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CPU Cooler Charts 2008: Part 4

Can Low-Cost Coolers Compete?

Zalman’s CNPS9700 has held the top spot in the air-cooling category of our cooler charts for the past 18 months now. This makes it a reference against which all new products tested in this comparison are measured. Since the Zalman isn’t exactly a bargain at a price of nearly $80, many buyers choose less expensive alternatives - often regretting their choice later. In the fourth part of our CPU Cooler Charts 2008, we take a look at six new coolers. We’ve also included Zalman’s new CNPS9700 LED to see if it can still keep up with the newer models.

We got a good deal of reader feedback asking us for our opinion on Xigmatek’s products, which can often be found at much lower prices than competing coolers. For this reason we decided to include the company’s two most popular models, the HDT-S1283 and the XP-S964, in our comparison.

Previous installments of this series:

3R SystemAntazoneArctic Cooling
AsusCooler MasterCoolink
CoolJagEKLFoxconn
GigabyteGlacialtechHiper
JouJye DynatronMSINexus
NoctuaOCZScythe
SilentmaxxSilverstoneSpire
TacensThermaltakeTitan
VeraxXigmatekZalman
ZawardZerotherm

If you are interested in our test methodology and how we rate the products, feel free to read up on these points here:

  • Proximon
    Interesting review! Good to see so many factors presented so well. Someone needs to build a data base for what cooler fits in which case and MB though... I understand there are some problems with the Xigmatek blocking Dimm slot 0 when placed correctly for dual-core, on some boards... If so would likely apply to other 120MM coolers.
    Reply
  • kelfen
    Interesting, It is pretty cool how you kept track of the data :)
    Reply
  • Hehe, this review makes me feel great, I bought this cooler about three months ago, for about $30 after rebate on Newegg, and its good to see I made not only the right choice, but the BEST choice POSSIBLE, as far as my bang for my buck!
    Reply
  • Ogdin
    That xigmatek gets even better when you put a decent fan on it too.
    Reply
  • leo2kp
    I use the Thermaltake Big Typhoon and I never see it anymore on charts, but I understand it to be nearly as good as the Zalman 9700LED. My CPU idles at 30C and sits at 50C fully loaded (1st gen E6600 @ 3GHz), although I am using an upgraded fan. Anyway, I think the Big Typhoon should have been tested too =D
    Reply
  • 00mike000
    who agrees that toms hardware should make a CPU and or VGA coolers chart to go in the chart section would be a great way to compare the majority of coolers out there
    Reply
  • JPForums
    The temperatures are a bit higher than my experiences would suggest. However, they seem to be consistent so there is really no issue. It's probably just a difference in how the temperatures are measured and the calibration of my equipment. Still it would be interesting to see the variation in temperatures measured using several different methods.

    I agree with mike, CPU/VGA cooler charts would be useful.
    Reply
  • martel80
    JPForumsThe temperatures are a bit higher than my experiences would suggest. However, they seem to be consistent so there is really no issue. It's probably just a difference in how the temperatures are measured and the calibration of my equipment. Still it would be interesting to see the variation in temperatures measured using several different methods.I agree with mike, CPU/VGA cooler charts would be useful.Calibration of equipment? Several different methods? Dude, match the room temperature in the first place. LOL
    Reply
  • schwally
    I put a scythe fan in mine that runs at a higher rpm, and nearly inaudible decibels. Keeps it cooler and quieter. My one problem with the cooler is the push pins. I know they sell the backing seperate, but it would be nice if it was all one. Anywho...
    Reply
  • truehighroller
    I think the Thermalright extreme would beat them all why is it not used here?
    Reply