The well-known Fanmate 2 controller, which permits fan voltage to vary continuously between 5 V and 12 V, is bundled with this cooler. This permits fan speeds ranging from 1,400 to 2,500 RPM. We made our measurements at speeds of 1,400, 2,250, and 2,500 RPM.
Mirror smooth as always: the Zalman cooler's contact surface
An oldie but a goodie: Fanmate 2 fan controller
The cooling performance of this unit is overwhelming: at the highest fan speed, we measured only 44°C (just over 111°F) for the CPU - the best overall value recorded in our tests! At lower fan speeds, the temperatures were 46°C (114.8°F) and 52°C (125.6°F) respectively - also the best values recorded at those levels.
This makes the Zalman the clear winner from a cooling performance perspective! But what's even more impressive is that the Zalman also achieved the best values for noise levels as well: with just 31.2 dB(A) at the lowest fan speed, it's quieter than any other cooler. At the highest fan speed it registers a level of 39.6 dB(A), which still puts it in a good position among our test candidates.
Zalman CNPS9500 retail packaging