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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Testing & Analysis

Test setup & Methodology :

Piotke's Test Setup
CPUAMD sempron 2600+
  • Zalman CNPS9500 LED
  • Asetek Vapochill Micro Ultra Low Noise
  • Thermalright XP-90C
  • Scythe SGOGUN
  • MainboardAlbatron K8 Ultra-U Pro
    VGAAlbatron MX480
    Memory2*512 Mb A-Data Vitesta DDR600
    PSUAntec TrueControl 550 Watt

    Of course, I don't use my system on default clock speeds. I added an extra 400Mhz to the cpu:

    Madshrimps (c)

    The Sempron 2600+ @ 2000 Mhz and 1.6 vcore is putting out close to 100 Watt according to this online calculator.

  • All results were taken with room temperature at ~22°C. Due to room temp fluctuations, different mounting and user error can account up to 1-2°C of inaccuracy from obtained results. Please keep this in mind when looking at the results. Each heatsink was tested repeatedly; if I got questionable results the test was restarted.
  • Setup was installed in a case less environment
  • Noise level of each fan was recorded with SmartSensor SL4001A. The sensor was placed ~65cm away from the HSF. The lowest dBA reading in the test room was ~32,5 dBA.
  • System was stressed by running K7 CPU Burn for 30min (after Thermal Compound’s burn-in); this application pushes the temperature higher then any other application or game we’ve yet encountered. Speedfan was used to log maximum obtained temperatures.
  • Arctic Silver kindly send us their “Lumière” thermal testing compound which has the same colour as Ceramique, requiring a mere 30-minute of break-in time!

    Pure performance
    Madshrimps (c)

    The Zalman unit keeps up with the top contenders, but even though its fan is spinning faster (and is louder) than that one on the XP-90C it's trailing #1.

    Balance Noise/Performance
    Madshrimps (c)

    Trailing the top 2 heatsink by only 1°C it's safe to say that Zalman latest heatsink is a winner when using the "low" speed option. However at High fan speed the noise increase is very noticeable, it was the loudest heatsink in our test here.

    Onto our conclusion ->
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