Zalman is an innovative manufacturer of computer components that may be best known for their high performance, low noise cooling solutions. They have been in business since 1999, and they have been winning awards for their designs since about the same time.
Their most popular line of CPU coolers includes units with "CNPS" in the model number. This acronym stands for Computer Noise Prevention System, and is generally an accurate description of one of the key functions these coolers serve. There is a new cooler in the CNPS series, and it is the subject of this review... the CNPS9900 LED.
The promotional image above provides a quick look at the CNPS9900 LED CPU cooler. It features the familiar look of a Zalman cooler, with a variety of innovations and refinements that make it stand out over models from previous generations. A 120mm fan is located in between two rings of thin copper fins that dissipate the processor's heat thanks to three heatpipe loops. Before taking a closer look at the sample provided for review, let's take a look at some published data regarding the CNPS9900 LED CPU cooler as taken from the official product page on the Zalman website. Please visit that link for up-to-date details, as well as for a complete list of compatible processors.
» Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode.
» 100% copper heatsink with aerodynamically optimized “tunnel” design for maximum cooling efficiency.
» Patented heatpipe design for cooling performance of up to 6 heatpipes with the use of just 3.
» Ultra-thin 0.2mm fins for minimized weight and significantly reduced airflow resistance.
» Compatible with all Intel Socket 1366/775 and all AMD Socket AM2+/AM2/754/939/940 based Single, Dual, and Quad Core CPUs.
» Ultra quiet 120mm PWM LED fan for automatic fan speed control according to the CPU's temperature.
» Dimensions: 94(L) x 140(W) x 158.5(H) mm
» Weight: 782g
» Base Material: Pure Copper
» Dissipation Area: 5,402 cm^2
» Bearing Type: 2 Ball-Bearing
» Speed: 1,000rpm ~ 2,000rpm ± 10 %
» Noise Level: 19.5dBA ~ 38.0dBA ± 10%
» Control Method: PWM Control, Auto Restart
A range of speeds and noise levels are provided above, and there is even mention of a "Silent Mode", but there is no fan speed controller included. The fan can take advantage of PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) control found on many motherboards or stand alone controllers, so it is really up to you to make any of this happen with other hardware. Most fans with the "newer" 4-pin connector can do this, so it isn't any different than what you may already with something like the stock Intel cooler, for example.