Another patented design idea used by Zalman is the placement of the heatsink fins onto a curved surface. This has never been done before. If you look at any other coolers out there their heatsink fins are always fastened to the flat heatsink footing, and not to a curved heatpipe.
Aerodynamic “tunnel” design of the heatsink with funky curved fins is intended to ensure maximum contact with the dense part of the airflow. Besides, the fins are extremely thin, only 0.2mm, which makes this cooler very light, and significantly reduces the airflow resistance. Of course, this also tells on the cost of the product, because much less copper is used for the heatsink production with ultra-thin fins like that. The cooler really feels very light, only 498g, and is not bulky even when installed into a system.
Besides, another important factor is the level of generated noise. According to Zalman, this is a very quiet cooling solution equipped with 92mm quiet fan, which rotation speed can vary between 1,350-2,600rpm depending on the thermal conditions inside the system. This fan is claimed to be generating approximately 18-28dB of noise, which is significantly lower than most air cooling solutions do. I wish I could check it out myself, but with all the noise around the show floor, I could hardly hear myself, not to mention the cooler :)
We cannot wait to get our hand on this baby to see what it is really worth, but the test data presented by Zalman so far look very promising. The new CNPS 9500 proved about 10% more efficient than the internal water cooling system equipped with a 120mm fan providing about 7oC better cooling of the CPU. Take a look:
With the easy mounting, high efficiency, quiet operation and attractive price, this baby can become a real competitor to water coolers, not to mention the numerous air coolers from Zalman’s competitors. The cooler is expected to start selling in the end of June already. They will start with small quantities first to see if there are any issues with the production process, and if everything goes smoothly the shipments should be in full swing in mid July. The price of this solution has not been finalized yet, but it will lie somewhere between $75 and $80.
You may already know that Zalman partners with ABIT and Creative Labs in the Fatal1ty brand offering solutions for extreme gamers. They certainly will be offering a CNPS 9500 cooler modification for gamers. This cooler will not be as quiet because its fan will be rotating at higher speed, is most likely to have read LEDs and red colored heatsink to match the Fatal1ty brand color. Of course, its price will also be higher, but that should not be the issue for the real hardware gamers :)