Without the Fan Mate 2 fan rotation speed manager, the fan works at 2600-2700rpm generating not very loud but pretty distinct sound. Once Fan Mate 2 is connected the fan rotation speed starts to vary between 1350 and 2400rpm. Moreover, when the fan rotation speed is maximum, you don’t hear it at all, as it vanishes behind the noise from the graphics card and PSU fan. We decided to run our tests in this particular operation mode.
The results turned out really impressive. The CPU running at 4.06GHz warmed only up to 56.5o C! 13o C difference compared with what Zalman CNPS7700Cu showed working at the maximum 2,000rpm fan speed, while our hero worked at the reduced speed of 2,400rpm. The cooler managed to cope with the overclocked CPU without any problems: the temperature didn’t go beyond 62.5o C.
This is an indisputable victory of the new cooler over its old buddy. However, Zalman’s slogan claims that with CNPS9500 LED you get "Air-Cooled CPU Cooler with Water-Cooling Performance". Is this true? To prove this point we installed Gigabyte 3D Galaxy liquid cooling system and ran the same benchmarks again. The results are summed up in the table below:
Gigabyte 3D Galaxy
Zalman CNPS9500 LED
Fan diameter and rotation speed
120mm / 2000rpm
120mm / 1800rpm
92mm / 2400rpm
Intel Pentium 4
Intel Pentium 4
As you see, the Zalman CNPS9500 LED cooler based on heat-pipe technology is really as efficient as a liquid cooling system. However, I will follow in Zalman’s footsteps and will not state with 100% certainty, that their new offspring is 100% better than a liquid cooling solution. During our tests all three systems generated about the same level of noise. However, at this point Zalman CNPS7700Cu worked at the top of its capacity, and hence the new Zalman CNPS9500 LED really does outperform the predecessor at all extents.
We cannot say the same about the Gigabyte 3D Galaxy cooling system. It is a very good solution, with thoroughly considered details, and it hasn’t yet exhausted its potential. The fan rotation speed can be increased, so that the system will catch up with Zalman CNPS9500 LED and even outperform it, although the level of noise it will generate in that case won’t be close to something acceptable. According to my subjective opinion, Gigabyte 3D Galaxy working at 1,800rpm is louder than Zalman CNPS9500 LED working at 2,400rpm. Besides the fan on top of the heatsink, you also hear the pump working and the fan cooling down processor voltage regulator components.