The best cooler among the models we tested today based on performance and silence criteria is CoolerMaster Hyper 48 KHC-L91. It is not only utterly silent, but thanks to advanced design and heatpipes can cool-down even the hottest chips very efficiently. Furthermore, the KHC-L91 also boasts with easy installation. Basically, CoolerMaster Hyper 48 is something that you install inside your PC and… forget about it: no noise, no overheat problems, nothing you should worry about. It has his own drawbacks, not very rapid heat transfer from the base is one example, but they are not critical.
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu proved to be respectable successor of the CNPS7000-Cu product: it is capable of cooling-down high-performance chips and even flow the air over other components located close to the CPU socket, which is an advantage, even though it won’t be the most efficient cooling for them. The disadvantage is that Zalman’s 120mm fan produces rather distinguishable noise when operating at maximum speed. Perhaps, some of you will use the cooler at minimum speed when working in office applications and boosting it up when playing games or perform other demanding task.
Given rather tricky installation procedure, we would consider Zalman CNPS7700-Cu cooler as something for enthusiasts who spend a lot of time with their PCs, rather than for users who just want a quality cooler.
Zalman’s CNPS7000-Cu introduced long ago is still a player today with ZM-CS1 retention mechanism. In fact, the CNPS7000-Cu has been cooling-down our Intel Pentium 4 560 processor for about 8 months now without any problems. We used it at the maximum speed, but it was still capable of cooling-down the chip it was never intended for. Basically, the CNPS7000-Cu is one of the best coolers, provided that it is not really expensive at a retailer near you, for processors up to 3.20GHz. Unfortunately, there are some difficulties with installation of Zalman’s coolers.
Gigabyte’s 3D Cooler PCU22-SE also impressed much: being not very expensive, this device manages to work nearly as efficiently as far more pricey products from CoolerMaster and Zalman. Unfortunately, the cooler itself is pretty noisy compared to those mentioned. Still, it may end up as one of the best in its price-class.