With the CNPS 9900 MAX, Zalman managed to surprise me. These coolers are based on an old concept introduced a long time ago, and thought the 9900 series never left the market, I was not expecting to see a performance level this good.
So yeah, the concept is still working really well. The dilemma anno 2010 though is that some people will dislike the sheer design/looks of the unit. It really is a bit of a freakfest in today's modern PC which are often black, tidy, cable managed and clean looking. Then again, a lot of people can and will like the design as well.
Performance wise things are top notch. Noise levels then, well I find the CNPS 9900 MAX on that area to be acceptable. Quiet is not a word I'd prefer to use with this product, even with the resistor wire in use the fan RPM levels might remain below 1500 RPM, but it's still a somewhat audible cooler yet remains acceptable in that mode. Without that CAP (1500 RMP limitation) once the fan reached 65% RPM and higher, well that's where it just is noisy, too noise for my taste. But as the article has shown, with the resistor in use the performance level is merely one maybe two degrees higher, so leave it in place we feel.
Performance overall is very comparable to the performance of Noctua's NH-D14 coolers. That cooler of course is completely silent though. The CNPS 9900 MAX also has a lot of additional capacity, we like that very much. The result as such is that the cooler becomes even more impressive when you start to overclock. In combo with this fan we overclocked our poor little 2.67 GHz processor to 4.2 GHz @ 1.5 volts. At that 1.5 GHz overclock we started to stress all processor cores 100% once again and we did not even reach 65 Degrees C, that is impressive stuff to witness.
Okay, it's time to end this article. Performance wise you'll achieve nearly perfect heatpipe based cooling which is downright impressive. The noise levels are manageable but even with the fan RPM capped you will be able to hear the cooler, nothing extreme though but it's there. The looks and aesthetics, well you either love or hate the design I guess, there is nothing in-between it.
But overall we feel the Zalman CNPS 9900 MAX is a truly excellent performing cooler, the looks are a matter of taste, but the nice nickle plated coating surely helps out in that aspect. The product can be spotted for roughly 55 EUR/69 USD in the stores as we speak.
Zalman CNPS 9900 DF review 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 ...
Zalman CNPS 12X review The one that everybody remembers and still is going strong where the initial CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention System) CPU cooler, the copper somewhat rounded "butterfly" based coolers. That model has been the biggest success of all their coolers. Anno 2011 Zalman is still going strong on the concept and just when you think they can't change anything on that design they proof that a top notch new cooler based off that old design can still work out well and look gorgeous. The Zalman CNPS 12X comes with Zalmans heat transfer solution by utilizing composite heatpipe technology allowing a Q-Max of roughly 300W, along with a bigger design Zalman claims this cooler to be offering quiet operation and broad compatibility for Intel 2011/1156/1155/1366/775 & AMD AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2.
Zalman CNPS 10X Quiet and Extreme review Zalman recently released a new series of CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention System ) heatpipe based coolers. The new 10X coolers include five nice big heatpipes being cooled by a grotesque120mm fan. The PWM Fan comes with RPM Control which allows you to fine tune the cooler to your specific cooling requirements. And all that in a nice design and not too huge (in dimension) sized cooler. We will put two out of the three to the test namely the CNPS10X Extreme and CNPS10X Quiet. Both coolers impressed us a lot.