In our opinion, the key feature distinguishing the Performa cooler from the predecessors is a set of 15 plates in the center of the heatsink:
These plates are of rippled shaped, although Zalman doesn’t really explain the purpose of this innovation claiming that this plate set “makes it sleek and cool aesthetic”. At the same time we know that heatsink fins of variable height not only reduce the airflow resistance but also lower the generated noise level. The only question is why Zalman didn’t make the entire heatsink rippled? This could be saved for the cooler version number five…
Five copper heatpipes 6 mm in diameter pierce the heatsink in staggered order distributing the heat more evenly over the heatsink surface:
The heatpipes lie in special grooves in the copper cooler base. They are soldered to the base, which thinnest part measures 2 mm:
The evenness and finish quality of the base surface remained as impeccable as before:
The changes also occurred in the 120 mm fan. Now Zalman CNPS10X Performa comes equipped with a seven-blade Zalman ZP1225ALM fan model:
This fan is not any different in constructive prospective from the fans used with Extreme or Quiet modifications, however, it works in a different speed interval. To be more exact, this fan can be PWM controlled in two different speed intervals: 900-1350 RPM (17-24 dBA) and 900-2000 RPM (17-36 dBA). For the fan to work in the first mode, you have to include RC24P resistor into the power circuit (it is included with the cooler accessories). The fan measures 113 mm in diameter, and its rotor – 43 mm. It comes with a 300 mm four-pin cable. Due to a double ball bearing the fan should last for at least 50,000 hours.
Zalman CNPS10X Performa can be installed onto any contemporary platform. It comes bundled with the appropriate retention kits, like the ones we saw with Zalman CNPS10X Flex, so we won’t discuss the installation procedure all over again at this time. I would only like to add that the distance from the cooler base to the lowest Performa’s heatsink plate is 37 mm, so it is highly unlikely to interfere with any tall heatsinks on the voltage regulator components. Zalman CNPS10X Performa looks like that inside the system case:
It is remarkable that the recommended retail price of this cooler is set at only $44.90, which is $5 less than the price on Flex that comes even without a fan.