The strength of Zalman’s latest CPU cooler comes to light when you let the fan running at “low” speed settings. Performance is on par with the best out there and noise-wise it’s as silent too.
However when you turn up the speed of the fan with the included fanmate II you’re out of the silent zone and into the extra performance realm. But testing showed the difference between minimum and maximum fan speed to be only a mere 2°C, so not quite worth the extra noise.
The rather unique design, combined with a blue LED fan might also tickle the fantasy of some enthusiasts to brighten up their casemods. Extreme power users might be turned down by the fact that the fan on the unit can not be swapped out, this seems to be a trademark of the Zalman series.
Overall the CNPS9500 LED is a very solid performer at low noise levels, found in Europe for ~€50
in USA, it’s no longer a budget solution, but with multiple socket compatibility and easy installation it comes recommended.PRO
Fast and to the point installation method
Fan controller includedCON
It’s larger size
Fan can't be swapped out
I like to thank Bacata
for providing the test sample.
Question/Comments: forum thread