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Installation Tips

Zalman CNPS9900 LED cooler is the first air cooler I have had a chance to test so far that can be installed onto a new LGA 1366 platform. We do not have this platform in our Cooling lab yet, but we are getting one very soon. We are going to test all coolers including the previously reviewed ones on Core i7 platform using special retention kits for them. Today, however, we are going to check out the new Zalman CNPS9900 LED on an LGA 775 platform, so let’s take a closer look at how the cooler actually installs onto it.

Unlike Zalman CNPS9700/9500, the new cooler uses a plastic retention frame that is screwed to a backplate through the mainboard PCB first:


The frame meets Intel’s standards, so it fits easily into the free space around the CPU Socket. Moreover, it will not block the processor socket lock-latch, so you can replace the CPU easily, without taking the cooler retention frame off. Socket 939/940/AM2(+) mainboards can also accommodate Zalman CNPS9900 LED cooler. In this case you will have to use the retention clip that hooks on to the standard plastic socket frame of these mainboards.

Once the frame is in place, we apply the thermal compound and press the cooler against the CPU with a metal frame with spring-screws. The only inconvenience is that you have to lean the screwdriver when tightening the screws, because of the heatsink and it keeps sliding off. However, a few installations made me really good at it and tightening the retention screws was no longer a problem.

The cooler is very compact at the base and even on a heavily loaded mainboard like DFI LANPARTY DK X48-T2RS we used we had no problems in any of the four possible cooler positions:


The cooler is pressed very firmly against the CPU heat-spreader. It doesn’t shift or rotate thanks to the frame that holds its base in place.

The new solution installed into a system case looks like this:


And blue fan LEDs will look really festive and add a Christmas spirit to your system:

However, to need to have a clear side panel to enjoy this beauty, or to use no system case at all.

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