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First off, I should let you know that the Thermalright SLK-900U in this list of reference heatsinks was tested with a high speed Delta fan that produced over 67 dBA or noise. The Zalman heatsink on the other hand, while only coming in about 4 degrees Celsius warmer, produced just 42 dBA of sound.
Quite the difference, and quite the reason why this Zalman heatsink has become so popular with folks looking for a little extra cooling performance without the added noise of a high-speed fan.
On the Pentium 4 platform the Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu is best suited. The standard HSRM which Intel employs makes it universally acceptable for all P4 motherboards, and the clipping system is pretty easy to use as it doesn't require the motherboard to be removed for installation.
The only problem that may occur is if the AGP and processor sockets are located too close together. A list of non-compatible motherboards is on Zalman's site, but most of the models are value-oriented boards you are unlikely to want to have in your PC anyway.
The CNPS7000A-Cu is also compatible with the new AMD Athlon64 Socket 754/940 processors, but we don't yet have our new synthetic temperature test platform built for testing K8 heatsinks. Look to FrostyTech.com in the near future for a whole series of K8 heatsink reviews.
Ultimately the Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu is a very good performing SocketA/Socket 478 heatsink as you have seen by the test results above. It manages to cool with great efficiency, as evidenced by the nice low noise levels. Furthermore, with the aide of the Fanmate 1, the speed of the large fan can be further adjusted for even quieter operation. Temperatures will rise if you turn the fan speed down too far, but even under normal operation the heatsink offers very compelling value for the price. Bottom line; the Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu is easily recommended for performance cooling, low noise cooling, or just a bit of both.
Here are a few other articles that you might enjoy as well...
1. Arctic Cooling Copper Silent 2 Heatsink Review
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