Long time ago Korean Zalman Company was a trend setter in the market of air coolers for computer components. There was barely any competition in this segment, so no one could really disturb Zalman from resting on the winner’s laurels. Some manufacturers tried to copycat the Koreans and released outrageously similar cooling solutions (remember Ice Hammer or Pentagram coolers). However, time kept going and not only the CPU market but also all accompanying segments developed rapidly, including the cooling solutions. As a result, competition in this area got tense, even aggressive and the overwhelming use of heatpipes technology stimulated this process even more.
And what about Zalman? Unfortunately, there wasn’t much going on with them. In 2005 they released a very successful (at that time) CNPS9500 LED cooler and then in 2006 – CNPS9700 LED. After that the air cooling division of the company kept quiet for two years. They tried to refresh the memories of good old times by launching a pretty mediocre Zalman CNPS8700 LED and slight modifications of the existing CNPS9700 model. In the meanwhile, the flagship solutions from such competitors as Thermalright, Scythe, Cooler Master, Thermaltake and ZEROtherm outperformed the best Zalman cooler in efficiency, and sometimes this advantages was pretty significant (8~10°C under peak load). No doubt, it was the time for Zalman to respond to all their rivals with the launch of a new highly efficient cooling solution. The recent announcement of the new Core i7 platform was another stimulus for this.
So, today we are proud to present the new Zalman CNPS9900 LED!
Package and Accessories
The new solution comes in a not very big box made of thick cardboard with dark-blue color design. There are cut-out windows in the front and back of the box, revealing a little of the new Zalman CNPS9900 LED cooler:
The information you ca n find on the box is quite typical for the systems of this class: the key features of the cooler, the list of supported processor sockets, technical specifications and a bunch of other less essential info.
There is a clear plastic casing inside the box that is shaped exactly as the cooler. It protects the unit securely against any transportation damages that may occur on the way to you. The bundled accessories are placed right above the cooler. The bundle includes the following items (I will list them from left to right and from top to bottom):
- Plastic backplate for LGA 775 mainboards;
- Retention frame and screws for LGA 775 mainboards;
- Steel retention plate for LGA 775 mainboards;
- Multi-lingual installation guide;
- Zalman ZM-STG1 thermal compound;
- Socket 939/AM2(+) retention clip and a thumb hook for it;
- Zalman logo sticker;
- A set of screws and a sheet with instructions for LGA 1366 platforms;
- A plastic retention frame and steel bracket for LGA 1366 platforms.
At first I was a little surprised that there was no rotation speed controller among the bundled accessories, however, as we studied the cooler more carefully, I figured out the reason for that. Zalman CNPS9900 LED is made in Korea and its recommended retail price is set at $89.90.