Zalman CNPS9500 Led CPU Cooler review

Cooling/CPU Cooling by piotke @ 2005-11-05

When it comes to PC cooling Zalman has a great name. Being one of the first who introduced heatpipes into VGA cooling, it was an immediate hit. But when the competition started using this same technology for CPU heatsinks, Zalman?s own CPU coolers were falling behind. Now, a bit late perhaps, we have Zalman?s first heatpipe based CPU cooler. The Zalman CNPS9500 Led. Let?s see how it does against the best out there; the Scythe Shogun and Thermalright XP-90C are waiting?

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Zalman has a good reputation when it comes to decent coolers. Their CNPS6000 and CNPS7000 series were a hit in the market. Silent coolers, not too heavy and decent performance. Also the reasonable price made a lot of people go with their cooler.

The most obvious and eye-catching aspect of these coolers was the use of fins to dissipate the heat; all their designs were based on a lot of thin aluminum or copper blades. By doing this the heat dissipation area could me maximized, and a rather silent fan was enough to cool them down.

Zalman’s new cooler, the CNPS9500, uses the same technique for heat dissipation. Add to this a couple of heatpipes, and you should have a killer combination...or so they hope :-)

Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
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Fan specifications
  • Speed: Silent Mode 1,350RPM ± 10 % / Low-noise Mode 2,600RPM ± 10 %
  • Noise Level: Silent Mode 18.0dB ± 10% / Low-noise Mode 27.5dB ± 10%

    Heatsink specifications
  • Dimensions: 85(L) X 112(W) X 125(H)mm
  • Weight: 530g
  • Base Material: Pure Copper
  • Dissipation Area: 3,698cm2
  • AMD: K8 (754/939/974); Intel socket 478 / 775

    More information can be found on the manufacturers' web site.

    This cooler is not a lightweight, but surely not the heaviest around. The cooler is a bit bigger then the other models. This means a bigger playground for the earths force, gravity.... But while using this cooler properly installed in a case, I had no negative remarks concerning this. The pressure on the mainboard and socket is mostly taken away by the back plate.

    Beside the cooler and all the parts needed for installation, there's also a Zalman fan mate included. This little useful device has the functionality of a fancontroller, but hangs somewhere loose in your case. It can regulate the fans' voltage from a range between 5 and 11 volts. From almost no movement of the fan blades to full power (well, almost full power as Zalman “steals” 1v away from your 12v).

    Madshrimps (c)
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    The design of the cooler itself is rather unique. It actually makes me think of an old water heater. The finishing is how we are used from Zalman: perfect.

    I'll be short about the installation. It's very simply.

  • Put the heatsink on the CPU.
  • Place the "clip" between the heatpipes on the base.
  • Put the screw through the clip into the back plate of the mainboard.
  • Tighten them !

    This all can be done in less then 30 seconds. No mainboard removal is required.

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
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    Wondering why the name ends with "LED" ? Of course, a led is added to make the whole construction flashy. It seems to be a trend nowadays to add one or more blue leds to everything. But this way the manufacturers reach not only the normal users, but also the modding minded people.

    The Zalman installed and running:

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    Click for larger picture ...

    Onto the performance tests ->
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