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Zalman CNPS9700 LED: The Reference Cooler

CPU Cooler Charts 2008: Part 4
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Although the Zalman CNPS9700 LED has been on the market for more than a year and a half, it has established itself as a reference against which all of the other candidates are measured.

cpu heatsink cooler

This cooler consists of three heatpipes in a figure-eight that are covered with copper cooling fins. Both ends of the heatpipes are located next to the heatsink’s base, ensuring efficient heat transfer to the cooling fins.

cpu heatsink cooler

The Zalman CNPS9700 need not fear the newer coolers in this review. Thanks to its good cooling efficiency, even our quad-core processor never exceeded a temperature of 65.5 °C. On the down side, the CNPS9700 LED needed to run at 2,500 rpm to keep the CPU this cool, making it pretty loud. This is where the included Fanmate 2 fan control comes in handy. Once we reduced the fan speed to 1,150 rpm, the fan stayed pleasantly quiet, effectively cooling our CPU to a constant temperature of 76.5 °C, which we still consider acceptable.

cpu heatsink cooler

The cooler is easy to install. If you’re using an LGA775-based platform, you have to remove the motherboard in order to install the retention module. This has been the case with all Zalman coolers ever since the 7000 series with the exception of the 8700 series. On the plus side, this retention module can also be used for water cooling solutions. The cooler is mounted on the retention module with two screws.

cpu heatsink cooler

cpu heatsink cooler

Technical Details
CPU 100% Load Idle
Temperature 65.5 °C 35 °C
Noise 39.7 dB(A) 36.5 dB(A)
Fan Speed 2,500 RPM 1,050 RPM
Weight 760g
Intel Compat. LGA775
AMD Compat. AM2/AM2+ 939/940

cpu heatsink cooler

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