With all parts now delivered to my door I jumped right into it.

First impressions are good. The quality of all the components that was picked for this build seemed very good. The motherboard was packaged very well.

One area of note is the difference in coolers. The stock cooler included with the Retail box of the E6550 processor is a pretty nice unit, but the difference is obvious when placed next to the Zalman unit!

I decided to start by installing the Intel E6550 CPU in to the 775 socket on the GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L motherboard. The Zalman CNPS7700-CU cooler required a top and bottom bracket (included) to mount this massive heat exchanger to the motherboard.

Once mounted, the E6550 is ready for the Zalman cooler.

This Zalman CPU cooler comes with an external fan speed control. This allows you to turn the speed on the fan down while note needed and up when heavier loads are presented to the CPU. Once at the highest setting, the motherboard controls the fan speed as it would normally.

The heat exchanger and fan assembly screw to the mounting bracket as show to hold it very snug against the CPUs top surface and the thermal grease.

Continued... Part 2