Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Zalman 9500CU or Thermalright SI-120?

Last response: in Overclocking
Share
March 3, 2006 2:13:39 AM

I'm looking for a quiet and better cooler than my stock fan from AMD (the older one, not the new heatpipe one).

I'm looking at either the Zalman or the Thermalright, mostly from a noise perspective. If I go with the Thermalright, I'll probably use http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683..." target="_blank"> this antec fan, since it will match the theme i've been going with (it's a silver case with blue LEDs, so silver and blue are good). It's also similar enough to the case fan I already have in the case that is fantastic and silent.

The Zalman I can't seem to get a good bearing on how loud it is. Is it very loud? Is it fairly easy to install? How good is it if the fan isn't on full?

How about the Thermalright? Would the XP be compatable with my board (in my sig)? Is it better than the Zalman? Quieter?

Thanks for all the help and recomendations in advance :) 
March 3, 2006 3:32:27 AM

Well, the Thermalright is probably going to be better than the Zalman depending on which fan you get, if you get a super quiet one, the Zalman might be better, but with any powerful fan, the Thermalright will definately beat the Zalman, go for the SI, not the XP, SI is newer and better.
March 3, 2006 6:58:03 AM

I think the Thermalright may fit with my silver/blue theme a bit better too. I hear good things about Zalman, but I worry about the noise of the fan. The stock fan isn't that bad (Can't be heard over the stock fan on my GPU), so as long as these aren't worse than that I won't complain too much.
Related resources
March 3, 2006 10:35:46 AM

No HSF will beat the 9500 IF the Zalman can exhaust into the rear case fan.

The 9500 comes w/ a fan controller.
March 3, 2006 11:16:24 AM

I personally went for the Zalman. I have a Thermaltake XP-120, which is almost identical to the SI-120, and the XP is a pain to install in-case (easier out of the case). However, the SI-120 looks higher, so maybe installation will be easier.

Both are excellent performers though. Maybe the Thermaltake could edge the Zalman, but it's a close thing. I personally like the design of the Zalman - as fariss said, it vents the hot air directly towards the exhaust fan at the back of the case, which has gotta be good. As also stated, it comes with a Zalman Fan Mate 2 to control fan speed if noise becomes a problem.

Tough decision really...

Edit: the Zalman will go straight onto the standard AMD retention mechanism, but requires installation of a different retainer for P4 platforms. The reverse if true for the Thermaltake.
March 3, 2006 12:13:03 PM

the thermalright will blow over your ram as well as your cpu. i'm not sure if the zalman does as i have never used one.
March 3, 2006 12:19:07 PM

The Zalman certainly looks a hell of a lot better than the Thermalright, you can't beat that look + a blue LED fan! :D 
March 3, 2006 1:12:49 PM

Quote:
I personally went for the Zalman. I have a Thermaltake XP-120, which is almost identical to the SI-120, and the XP is a pain to install in-case (easier out of the case). However, the SI-120 looks higher, so maybe installation will be easier.
How is the noise on the Zalman though?
March 3, 2006 1:21:32 PM

I just received it today and haven't installed yet.

I will be installing it later today, and, barring any serious problems, will let you know what it's like.
March 3, 2006 1:27:14 PM

Thank you, your input is much appreciated.
March 3, 2006 1:48:08 PM

i have the zalman...I overclocked my 3500+(newcastle) with it to 2600 Mhz, but it even can go till approximately 2700 Mhz. It's whisper quiet...reeeeeeally quiet I mean. Off course i can't compare with that other solution you were talking about, cause i never seen or heared that, but anyway, the Zalman is quiet, cools great and looks nice,


greetz
March 3, 2006 2:15:01 PM

I have the Zalman 9500CU cooling my Pentium D 820 (leave it be I got the processor and MB and XP Pro for 215 can't beat the price). Not only is it dead quiet but also with AS5 I have been able to drop my temps 20 degrees both idle and at max load. This thing is so quiet even on the max power that you could hear a pin drop. My case fans (which I installed AFTER the 9500) are a hell of a lot louder then the 9500. Very easy to install, quiet, and does its job exceptionally well I would go Zalman with some AS5.
March 3, 2006 5:48:15 PM

Yes - I would have to agree. Nice and quiet, even when running at full speed (2700rpm).
March 3, 2006 7:02:33 PM

Quote:
Yes - I would have to agree. Nice and quiet, even when running at full speed (2700rpm).

Cool. The bonus with the Zalman is that it will last into M2, since it uses the clips (M2 will prevent you from removing the mounting bracket from the Mobo)

That's probably the direction I'll end up going. My video card fan is the noisemaker, but was worried about the Zalman's noise factor which was mentioned in a few reviews :(  Good to know it's relitively quiet compaired to other parts.

On a side note, I've seen pics of someone moding it to use a 120 MM fan (I think it was Silent PC Review, but they didn't have results). Anyone hear or see results for that?
March 4, 2006 2:49:48 PM

If you want a quiet computer, get an arctic cooling silencer for your graphics card, that will probably be better than replacing the heatsink for your cpu. Graphics card coolers generally make more noise than cpu coolers.
March 4, 2006 8:51:35 PM

Quote:
If you want a quiet computer, get an arctic cooling silencer for your graphics card, that will probably be better than replacing the heatsink for your cpu. Graphics card coolers generally make more noise than cpu coolers.

I'm leaning towards the Accelero, which is better cooling and quieter. It was supposed to come out in Feb 06', but I haven't seen it in a store yet.
March 4, 2006 10:28:39 PM

Quote:
Yes - I would have to agree. Nice and quiet, even when running at full speed (2700rpm).


Agreed. Zalman's web site says it generates 18dB at low speed, 27.5 dB at high speed. I have a 9500 in a ThermalTake Armor and the 8cm blowhole fan is noticably louder than the CPU fan. I did the routine of unplugging all but one fan, then measuring SPL from ~0.5m away. The two 8cm fans are my major sources of noise. After them come the two front panel 12cm fans. I replaced one of the front panel fans with a 14dB SilenX fan and for sure it is much quieter. I plan to bit the bullet and fork over 100+ bucks to replace me other two 12cm fans and both 8cm fans with Silenx fans. Very quiet, very pricey. Too bad they don't make a fan that would bolt into the 9500. I think I can also replace my PS fan with a SilenX and if so, will. Quiet is nice...
March 7, 2006 4:46:14 PM

Ok, I ordered the Zalman yesterday, it should arive by the end of the week, and I'll probably get to install it over the weekend. I'll let you all know my results.

Thanks again for the help :) 
March 9, 2006 10:52:51 PM

Ok, the Zalman is quite nice. A little noisy on the high end of the fan speed, but nothing unwieldly.

With 2 case fan spinning at about 30% (compared to 1 spinning at 100%), I'm getting Idle temps a degree or two cooler, and load temps about 5 degrees cooler. And the AS5 hasn't set yet. I think I'm going to pull the fans off the thermal control and see if that helps even more.
March 9, 2006 11:32:34 PM

That droped it another 3-4 degrees, though it's a bit noisier. I'll burn it in.

Thanks for the help.
!