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.
|Temperature||65.5 °C||35 °C|
|Noise||39.7 dB(A)||36.5 dB(A)|
|Fan Speed||2,500 RPM||1,050 RPM|