We measured the noise from our testing participants in the entire supported speed range of their fans following the methodology described above. The results are summed up on the following graph:
Despite our concerns and even compared against very quiet Thermalright TY-140 fan, the fans in Zalman CNPS12X didn’t prove to be too loud. We can call them comfortable at a little over 1000 RPM and really quiet at up to 850 RPM. At the same time, I have to point out that at the lowest rotation speeds, below 750 RPM, we could clearly hear rustling of the bearings and even beating of the fan blades, which disappeared at higher speeds. However, this isn’t the cooler’s nominal operation mode anyway, so I doubt that these drawbacks can be considered critical.
The performance of the new Zalman CNPS12X cooler was absolutely mind-blowing. The effect was even more dramatic because we honestly didn’t expect this product to deliver such remarkable efficiency that is why we acted too self-confident when selecting a competitor for it. But I have to admit that it is extremely satisfying to be mistaken in such a pleasant way, because we don’t often get to test coolers that offer us a combination of unprecedented efficiency, quietness and eye-catching looks. Attractive nickel-plated heatsink with rounded arrays and three fans with blue LED glow are a perfect match making this cooler a stylish design piece rather than a bulky chunk or aluminum and copper.
Composite heatpipes combined with improved Whole-Direct Touch Heatpipes technology, large two-array heatsink with V.F.P. (Variable Fin Profile) and I.H.D. (Interactive Heatpipe transfer Design), three quiet nine-blade fans, universal and reliable retention mechanism supporting the new LGA 2011 platform made Zalman CNPS12X an impeccable cooling system without any drawbacks. We could hypothetically consider high price of $99 to be one of them, but not in the super-cooler segment, where the price doesn’t really matter. Now we should only wait for this masterpiece to become widely available, because it will undoubtedly make a terrific Christmas or New Year gift.
We are proud to award Zalman CNPS12X cooler with our Editor's Choice title as the best air cooler available today: