Zalman 9300AT

Search form

Posted by on Saturday, July 4, 2009 - 3:38am

overviewOver the years we have seen the 7000, 8000 and the now current 9000 series. What we are going to review today is not the beginning of the 1xxxx series but a miniture 9xxx called the CNPS9300AT. The little brother boasts some numbers that are more impressive than the bigger brother. Smaller but faster fan. And on load a little louder. Now that we got the numbers out of the way time to see how this little booger does on the test bench.


Introduction

Case, cooling or power supplies neither can be mentioned without Zalman being named in the conversation. Zalman has beem a part of all three beginning in 1999. Of the three things I mentioned one characteristic of all three is silence. Zalman states their main goal is quietness. Not only is quietness a main concern of Zalman but so is quality. We have reviewed quite a few items from Zalman including cases like the GT1000 and power supplies like the ZM1000 all have being top notch. If you have purchased a Zalman product before chances are it was priced just slightly higher than equilvalent components. Zalman takes all of time before releasing a product to market with a lot of R&D. This is even stated in their company statement.

One thing Zalman is known for more than anything else is their flower style coolers. The style has been around for ages, ever since the days when I was a young salesman in a local department store back in early 2000. Besides the orb style and the now popular tower style the flower design is the only other style that has any type of real performance numbers.

Over the years we have seen the 7000, 8000 and the now current 9000 series. What we are going to review today is not the beginning of the 1xxxx series but a miniture 9xxx called the CNPS9300AT. The little brother boasts some numbers that are more impressive than the bigger brother. Smaller but faster fan. And on load a little louder. Now that we got the numbers out of the way time to see how this little booger does on the test bench.

Words from Zalman

Innovative, patented and curved heatpipe design for a heat transfer capacity of up to four heatpipes with the use of just two.

 

Packaging and contents

The packaging for the 9300AT is identical to all the other 9x00 coolers. The front has a small window that lets the user to see the cooler before they purchase it. The back of the box shows off the details of the cooler.

Specifications

FHS
 
Dimensions 61.35(L) x 108(W) x 132.5(H) mm
Weight 407g
Base Material Pure Copper & Pure Aluminum
Dissipation Area 2,583㎠
 
Fan
 
Bearing Type Superflo
Speed 1,500rpm ± 15 % ~ 2,400rpm ± 10 %
Noise Level(1) 20.0dBA ~ 30.0dBA ± 10%
Control Method PWM Control, Auto Restart
Life Expectancy 50,000 hours

Features

  Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode.
 
  Compatible with all Intel Socket 775 based Single, Dual, and Quad Core CPUs, and all AMD Socket AM2+, AM2, 754, 939, 940 based Single, Dual, and Quad Core CPUs.
 
  100% copper heatsink with aerodynamically optimized “tunnel” design for maximum cooling efficiency.
 
  Patented “figure 8” heatpipe design for cooling performance of up to 4heatpipes with the use of just 2.
 
  Low-noise 92mm PWM fan for automatic control of the fan’s RPM according to the CPU’s temperature.

 

Closer look

Now if you have ever seen a Zalman flower designed cooler before then you will know exactly what I will be talking about in the next few paragraphs. After taking the cooler from the box you can immediately tell the difference in weight between the bigger models and this one. The 9300AT weighs about 120 grams less than the older sibling. With the smaller size difference this cooler looks to be aimed at the HTPC crowd as well as the quiet PC freak.

Zalman made the unit to fit all the AMD sockets from the 754 to the up-to-date AM2+ and the Intel 775 socket. And like the 9500AT the 9300AT is constructed of copper fins and heat pipes for better heat dissipation. The circle of fins are mated to the base by two heat pipes that criss-cross just below the fan.

The top portion of the base is made of aluminum which does not come in contact with the processor at all. Its primary task is to provide a place for the mounting bracket to mount. You can't have a Zalman product without their logo being imbedded in it.

Another important part of the 9300AT is the fan. The fans spin between 1500 and 2400 RPM and controlled by the PWN function. This is a little faster than the bigger brother but that is to be agiven as this is a 93mm fan which is required to spin faster to move the same amount of air as say a 120mm fan. Along with a smaller fan also comes an increase in noise. Granted the max 30 dBA is still quiet enough to put it in the quiet cooler category.

Here we have the base of the cooler. Every Zalman cooler I have ever tested has had the shiniest bases I have ever seen. And this cooler is no exception. We all know that a shiny base does not equal performance.

 

Prepping and installing

There isn't much to the assembling and mounting of the 9300AT to the motherboard. It requires you to remove the motherboard from the case if it is installed already. The absolute first thing that has to be done is to mate the two moutning brackets to the motherboard.Next apply your choice of thermal compound and then screw down the cooler to the socket using the proper bar and screws. Here we have a few pictures of the cooler being mounted.

Testing

We have upgraded our test bench which means all other cooling reviews will not be recognized in future reviews. We will try to go back and retest some of the coolers on new test equipment to give the future reviews more substance.

Testing Experiment

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6

Intel Core2Duo E8400 @ 4150 @ 1.296v

Crucial Ballistix PC6400

Microsoft Windows XP Pro

Sapphire Ultimate 3870

Maxtor Diamond 10 100GB

HP DVD740 drive

Coolermaster TX750

Noctua cooling fans for ram and chipset cooling

Not only does the equipment change so does the way we test. Gone are the way of running stability programs or games to generate a load on the CPU. We decided that the best way to generate a load is to also help a cause and there is not better way than folding. So from now on we will use Folding@home for system loading and report from there. Reported temperatures will be taken from Real Temp and voltages taking from CPU-Z.

Results

I hate to say we don't have a larger Zalman to put up against the 9300AT. But we do have some really close competitors of the larger unit to put up against the 9300AT. And it did fare pretty well as it was right in range of the Scythe Ninja 2 that we reviewed this week. And it blew past the Intel stock cooler with the copper base.

 

Conclusion

Was the Zalman CNPS9300AT able to climb the cooling mountain and knock off the reigning king. No, But then again it was not meant to be. The 9300AT did its job providing a quiet cooling solution at the same time providing excellent performance. The cooler maintain our overclocked Core2Duo E8400 at a level that was well acceptable and did it while folding.

What I like also about the 9300AT is its looks. The styling the cooler has is a much needed change to the tower design that is popping up everywhere. The only real down side to the 9300AT is its asking price. Google shows the cooler selling for $50. This is in the range of better performing but larger coolers. So, I see more diehard Zalman fans buying the cooler than others. Hopefully, the asking price is due to the cooler being new to market and only a few stores having it.

We would like to thank Zalman for sending over the cooler. The performance was excellent.

Pros
Good performance
Smaller than alot of coolers on the market
Lighter
No need to buy a fan
Flat base
Quiet

Cons
Price
Must remove motherboard

 

Category: