Review of Zalman CNPS9900A LED CPU Cooler

The last couple of months have been busy for Zalman who have sent a few new pcdesigner to the market. Amongst these are the CNPS10X series and CNPS9900 series.

The CNPS10X series introduced a new design for Zalman; the more classic tower type of CPU cooler. The CNPS9900A LED which I will take a look at today is based upon a concept which Zalman calls “Omega Heatpipe Design” from its similarities with the Greek letter Omega (Ω). That design was first introduced with the Zalman CNPS9300AT which I came in contact with a while back and which impressed me by its performance.

The CNPS9900A LED comes in a rather big box, which does nothing to hide the fact that this is truly a large CPU cooler. There’s an opening on the front and back sides of the box which lets us have a glimpse of the heatsink and the fan.

The included accessories are quite plentiful. Zalman have included a manual in; a sticker with the logo of the manufacturer; a tube of the Zalman ZM-STG2 thermal grease, the RC33P adapter and all the anchorages and stuff necessary for installation on a variety of sockets.

The Zalman CNPS9900A LED is made almost completely in copper. The unique piece made of aluminum is the upper part of the base.

As you can see from the images above the fins on the back part of the heatsink is thicker than the front side. The reason for this is that the copper fins of the back part are the ones responsible for evacuating the heat.

It took me some time to find the two metallic legs that are anchored to the base and which hold up the fan in the middle of the two cylindrical copper fins.

In the back part of the fan I found the label that shows the fan’s model number and its electrical characteristics. In this case Zalman has installed a 120 mm fan with PWM capabilities (between 1000 and 2000 rpm).

The installation of the fan is quite easy and it took me only a couple of minutes. When installing the fan on an AMD system, you must first fasten the incorporated paper clip, whereas with Intel systems you have to also install a back plate and the fasteners for each socket. I will not go into this further here; suffice to say that the installation is easy.

In order to measure the temperatures of the CPU I used the values from the internal sensors on the CPUs. It’s the best way to get reliable readings. In order to load to the CPUs to the maximum, I used the software OCCT 3.1.

The fan speed was automatically regulated by PWM during the test, reason why the speed oscillated between 1000 and 1600 rpm. These are the results from the test:

As you can see from the graph above, the Zalman CNPS9900A LED is a very effective CPU cooler even though it’s not the most effective which I have tested. Even when I overclocked the CPUs, the CNPS9900A LED had no troubles what so ever to keep the processors cool.

As I said earlier, this cooler is PWM regulated. I monitored the speed during the tests and the max it reached was around 1500rpm. Even at that level the noise level was low. I turned up the fan manually to 2000rpm (max) and then the noise level was above my comfort level. However the fan moved an impressive volume of air at 2000rpm and it should be ideal to use in an overclocking session.

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