Zalman CNPS 9500 Heatsink Review

zalman-9500

Performance

The temperature in my test area was a steady 18.3°c, which is what I like in my work area.  I’m a fat guy, so I like it chilly.  What is your problem anyway?  The fact of the matter is that the Zalman beat the living snot out of the stock cooler, dropping it 13 degrees on idle and 21 degrees on full load.  This is a significant improvement over stock, and could mean the difference between your CPU running smoothly or overheating and shutting down your entire computer.  I also tested the Zalman coolers on low and high RPMs, thanks to the included FanMate.

heatsink Idle Load
Zalman 9500 (low) 29 42
Zalman 9500 (high) 27 38
Zalman 9700 (low) 27 41
Zalman 9700 (high) 25 38
Intel X6800 Retail 40 59
Tuniq Tower 120 26 38
Scythe Katana 31 45

In conclusion, I found the Zalman 9500 a very sweet surprise, especially in light of some of the crap that is thrown onto the heatsink shelf in our PC shops.  It looks good, it’s damned efficient, and is a very easy install even under the tightest conditions given its standing-flower design.  And with the option of controlling the speed via the included controller, what we have here is a very nice heatsink with a lot of opportunity to get the most out of your PC.

REPORT CARD : Zalman CNPS 9500 LED CPU Cooler
category rating comments
Quality 5 Smooth base, beautiful copper and fan
Innovation 5 A heatpipe cooler that’s all copper and doesn’t look ugly
Installation 3 Easy on Socket 478… more difficult for everyone else.
Performance 4 Gets near 9700 levels, which is close to watercooling
Value 4 Nearly same performance as 9700NT (reviewed here) for $20 cheaper
FINAL VERDICT: 4 out of 5 stars
Don is an avid gamer, writer, screen writer,part time game maker, film director, and horror film fanatic. You can check out his book "How to Survive Zombies and Other Disasters" on Amazon.