Zalman 9300AT: Not me too, but me again

Cooling
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PHYSICAL DETAILS

The Zalman CNPS9300 has a 92mm ball bearing fan similar to that of the CNPS9500 (the CNPS9700 fan is 110mm wide), but lacks the third heatpipe of the 9500/9700. It also has a reduced width, and thus lower weight — only 407g.


The fan sits a fair bit higher compared to the CNPS9500/9700. While this allows for longer heatpipes to be used, the surrounding components may receive less indirect airflow. It also makes the cooler less likely to interfere with a large chipset cooler close to the CPU socket.



The shape of the fins is odd, like the result of an experiment in ceramics class. From front to back the surface expands, contracts, then expands again. The lack of width results in the lowest heat dissipation area for a Zalman heatsink in many years: 2,583cm2. The CNPS9700 has more than twice that area.



The heatpipes are arranged in a figure eight pattern just like the 9500/9700. They have less curvature however, resulting in the the fan and fins being raised higher over the CPU.



The impeller is mounted to a plastic ring at the center of the heatsink via three screws. The ring in turn is clipped to the fins at three different points and are held on via tension. The CNPS9700 fan on the other hand uses a metal stand attached to the base. The fins are packed very tight at the interior but the gaps between them get progressively wider as the fins extends outward.



Only the very bottom of the heatpipes make contact with the copper base. The gaps between them are noticeable.



The base is very flat and polished extremely well. The reflection is crystal clear.



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