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Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Socket AM2 Low Noise Heatsink Review
Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Socket AM2 Low Noise Heatsink Review
Abstract: The CNPS9500 AM2 heatsink is identical in materials and size to previous CNPS9500-series heatsinks, but since this cooler is being launched in conjunction with the nVidia nForce 500-series chipset and socket AM2 Athlon64, it has received a few special touches.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Zalman   Cooling / Heatsinks   May 23, 2006   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: 360° View - Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Low Noise Heatsink

360° View - Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Heatsink
Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.
The Heatsink Fan:
The 92x92x25mm fan spins at 1350-2600RPM with the Fanmate 2 attached, producing 18-27 dBA according to the companies data. The lack of any fan guard presents a challenge for systems with many loose wires dangling around inside the case, and the CNPS9500 AM2's height of 126mm precludes it from being used in compact or SFF-PC cases. The fan draws power from a standard 3-pin motherboard fan header that supports RPM monitoring. The seven bladed impeller is internally illuminated by a pair for nVidia-green LEDs.

Heatsink Top:
The Looking down at the top of the Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 heatsink we can see the basic shape of its 88 chrome-plated copper fins. The 9mm wide indentation at the center provides space for a screwdriver further down when engaging the heatsink clip onto the CPU retention bracket. The clip fits in perpendicular to the direction of the heatpipes, and parallel, depending on the AM2 socket orientation. Each fin measures just 0.2mm thick. Fins are spaced 3mm at the tip, and 1mm along the inside curvature. The copper fins are all soldered directly to each of the three copper heatpipes, and the entire heatsink has been chrome plated.

Heatsink Side A:
The 92mm fan is suspended in the center of the radial fins and figure-eight heatpipe assembly on a pair of stainless steel posts. When powered up, vibration was not noticeable. The space directly behind the fan motor is empty, which makes sense as this is generally a dead-spot for airflow. The Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 heatsink installs onto socket 754/939/940 and AM2 CPUs with a special steel clip that fits over the nub of the cast aluminum base cap. The clamping force is focused directly at the center of the heatsink's base, for even loading on the processor integrated heat spreader.

Heatsink Side B:
Every side of the 530 gram Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 heatsink is made for cooling as we can see from this image. The cooling fins extend out to a diameter of 112mm. Each of the three copper heatpipes are 6mm in diameter. The base consists of a shaped copper section to which the heatpipes are soldered, and a base cap made from cast aluminum. The copper base is about 2.5mm thick on average, 4mm at the most. We'll assume that the entire heatsink was fabricated and soldered together before any of the chrome plating is applied to its surface.

Heatsink Base:
The The 38mm x 40mm copper base is soldered to the heatpipes so thermal conductivity is direct as possible through to the rest of the heatsink. The copper base has been machined flat, and very smooth. Surface roughness is on the order of ~12 microinches, which is considered very good.

Zalman has revised its manufacturing techniques for the CNPS9500-series since FrostyTech last tested CNPS9500 LED heatsink, as the company typically does to improve quality. The copper base is a little bit thicker now, and the aluminum cap hovers about 0.8mm above the heatpipes, instead of coming in direct contact with them. The result of these optimizations is a base which is quite flat in both axis.

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Socket AM2 Low Noise Heatsink Review
 2:  AMD Athlon64 Socket AM2 Heatsink Considerations
 3: — 360° View - Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Low Noise Heatsink
 4:  Acoustic Comparisons and Base Surface Quality
 5:  Final Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

List all Zalman heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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