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[Guru3D] Zalman CNPS 12X review

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
SOURCE
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn of Guru3D 
Zalman over the years has been hard at work placing some very popular CPU coolers on the market. The one that everybody remembers and still is going strong where the initial CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention System) CPU cooler, the copper somewhat rounded "butterfly" based coolers. That model has been the biggest success of all their coolers. Anno 2011 Zalman is still going strong on the concept, though changed and styled different. And just when you think they can't change anything on that design they proof that a top notch new cooler based off that old design can still work out well and look gorgeous.

As such Zalman decided to reintroduce the CNPS 12X model, an updated model hinting to that older design yet now with three fans. The minute you'll see it you know you are looking at high-performance cooling (within the air based cooling segment of course).

The Zalman CNPS 12X comes with Zalman’s heat transfer solution by utilizing ‘composite heatpipe’ technology allowing a Q-Max of roughly 300W, along with a bigger design Zalman claims this cooler to be offering quiet operation and broad compatibility for Intel 2011/1156/1155/1366/775 & AMD AM3+/AM3/AM2+/AM2.

The product measures 151(L) x 132(W) x 154(H)mm and weighs 1000 grams. It has that rather abnormal silhouette, with two circular fin arrays, on one side you'll spot a fan, but also in-between it. Fans with an 850 to 1200 RPM (rotations per minute) and a sound output of just 24dBA.

Aesthetics wise the 12X got a little TLC as well, the base plate, the heatpipes and the fins themselves come with a nice black nickel plating.

Again, Intel LGA 2011, LHA 775, LGA 1155/1156, LGA 1366 CPUs are supported, as well as socket 754, 939, AM, AM2+ and AM3+ chips from AMD. So today we put that CNPS X12 to the test and the results surprised me. It really really good product. Have a look at it and then let's head onwards to the next page shall we?

This test makes the CNPS12x look much better, but the seed of doubt has already been planted for me. There need to be lots more good reviews for me to look at it again. :/
 
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post #2 of 29
Did they mention the fact that it doesn't work with 95% of RAM configurations out there? Pretty much any G.skill, any Mushkin, and most Corsair will not work with this heatsink.
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post #3 of 29
The comparison charts are only @ 3.2ghz, so i'd say this may even be a biased review in Zalmans favor. Wheres the 4ghz test chart vs all the other coolers? Who spends 90$ on a cooler to stay near stock speeds?

From the unbiased stuff i've seen so far, this thing is no where near a D14 under an extreme load, and it's incompatible with MOST ram nowadays; unacceptable IMO.

Looks good though. Meh
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post #4 of 29
Here's a real review:http://youtu.be/Ik4jxk07RMo
The video is long but the point Tom makes about the RAM clearance is vitally important to anyone considering this cooler.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCloudFuneral;15598535 
Did they mention the fact that it doesn't work with 95% of RAM configurations out there? Pretty much any G.skill, any Mushkin, and most Corsair will not work with this heatsink.
It will work with corsair lowprofile vengeance.
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post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCloudFuneral;15598535 
Did they mention the fact that it doesn't work with 95% of RAM configurations out there? Pretty much any G.skill, any Mushkin, and most Corsair will not work with this heatsink.

The way they set it in the review made the air only go up (in standard towers) and not over the RAM and mobo heatsinks like most coolers. I think if you did it like that you would be fine...but then your motherboard wouldn't be cooled. I really wanted to like this cooler; it's why I posted the review. All of them have said at least a few bad things about it so far, though. :/
 
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post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCloudFuneral;15598535 
Did they mention the fact that it doesn't work with 95% of RAM configurations out there? Pretty much any G.skill, any Mushkin, and most Corsair will not work with this heatsink.

It will work with all RAM. Just not the obnoxiously large heat-spreaders. biggrin.gif
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post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GameBoy;15598895 
It will work with all RAM. Just not the obnoxiously large heat-spreaders. biggrin.gif
It won't work with a lot of RAM. "normal" RAM just barely clears it. RAM with any heatspreaders at all barely clears it. You have to remember that the spinning fan is what makes contact with the RAM in this scenario not the Heatsink materials.
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post #8 of 29
So basically, they took two of their GPU/CPU heatsinks and stuck them together.

Is the zalman cnps 9900 max really that good?
    
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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by GameBoy;15598895 
It will work with all RAM. Just not the obnoxiously large heat-spreaders. biggrin.gif

Also Mushkin Radioactive isn't what I would consider an obnoxiously tall heatspreader and it doesn't fit. So... Zalman made a fail is all. It happensdozer.
mushkin_radioactive.jpg
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen86;15598984 
So basically, they took two of their GPU/CPU heatsinks and stuck them together.

Is the zalman cnps 9900 max really that good?

I have a 9900 Max and I can attest to it not being all that good. I mean it's decent. It can support some solid OC on my Phenom but it's really nothing to write home about.
    
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