Zalman CNPS20X CPU Cooler
Our first look at the CNPS20X is of the intake, where the front fan should be placed. At first glance, we can see the aluminum-copper-aluminum sandwich of fins, but we can also see the corrugated fins creating 350 eye-shaped openings through the fin stack. Below the array of fins, we find the six, 6mm diameter, copper, heat pipes, which are then plated before having the fins pressed onto them.
From the side, we find that the tower is not square, with the front of the tower leaning inward. Beyond that, we see that the fins are supported with the folded over bits in the middle of each stack, to help keep the fins adequately spaced.
Since the back of the tower is identical to the front, we decided to use a different angle to show off the fin arrangement. So far, we see only three of the dimensions used with the fins' width, depth, and height, but there is one more trick up Zalman's sleeve!
The fourth dimension of the design is that the leading and trailing edges of the fins are offset, and every other fin is slightly different than the one above and below it. Zalman channeled the airflow through the fin array, but they also ensure maximum disturbance to the airflow as it enters the towers.
As the front and back of the tower mimic each other, so do the sides of the CNPS20X. Since we covered most of the aspects of this view in the previous image, let's move to fan mounting. Rather than using deep channels for wire fan clips, Zalman uses an L-shaped clip, which attaches to the fan, and a section of metal is then inserted into a tiny groove on the sides of the fins.
The top of the CNPS20X has the pipes evenly spaced and centered in each of the towers, as they protrude through the top fins. All of the finds are corrugated, including those on top, which are slightly flattened near the pipes and sport a brushed look for added appeal. The center of the cooler is wide open, and the cooler's mounting is done through the gap.
As we get a look at the base, this is not an HDT design, but rather an inverted pipe layout or the Reverse Direct Touch Heat pipe (RDTH) patented design. This design uses a copper base plate, with the pipes set into the top of the base, much like a standard cooler. However, we do notice there is not top half to the base that we typically see, just the mounting bracket with the Zalman name on it, which is screwed to the rest of the base.
Like the heat pipes, the copper base is plated, but after the machining process, that leaves the semi-circular marks in the base. We do also see some light scratches showing up in the image, which is of no real consequence to this convex base.