Zalman CNPS8000: A Worthy Successor?

Cooling
Viewing page 5 of 5 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5

COMPARISON

It is impossible to make the CNPS8000 look good by comparing it to other heatsinks. The table below shows every other aftermarket heatsink we've tested on this test bed. To keep data to a manageable amount, the heatsinks were compared at approximately 23 dBA@1m, the lowest noise level we achieved for the CNPS8000, and the highest noise level produced by our reference Nexus 120mm fan. The stock Intel heatsink was excluded from the comparison, as we do not have a reliable result for it at 23 dBA@1m. The results speak for themselves.

"Low Noise" Comparison at ~23 dBA@1m
Heatsink / Fan
Noise
SPL: dBA@1m
Fan Voltage
°C Rise
°C/W MP
Zalman CNPS8000
23
5V
34
0.34
Spire Verticool II SP601B3 w/ Nexus 80 Fan
23
12V
28
0.28
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro*
24
9.5V
29
0.29
Scythe Ninja w/ Nexus 120
23
12V
19
0.19
Thermalright XP-120 w/ Nexus 120 fan
23
12V
24
0.24
Arctic Cooling Alpine 64
23
9V
35
0.35
*Performance results for the Freezer 7 Pro are extrapolated from data obtained at 9V and 10V — yielding 20 and 28 dBA@1m respectively.

There is little to be analyzed here. The CNPS8000 more or less ties the Arctic Cooling Alpine. A different comparison quickly breaks the tie: The Alpine can be found online for as little as US$6.35, while the current market price for the CNPS8000 is US$40~50.

NOISE RECORDINGS IN MP3 FORMAT

Zalman CNPS8000: 5V-7V-9V-12V, 5s Ambient between levels: One Meter, One Foot

Comparatives:

Alpine 64: 5V-7V-9V-12V, 5s Ambient between levels: One Meter, One Foot

Scythe Mine: 5V-7V-9V-12V, 5s Ambient between levels: One Meter, One Foot

Nexus 92mm fan: 5V-7V-9V-12V, 5s Ambient between levels: One Meter, One Foot

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

These recordings were made with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system and are intended to represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review. Two recordings of each noise level were made, one from a distance of one meter, and another from one foot away.

The one meter recording is intended to give you an idea of how the subject of this review sound in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. For best results, set your volume control so that the ambient noise is just barely audible. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The one foot recording is designed to bring out the fine details of the noise. Use this recording with caution! Although more detailed, it may not represent how the subject sounds in actual use. It is best to listen to this recording after you have listened to the one meter recording.

More details about how we make these recordings can be found in our short article: Audio Recording Methods Revised.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

We have to shake our heads and wonder what Zalman was thinking. They have years of experience building heatsinks, and they have created some excellent products in the past. But, the CNPS8000 is not one of them. Not only is the performance below what we've come to expect, the fan is also noisier than any of Zalman's past efforts — and it can't be replaced.

It does have good points, but they are the minor points usually used to differentiate similar products for marketing purposes. It is reasonably small (though larger than the CNPS7000), lightweight, and installation is simple enough. If this was an inexpensive heatsink, these might be enough to make it worthwhile, but, as it is currently selling for US$40~50 range, it is clearly not intended for the low end. The CNPS7000 is available for US$20, and can probably one-up its newest sibling in terms of both noise and performance.

Pros

* Light
* Low Profile
* Easy Installation
* Fan controller is included
Cons

* Noisy fan
* Fan cannot be replaced
* Terrible performance
* Expensive
* Tightly spaced fins

Much thanks to Zalman for the CNPS8000 sample.

* * *

Articles of Related Interest

Recommended Heatsinks
Spire Verticool II SP601B3 tower heatsink
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
Arctic Cooling Alpine HSF: A New Budget King?
Zalman CNPS7700-AlCu Heatsink/Fan
Zalman CNPS9500 LED Heatsink/Fan

* * *

Comment on this article in our Forums.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5

Cooling - Article Index
Help support this site, buy the Zalman CNPS8000 Heatsink/Fan from one of our affiliate retailers!