As an enthusiast, when you hear the name Zalman you, depending on age, may have a good idea what the cooler will look like without even seeing it. Since the late 90’s Zalman has been putting out quality coolers that not only perform well but have a look unlike the rest of the pack. Until here recently their tower coolers are all barrel shaped and the down draft coolers are round. Their coolers are almost always copper, with aluminum fins and a zinc coated copper here and there. Last year Zalman released the CNPS 10X Extreme CPU Cooler. It was in a more traditional square upright tower cooler design, and in Zalman fashion had flare to its design. Today we get to take a look at the newest version of the CNPS10X line, the CNPS10X Performa. Performa, short for performance, makes this version of the CNPS10X the no nonsense, no frills, get the job done cooler. Don’t get me wrong, Zalman still found a place to stick in some flare. It’s just not to the levels in the previous versions. Today we will be comparing it to our stable of coolers and see how this little $45 cooler stacks up against the likes of the Thermalright Venomous X and the Noctua NH-D14, but before we get too far let’s take a quick look at the specs of the CNPS10X Performa.
The cooler comes packed different than I have seen Zalman coolers in days past. There is no window in the packing showing off the cooler inside. The box does show images and specifications for the CNPS10X Performa.
Peeking inside there is another difference to packing of days past. The cooler is held nicely in a foam sleeve in the box. In the past I have seen the coolers packed in plastic clamshell. I like the change; the cooler is better protected, so there is less chance of bent fins.