MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt Motherboard Review
The L-shaped integrated heat pipe cooling solution cools the CPU power circuitry just above and to the right of the CPU socket.
The heat pipe cooler is made up of 2 different thin-finned aluminum heat sinks, interconnected via heat conducting tubing (heat pipes). MSI uses thermal tape for interfacing between the power circuitry and the heat sinks.
The 6 SFC power phase chips are located below and to the left of their tied MOSFET chips, which make up the CPU's power plant.
The Southbridge chipset is passively cooled by a low-profile aluminum cooler with two attachment points to the board.
The Intel Z77 chipset cooler is a low-profile, thin finned aluminum based passive heat sink. MSI uses thermal paste to interface the cooler's surface with the chipset's.
The Intel Z77 chipset is reminiscent of a naked CPU die. The heat sink overlaps a good area around the chipset to better dissipate the generated heat. The heat sink itself is held in place by two screws underneath opposite corners of the chipset.