Zalman is a Korean company that is well known in the computer enthusiast community for producing silent and effective cooling devices. They have concentrated on reducing computer noise levels, and recently have been developing products to deal with the extra strain of overclocking. A large surface area is required to achieve this and still maintain low noise levels. Today we are looking at two Zalman products, the all copper 7000Cu and its lower-end brother, the 7000AlCu; which is an aluminum cooler with copper insert.
Previous Zalman products have shown decent cooling efficiency and innovative designs, and the new batch of series 7000 coolers continues this trend. The design reflects ThermalTake’s Orb series, but with much thinner fins and more of them. The copper cooler also weighs in very heavy at 773 grams: 72% heavier than Intel’s recommended 450 grams. In comparison, the AlCu model weighs in under Intel’s recommendation at a safe 445 grams. The core of P4s are protected from crushing by a copper plating (doubling as a heat spreader), but still one should take care when moving a computer fixed with such a beast. Zalman even warns in their manual that they bear no responsibility for any damage to your CPU, especially when overclocking. Those concerned about the weight issue should look at the much lighter CNPS7000AlCu.
The positive side of such a large cooler is its surface area, which reaches 3170 square centimeters. For comparison, the surface area of the still huge CNPS5700D-Cu radiator is 1270 sq cm. Both coolers have 130 fins (92 on each side). The AlCu has 23 aluminum fins, followed by 19 copper fins, and followed again by 23 more aluminum fins. The copper on both heatsinks is not plated in any way, so oxidation may occur in time. The heatsinks are designed for both Pentium 4s and the upcoming Athlon Hammer processors. The surface is super-smooth, and each fin has been embossed with the Zalman logo.
Standard fans have a “wind shadow” under their hub, and Zalman takes advantage of their fin design to maximize cooling. Since the fan is not surrounded by a square of plastic, air is pulled in from the sides and above, so the emphasis on air circulation is on the fins instead of the hub, which receives less air because of the “wind shield”.