Zalman CNPS 9700 NT CPU Heatsink



The cooler was tested with an Intel E6600 Core 2 CPU with Asus’ P5W motherboard (the best motherboard for Core 2 Duo in my opinion). The comptuer was left to run idle for 20 minutes before an idle reading was taken, and load was simulated using two instances of SuperPi (one copy running on each core). To test the high and low fan speed we bypassed the automatic fan speed control on the motherboard and used Zalman’s included Noise Silencer module, which is basically a rheostat that adjusts the fan’s voltage.

In quiet mode, the 110mm fan runs between 1200rpm, and can be revved up to 2800 rpm, which does produce a slight hum, but not extremely noisy.

Zalman CNPS9700 NT Performance Chart
heatsink load idle
9700 NT (high) 37.5 24
9700 NT (low) 40 26
ThermalTake Max Orb 41 27
Intel Stock 52 40

The numbers speak for themselves: the Zalman CNPS9700 NT was able to beat my previous favorite heatsink, the Zalman CNPS-7000 and every other heatsink I could throw at it. The sheer size of this heatsink, coupled with its effective copper construction and triple heatpipes, not to mention the huge 110mm fan make this the most efficient coolers you can buy. Although Zalman includes a Noise Silencer module in every CNPS heatsink, it is not needed on the newest Intel platform, as the chipset sets the fan’s speed according to the CPU’s die temperature.

The CNPS9700 NT is Zalman’s new flagship product, and with good reason. Not only is the the most efficient air-cooled heatsink you can buy, but is has an elegant design, is sturdy, and downright beautiful. Nearly every minor design flaw with the CNPS line has been addressed. It’s nickel coating not only makes it attractive, but makes the exterior extremely sleek and smooth. Zalman’s new flagship dominates the virtual heatsink battlefield and crushes all in its path.

category rating comments
Quality 5 The product is perfectly machined, with a mirror contact surface, sturdy heatpipes, and a flawless nickel coating.
Innovation 5 Zalman’s designs have always been very efficient, and the new design makes this unit very sturdy. The fan mounting mechanism is definately unique.
Performance 5 One of the best performing air coolers you can get. Period.
Installation 4 The sheer size of this beast gets in the way when installing, and you will likely have to remove your motherboard to install the mounting brace.
Value 4 At nearly $70 this is one of the most expensive air coolers you can buy, but it will work on nearly every CPU and will certainly last several lifetimes.
FINAL VERDICT: 5 out of 5 stars
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