clear plastic window allows you to see the heatsink without having to open the box. A nice little aid for those who have no idea what a NB47J looks like.

Contents

Inside the box you get the heatsink, instructions, and a packet including the mounting brackets and thermal compound. The little pieces are fiddly, so the little plastic bag is a godsend.

Removing the old heatsink and fan

The motherboard I am going to put the Zalman NB47J onto is my long trusted Abit KR-7A Raid. To make life a little easier for myself I have removed the CPU and Heatsink. This model of Abit motherboard has a separate heatsink/fan.

To start the removal process we remove the fan. This is done by unscrewing the four screws on either corner of the fan. At times like this you are glad you have a magentic tipped screwdriver. Then just rip the fan power cable out of the socket. It is interesting to note the non-standard fan connector used for the northbridge Fan. This is smaller than a fan connector, and looks similar to some of the connectors you see inside of power supplies.

When you see a heatsink like this attached you sometimes wonder if a heatsink is even necessary. Anyway, you will notice on the top left and bottom right of the heatsink there are little plastic clips. These clip through the arms extending from the heatsink, and clip through holes in the motherboard. Flip the motherboad over, and with the back of a pen you can force them back through the motherboard. When you do this the heatsink should pop right off (all of the playing with the motherboard is why I ripped the CPU and CPU Heatsink/fan off earlier).


Look how little thermal paste is sitting on this northbridge. Again, it makes you wonder if the heatsink/fan on this northbridge was put there for show. Anyway, a quick rub with a lint free cloth, and the thermal paste is cleared away. We are now ready to install the Zalman NB47J.

Installing the NB47J

The first thing you should do at this point is rip the installation instructions out. This will explain how to fit the arms to the heatsink. The little plastic screw gets a spring, and then pokes through the arm. The other end of the arm gets a small nut and bolt (With the nut on top). It is the nut that slides into the groove underneath the heatsink. When you slide the nut into the groove on the edge of the heatsink, you can move the arm along the length of the underside. Get both of these arms installed BEFORE you try and put the heatsink on.

A quick check to make sure that you have the arms mounted in the right place, and then go ahead and cake the northbridge with thermal goop.


That should be more than enough. Now sit the NB47J on the centre of the northbridge, and pop the plastic screws through the holes in the motherboard. Feel free to wiggle the heatsink around a little to line it up. Note that the full surface of the northbridge is not covered, but that doesn’t matter.

This shot will show you how big this heatsink is. This is not a problem on this board, but on some boards where you might have a northbridge closer to the CPU socket combined with a large heatsink, this could be a problem.

I think that this potential problem is addressed by Zalman by cutting the NB47J short on one side. This is best expalined from this final shot.

If you look closely you will notice that the one side of the heatsink has 2 rows of 32mm pins. If you were close to a CPU heatsink, this little bit of extra clearance could come in handy.

Conclusion

I fired up my computer and put it through its paces. The heatsink got warm to the touch, so it is doing it’s job. It didn’t get too hot, so it doesn’t need a fan. All in all this means one less fan to break, one less piece of noise in my case, and one more sexy looking component on my board. If only everything came in this shade of blue.

The Zalman NB47J should work on all of your Athlon based motherbaord northbridges. If you hate noise, or want one less component to fail, then this is a relatively cheap component to purchase.

Where to buy in Australia

You can buy the Zalman NB47J in Australia from the following Outlets: