Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Bling - 9500AM2 Performance and Conclusion

Article Index
Zalman CNPS9500 AM2 Bling
Closer Look, Test System and Installation
9500AM2 Performance and Conclusion

CNPS9500 AM2 In Action
CNPS9500 AM2 In Action

Stock Performance:

We tested this cooler when clocked at stock speeds and when overclocking our CPU.  We ran the fan at its lowest setting and on the maximum setting on the Zalman CNPS9500 AM2.  The stock cooler was plugged into the motherboard and ran on high speed during the tests.  The results below show what the stock cooler can do at its best, and compare the Zalman cooler at both low and high speeds.

Stock Speed Temps


 

This cooler is an improvement at when running the CPU at idle, but doesn't blow us away as much as the 12C temperature difference when running full load when the fan is turned up.  At high speed, the cooler makes audible noise, but it is not very loud at all.  In fact it is virtually silent up until about 9v or 75% power.

Overclocked Performance:

Just to be clear, we overclocked the CPU - not the cooler for this next round of tests.  We overclocked to 2.5GHz on this processor and bumped up the voltage to generate more heat.  You can see that there in fact is quite a bit of heat generated from this CPU.  Also keep in mind that we are recording temperatures using Core Temp - a utility which monitors temperatures of both CPU cores.  These temperatures are reported higher than other temperature programs which monitor CPU temperature differently.  These results are meant to be compared only with each other as we put the stock cooler against our first AM2 cooler.

Overclocked Temps

We are extremely impressed with how well this cooler performed when the heat was turned up.  With ambient temperature being equal, this cooler just blew the stock cooler away when we turned up the CPU heat.  Even at low fan speed we are seeing about 17C between the stock cooler and the Zalman CNPS9500 AM2.  I retested and checked ambient temperature to make sure these results are accurate - and I assure you they are.  Wow.

Conclusion:

If you have an AMD AM2 system and want to improve your cooling, Zalman makes some great products.  If you are planning on sticking with AM2 for a while and want a CPU cooling with good looks, excellent performance and low noise, you can't do much better than the CNPS9500AM2 cooler from Zalman.  However, if you are thinking about swapping platforms and you don't need a cooler with a green LED fan, the CNPS9500 LED offers cross-platform support and should work on AM2 CPU's as well.

If good looks are your concern though, this cooler has what it takes to be a winner.  The entire cooler features a mirror finish and looks great.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance and low noise.
  • Very nice finish.
  • FANMATE2 allows control of fan speed.
  • No motherboard removal required.

Cons:

  • FANMATE2 controller introduces more wires to your case.
  • Restricted to AMD CPUs.

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
10/10
Performance:
10/10
Software Pack:
n/a
Stability:
10/10
Features:
9/10
Value:
9/10
Total Score 9.6

I'd like to thank ZalmanUSA for dropping this cooler our way for a review.  We are very impressed with the performance and looks of this cooler on our AM2 system and expect better overclocks than with the stock cooling for sure.

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