I just purchased a PhenomII 955 BE and I am using the ZALMAN CNPS 9500 to cool it. I have applied Arctic Silver 5 properly but I am still seeing temperatures that appear quite high to me. About 49c idle and 59c under semi-load. Is this normal?? I have also removed the cooling unit and used Arctic Clean to clean both the CPU and heatsink/fan and used the thermal surface purifier as well and I am still seeing the same temps. Any Ideas?
Those temps are rather high. What are you using to view the temps, CPUID HWMonitor? What's the idle temp in the BIOS?
It's been my recent experience that Zalman quality just isn't what it used to be...
Have you tried using the stock HS/Fan and monitored temps with it installed? I'd start there. If the temps using it at STOCK speeds are fine, then I'd guess the Zalman is defective, somehow... Do you notice any imperfections in the contact base, heat-pipes, or fins?
When you say you applied the AS5 properly, I hope you mean you followed these instructions: AS5 on AMD w/ large cap .PDF. Though not necessary for AS5, you can prep (or "tint") the HS base and CPU heatspreader with a small amount of paste prior to actual mounting. There are instructions for that in the AS Ceramique guide: Go to Page 3.
If the Stock cooler works OK and you can return the Zalman, I'd do so.
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro
Thermaltake SpinQ or CLP05xx Hydro