A Closer Look
The Zalman CNPS9500 is a totally different kind of cooler. The new fashion of design is heatpipes. CPUs are becoming more and more powerful, and even though die shrinks (smaller process size) reduce the CPU’s size and voltage, the heat concentration rises. Zalman employs six heatpipes – physically 3 heatpipes – that start on one end of the base, rise up to form a figure 8 and end at the other side of the base. This is why the nickname for the cooler is called the Aero Flower. There is a 92mm fan carried over from the 7000 series cooler with 2 green LEDs in the center cooling the fins as they take heat from the heatpipes.
This cooler is silver colored, which is probably nickel plating to distinguish it from the Socket 939 and Socket 775 flavors of the CNPS 9500 LED. Performance is the same for all the coolers, the only difference being the mounting process. The base is polished, something not often seen on even the best coolers. Most bases are well milled, but Zalman takes the extra step to polish the base, ensuring even better contact with the CPU. The mounting mechanism is extremely primitive, but effective. It is a lever, meaning one side of the lever attaches to one end of the mounting bracket, the middle of the lever presses the cooler down, and the other end is manually affixed with force to produce the pressure needed to affix the cooler to the CPU.
Installation is as easy as 1-2-3 for this cooler.
First, make sure the lever is sitting on the small protrusion at the top of the coolers base. Apply thermal paste onto the CPU, a small rice grain drop in the middle of the CPU’s heatspreader works best. Next, place the cooler down and secure one side of the lever carefully. This should take no strength. Next, take the side of the lever with the thumb press and move it down to the mounting bracket. This takes a bit of force as you are applying pressure to the middle of the cooler’s base. When both sides of the lever are secure, you may either use the included FAN MATE 2 fan controller, or plug the cooler’s 92mm fan directly into the motherboard.