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Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink Review
Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink Review
Abstract: As a low noise heatsink the Zalman CNPS10X Quiet maintains good thermal levels on Frosty's AMD/Intel test platforms, and at full tilt it qualifies as a performance heatsink.

 Manufacturer  Category  Published  Author 
Zalman   Cooling / Heatsinks   Feb 17, 2010   Max Page  

Home > Reviews > Page: 360° View - Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink Review

360° View - Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink

Information on Frostytech's test methodology is available here.

A single 120mm fan ships with the Zalman CNPS10X Quiet heatsink and it spins at 700-1400RPM. Power is supplied by a 3-pin motherboard fan header. Zalman's Fan Mate2 can be used to manually adjust fan speeds if desired. Five 6mm copper heatpipes are packed closely at the base and extend up the full 110mm high aluminum cooling fin section. Mounting brackets fit over the diecast-aluminum hub on top of the base. The middle 15 aluminum fins are anodized an nice electric blue, while the remaining 30 fins are natural aluminum (our preferred finish).

Each aluminum fin on the CNPS10X Quiet measures 0.3mm thick, fins are spaced 2.0mm apart. There is 37mm clearance at the base of the heatsink for adjacent motherboard components. The copper base block measures 3-6mm thick, the entire base 11mm. With the 120mm fan removed you can see how five 6mm diameter copper heatpipes are positioned towards the outside of the cooling fins in a staggered arrangement.

The top-most fin is nickel plated, all others are bare aluminum or anodized blue. The highly polished surface of the copper base measures 40x37mm in area, and is a minimum 3mm thick. All five heatpipes are soldered in place to the form-fitting copper base plate to decrease thermal joint resistance and improve conduction. A small 8mm deep plenum exists behind the fan motor.

Base Finish and Flatness

Flipping a heatsink over to inspect the business end is often a simple indicator of overall cooler quality. More practically speaking, a heatsink is in many ways only as effective as the contact it makes with the processor - the flatter and smoother the better. Base finish is one of the criteria that Frostytech measure in the course of evaluating heatsinks, and it involves two distinct aspects. Surface Finish is the first; calculated with the aid of Surface Roughness Comparator that has a cross section of common machine surface finishes and their numerical surface roughness equivalents in microinches. The second is Surface Flatness. This is tested with an engineers straight edge or proven flat surface, in two axis.

The base of the Zalman CNPS10X Quiet heatsink is perfectly flat in both axis. The copper base itself has a glossy surface finish which is very smooth. Surface roughness is at or better than ~8 microinches, which is considered excellent.

Next up, sound level measurements and then AMD and Intel thermal test results!

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Table of Contents:

 1:  Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink Review
 2: — 360° View - Zalman CNPS10X Quiet Heatsink Review
 3:  Acoustic Sample and Heatsink Sound Levels
 4:  AMD K8 Heatsink Temperature Comparisons
 5:  Intel LGA775 Heatsink Temperature Comparison

List all Zalman heat sinks that Frostytech tested?

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