Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme CPU Cooler Review

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Test System & Temperature Results

Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme

Here are the parts that make up our Intel Core i5-2500K LGA1155 test system:

Component Brand/Model Pricing
Processor Intel Core i5-2500K Price
Motherboard Biostar TPX67E (B3)
Memory Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600 8GB Price
Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Price
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB Price
Power Supply Ultra X3 800W
Chassis NZXT Switch 810 – Black Price
Operating System Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Price

Here are the GPU-Z details of the system that shows the settings of our system:

Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme

 

Test Procedure:

The system will be left to idle for 30 minutes and the temperature of each core will be recorded. It will then to 5 passes on the Very High setting with the Intel Burn Test tool and the temperatures will be recorded again. The test room is kept at a constant 72º/22.2ºC. The CPU will be run at its base clock of 3.3GHz and with an overclock of 4.0GHz. Temps on each core will be monitored with CPUID’s HW Monitor and the temps of the 4 cores will be averaged to get the final reading. The thermal paste used on all coolers is Arctic Silver’s Alumina and the CPU and cooler will be cleaned with Arctic Silver’s 2-part Arcti-Clean solution.

CPU Coolers tested:

  • Intel retail box cooler
  • Corsair H50
  • Zalman CNPS 8900 Extreme

Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme

At stock speeds you can see the Zalman CNPS 8900 Extreme performs very well. It’s just a few degrees shy of the Corsair H50 and a full 24ºC better than Intel’s stock cooling solution. The PWM function of the CNPS 8900 Extreme keeps the fan speeds in check automatically which is a nice touch. At idle the fan is near silent and under full load at stock speeds it’s noticeable but not crazy noisy.

Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme

With an overclock of 4.0GHz the cooler is perfectly able to keep up with the i5-2500K. The gap between it and the H50 widened slightly to 5.5ºC under full load. Notice the Intel stock cooler wasn’t even able to handle the heat at these speeds and the CPU kept throttling down to reduce temps. Under full load at these temps the fan on the Zalman CNPS 8900 Extreme is loud to say the least. The H50 stock fan is loud but the Zalman unit makes the Corsair fan sound like a hummingbird.

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