Date: May 16th, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman USA
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
As you may be aware, my sometime collaborator Aloysius T. Bonedaddy (we just call him Mr. Bones) has a penchant for all things shiny. He really likes the base of the 9500, as the mirror finish allows him to admire his snappy, albeit limited, wardrobe. The cooler is quite large and has a unique arrangement of three coiled heatpipes to move heat away from the CPU.
Each heatpipe is clamped to the base and coils up through all ninety radial fins and back to the base. The “wind tunnel” design and shape of the fins promise very good heat dissipation as the flow generated by the 92mm fan moves through the center of the cooler. As you can see, the dead-spot behind the hub of the fan will have little effect on this cooler, as the pipes and fins are located in the direct path of the fan's airflow.
For optimum cooling, the 9500 should be oriented in such a way as to direct the warm air exiting the rear of the cooler toward an exhaust fan at the rear of the case. This can be accomplished by making use of the various installation hardware. Unlike some vertical coolers, the 9500 will also generate some turbulence around the socket to cool components in this area as well. Depending on the motherboard, this can be a very desirable feature.
The Fan Mate 2 (1) allows the user to regulate fan speed (and noise) via the control pot indicated by the red arrow. Using the self-adhesive Velcro pad (2), the user can mount the Fan Mate virtually anywhere, even outside the case, thanks to the extra long cable (3).
Zalman also includes a sticker (4) should the user wish to display it on their case.
The installation hardware is very complete and, in the interest of brevity, I won't go into much detail about it here. Suffice it to say that Zalman seems to have thought of all contingencies, even supporting those boards with plastic push-pins on the HSF retention bracket. I'm very impressed by the broad compatibility of this cooler. Let's get the CNPS9500 LED installed and see how this big bad boy performs.