Zalman CNPS 9900 DF review -
Final words and conclusion
Final words and conclusion
The CNPS 9900 series cooler are a proven concept that have shown amazing stings throughout the years. The product however is getting a little over developed in the sense that there are a dozen of available model if this series, and honestly you will not notice huge differences in cooling performance.
So once again the baseline performance is excellent. The true benefit however needs to be found in the total cooling capacity, we can always see that really well once we increase voltages and start to overclock. Even at 4200 MHz with 1.5V on the CPU (which is way too much Voltage) under full stress this cooler manages to keep the CPU cores at roughly 70 Degrees C. That's good, plain and simple.
Much like fine wine the aged design still works wonders. I say aged as these coolers are based on that old concept introduced a long time ago.
The dilemma anno 2012 though is that some people will dislike the sheer design/looks of the unit. I like the design, and the nickel plating really makes it a cool looking cool. but sure some of you will find it to be big and chunky alright. Hey taste differs. but performance wise things remain solid.
Noise levels then, well I find the CNPS 9900 DF on that area to be average. Quiet is not a word I'd use with this product. In the system BIOS default configuration with PWM controlled by the SBIOS the fans reach 60~70% RPM,pretty fast and that's exactly the threshold where you'll start hearing the cooler but even then, not at all bad or something. But as the article has shown I can not call this product silent either.
Cooling performance overall is very in the high-end segment of heatpipe coolers, a small chunk behind say Noctua's NH-D14 coolers. That cooler of course is completely silent though. We should add though that the Zalman CNPS 9900 DF has a lot of additional capacity, we like that very much as that is interesting for overclockers.
Wrapping it up
The cooling performance is just fine really but we do recommend you to use the fan RPM capped to keep the product silent. The looks and aesthetics, well you either love or hate the design I guess, there is nothing in-between it. The mounting system is a little unpleasant to work with, especially mounting the four bolts into place can be a little annoying, these remain minor issues though.
The Zalman CNPS 9900 DF is a nice performing heat-pipe based cooler, the looks are a matter of taste, the nice nickle plated coating we feel finishes the design. The one thing that is a bit of a bummer is the price-tag though, the product can be found for roughly 75 EUR/80 USD in the stores as we speak. So while the CNPS 9900 DF is not revolutionary in any sense, it is at the very least as good as its predecessors, and they all have been nice quality products.
We review the Zalman CNPS 9900 DF CPU cooler with Dual Fan. It's 2012 and Zalman is going strong on the concept and just when you think they can't change anything on that design ...
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