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Compatibility and Installation

The new Zalman CNPS9900DF is a universal cooler in the full meaning of this word. It is fully compatible with all contemporary processors and platforms with no exceptions. All of them are listed on the official company web-site:

The installation procedure is the same for all platforms and starts by mounting the steel brackets to the base of the cooler:

The photo shows the retention brackets for the Intel platform. If you are planning to install this cooler on the AMD platform, you will have to use a different set of straight brackets.

After that you apply a layer of thermal paste to the CPU, install the cooler on it and evenly tighten the four Allen screws (with hex-shaped sockets) with a special L-wrench:

It may seem like a lot of trouble to actually complete this final stage. First, it is quite challenging to get into the retention bracket holes while tightening the screws. On top of that, the wrench inserted into the screw sockets at an angle doesn’t seem to go in and threatens to slide any second, while later you can barely get it out of the socket at all. Nevertheless, 10-15 minutes later when all screws are in place and tightened perfectly, the cooler sits securely on the mainboard and the processor.

As for the cooler compatibility with tall memory module heat-spreaders and other heatsinks around the processor socket, we can’t state definitively that Zalman CNPS9900DF won’t interfere with anything, because its lowest heatsink fins are only 30 mm above the mainboard surface:

 

However, the bottom part of the heatsink is relatively compact that is why it could only potentially interfere with a memory module featuring a tall heatsink installed into the closest DIMM slot to the processor.

The manual recommends installing Zalman CNPS9900DF cooler in the following way:

In addition, we also tested Zalman CNPS9900DF in an alternative orientation, i.e. rotated by 90 degrees:

Remarkably, we didn’t register any efficiency differences between the two installations. And what particular level of efficiency we are talking about? Let’s find out next!

 
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