Cogage TRUE Spirit & Zalman CNPS10X Quiet CPU Coolers

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Cogage TRUE Spirit & Zalman CNPS10X Quiet CPU Coolers

April 11, 2010 by Lawrence Lee

Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366 CPU Cooler Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
CPU Cooler
Cogage Zalman
Street Price
US$40 US$55~$60

The Cogage TRUE Spirit and Zalman CNPS10X Quiet are a pair of CPU coolers that don't pack much 'wow' factor. Neither heatsink has a revolutionary design; they are slightly different takes on a pair of well-known models, the Thermalright Ultra-120 and the Zalman CNPS10X Extreme. While they might not be much competition for the best heatsinks of today, they are not without intrigue. The TRUE Spirit is interesting purely on its low US$40 price-tag, cheap by compared to most Thermalrights. The CNPS10X Quiet is an attempt by Zalman, which has struggled recently to hold our esteem when it comes to quiet cooling, to atone for its lackluster brothers, the CNPS10X Extreme and Flex. We'll see if it lives true to its name.

Cogage TRUE Spirit

Cogage is a budget brand developed by Thermalright catering to PC enthusiasts on a budget. Their most popular heatsink is arguably the TRUE Spirit, a smaller version of the famous Thermalright Ultra-120. A few simple changes were implemented to created a more cost-effective heatsink including decreasing the thickness of th fins, not plating the copper heatpipes with nickel, and only supporting one socket, with separate models for LGA775 and LGA1366. Thermalright also throws in a fan, as aftermarket ones are typically sold with a heavy mark-up.

The TRUE Spirit 1366 box.

Thermalright is known for their minimalist plain brown cardboard packaging, so it's surprising to see the budget brand in a rather cool-looking blue box. The accompanying accessories include a 120 mm fan with yellow translucent blades, a pair of fan clips and isolation strips, and a tube of thermal compound. According to Cogage's website and reviews from other hardware sites, the TRUE Spirit originally shipped with a pushpin mount, but product photos on Newegg show the same bolt-thru kit included with our sample. This appears to be a new revision.

TRUE Spirit 1366: package contents.

Zalman CNPS10X Quiet

Since Zalman abandoned the flower heatsink design in favor of the more common tower with U-shaped heatpipes, it has had little success, at least not by SPCR standards. The first tower attempt, the CNPS10X Extreme, is a formidable looking cooler but only proficient at higher fan speeds due to the thickness of the fin stack and the tight fin spacing. It's also very heavy at nearly 1 kilogram, and expensive due to the inclusion of a sophisticated fan controller and nickel-plating on not only the base, but also the heatpipes and every single fin. A similar, stripped-down version without a fan, the CNPS10X Flex, also failed to impress us.

The CNPS10X Quiet box.

The CNPS10X Quiet, as you can gather from the name, is Zalman's attempt to make a solid low airflow heatsink. Like the Flex, it lacks the nickel-coating of the Extreme, but it ships with a fan, albeit a lower speed model. Most importantly, the fin spacing on the Quiet has been increased, reducing the resistance to airflow. This is essential for cooling efficiency when using low speed fans. On our heatsink test platform, CPU coolers with tight fin spacing typically see a big hit in performance when the fan speed is reduced.

CNPS10X Quiet: package contents.

The CNPS10X Quiet features mounting hardware similar to that of the Extreme — only LGA775 installations get a backplate. The Quiet also ships with typical Zalman accoutrements including a Fan Mate 2 fan controller, and a tube of the ZM-STG2 thermal grease.

Cogage TRUE Spirit 1366: Specifications
(from the product web page)
L133 x W53.44 x H163.8 mm
670 grams
Heat pipes:
four heat pipes
Compatibility: Intel Socket 1366
Dimension: L120 x W120 x H25
Rated Speed: 1000~1500 RPM ±15%
Noise Level: 19.6-37.4 dBA
Air Flow:
35~66.5 CFM

Zalman CNPS10X Quiet: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Dimensions 135(L) X 100(W) X 160(H) mm
750 g
Pure Aluminum and Pure Copper
Dissipation Area
Heatpipes 5 x U-shaped heatpipes
Bearing Type 2 Ball-Bearing
Speed 700 ~ 1400 rpm ± 10% (FAN MATE 2 connected)
Noise Level Not Measurable ~ 26 dBA ± 10% (FAN MATE 2 connected)
Input Voltage 12V
* The fan operates at 1500 rpm ±10% (28 dBA ±10%) if directly connected to the motherboard’s power connector without the use of FAN MATE 2.
Intel LGA775, LGA1156, LGA1366, all models/speeds
AMD S754, S939, S940, AM2, AM2+, AM3, all models/speeds

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