Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler - CNPS10X Flex Installation and Testing

Article Index
Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler
Zalman CNPS10X Flex Specifications
CNPS10X Flex Installation and Testing
Final Thoughts and Conclusion


Testing and Installation:

Installation is pretty easy for this heatsink, only thing to note is that you'll probably want to install the heatsink first and then add the fans, if you try to add the fans to the heatsink and then install it you'll run into some issues. As you can see in the pictures below we installed this cooler with 2 fans for testing as well as tested it with a single fan.


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Zalman CNPS10X Flex - Installed
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Zalman CNPS10X Flex - Back Bracket


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Zalman CNPS10X Flex - 2 Fans Installed
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Zalman CNPS10X Flex - 2 Fans Installed


There we go, we've got the heatsink installed and the fans added, let's move onto the testing section to see how this cooler performs (as well as seeing the difference from one fan to two fans).

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Zalman CNPS10X Flex - Fan Installed
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Zalman CNPS10X Flex - Heatsink Installed




Test Setup:

For Intel (LGA1336) testing we will be using the Intel Core i7 920 CPU, which produces 130 Watts of heat. This could be considered a mid-range processor, and while most Dual-Core processors produce ~50-80 Watts of heat, this should give you a pretty accurate estimate of what type of temperatures a cooler will provide you with.

For both AMD and Intel testing, we have taken all temperatures using CoreTemp v.0.99.4. 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 all tests we are using the Highspeed PC Top Deck Tech Station , and we are using no additional cooling in our testing. All temperatures are recorded in a controlled environment that is set to 23 degrees Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) to provide fair results between coolers.

For all tests we use Arctic Cooling MX-2 High-Performance Thermal Compound (Paste), We use the same thermal paste in all our testing so that we can keep our results consistent. If a cooler is shipped with thermal paste pre-applied, it will be removed and we will re-apply it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 to provide fair results.

Intel Test System:


Here comes the testing results....


Click on Chart for Larger View


With one fan installed we found the performance to be pretty decent, in the next chart you can see how much performance you gain by adding a second fan.

Click on Chart for Larger View


Ok, so adding a second fan definitely had an effect on performance, especially while running at full load (we saw a reduction of 4+ degrees). While running at idle the performance increase was minimal. Most extreme users would probably end up running 2 fans for maximum performance, however one fan is more than adequate for the average user.

In the next chart below we've compared the results of our testing above with some of the other coolers we've tested in recent months on our Intel i7 test system.

Click on Chart for Larger View

So the performance increase over stock cooling with the Zalman CNPS10X Flex is significant (at full load we saw a reduction of 13 degrees). When comparing the Zalman CNPS10X Flex with some of these other coolers we found the performance to be pretty good. Thanks to its ability to run larger fans that are very quiet, the Zalman CNPS10X Flex is able to achieve these results while remaining very quiet.