Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler

Cooling
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TEST RESULTS

Cooling Results

Zalman CNPS10X Flex w/ reference 120mm fan
(Default)
Fan Voltage
SPL@1m
Temp
°C Rise
12V
16 dBA
62°C
42
9V
13 dBA
65°C
45
7V
12 dBA
69°C
49
Zalman CNPS10X Flex w/ reference 120mm fan
(Overclocked @ 3.6GHz, 1.40V)
12V
16 dBA
76°C
56
9V
13 dBA
85°C
65
7V
12 dBA
91°C
71
Load Temp: Prime95 for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (20°C) at load.

The Flex had little difficulty keeping our i7-965 cool, even with our low speed reference fan. At 12V, the fan is quiet, and the highest core temperature was 42°C above ambient. At 7V, the fan is basically silent yet the temperature increased by only 7°C. Its effectiveness obviously took a tumble on our overclocked/overvolted platform, coming close to failing with the fan at 7V with a temperature of 91°C. Our CPU throttles when a core reaches about 95°C.

Comparables

°C rise Comparison: i7-965 @ default settings
Heatsink
Nexus 120mm fan voltage /
SPL @1m
i7-965 Rank
12V
9V
7V
16 dBA
13 dBA
12 dBA
Noctua NH-D14
36
38
41
#1
Prolimatech Megahalems
35
39
42
#1
Scythe Mugen-2
37
40
43
#3
Noctua NH-U12P
38
40
41
#3
Thermalright U120 eXtreme
38
41
45
#5
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
39
43
48
#6
Thermalright U120
42
44
49
#7
Zalman CNPS10X Flex
42
45
49
#7
Scythe Kabuto
43
48
54
#9
Noctua NH-C12P
44
47
54
#9

With our CPU at stock settings, the Flex, despite it's superior mounting scheme, failed to surpass the Extreme, trailing by 3°C at 12V, 2°C at 9V, and only a single degree at 7°C. It tied for 7th spot with the Thermalright Ultra-120, about 7°C worse than the top contenders, the Prolimatech Megahalems and Noctua NH-D14.

°C rise Comparison: i7-965 @ 3.6GHz, 1.40V
Heatsink
Nexus 120mm fan voltage /
SPL @1m
i7-965 OC Rank
12V
9V
7V
16 dBA
13 dBA
12 dBA
Noctua NH-D14
45
52
57
#1
Prolimatech Megahalems
50
53
59
#2
Thermalright U120 eXtreme
51
56
63
#3
Noctua NH-U12P
53
56
60
#4
Scythe Mugen-2
53
56
62
#4
Thermalright U120
56
60
67
#6
Zalman CNPS10X Flex
56
65
71
#7
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
60
66
FAIL
#8
Scythe Kabuto
62
70
FAIL
#9
Noctua NH-C12P
64
73
FAIL
#10

On our overclocked platform, the Flex was more than 10°C behind the leading NH-D14, with the gap widening as the fan speed was reduced. When the heat was turned up, the Flex did manage to outpace the Extreme, besting it by 4°C at 12V and preventing the processor from throttling when the fan was set to 7V, something the Extreme failed to do. The narrow fin separation is undoubtedly the culprit for its comparatively low performance, though it should be noted that Thermalright's Ultra-120 series copes much better despite having similar fin spacing. It would seem from these results that the Flex is better complimented by a either two fans, or a single high airflow fan.



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