CNPS10X Extreme: Zalman's Extreme Makeover

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CNPS10X Extreme: Zalman's Extreme Makeover

July 2, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Zalman CNPS10X Extreme
CPU Cooler
Street Price

Zalman has been trying to recapture the glory of earlier times, going back to the original "flower" heatsinks series — which were truly innovative in their day — and the more recent CNPS7000 CPU cooler. While visually stunning, the 9000 series did not match the performance of the prolific tower coolers from Thermalright, Scythe, Noctua, and others. The CNPS9900, a drastic attempt to reinvent the line, was the best, but ultimately it failed to be competitive. In our CNPS9900 review, we suggested it would be the end of the 9000 line — Zalman's latest heatsink seems to confirm this hypothesis.

The box.

The Zalman CNPS10X Extreme is their first tower heatpipe cooler — it seems that they've taken a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach. The CNPS10X weighs a hefty 920 grams, so it should give some of the top heatsinks of today a run for their money. The cooler comes with a fancy fan controller and mounting equipment for not only LGA1366, but the yet to be released LGA1156 platform.

Box contents are extensive.

The CNPS10X Extreme.

Zalman CNPS10X Extreme: Key Features
(from the product web page)
Feature & Brief
Our Comment
Powerful Cooling Performance
Optimally designed aluminum fins disperse heat away from the CPU via 5 heatpipes, while the high capacity 120mm fan quickly cools the heatsink for stable operation of high performance CPUs.
We shall see.
PWM Fan with Auto/Manual Control
Includes PWM Mate, the world’s first RPM controllable PWM fan speed controller, with the options of 3-Speed Auto or Manual Control Modes.
*PWM Mate can be installed on the case’s exterior by connecting with the included Extension Cable.
Though the fan is of the PWM variety, a variable speed fan controller is included.
Ultra Quiet 120mm Blue LED Fan
Switching noise eliminated 120mm fan incorporated for ultra quiet operation and Blue LEDs for cool aesthetics.
*‘Switching noise’ is the high frequency harmonic noise that can result from voltage regulation.
This is the first we've heard of a 'switching noise' related to voltage regulation. In many cases the opposite is true — odd noises can be caused by PWM fan control.
Black-Pearl Nickel Plating
The entire heatsink of CNPS10X Extreme is “Black-Pearl” Nickel Plated for long-term corrosion resistance, while the deep “Black-Pearl” tone along with the high intensity Blue LEDs reinforce its powerful aesthetics.
Corrosion isn't exactly a big problem for CPU coolers, but it does give the heatsink a clean, futuristic look.
High Performance Super Thermal Grease ZM-STG2
The included all new high performance thermal grease ZM-STG2 maximizes heat transfer from the CPU to the base of CNPS10X Extreme for intensified cooling performance.
Zalman naturally ships their new flagship heatsink with their own thermal compound.
Versatile Compatibility
CNPS10X Extreme accommodates a broad range of sockets. Intel LGA1156/1366/775, AMD AM3/AM2+/AM2/754/939/940
Mounts on all current Intel/AMD sockets and it even has preemptive support for LGA1156.

Zalman CNPS10X Extreme: Specifications
(from the product web page)

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