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Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu
Page 1 - Introduction and Installation
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: November 04, 2003
Category: Cooling
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Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu

Zalman has been in the business of keeping computer users' systems quiet and cool for nearly five years now. I have had the chance to review a Zalman CNPS (Computer Noise Prevention Systems) cooler in the past. I was fairly impressed with the CNPS6000-Cu at the time. However, that was more than a year ago. Since then Zalman has produced a new line of CNPS coolers, a line that qualified as a finalist for best of Comdex 2002. A heatsink that achieves the status of finalist at Comdex must be a very special heatsink. So, one must then beg the question, what makes the new Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu so special?

To start off the analysis of this cooler, I took a gander at the specifications on Zalman's website. The majority of the specifications have been reproduced below. For the most complete listing check out Zalman's official page.

Zalman CNPS7000A-AlCu
Compatible CPUs Intel socket478 Pentium 4 and Celeron
AMD socket462 CPUs
AMD socket754 Athlon 64, socket940 Athlon 64 FX / Opteron (Single / Dual)
Dimensions 109(L) x 109(W) x 62(H) mm
Dissipation Area 3170 cm²
Base Materials Pure Aluminum and Copper
Weight 445 g
Thermal Resistance Silent Mode: 0.29 °C/W
Normal Mode: 0.22 °C/W
Fan Speed Silent Mode: 1350 RPM ±10%
Normal Mode: 2400 RPM ±10%
Fan Noise Level Silent Mode: 20.0 dB
Normal Mode: 25.0 dB
Fan Bearing Type Dual Ball Bearing

The notable pieces of information in the specifications are the very quiet fan operation and the dimensions. As the dimensions show, the cooler is nearly the size of a 120mm fan. It is 11mm short for 120mm, to be exact. Also notable is the compatibility. The CNSP7000A line of coolers is compatible with every modern CPU released by the two largest x86 chip manufacturers. This is nice for the end user who plans on upgrading or switching systems; it does come at the cost of easy installation. That issue will be described shortly.

Picturo Del Boxo
Picturo Del Boxo
The Goods Inside
The Goods Inside

The actual heatsink fin construction is similar to the older CNPS6000 series, with the obvious exception of the shape and orientation. The AlCu model is made of a copper and aluminum mix, whereas the Cu model is just copper.

Fins Close Up
Fins Close Up
Different Angle
Different Angle

Included with the heatsink is an instruction manual, a fan speed controller, a Zalman case badge, thick paper washers, and a multitude of screws and brackets to enable mounting on all CPUs they list in the specifications. The CNPS7000A series is not compatible with all motherboards. If you plan on buying a CNPS7000A series cooler I strongly recommend that you check if your motherboard is on Zalman's list (socket 462 list). You will notice on that page that some motherboards require that the "clip must be cut off to avoid interference". This means that if you do not cut the extra part of the clip off, you will not be able to install the heatsink.

As far as instructions are concerned, I found the included manual very clear and without error. It should be easy to follow and prove very helpful during the installation process.

Shiny Bottom
Shiny Bottom
Slightly Different View
Slightly Different View

Installation was a major hassle. Having an AMD setup, I had to remove the motherboard from the case and mount two brackets before I could install the heatsink. Secondly, the motherboard I tested the CNPS7000A-AlCu on, the EPoX 8RDA, was in the 'had to be cut' category. I am not going to dock Zalman for this problem because it is listed on their list as having to be modified. I did not want to cut the clip, so I forced it onto the motherboard without doing so. In order to do this, I had to bend the capacitors in ways they should never be bent. I also scraped some insulation off of a capacitor. Basically, what I am trying to get at here is the point that you should not try to do what I did. I had ulterior motives to keeping the clip intact, so I avoided cutting. If your system fits into Zalman's category of needing to be cut, cut it or you will probably break something.

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