Zalman 10X Performa review

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Final words and conclusion

Final words and conclusion

The Zalman Performa is a very interesting product. The performance we observed can be considered and positioned in the lower segment of high-end performance of heatpipe cooler.  Value for money wise, this is one of the better products your money can get you. It's a fine balance of very adequate performance versus a really acceptable noise level. So the two most important factors are definitely being dealt with right.

The one quirk we noticed is the mounting system, I found it to be consisting out of too many parts and it will definitely take you some time to get installed/assembled. That definitely could have been better in our opinion. We see this with a lot of heatpipe coolers though,  it just is not an easy task to design a proper retention mechanism that is user friendly as well. Speaking of retention design. Initially our temperatures where too high, after removing and inspecting the entire cooling unit again I noticed that I had forgotten to apply the double sided sticky tape on the backplate bracket. Inserting it created like half a mm thicker space and thus tension on the screws. That shaved of like 9 degrees C of the overall temperature almost instantly. So the mounting design is not optimal if it's dependency is that marginal. We feel that if we could have put a little more tension on the screws / backplate then the temperatures would be even better. Hopefully that is something Zalman will take note of for their future products. A little more tensions would have helped out and would have brought the performance towards the level of the 10X Extreme.

So, overall we see really good performance, but if you want to it can be extyremely good ... There is a second trick, you can remove the resistor wire from the fan cabling, increasing fan RPM and thus performance. By doing so you'll notice the 10X Performa leveling down to the same performance level as say a Noctua NH-D14. But in all fairness, noise levels will rise. Your choice of course, but choices are always good to have.

guru3d-value_150px.jpgAnyway, there is plenty of performance to play around with. Currently you can purchase the 10X Performa for roughly 35 EUR in the EU and 45 USD in the USA. That's just a really fair price for a rather nice cooler that remains really silent. As such we can wholeheartedly recommend the CNPS 10X Performa as one of the best affordable CPU coolers on the market today worth of our value award.

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