- Heavier than a Ninja or HR-01
- More expensive than a Ninja or HR-01 plus a Nexus 120mm fan
- Worse cooling than a Ninja 2 or HR-01
I think this thing is obsolete before it even rolls off the production line.
Obsolete is a very strong word, a serious overstatement here. You also bend the data to suit your argument - the Ninja 2 is better at only extreme low airflow... and worse by 3C at 16 dBA -- which is very quiet!
One thing not fully covered in the review is that with a hotter CPU (read: i7), the tighter fin spacing and larger fin area would most likely give it an advantage at say 20 dBA/1m w/ the stock fan -- against many of the competitors that do better with very low airflow. It is a model made for the current range of "performance" CPUs -- including the i7s.
It's definitely not the best for super quiet cooling with a modest CPU in the kind of systems hardcore SPCRs aspire to, but for the general enthusiast PC market, it's a very good product... especially as price drops in the next few weeks, as it always does after initial release.
But the Ninja 2 isn't $80 nor does it require some modding to change the fan.
For higher heat loads, there's always the Mugen 2, HR-01 Plus, and TRUE right? An HR-01 Plus can be had for about $50 and turns out to be around $60 with a fan. Still $20 cheaper than the Zalman.
Also about the price "dropping", I haven't seen Zalman products drop much in price in the past. CNPS9900's still cost more than TRUE's and CNPS8700's are still like $50.
I don't know about you but I'm fairly disappointed here. The cooler has great aesthetics but that's about it. :/