The heatsink assembly is accessible from the outset, after removing several screws.
In addition to the screws, clips secure the heatsink assembly onto the motherboard. Separating them isn't too difficult, but removal does endanger the board a bit.
In order to fully remove the heatsink, two pieces of copper tape need to be peeled back. However, they are reinforced with a clear tape, making them easier to remove without deforming the copper shielding.
Interestingly, the heatsink can be separated from the fan, even though it actually makes up a portion of the fan's housing.
This means the fan can be exposed and cleaned fairly early. But the replacement part is likely to be the entire heatsink assembly, not half a fan, which could theoretically make repairs more expensive.
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