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The top and bottom heatsink plates serve as the top and the bottom for the heatsink body creating some kind of a trapezoid-shaped tunnel for the airflow. Besides, the edges of the heatsink plates are bent downwards on contact, letting no air through and making sure that all airflow goes to the part of the heatsink pierced by heatpipes:

As a result, the cooling efficiency of this compact system should be pretty good. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the quality of its base plate:

Two-millimeter gaps between the heatpipes won’t do any good to the heat transfer between the processor heat-spreader and the base of the Zalman cooler. In fact, the thermal paste imprint gives us a good idea of the cooling efficiency we can actually expect from Zalman CNPS7X LED:

 

The base is at least even enough, we didn’t uncover any problems here.

The new Zalman cooler is equipped with a seven-blade 92x92x25 mm fan:

Its rotation speed is PWM controlled in two modes. When the fan is connected directly, its rotation speed will vary in the interval between 1500 and 1950 RPM with the noise level about 20-25 dBA. However, if you use the enclosed resistor, the fan rotation speed will be lowered to 1250-1500 RPM and the noise – to 17-20 dBA respectively. The fan slide bearing should survive at least 50,000 hours or 5.7 years of non-stop operation, and maximum power consumption shouldn’t exceed 2.2 W.

Zalman CNPS7X LED will fit onto any contemporary home PC platform. On an AMD platform the retention plate will simply catch on to the notches in the standard plastic frame on the mainboard PCB and then will be held in place with screws. As for the Intel platform, there are two types of plastic frames with push-pins available:

They are installed into retention holes without taking the mainboard out of the system case:

After that the cooler is installed onto the processor. It catches on to the sides of these frames and secured with screws:

You are all set - Zalman CNPS7X LED is ready to go:

If there is anything still unclear about the installation process after you’ve read our brief description, you can always consult the online manual in multiple languages available on the official company web-site. I would only like to add that Zalman CNPS7X LED leaves 35 mm clearance between the heatsink and the PCB and its cooling efficiency doesn’t depend on the positioning of the cooler.

Now let’s check out the second participant of our today’s comparison.

 
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