Zalman CNPS9900DF Dual Fan Flower Heatsink

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Zalman CNPS9900DF Dual Fan Flower Heatsink

October 8, 2012 by Lawrence Lee

Zalman CNPS9900DF
CPU Cooler

When the Zalman CNPS9900 LED CPU cooler was released in 2009, we thought it might be the end of the flower series. We were almost certain of it when they launched conventional tower coolers in 2010. To our surprise, they revived the 9900 in 2011 with the MAX, which added nickel-plating and a larger fan. And now, in 2012, they've updated it once again with the CNPS9900DF. It seems there is some life left in iconic Zalman flower HS line after all. The "DF" stands for dual fans, following in the footsteps of twin tower coolers like Noctua NH-D14 and Thermalright Silver Arrow. Like these premier heatsinks, the DF carries a very high MSRP, US$90. Zalman's all-copper heatsinks have always been costly but this takes it to another level.

The box.

As you can probably guess, it's larger than its predecessor, sporting an extra 100 grams of bulk and a 26% higher heat dissipation area than the MAX. Instead of one 140 mm high speed fan, the DF has both a 140 mm and 120 mm model with more moderate speeds so it shouldn't be much louder than the MAX, if at all. We weren't impressed by the MAX's performance though so we're not convinced this latest iteration is enough to compete with coolers in the same price range.

Package contents.

Like previous versions of the CNPS9000 series, the heatsink is packed in a sturdy plastic clamshell container. The accessories include an instruction sheet, thermal compound, and mounting hardware. It's essentially the same package as the MAX except for the inclusion of a dual fan adapter and hardware for socket LGA 2011. We frown to see the same installation scheme as the MAX being recycled. It didn't produce enough pressure on the base and used very small hexagonal screws that were hard to secure.

Zalman CNPS9900DF: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Cross Bending Fin Technology
Front and rear airflow incident angles are designed in different directions. This cross bending fin technology produces cooling performance with minimum noise.
The radial shape of the 9900 pushes exhaust air out in every direction. One could argue that a standard tower design directing air toward the case exhaust fan is more effective.
Triple Composite Heatpipes
3 composite heat pipes and pure copper cross bending fins quickly cools down the heat from the CPU.
Not really different than the heatpipes used by other manufacturers.
Dual Fans
Cross Bending ultra quiet powerful 120mm Front Fan and 140mm enter Fan produces top performance.
We're not crazy about having mismatched fans &151; they sometimes produce nasty acoustic results.
Beautiful blue LED dual fan.
A must have feature.
Mirroring Base
Zalman's unique sanding process provides excellent heat transfer ability.
It's not necessary for a base to have a mirror shine to produce good results.
Fits in Mid Case
With height 160mm and width 180mm it fits in a variety of cases including mid case.
We believe they mean that 160 x 180 mm is the limit for most midsize cases as the 9900DF is much smaller than this.
High compatibility
Compatible with Intel Socket LGA 2011, AMD Socket FM1 and most Intel, AMD platform.
Expected for most performance heatsinks.
High performance ZM-STG2 helps to maximize the heat transfer from CPU to CNPS9900DF base allowing optimal cooling performance.
We'll have to take their word for it. TIM is one of the controls we employ to more accurately compare heatsink performance.

Zalman CNPS9900DF: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Dimensions 140(L) x 100(W) x 154(H)mm
Weight 850g
Materials Copper(base & Fin)
Dissipation Area 6,800cm2
Heatpipe Q'ty 3EA
Fan Speed Front 120mm: 1,000rpm ±10% (3pin)
Center 140mm: 900 ~ 1,400rpm ±10%(4pin)
Noise Level 19 ~ 27dBA ±10%
Bearing Type Long Life Bearing
Control Method PWM Control, Auto Restart
Input Voltage 12V

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