Zalman CNPS10X Quiet
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet cooler is a second modification of the Zalman CNPS10X Extreme, which should already be familiar to you. There is also the third modification called Zalman CNPS10X Flex and we are also going to review it later. And now let’s see what the differences are between the Quiet model and the pretty successful Extreme.
Package and Accessories
The box with Zalman CNPS10X Quiet is primarily of blue color, while the Extreme version was mostly black:
You can see the cooler fan and part of its heatsink through the round cut-out window in the front of the box. The back of the box describes the features and peculiarities of this cooling solution. The official technical specs are also there: you can see them on one of the box side panels.
The accessories bundle has changed. Besides the same items, which you get with the Extreme version, there is now Fan Mate 2 rotation speed controller with a power cable:
All other accesosries remained the same. Only the installation instructions are slightly different now (the pictures are different). Zalman CNPS10X Quiet is made in Korea and its recommended retail price is $50.
Design and Functionality
The cooler is of the same size and weight: 135x100x160 mm and 750 g. Its design has been modified just slightly that is why the overall shape is exactly the same as that of the Zalman CNPS10X Extreme model:
The most noticeable changes are the absence of nickel-plating over the heatpipes and base and the absence of the top plastic housing with the built-in rotation speed regulator (that is why it comes with Fan Mate 2). Despite these changes, Zalman CNPS10X Quiet looks even more stylish in my opinion than the Extreme version due to the polished top plate with embossed manufacturer and cooler logos and a central part of the heatsink of 15 slightly bigger plates than the top or bottom sections colored bright blue:
By the way, the Quiet cooler model has fewer heatsink plates than the Extreme one: 45 instead of 56. Fewer plates at the same cooler height of 160 mm resulted in larger gaps between the plates: 2.4 mm instead of about 1.7 mm. As a result, Zalman CNPS10X Quiet allowed using a less powerful 120 mm fan (Zalman ZF1125ATM model) and adding “Quiet” to its model name. The rotation speed of this fan varies between 700 and 1500 RPM (compare against 1000-2150 RPM by Extreme). The maximum level of noise with this fan shouldn’t exceed 28 dBA, according to the manufacturer.
Besides slower rotating fan, silicon shock-absorbing pads stuck to the corners of the fan frame should also help lower the noise. I would like to add that the fan uses a dual call bearing with 50,000 hours claimed MTBF.
The evenness and finish quality of the base plate are impeccable:
The thermal compound imprint from the processor heat-spreader on the cooler base turned out practically ideal:
Compatibility and Installation Tips
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet installs exactly the same way as Extreme that is why we are not going to dwell on it here. In conclusion I would only like to show you the way this cooler looks inside the system case:
Note that if you decide to install a second fan you will have to slightly raise the fan above the heatsink because of the rounded heatsink shape on one side. We used rubber bands and plastic spindles that are normally used to install a mainboard into a system case. If you don’t lift the fan above the heatsink its blades will be sitting right on top of it and won’t spin.