Zerotherm Zen FZ120 CPU Cooler

Cooling
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Cooling Results

Zereotherm Zen FZ120 w/ stock fan
Fan Voltage
Noise @1m
Temp
°C Rise
°C/W
12V
36 dBA
33°C
12
0.15
9V
25 dBA
36°C
15
0.19
8V
19 dBA
41°C
20
0.26
7V
17 dBA
46°C
25
0.32
Zereotherm Zen FZ120 w/ reference Nexus fan
12V
21 dBA
36°C
15
0.19
9V
18 dBA
37°C
16
0.21
7V
16 dBA
40°C
19
0.24
5V
<15 dBA
45°C
24
0.31
Load Temp: CPUBurn for ~10 mins.
°C Rise: Temperature rise above ambient (21°C) at load.
°C/W: based on the amount of heat dissipated by the CPU (measured 78W); lower is better.

Zen performed extremely well with the stock fan, especially at higher speeds — the rise above ambient was only 12°C and 15°C with the fan at 12V and 9V respectively. Performance dropped off significantly when the fan voltage was lowered most likely due to tight fin spacing.

Switching to our reference Nexus fan dramatically improved the performance-to-noise ratio. It managed to deliver approximately the same level of cooling at each voltage setting, but with much less noise. For example, when both fans were set to 7V, the Nexus fan registered 1 dBA lower, yet still managed to deliver a 6°C improvement in CPU temperature.

Comparables

Comparison: Zen vs. Top Heatsinks w/ Reference Nexus Fan
Fan Voltage
Noise @1m
°C Rise
HR-01 Plus
Ultra-120 eXtreme
HDT-S1283
Zen FZ120
Ninja Copper
12V
21 dBA
13
12
13
15
17
9V
18 dBA
15
14
15
16
18
7V
16 dBA
16
17
18
19
20
5V
<15 dBA
20
24
24
24
23

Against the competition, the Zerotherm Zen performed well enough to take the number four spot, slightly edging out the Scythe Ninja Copper. While it is only about two degrees off our new favorite, the Thermalright HR-01 Plus, its tight fin spacing becomes an issue when the airflow is lowered to extreme levels. Like the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and Ultra-120 eXtreme, the Zen takes a sizable performance hit when the Nexus fan is slowed from 7V to 5V.



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