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Zalman CNPS Roundup

Written By:
Date Posted: October 7, 2002

With the AMD CPU becoming ever more popular, and Intel's CPU's also increasing their heat output, CPU cooling has reached it's peak in competitiveness between companies. The most common method utilized in today's computers is active cooling - cooling with air - but with more airflow, there is more noise. The (based in Korea) has presented an onslaught of exotic-looking coolers that all conform to the CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention System) and try to make your computer quieter. But will changing a fan or two here and there really work?

The CNPS3100-Plus

The first of the two coolers that Zalman sent me is the CNPS3100-Plus. It uses their trademark "flower" design - the theory behind this heatsink is that the large amount of surface area will cause heat dissipation to be quicker than that of a traditional copper heatsink. Due to the unique shape of the heatsink, there is no fan mounted to it. Zalman has a 92mm fan and a fan bracket which is installed on top of the metal brackets for your PCI and AGP cards. This solution (in my opinion) was a very interesting way to get a fan on top of the cooler. The bottom is finished and shined to perfection.

Part Number: ZM6548BC-Cu
HSF Dimensions: Approximately 105x52x65 mm
Dissipation Area: 2000cm2
Base Material: Pure Copper
Mass: 296 g

The fan runs at about 1600 RPMs in silent mode, and 2800 RPMs in normal mode. The different modes are dictated by plugging the molex connector for the fan into the "silent" connector which Zalman supplies (simply has a resistor to lower the voltage.) The normal mode is achieved by directly plugging the 92 mm fan into the power supply.

This allows you to slow down the fan to reduce noise

The Fan and Bracket for the CNPS3100-Plus

Each mode has it's own capabilities - for AMD processors:

In silent mode , all Durons are supported, as well as T-Birds up to 1.4Ghz, AthlonXP's up to 1800+ and AthlonXP T-bred up to 2600+.

In normal mode, all Durons, T-Birds, and XP's up to and over 2600+ are supported.

Included in the package is the 92 mm fan with bracket, as well as the clip with it's mate (more on this convenient design later) as well as the RC56 (fan speed reduction) and thermal grease.

The Zalman clip allows for easy clip installation without those cut motherboard leads

The clip is special in that I have never seen any with the clip mate capability. There is a small hole on the top of the clip which allows you to insert a "clip mate" and use that to push down the clip, thereby eliminating the possibility of slipping and cutting a small lead. This design worked quite well and Zalman should be commended for looking out for the user's motherboard.

Next Page - Zalman CNPS5100-Cu


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