Zalman CNPS9700 NT CPU Cooler

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Product(s): Zalman CNPS9700 NT CPU Cooler
Provided By: Zalman

Real-Time Price:

Introduction: 

In the world of aftermarket CPU coolers, Zalman is one of the best known names thanks to their line of coolers, and they are one of the pioneers. If you asked most enthusiasts to name 3 cooling companies, Zalman most likely would be in the list.

It's been a while since we've had a Zalman CPU cooler on the bench, and it will be very interesting to see how it can compare to some of the newer offerings from other cooling companies, let's see if the CNPS9700 NT can keep up....

 

First Impressions:

As soon as you look at the box of the CNPS9700 NT you think, "Wow, that's a big cooler". That was my first impression, and once you get the cooler out of the box your almost expecting pretty high-end performance thanks to its large size, and the cooler just looks heavy-duty.

My next thought after opening the box was "Sweet, they included a whole bottle of Zalman ZM-STG1 thermal paste!". Now this might not be the typical reaction for most consumers, but if your anything like me and swapping CPU's/Motherboards/Coolers around very often your always running short of thermal paste, and that small microscopic single-application tube of thermal paste that comes with the cooler just doesn't cut it, after the first installation you're out of luck if you need to reapply the thermal paste. While this might not be a deal-breaker when deciding which CPU cooler to buy, if you do go with this cooler you'll be very appreciative when you need to reapply thermal paste.

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Box Front
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Box Back

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Front View
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Back View


Ok, so the CNPS9700 NT looks very similar to the CNPS9700 LED that we took a look at quite a while ago (Reviewed Here), in fact it's pretty much identical, except the 9700 NT is black in color and glows green when turned on, while the 9700 LED is a brass color and glows blue when turned on. One other interesting feature is the 9700NT also features a PWM controlled fan, so you're not going to have to break out the little Zalman fan controller to turn your fan up or down like you did with the CNPS9700 LED, while for some a PWM-controlled fan might not be a big deal, for most its very handy and makes it so you can install the cooler, close the side of you case, and forget about your cooler.

Well, let's move onto a closer look at the cooler...

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Bottom
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Accessories

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Heatpipes
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Top View

Well that's what the Zalman CNPS9700 NT looks like; let's move onto the testing...

 


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Specifications taken from Zalman.co.kr

 

Features:

  • Compatible with all single and dual core CPUs for Intel Socket 775 and AMD Sockets AM2/754/939/940.
  • Automatic Fan Speed Control feature included in the Ultra Quiet 110mm PWM(Pulse Width Modulation) enabled fan.
  • 100% copper heatsink with aerodynamically optimized “tunnel” design for maximum cooling efficiency.
  • Innovative, patented, “figure 8” heatpipe design for a heat transfer capacity of up to six heatpipes with the use of just three.
  • 0.2mm ultra-slim fins for minimized weight and reduced airflow resistance.
  • Super Thermal Grease (ZM-STG1) included.

 

Compatible CPU's
Socket CPU Automatic Fan Control Notes
Intel 775 Celeron D Supports all speeds  
Pentium 4
Pentium D
Core 2 Duo
AMD AM2 Sempron Supports all speeds AMD sockets
require Stock
Retention Frame
Athlon 64
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64 FX
754 Sempron Supports all speeds
Athlon 64
939 Athlon 64 Supports all speeds
Athlon 64 X2
Athlon 64 FX
Opteron
Dual-Core Opteron
940 Athlon 64 FX Supports all speeds
Opteron
Dual-Core Opteron
FHS
Dimensions 90(L) x 124(W) x 142(H) mm
Weight Heatsink: 690g, Total (including fan): 764g
Base Material Pure Copper & Aluminum
Dissipation Area 5,490cm2
Fan
Bearing Type 2 Ball-Bearing
Speed Silent Mode 1,250rpm ± 30 % Normal Mode 2,800rpm ± 10 %
Noise Level Silent Mode 19.5dBA ± 10% Normal Mode 35dBA ± 10%
Control Method PWM Control, Auto Restart


Common Components

  • One (1) CNPS9700 NT
  • One (1) Thermal Grease (ZM-STG1)
  • One (1) User’s Manual

 

Components for Intel Socket 775

  • One (1) Clip (S-Type)
  • Four (4) Bolts (for installing the cooler)
  • Four (4) Clip Support Fixing Bolts for Socket 775
  • One (1) Clip Support for Socket 775
  • One (1) Backplate for Socket 775

 

Component for AMD Socket AM2/754/939/940

  • One (1) Clip for AMD Sockets
  • One (1) Clip Lever for AMD Sockets

 

 

 

Zalman CNPS9700 NT Testing and Installation:

Test Setup:

Our testing of CPU coolers is pretty straight forward; we test them at stock clock speeds at both idle and full load speeds. For the overclocking results I took temperatures at idle and full load. All temperatures were taken after the processor had been running for 12 hours on each test to ensure a consistent result.

I have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp. CoreTemp takes a temperature from the CPU core, and allows for much more uniform results across different motherboard and CPU platforms. These temperatures may seem higher than other temperature recordings; because chances are they are taking temperature recordings using the diode underneath the CPU, which isn't able to be as accurate, and can really fluctuate between different brands of motherboards.

For stock tests the Intel Core 2 Duo CPU ran at stock speeds of 1.86Ghz, for Overclocked tests the CPU was running at 2.13Ghz.

For all tests I used Arctic Cooling MX-1 High-Performance Thermal Compound.

 

Test System:

 


Installation:


Installation of the CNPS9700 NT on a Intel S775 is going to require the removal of the motherboard, good news if you're using an AMD socket, you're not going to have to remove anything.

In our testing we used the Intel Core 2 Duo 6300, so we were required to remove the motherboard and install the provided mounting brackets. Installing the brackets take about 10 minutes including removing your board, and are pretty straight forward, nothing too complicated.

After installing the brackets, the CNPS9700 NT attached with the provided S775 mounting clips very easily, and you are done.

I've got no complaints with the installation, it all went very smoothly and attaches very easily to your motherboard.

 

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Front Bracket
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Back Bracket

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Mounting Clip
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Mounting Clip

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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Mounted
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Zalman CNPS9700 NT - Turned On

So there we go, the CNPS9700 NT is all installed and glowing green. Now we are ready to move onto the testing....

 

Testing:

So without wasting any more time, here is the results of the Zalman CNPS9700 NT compared to a whole handful of other coolers we have tested on this very same test machine. The first chart is a condensed chart with a few coolers the CNPS9700 NT is competing against, and the second chart is a full chart of all the coolers we have tested (Warning...Huge Size!)

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View

 

So there we go, the CNPS9700 NT was easily able to keep up with some of the best Air-Coolers we've tested. At idle speeds it was able to be as cool as the best, but fell back a couple degrees on the full load scores. Still, this cooler is pretty much top's when comparing to the others and is a great choice for someone looking for a quiet cooler that performs very well.

 

I've included another chart below, with all the coolers we've tested in the past year or so, it's massive in size, but is interesting to see how the CNPS9700 NT compares to some other cooling solutions

 

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Click on Chart for Larger View (Warning..Large Size)

 

 

Zalman CNPS9700 NT CPU Cooler:

It's been a while since I've had a Zalman CPU cooler on the bench, and the CNPS9700 NT did not disappoint. The CNPS9700 NT was able to compete with any air-cooler we have tested in the past, all while remaining nice and quiet. While it may not have been the most silent cooler we've ever tested, once you get the side cover of your case back on, you're not going to hear this cooler over the other noise of your system, and with some good case airflow you're never going to have to worry about your CPU temperatures again. Thanks to the PWM fan, if you've got a little bit of airflow going through your case, the CNPS9700 NT will throttle itself way down to approximately 1500 RPM, and you'll never hear anything.

Installation was quite simple (although it does require motherboard removal for S775), and the accessories included (Full bottle of Zalman Thermal Paste) were greatly appreciated.

My only minor complaint is going to be price, the CNPS9700 NT can retail in stores in the ~$80 dollar range, which makes is somewhat pricey, but then again, if you want a top-quality high-performance CPU cooler, you're going to have to spend a little extra. If you watch your local retailer or online retailer for a sale you can probable snag this cooler for ~$60 dollars, which at that price makes it very hard to beat.

At the end of the day I can very easily give the Zalman CNPS9700 NT our "Top Pick" award, it's a high-quality cooler that performs very good, all while being nice and quiet, and that makes it a great choice if your looking for a high-end air cooler.

 

Pros:

  • Great Performance
  • Includes Full Bottle of Thermal Paste
  • Nice and Quiet
  • PWM Controlled Fan

 

Cons:

  • None

 

  BCCRating


TopPick

I'd like to thank Zalman for sending us the CNPS9700 NT. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.