[SOLVED] Cooler interfering with the PCI-Ex16 slot, do I need a new motherboard?

skuyfuu

Commendable
Dec 11, 2017
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Hey everyone, I bought a Zalman Optima II cooler from Amazon. I have an ASUS B450 Dragon mATX motherboard which came with the prebuilt system I bought, and also I have an ASUS TUF RX 5700 8G graphics card. When I replaced the stock cooler with the one I bought, I realized that there was no clearance, moreover it was pressuring the GPU quite a lot. I included a demonstrative schematic below. Now, do you think buying a new ATX motherboard will solve this issue? Or rather is this an issue? Thanks.

 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Smaller boards likely have some reduction in distance between the socket and the first x16 slot, but within a given standard, ie, micro ATX, ATX, mini ITX, the distance SHOULD be the same. It is a standard, and is governed by the ATX, micro ATX, etc. standards unless something has changed that I'm unaware of.

Here are 6 ATX boards. Some B450, some B550, some Z470. All are ATX. Seems to me that they are ALL the same distance from the CPU socket to the first PCIe x16 slot, or close enough to not make a difference. And I imagine if I overlay six micro ATX boards, and six mini ITX boards, they will likely be the same. E-ATX might be different, because there is significantly more room and much less in the way of standards adherence for that form factor, which can be a variety of different sizes and configurations.

 
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skuyfuu

Commendable
Dec 11, 2017
16
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Well, it was 35 USD where I live and most coolers like Arctic Freezer 34 are around 50-60 USD. It does the job for me, 70 to 75C under full load is acceptable in my opinion. It was a pain installing it but yeah, thanks for the answer and the tip. I asked because some ATX motherboards seemed to have PCI-Ex16 slots very close to the CPU slot. I had another reason to buy a new motherboard: the fact that there's no VRM cooling on the one I own. I'm thinking of buying a Gigabyte B450 Gaming X, is there a way to make sure it will fit without causing a clearance issue?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Smaller boards likely have some reduction in distance between the socket and the first x16 slot, but within a given standard, ie, micro ATX, ATX, mini ITX, the distance SHOULD be the same. It is a standard, and is governed by the ATX, micro ATX, etc. standards unless something has changed that I'm unaware of.

Here are 6 ATX boards. Some B450, some B550, some Z470. All are ATX. Seems to me that they are ALL the same distance from the CPU socket to the first PCIe x16 slot, or close enough to not make a difference. And I imagine if I overlay six micro ATX boards, and six mini ITX boards, they will likely be the same. E-ATX might be different, because there is significantly more room and much less in the way of standards adherence for that form factor, which can be a variety of different sizes and configurations.

 
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touching is ok; pressure is not.
You do not need a new motherboard.
You need a more compatible cooler.
The noctua NH-D15s is explicitly designed with an offset to clear graphics card backplates when mounted in the first pcie x16 slot.
Noctua has a motherboard compatibility list for it's coolers.
I do not see the B450M dragon on the list. but here is a link to a similar B450 M-K
https://noctua.at/en/mainboard/Asus_Prime_B450M-K
If you send noctua a message, they probably can supply you with a list of coolers compatible with your motherboard.
 
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skuyfuu

Commendable
Dec 11, 2017
16
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1,510
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Thanks, I tried the visual comparison with the mobos I was thinking of buying and the one I own. It seems like there's a big difference. I was already thinking of buying a new motherboard because of the issues I encountered with this motherboard, mainly no VRM cooling, no real support for customers as this is a bulk motherboard, only two RAM slots and two of the SATA ports are blocked by the GPU, and it doesn't have a user friendly BIOS. I'll sell this one, put some on top of the money I got from it and buy a brand new one I know for sure will be suitable for me. Thanks for your replies, I wish I could buy a better cooler but prices are way too high and the one I bought was really my only option.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yes, well, it's likely you compared your B450m Dragon, which is a microATX motherboard, with models that were not micro ATX, but were full sized ATX.

Also, as that board is a bulk offering, it is not going to be the same as other aftermarket micro ATX boards because it is being sold to OEMs for use in prebuilt systems, mostly. That means it could adhere to any variety of flavors when it comes to standards INCLUDING potentially, in some cases of bulk boards, proprietary designs that are not even compatible with standard case form factors. We've seen this before too. When you buy a motherboard intended for prebuilt system assemblers and OEMs, you can't expect it to have the same considerations that boards meant for the general aftermarket enthusiast market would get.
 
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