Zalman CNPS8700 CPU Cooler

Posted by on Thursday, July 2, 2009 - 2:20am

overviewZalman was one of the first to incorporate an open face fan and heatsink configuration, and the CNPS8700 shows that this company hasn't been resting on its laurels, but improving on an already proven fan favorite. This low-profile heatsink uses Zalman's popular “flower” style cooler that incorporates a speed-controlled blue LED fan as well as twin heat pipes that are inner woven through the middle of the copper fins.

Introduction

Over the past several years we've seen new methodologies and theories come out concerning air CPU coolers. Air cooling has gone from simple aluminum heatsinks with noisy fan combinations to more complex copper fin configurations, copper heat pipes, and high-speed fans with built-in speed controllers. All of these features have contributed to decreasing CPU core temperatures.

Zalman was one of the first to incorporate an open face fan and heatsink configuration, and the CNPS8700 shows that this company hasn't been resting on its laurels, but improving on an already proven fan favorite. This low-profile heatsink uses Zalman's popular “flower” style cooler that incorporates a speed-controlled blue LED fan as well as twin heat pipes that are inner woven through the middle of the copper fins.

Will this combination bring us better results than its successors or will Zalman need to go back to the drawing board?

 

Package and Contents

The front panel of the retail box uses a clear window to show off the top of the CNPS8700. It gives consumers an eye's on view of what the product looks like so they can make a more educated decision about purchasing this item. The advertising scheme is also pretty attractive and clearly states what the item is and what socket types is supports.

The back panel of the box goes more in depth into the product's features and specifications. There's also another small, clear window that really gives people an excellent look at the mirror-finish copper base. Many times, consumers will purchase a heatsink without seeing how the base was machined. This could cause problems later, because the base might need to be lapped if it was machined improperly.

The CNPS8700 is secured between two plastic moldings that are snapped together.

The heatsink comes with all the mounting brackets needed to support Intel socket 775 and AMD socket AM2/754/939/940. Zalman also included the Fan Mate 2, a case badge, and a three-pin connector to connect the heatsink to the fan controller.

Features

1. Compatible with all single, dual, and quad core CPUs for Intel socket 775 and AMD socket AM2/754/939/940.

2. Compatible with Slim Tower / Low Profile Home Theatre PC Enclosures.

3. 100% pure copper heatsink with aerodynamically optimized ¡°tunnel¡± design for high performance cooling.

4. Patented curved heatpipe design for heat transfer performance of up to 4 heatpipes using just 2.

5. Ultra-thin 0.2mm fins for minimized weight and significantly reduced airflow resistance.

6. The 110mm fan inside the heatsink cools not only the CPU, but the VGA card, Northbridge, FET, and RAM as well.

7. Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode.

8. The adjustable fan speed controller (Fan Mate 2) enables control of noise and fan performance.

Technical

Heatsink

Dimensions: 120(L) X 123(W) X 67(H) mm

Weight; 475g

Base Material: Pure Copper

Dissipation Area: 3,300cm2

Fan

Bearing Type 2 Ball-Bearing

Speed(1) 1,150rpm ¡¾ 10% ~ 2,300rpm ¡¾ 10%

Noise Level(2) 17.5dBA ¡¾ 10% ~ 33dBA ¡¾ 10%

Note: The fan operates at 2,550rpm (35.5dBA) if directly connected to the motherboard's power connector without the use of Fan Mate 2.

FAN Speed Controller (FAN MATE 2)

Dimensions: 70(L) x 26(W) x 26(H)mm

Weight: 20g

Output Voltage: 5V ~ 11V ¡¾ 2%

Allowable Power: 6W or lower

Connector: 3-Pin

 

Closer Look

The CNPS8700 CPU Cooler uses a 110mm fan inside the heatsink to pull heat away from the processor, but also the surrounding hardware components like the graphics card, Northbridge chip, and system memory.

The bottom of the CNPS8700 showcases the smooth copper base as well as gives our readers an excellent view of how the copper heat pipes are woven through the copper fins. If you didn't notice, I said copper for every feature on this heatsink because everything on it is copper. =)

The copper base has a mirror finish and should not need any lapping to get maximum performance and cooling. This photo also shows how the two heat pipes connect to the copper base to help pull heat away from the core.

The copper fins measure out at .2mm to decrease airflow resistance and help take advantage of the gigantic 110mm fan and dual heat pipes that are threaded through each fin.

Zalman has patented this heat pipe design and claims that this configuration works better than four heat pipes. The patents have been registered in Korea, but other patents are pending in over 20 nations around the world including the United States, Europe, and Japan.

 

Installation

To evaluate the CNPS8700's overall cooling capabilities, we installed this heatsink into our mid-range socket LGA775 test system.

The first item to install was the special socket 775 back plate. This involved four screws, plastic clip support, and a plastic back plate. The back plate itself didn't have any sticky material to help secure it to the motherboard, which might have made installation a little easier.

After installing the back plate, we had to overlay a plastic clip support on the top of the motherboard. This clip support is necessary so we can secure the CNPS8700 heatsink to the motherboard and over the processor. We secured the clip support to the back plate and motherboard via four included screws.

The last item to install was the clipping system and heatsink. The clip itself needed to be threaded through the interior of the CNPS8700 and then attached to the clip support. This was actually relatively easy, and was accomplished in a matter of minutes.

After 15 minutes, we were able to secure the CNPS8700 on the motherboard. I don't really have much to say about this because it was probably one of the easiest installations we've accomplished on a heatsink.

Here's one final shot of the heatsink and motherboard installed in our test rig.

 

Performance Testing

To evaluate the CNPS8700's overall cooling performance, we compared this heatsink against Zalman's CNPS7500 heatsink. Our testing method included recording idle temperatures and well as load temperatures. Our load temps were taken after torturing our Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor for one hour with Johnny Lee's Orthos 2004. This program uses 100% of the resources for both cores on the E6600. All the temperature readings were taken using Core Temp software.

Here are the results we received from our testing:

Testing results analysis

Our testing concluded that the CNPS8700 was able to withstand the heat dissipated by our E6600 during idle and load conditions. The overall results are not earth-shattering, but are definitely very solid and should be more than adequate if any of our readers wanted to use it to keep their overclocked CPU cool.

Conclusion

We'd like to thank Zalman for providing the CNPS8700 heatsink for our review today. We've been reviewing Zalman products for several years now, and the one thing you can count on with this company is consistency in their product line as well as sticking with concepts that work.

Several years ago we reviewed a similar Zalman heatsink with similar characteristics, and the quality in construction and craftsmanship of both products are identical. It's amazing to be able to say that about a company, but we pride ourselves in being truthful about the good and bad about a manufacturer.

The CNPS8700 didn't excite us very much with its exterior characteristics because we've seen this design in several of their heatsinks. Having said that, I think incorporating heatpipes into their standard design has really improved this heatsink's overall performance from previous versions. Including the Fan Mate 2 was also a nice touch and gives the user the option to adjust fan speed according to their individual needs. The fan's blue LEDs should also be a definite crowd pleaser, especially in the modding and gaming communities. Overall, we have to give the Zalman CNPS8700 our “Recommended” award for overall performance during testing, superior craftsmanship and design, and price.

Pros

- Excellent craftsmanship and design

- Dual heatpipes weaved through fins

- All copper material

- Excellent cooling properties

Cons

- A tad pricey, but definitely worth it

 

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