Zalman CNPS 9900LED CPU Cooler Review


For temperature monitoring I used Gigabyte’s Easy Tune 6, which is their hardware monitoring utility, along with being a software overclocking utility. To check its accuracy, I first checked the temp in the BIOS’ HW Monitor. They were within one degree C of each other, so I have to assume that ET6 gets its information from the same sensor.

For idle temps, I let the rig sit idle for 30 minutes. For load temps I ran Sandra’s Burn-in utility for 30 minutes, running only Processor Arithmetic. Ambient room temperature was 70F. First, temps at stock CPU clock.

The fan stayed silent for the entire time of both testing periods, never getting above 1200RPM.

Next, I overclocked the CPU to 3.88gHz. For the overclock I raised the VCORE from 1.24v to 1.43v, and raised the QPI voltage up a couple of notches. This should heat up the CPU a significant amount.

As others have been getting overclock load temperatures in the 80Cs and 90Cs with the i7, I was very impressed with the 61C I got with the CNPS 9900LED. Once the temperature passed 40C, the fan began ramping up. It was silent until about the 1750-1800RPM range, then it became audible. It topped out at about 1950, where it was clearly heard, but not loud enough to be annoying.

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