Zalman CNPS10X Optima
Like one of its competitors, Zalman adds a channel down the center of its CNPS10X Optima heat sink to direct air, rather than let too much of the fan’s pressure escape from the sides. The cooler also features a universal support plate similar to that competitor’s, except for a few minor improvements.
Rather then use plastic, Zalman’s support plate is steel. It still flips over to accommodate Intel and AMD hole patterns, but uses threaded inserts and soft plastic insert holders to minimize motherboard contact and prevent annoying conflicts. Intel’s socket plate acts as a spacer to complete this low-impact design.
Zalman also puts a slightly different spin on the direct touch design concept by using four thin heat pipes instead of three fatter ones. Its base assembly is sanded completely flat, leaving only tiny sanding scratches to fill with thermal compound.