Zalman CNPS9900 LED: The End of the Nines

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Zalman CNPS9900 LED: The End of the Nines

Jan 2, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Zalman CNPS9900 LED
LGA775/K8 CPU Cooler
Zalman Tech Co.
Street Price
?? Probably US$70~90

POSTSCRIPT: Zalman CNPS9900 LED Unshrouded added Jan 9, 2009 (page 8)

Zalman has been sort of coasting since the then-unique and effective CNPS7000 CPU cooler. They made small alterations at first, making a larger version with a bigger fan, then moved to translucent fans, to scatter LED lighting. It wasn't until the 9500 came along that a more interesting change came. The introduction of heatpipes and the 90-degree rotation of the orientation into a sleek, sexy, funnel-like tower heatsink breathed life into the CNPS name. From there they again made minor alternations, increasing the fan size with the 9700 and then strangely decreasing it in the case of the 9300AT.

The box design makes the CNPS9900 seem like it's the apple of Zalman's eye.

The CNPS9900 LED, which might be the last gasp of the 9000 series, takes a more drastic approach. The cooler has been split down the middle and spread apart to make room for a fan integrated into the center of the heatsink. It's not a new concept, having been implemented by notable manufactuers such as Scythe, Thermaltake and Thermalright, but this is Zalman's first attempt. The 9000 series has been showing its age for quite sometime, not being able to compete with today's top heatsinks. Can the 9900 bring glory back to Zalman?

The box contents include the heatsink in a large plastic clamshell container, a bottle of Zalman thermal grease, and the necessary equipment for LGA775 and K8 installation. LGA1366 hardware is also included.

Zalman CNPS9900 LED: Key Features (from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode. Zalman fans have never really lived up to this claim, though the absence of competition in the earlier years made this claim more plausible than it is today.
100% copper heatsink with aerodynamically optimized “tunnel” design for maximum cooling efficiency. OK.
Patented heatpipe design for cooling performance of up to 6 heatpipes with the use of just 3. OK
Ultra-thin 0.2mm fins for minimized weight and significantly reduced airflow resistance. For the record, the total fins area is just about the same as the CNPS 9700.
Ultra quiet 120mm PWM LED fan for automatic fan speed control according to the CPU's temperature. Let's see if the new PWM fan helps Zalman achieve the first claim above.

Zalman CNPS9900 LED: Specifications
(from the product web page)

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