Skip to main content

CPU Cooler Charts 2008: Part 4

Zalman CNPS9700 LED: The Reference Cooler

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.

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.

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.

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

CPU100% LoadIdle
Temperature65.5 °C35 °C
Noise39.7 dB(A)36.5 dB(A)
Fan Speed2,500 RPM1,050 RPM
Weight760g
Intel Compat.LGA775
AMD Compat.AM2/AM2+939/940

  • 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