With manufacturers of cases going the route of ever smaller and smaller Mini-ITX offerings, there has to be a few companies of other components to step up to the plate and offer users major components to fit into these chassis designs. For instance, with a chassis like the TU100 we just saw from Lian Li, there was some room under the PSU for an air cooler, but there isn't enough for most of the "standard" selections on the market. We have seen things like the Silverstone NT07 back in the LGA775 days, and that was when companies were looking at improving on the stock solution, but not too far outside of the box. As time went by, companies really followed the Mini-ITX craze, and developed things like the NH-U9i, Samuel 17 and the PH-TC90LS, just to name a few. They hit the market showing that low profile cooling was capable outside of the realm of something resembling a stock cooling solution.
Zalman is now on the same boat as those others, and is delivering a low profile cooler with a bit of style to offer users of Mini-ITX systems something bright, copper, small, yet very good for systems where airflow somewhat limited to just chassis flow with no extra airflow being delivered to any components specifically. With this design that reminds me a lot of the Evercool Twinkle cooler we all used to replace NF4 chipset coolers with, Zalman uses a radius cooler design to allow for CPU heat removal, but the design also addresses the heat sinks around the CPU as well since this design pulls air in from the top and distributes it evenly around its side edge. I know some might say, why not just go with an AIO, well... they may cool the CPU much better, but they offer absolutely nothing as far as motherboard component cooling goes, and in tight confines, I would prefer air cooling for this exact reason.
Zalman takes what looks like a GPU cooler, and has added some super simple to use mounting hardware to make this new cooler a cinch for anyone to get this installed - something you don't typically see on a cooler as small as this. Even here Zalman stepped up a bit to offer a cooler with sufficient mounting pressure to take the best advantage of the single "S" shaped heat pipe.
As I said, this cooler is more specifically oriented towards those with little to no room for cooling, and I do like the design and looks of the new CNPS2X Mini-ITX CPU cooler, but see just how well it performs over the next few pages.