Zalman CNPS9500 AT LGA775 HSF - Test Setup and Installation

Article Index
Zalman CNPS9500 AT LGA775 HSF
Test Setup and Installation
Cooler Performance and Conclusion

Test Rig:

As I mentioned earlier, we had to build a new test rig as good as possible with as little money as possible.  This lead us down the Intel 805 Dual Core road as you can see below in our test system specs.

  • Intel 805 Dual Core CPU
  • Gigabyte 8N-SLI Motherboard
  • 2GB (2x1024MB) Crucial Ballistix PC5300 - DDR2-667
  • HP dvd740 DVD±RW
  • Hitachi 120GB SATA II Hard Drive
  • MSI 6600GT PCIe 128MB GPU
  • Enermax 431W PSU
  • Windows XP Professional with all available updates.
  • nForce 7.15 drivers
  • ForceWare 84.21 drivers

Thanks to the help of our sponsors and gear we had lying around, we managed to put together this rig for around $250CDN.  Not a bad second test rig for the money.


Because we were putting this rig together for the first time, the motherboard was free from the case, and didn't require removal.  If you're board is already installed, it will require removal in order to get the back plate installed.

Zalman 9500AT - Back Plate
 Zalman 9500AT - Back Plate


Zalman 9500AT - Retention Frame
 Zalman 9500AT - Retention Frame

Once you've got the back plate positioned nicely, it's time to turn the board over and install the top mounting frame.  Because of the lever on the socket, it is very important to install the top frame correctly.  Pictured above is the correct way to install the frame.  Notice the "notch" out of the frame on the bottom right.  This will allow the lever to be released and allow you to remove your CPU without removing the mounting frame.

Once you've got the retention frame and back plate screwed together, it's as simple as applying some thermal paste then screwing the HSF down to the frame.  Zalman recommends tightening the screws until they bottom out and are tight.  This is designed to give enough pressure to make things happen.

Below are some pictures of the CNPS9500 AT mounted on our 8N-SLI motherboard.

Zalman 9500AT - Mounted Side
 Zalman 9500AT - Mounted Side

Zalman 9500AT - Mounted - Back
 Zalman 9500AT - Mounted - Back

Zalman 9500AT - Mounted Front
 Zalman 9500AT - Mounted Front

As you can see, there is plenty of room around this HSF.  The design of the cooler puts the wider part above the board and out of the way of the Northbridge HSF and memory modules.  It's important to keep in mind that Zalman wants you to keep the exhaust end of the HSF pointed toward a rear case fan.  This cooler can remove a lot of heat and it needs somewhere to go.

Let's take a look on the last page as we fire up the rig and run some performance numbers.