Articles: Cooling

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Today we are going to talk about a new cooling solution from the Korean Zalman Company. I have to admit that I am very happy that Zalman has finally moved away from the radial heatsink design that was first introduced back in the far away 2005 in their Zalman CNPS9500 LED solution. At that time this cooler really offered unprecedented efficiency, but its copper glitter quickly lost its luster against the background of overwhelmingly effective Scythe Ninja, Thermaltake Big Typhoon and the whole lineup of other super-coolers following shortly after. The attempt to regain the market leadership in 2006 with the launch of Zalman CNPS9700 LED and its modifications turned out only partially successful. And the new Zalman CNPS9900 LED wasn’t quite at home among other numerous super-coolers. So, it looked like not only Zalman fans but also the company engineers and marketing specialists grew pretty tired of this state of things, because they introduced a completely new solution using classical tower-design. It was Zalman CNPS10X Extreme. It doesn’t have anything totally innovative about it, but we still have to dwell on a few very interesting solutions implemented in this cooler. But let’s start from the very beginning.

Package and Accessories

The new cooler is shipped in a box of Zalman’s traditional style and design. There is a round cut-out window in the front of it revealing the cooler fan and part of its heatsink:

All key features of Zalman CNPS10X Extreme are listed on the back of the box and its technical specifications are on one of the sides of it. Inside a thick cardboard outer box there is a clear molded plastic casing holding the cooler very securely inside. The accessories are placed right above it:

  • A plastic frame and a steel plate for LGA1366 mainboards;
  • A plastic frame and a steel plate for LGA1156/775 mainboards;
  • Backplate for LGA775 mainboards;
  • A set of retention screws and washers for LGA775 mainboards;
  • A steel plate for Socket 754/939/940/AM2(+)/AM3 mainboards;
  • A set of retention screws and plastic bushes;
  • Power cable for the rotation speed controller;
  • Zalman logo sticker;
  • Installation instructions in two languages;
  • Zalman ZM-STG2 thermal compound.

The last item looks as follows:

Of course, this is new Zalman thermal compound that came to replace not very efficient ZM-STG1. ZM-STG2 thermal compound is of gray color, thick and viscous consistency. The claimed heat conductivity is 4.2 W/(m·K), which is 3.5 (!) times higher than the same spec of Zalman ZM-STG1: 1.2 W/(m·K). We are not going to test the new thermal paste within our today’s test session. It will be included into our upcoming roundup of thermal compounds that we are currently collecting the samples for.

Here I would also like to add that Zalman CNPS10X Extreme is made in Korea and is priced around $60.

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