The following diagram shows the amount of noise produced by the tested coolers:
So, the Zalman CNPS11X Extreme and CNPS10X Performa are almost the same in terms of noisiness. The newer model has a more linear correlation between its fan speed and noise whereas the Performa is not that consistent. The Thermalright TY-140 is quieter than the other two coolers both in numbers and subjectively.
Zalman CNPS11X Extreme is a beautiful and very efficient air cooler which will ensure proper cooling for your CPU and will also please you with its black-pearl exterior and pretty highlighting. This model is versatile, easy to install, compact and lightweight, and also rather quiet at the minimum fan speed.
At the same time it is important to keep in mind that all the above mentioned benefits are going to cost you a small fortune of $89.99. Considering the size of the cooler, the inexpensive aluminum fins and low-cost plastic caps, I suspect that it is the new composite heat pipes, the luxurious nickel-plating and the aggressive marketing that contribute the most to its price. I have apprehensions that the CNPS11X Extreme may be neglected by many users, except for the loyal fans of the Korean brand, because of this high price.
After the excellent results of the CNPS11X Extreme, I really wish that the new composite heat pipes were introduced into the CNPS10X series as well (especially into the Extreme model that has the largest heatsink). Of course, only if this doesn’t affect their price too much. I guess this would make very effective coolers, even though not as stylishly-looking as the CNPS11X Extreme.
P.S.: Despite the high recommended price, Zalman CNPS11X Extreme may be not so expensive after all. You can find it in some stores for about $60.