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Zalman CNPS11X Extreme CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 8, 2011 2:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 86%Manufacturer: Zalman

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




Zalman delivered our testing lab a very unusual idea in tower cooling. I mentioned there are a few changes from the seven series, so let's get to those. The CNPS11X comes with five composite, copper heat pipes with a 6mm diameter that run through the base, sandwiched between the copper base and aluminum top half of the mounting. The easiest way to explain the way the pipes bend and run through the fins is to think of a "V", now put the fan across the opening of that "V". That is how the two separate sections of fins are laid out on this edition of the CNPS lineup. Since there is such a lack of material in the middle of the cooler body, Zalman has used, at my last count, eighty-two fins for each side of the tower and the pipes, base, and all these fins are plated in a black nickel finish. This is what gives the cooler the 7600 square centimeters of surface area. If you don't have a lot of area for the fins, the only way I know to make the cooler perform better is to add as much metal as you can to that limited space.


To cool this tight array of fins, Zalman has employed the services of the ZP1225BLM 120mm fan. This fan consists of seven blades with a hub that is backlit with bright blue LEDs. With it you can achieve fan speeds from 1000 to 1950 RPM with a maximum of 33 dBA of noise, and what I am guessing is around 70 CFM of airflow. Since this is an "Ultimate" cooler, I would expect noise to get a bit loud at times. Zalman has added the RC23P inline fan connection to reduce fan speeds and noise levels. With this resistor in place the fan tops out at 1450 RPM and produces only 24dBA of noise. Lastly, this fan uses a long life bearing to offer 40,000 hours of run time and gets powered with a 4-pin PWM connection.


It seems to me I have seen this cooler in various articles and I would have expected locations of where I can buy this cooler to be more plentiful. From what I can gather with a bit of Google shopping, there is, as I type this, only three locations other than eBay that you may find the CNPS11X., Chief Value (powered by Amazon), and are where I could find it. Out of the three, the listing of $79.99 is the best of the bunch. So now I have two reasons why this cooler should perform really well outside of the design. I mean, if a company is going to charge $80 for a cooler, I would assume it needs to do a good job to justify this price. So let's see if I can do just that!

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