Zerotherm Zen FZ120 CPU Cooler

Cooling
Viewing page 7 of 7 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

The recording begins with a six second stretch of the ambient noise of the test room. This is followed by 10 seconds at each voltage level. Please set your playback volume so that the ambient noise is almost inaudible, then don't adjust the volume control again. For best results, save the sound file to your own PC, then listen.

Zerotherm Zen FZ120 with stock fan at 7V, 8V, 9V and 12V at 1m (Watch out for the 12V level; it's noisy!)

Reference Comparatives

Nexus "Real Silent 120mm fan" (at 5V, 7V, 9V and 12V at 1m)

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Zerotherm Zen FZ120 is a formidable CPU cooler. Not only does it perform well, its mounting system is secure, and the installation procedure is straightforward. There is no need to fiddle around with various sets of screws, wings, nuts, washers or other doo-dads — manual dexterity is taken out of the equation. It's also an all-in-one solution, as a fan with PWM functionality is included.

The fan is a weak point. It is a fairly typical stock fan — loud at full speed, with mediocre acoustic quality. Fortunately, lowering the fan speed should be easy since almost all current motherboards sport PWM fan speed control. When slowed to 700 RPM or lower, it is quiet enough for most users. While it doesn't perform as well as our reference Nexus fan, that is not unusual. Fan selection is usually an afterthought for most manufacturers, and they tend to choose high airflow capability over best acoustics.

Overall, the Zen is an excellent heatsink with few surprises. Its US$50 price tag is pretty good unless you're not satisfied with the stock fan. But at least one of SPCR's affiliate online stores is selling it for as low as $40, which is an excellent deal.

Zerotherm Zen FZ120
PROS

* Great performance
* Easy, secure mounting system
* PWM fan included
* Stock fan decently quiet when run slower
CONS

* Included fan too loud at full speed

Our thanks to ZEROtherm for the Zen heatsink sample.

* * *

Articles of Related Interest
Noctua NH-C12P: A Top-Down Cooler Rises Up
Thermalright HR-01 Plus: 2nd Gen Killer Tower Cooler
Scythe Zipang 14cm fan "blow-down" CPU cooler
Cooler Master Hyper Z600 CPU Cooler: A Real Heavyweight
Intel's HSF for high-end Core 2 Extreme CPU cooler
Thermaltake V1: "Peacock Tail" Cooler

* * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR Forums.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Cooling - Article Index
Help support this site, buy the ZEROtherm ZEN FZ120 120mm CPU Cooler from one of our affiliate retailers!