The unique construction of the CNPS3100 is shown in this picture of the center portion. In the manufacturing process, 50 individual fins are tightly binded together with a vice, then smoothly milled on the base. The result as we've seen is quite impressive.
But wait, where is the fan?
There is no fan on the heatsink, and the heatsink works by not having a fan mounted to the heatsink.... so how does the CNPS3100 keep cool? The answer is a 80mm fan which comes in the CNPS3100 kit. Rather than attaching a 60mm fan directly onto the heatsink, Zalman use a unique method and attach the fan to the case with a metal bracket. The end result is the CNPS3100 can use a lower RPM, larger 80x80x25mm fan to move more air over the heatsink.
Also included in with the heatsink are a small syringe of thermal grease, a set of screws to attach the fan to the case, and the stainless steel clip used to hold the CNPS3100 in place.
We tried the heatsink for fit on both a socket based motherboard, and via a slocket on a slot 1 mother board. In each case there was no problem with fit. Since the fan mounts above the heatsink there are never really any issues with it being in the way (unless say you are using a mini-tower which has the powersupply positioned above the cpu). The heatsink itself is 65mm in height, so as long as your RAM slots are not too close to the CPU there shouldn't be a problem with fit when using a socket 370 to slot 1 adapter.
With the fan mounted in place above the heatsink there remains about 1cm worth of spacing for good air flow about all the fins. Depending on the case you use, and the motherboard in your system the fan may be directly above the heatsink, or off to one side. Our test setup was just about on center, but so long as the fan is at least partially over the heatsink Zalman claim the any offset will have a minor impact.
Now that you've seen how this heatsink is put together, and how it fits on your cpu, it's about time we showed you some results from our testing. After all if the CNPS3100 can't perform with the best heatsinks out there it really won't do anyone much good will it? Let's go and check out how the CNPS3100 scored on the Frosty Synthetic Temperature Test platform against a variety of heatsinks you know...
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