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Zalman CNPS2X Mini-ITX CPU Cooler Review

By: Chad Sebring | CPU Air Coolers in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Aug 14, 2013 6:30 am
TweakTown Rating: 76%Manufacturer: Zalman

Specifications, Availability and Pricing




Following the chart above, Zalman shows this cooler is 84mm in diameter on the outer edge, and it stands only 27mm above the CPU. In total with the fan and copper cooler, it weighs in at 83 grams. They do mention aluminum in the construction, but the base is aluminum with the single 4mm heat pipes running through it, and of course it has been plated copper to match the rest of the cooler. The 80mm fan that spins on the Long Life bearing has 11 curved blades that are tinted black, but are mostly transparent. This fan is PWM capable and will spin at a speed near 2600 RPM at the top end, while only delivering 22.7 dBA of noise. Zalman also go on to cover the specifications on the ZM-STG2M thermal paste that is included.


What they don't show in that chart is very important. While there is the notation at the bottom of the chart that this is a Computer Noise Prevention System cooler (CNPS), you do not see the recommendations when using this cooler. They say that this must be used in conjunction with a 120mm chassis fan. They also show a warning about using liquid metal thermal compounds. Since the base is aluminum, compounds like Liquid Pro may damage the materials. They also don't address the 120W TDP that comes with the CNPS2X. This means that you can take on many Intel and AMD processors and this cooler should be able to deliver decent results, but we will see that soon enough. One major thing to keep in mind throughout this review is that the CNPS2X is designed with silence as its main feature. As I always say, something has to give, because it is rare that manufacturers get the main three - price, noise and performance - all into the same product.


In the week or so between me receiving this cooler and now where I am writing this, I have seen the availability grow. At this current time there is something like 25 listings of various e-tailers who are stocking the CNPS2X from Zalman. While I am seeing a few listings for near $26 to get this cooler delivered to your door, most of the listings go north of $30. Since I know most of you will shop at Newegg anyways, they are right near the top of the listings with a $29.99 asking price, and you will need to spend another $1.99 on its shipping.


At $31.98 to have this cooler at your house, that is a very reasonable price in my opinion, but for the whole "two out of three" adage, we now know it is quiet by design, and the price is something anyone can afford - I just hope my CPU doesn't throttle at this point.

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