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Zalman CNPS8000 Low Noise Heatsink Review
Zalman CNPS8000 Low Noise Heatsink Review
Abstract: A 90mm fan spins quietly at the center of it all, and with Zalman's Fanmate 2 fan speed controller noise can be reduced even further for true silent cooling (as low as 36.4 dBA in our real world tests).

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Zalman   Cooling / Heatsinks   Aug 01, 2006   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: 360° View - Zalman CNPS8000 Low Noise Heatsink

360° View - Zalman CNPS8000 Heatsink
Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.
The Heatsink Fan:
The 92x92x25mm fan spins at 1400-2600RPM with the Fanmate 2 attached, producing as low as 36 dBA according to our measurements. The lack of any fan guard presents a challenge for systems with many loose wires dangling around inside the case, but this also allows the CNPS8000 to operate more quietly. The fan draws power from a standard 3-pin motherboard fan header that supports RPM monitoring. Behind the fan blades you can see how the heatsink has its heatpipes dispersed widely, two at the center and two at either corner.

Heatsink Top:
With the plastic fan shroud and fan removed from the center of the CNPS8000 heatsink, the layout of this Zalman heatsink becomes very clear. The four 6mm diameter heatpipes overlap the base of the cooler completely so as much heat as possible is absorbed at the source. The heatpipes fan out to transfer the heat to different sections of the 0.3mm thin aluminum fins, most generally the sections which receive the most airflow from the fan itself. Each fin is spaced 1.2mm from the next, for what is a very wide fin pitch. The copper heatpipes are soldered directly to the forged copper base.

Where the fan motor sits, the aluminum fins have been recessed slightly to accommodate.

Heatsink Side A:
From the side we can see the 63mm tall Zalman CNPS8000 heatsink is composed of aluminum fins measuring 25x60mm and 108x40mm on average. The plastic fan shroud is just begging for a LED illuminated fan with that "Zalman" logo cut into it, so we can only assume the company is set to release such a model in the near future. There is about 27mm clearance at either side of the CNPS8000 for adjacent components. Where the 90-degree jut is, the clearance is 35mm.

Heatsink Side B:
The four 6mm copper heatpipes run from the heatsink base plate out towards the sides of the CNPS8000 heatsink, rather than to just evenly spaced increments. Many manufacturers make this mistake, and don't take into account the different fan air pressures when laying out where heatpipes will go.

Heatsink Side C:
The copper base is ~7mm thick, and soldered to each of the four copper heatpipes. In the way that the aluminum fins are assembled, it is actually the copper heatpipes that hold the entire CNPS8000 heatsink together. This concentrates the path heat can take to four very specific lanes. The wide fin spacing almost ensures a relatively transparent heatsink, and little airflow resistance.

Heatsink Base:
The forged copper base measures 37.5mm x 36.5mm where it makes contact with the processor. The copper base has been machined flat, and very smooth. Surface roughness is on the order of ~16 microinches, which is considered excellent. Again, from this angle the layout and cleverness of construction of the Zalman CNPS8000 heatsink are readily apparent. The only question that remains is whether aluminum fins or copper fins will provide the best thermal performance in the long run. I also have to wonder if connecting the aluminum fins to the heatpipes at the base is the best possible solution... it seems that transferring heat towards the tops of the cooling fins would have been preferred, if less uniform.

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Zalman CNPS8000 Low Noise Heatsink Review
 2: — 360° View - Zalman CNPS8000 Low Noise Heatsink
 3:  Acoustic Comparisons and Base Surface Quality
 4:  Final Heatsink Temperature Comparisons

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