The new cooler is designed alike to its predecessor. It has three figure-of-eight heat pipes that carry thin (0.2mm) copper ribs:
It’s all the same as with the Zalman CNPS9500 LED, except for the dimensions of the heatsink and the size of the fan. The new cooler is taller and wider by 17mm and also longer by 5mm. The dissipation area has thus increased from 3698 sq. cm to 5490 sq. cm, or by an impressive 48.5%! Having become larger, the cooler has naturally become heavier. The Zalman CNPS9700 LED weighs 764g as opposed to 530g of the CNPS9500 LED model. The fastening mechanism of the new cooler is simple and reliable, so this rather heavy weight shouldn’t worry you at all.
Besides being larger (110mm in diameter), the fan of the new cooler has a wider speed range. Using the included Fan Mate 2 controller, you can vary the fan speed from 1250 to 2800rpm (as opposed to 1350-2600rpm with the CNPS9500 LED). The max level of noise is higher at 35dBA as a consequence. The fan still has that blue highlighting that used to please the eyes of every modder.
The six ends of the heat pipes are soldered up and gripped in between the plates of the cooler’s base with four screws.
The top plate, made from aluminum, has a jut for the retention clips. Take note of the groove in the center of that jut. It makes it easier to turn the clips if the clips are positioned along the pipes. The CNPS9500 didn’t have that groove. The three punched hollows on each side of the jut and the corresponding dents on the retention clips allow to fasten the cooler in the most optimal position and fix it reliably on the CPU’s heat-spreader.
The cooler’s base is perfectly finished and is absolutely flat.
Well, you could hardly expect anything else from Zalman.