Zalman CNPS9900DF Cooling Device Review (Part 3)

5/21/2013 9:54:12 AM


Cooling efficiency

The testing results of the cooling efficiency are shown in the diagram and table below:

Comparative results diagram

Comparative results diagram

Comparative results table

Comparative results table

As we can see, Zalman CNPS9900DF looks modest compared with Thermalright Spirit 140, which which costs only half as much. At maximum fan speed, TRU Spirit 140 is 3oC ahead, but most importantly, Zalman CNPS9900DF was just 1oC ahead of Thermalright cooler, even if the fan speed of the latter was reduced to 810 RPM. While we gradually lowered the fan speed of Zalman CNPS9900DF to about 200 RPM for 135 mm fan and 100 RPM for 120 mm fan, the cooling efficiency decreased steadily until we hit 1,000/800 RPM. However, at the next increment the CPU's maximum temperature raised 5oC, and at the next one – by another 6°C and reaches the critical value. In other words, the cooling effect of the Zalman CNPS9900DF proved highly dependent on the fan speed at 1,000-800/800-650 RPM, while at higher speeds the fan's performance did not significantly increase.

I want to remind you that we conducted the performance testing with the CPU overclocked to 4.25 GHz, and Vcore is 1.35V instead of the traditional way is 4.375 GHz and 1.38 V. We are forced to deflect over the standard level of overclocking, because Zalman CNPS9900DF can not work with the 6-core overclocking processor at maximum fan speed. We have tried many times and checked at different positions of the CPU cooler, but nothing happens at all:

Complete picture the testing process

Complete picture the testing process

And because Zalman CNPS9900DF failed to overcome the challenge "minimum qualification requirements" in the synthetic chart, we will not put it on. So let’s check out the noise level.

Sound efficiency

We measure the noise level of the two tested coolers with full fan speed, as depicted on the chart during the testing session. And here is the result:

Noise level measurement

Noise level measurement

Most Zalman CNPS9900DF's noise generated from 135 mm fan. The smaller fan did not generate any sound that can be heard. This cooling device can only be assessed at a modest level, when considering aspects of noise reduction, even is outstripped by Thermalright Spirit 140, however the rattling of the 135 mm fan motor looks very different particularly in the limit from 600 to 1,050 RPM. The bearings and the airflows generated from fans did not make Zalman CNPS9900DF acoustically uncomfortable in any way, although the graph shows the readings at 940 and 740 RPM fall into acoustically comfortable and quiet range, respectively. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter, because the rattling motor diminishes it all. It could be the peculiarity of our specific cooler sample, though.


Zalman CNPS9900DF has a very good-looking, is a perfect product for the holidays and pleasing your guests with a unique shape and beautiful lines. The indisputable advantages is its wide popularity, and elegant firmly packaging, high-quality thermal paste.

If it targeted at overclockers and silent cooling fan operation, the Zalman CNPS9900DF is a compelling option, but a bit pricey. Its efficiency is modest and does not seem to want to reveal to you the whole overclocking capabilities of the processor. Moreover, the difficult installation process is hard to satisfy users, especially for new ones. Even I myself was very hard to get it installed.

So, although I admit that Zalman CNPS9900DF will be a great element to add to the computer with empty shells, but maybe it's not good to bear with processors that was overclocked in conditions of strict noise limits. But, as always, it is at your discretion whether these advantages are more important than other concerns.

Technical standards and price

·         Product name: CPU Zalman CNPS9900DF

·         Dimensions (LxWxH), mm: 154x140x110 (135+120mm)

·         Weight, g: 850

·         Materials and design: nickel-plated dual-array radial heatsink of alluminium fins on three copper heatpipes 6 mm in diameter that go through the heatsink base.

·         Thermal fin thickness, mm: 0.25

·         Distance between thermal fins, mm: 1.0-2.5

·         calculated area of ​​heat dissipation 6.800

·         Fan type and module: Zalman ZP13525BLL; Zalman ZP1225BSL

·         Fan speed, RPM: 900-1400 (±10%); 1000 (±10%)

·         Noise level, dBA: 19-27 (±10%)

·         Nominal/boot voltage, V: 12/6

·         General CURRENTS, A: 0.28/0.20

·         Energy consumption, W: 3.36/2.40

·         CPU socket compability: LGA 775/1156(5)/1336/2011, Socket AM2(+)/AM3(+)/FM1/FM2

·         Other parameters 135mm Fan controlled by PWM, blue LED at the central fan, Zalma ZM-STG2(4.1W/m*K) thermal paste

·         Price: $79.90




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