The first step in the installation is to prepare the memory. If your memory is bare you may just want to remove any stickers on the memory modules, and if there is already a heatspreader installed you will need to remove it. Please be careful while removing any existing heatspreaders as memory is rather sensitive, and can be easily damaged by rough handling or prying with a metal object like a screwdriver. The images below show the cleaned up memory to be used in this review; two 512MB modules of PC2 5400 EL Gold Edition GX XTC DDR2 stripped of their funky golden heatspreaders.
Now we start the actual installation, and I would suggest skipping the printed instructions included with the HR-07 and heading straight to the online installation guide. The lack of color and some detail in the printed manual made installation too much like guess work and the online instructions are much better.
The images below show the front and back of the DDR2 with the thermal pads installed. The kit comes with three thermal pads, two thin and one thick. The thick pad is for use on the back side of single sided memory modules. The thin pads are to be used on memory chips. So, if you have a double sided module you will use two thin pads, and if you have a single sided module you will use one thin and one thick pad.
The thermal pads have no adhesive on them, but are a slightly tacky rubber that just clings to the memory. They can be slid around, but hopefully once squeezed by the heatspreader they will lock into place a bit better. The one bit of confusion that the black and white manual couldn't explain was that the white side of the thermal pad goes against the memory, while the yellow side goes against the heatspreader.
Below we see the Thermalright HR-07 installed on the memory. It really takes minimal effort, and although I appreciate simplicity, I am concerned about everything staying together. There is nothing but friction between the heatspreader and the pad, and between the pad and the memory, holding this all together. No clips are used, and there are no mechanical fasteners of any kind holding this together. The heatspreader does not squeeze so tight that it locks in place, and a slight push/pull will move it. I am concerned that the large mass cantilevered way off the memory in a tower system might make the HR-07 pull away from the memory.
Below we see an end view of the completed assembly. As you might be able to see in the enlarged image, there is a large gap on either side of the memory, and of most concern is the gap on the memory module side of things. This is a typical problem of many modules that come with a heatspreader pre-installed, but it is disappointing to see on a high-end upgrade kit like this. Of the eight memory chips on these particular modules, two chips, one on either end, are making partial contact and not getting the full cooling effect of the HR-07.