Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Looking at this twin towered cooler you will find a full cooper cooler covered in dark black nickel. That means not only the base and the three 6mm diameter heat pipes, but all of the fins around it as well. The copper base is a two piece design like we are used to seeing from Zalman, where the top part unscrews from the plate to allow the mounting hardware to go in. As the pipes exit the base, they make some pretty tight bends as the composite heat pipes make their way around in a loop to deliver their heat to the radiating pattern of fins on each tower. The second tower is just like that found on other 9900 series coolers, but the front half has been changed to almost like that of the CNPS8900's, where the fins wrapped around the fan blades using the air that would typically just blow past the front of other designs when these open frame fans are used.
As for the included and pre-attached fans, you get two different sizes to beat the heat. In the front section you have a 120mm fan with a blue LED in the hub. This fan is capable of 1000 RPM and is powered with a 3-pin connection. The fan that rides in the middle and cools the back half is a 135mm fan with speeds of up to 1400 RPM and is powered with a 4-pin PWM connection. Zalman also includes a short Y-splitter for the CPU fan header on the motherboard with a 3-pin male and 4-pin male end to use so that you can power them both with the same header and control.
The last thing to cover is the motherboard compatibility. On the Intel side of things you can use any socket since LGA775 up to and including LGA2011. As for AMD, they eliminated 939 mounting and show compatibility for AM2 on through AM3+ and even include FM1 sockets. That pretty well covers the market and allows all kind of PC builder's access to this cooler.
As I went to hunt down the CNPS9900DF to get a price point I am finding they still are not available in the US, but it seems all of their other markets are already showing stock. I did a lot of conversions and found they weren't very favorable to US buyers, and then I thought to check my emails where I found that they want to deliver it on our side of the pond for around $80. It is definitely one of the more cost effective dual tower designs, so it has that going for it already, and you will soon get a glance at the looks, which I promise won't be disappointing, but we need to see how well it performs.
So let's do just that and see if the CNPS9900DF is a Dark Force to be reckoned with, or if it stands for Disappointing Failure. You be the judge.