It’s clear that the Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu is a very effective cooler. While not in the same league as the Thermalright SP-94 in terms of cooling performance, it nonetheless trounces the stock cooler in normal mode, and does a great job of cooling our P4 test system in its overclocked state and in an admittedly very warm environment. Just as importantly, in silent mode, it still beats the stock cooler, and accomplishes the feat in almost complete silence.
The only down side to this cooler is the spotty compatibility with AMD systems. Most of the problem comes from the fact that the processor socket often sits very high on the motherboard in AMD systems, which means that the cooler can interfere with the power supply in some case/motherboard combination. Given the large 109mm diameter of the unit, this sort of problem is practically unavoidable. However, another issue is that a considerable number of the AMD boards on Zalman’s compatibility list require trimming the mounting bracket of the cooler in order to clear motherboard capacitors, and it’s always painful taking a Dremel tool or file to a brand new piece of hardware. Perhaps future revisions will include modifications to the clip to eliminate this hassle.
Over all, if your requirements include quiet operation, and you don’t plan on any extreme overclocking endeavors, you can hardly go wrong by purchasing a Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu. Zalman combines great looks, great performance, near silent operation, and superior workmanship into a package that’s hard to pass up. You can get your very own CNPS7000A-AlCu at Case-Mod.com, whom we’d like to thank for providing our review sample.
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