With the cooler out of the box it’s easy to see the no nonsense part of the CNPS10X Performa. No plating or anodizing.
They did put a little flair into the mid section of the cooler with a fin detail.
Looking at the top of the cooler we can see the fins are not symmetrical. Even though the fins are not symmetrical the CNPS10X Performa can support two 120mm fans. This is something the CNPS10X Extreme could not do. However, since the CNPS10X Performa only comes with one fan that is how I will be testing it.
The base is copper with a cast aluminum top.
Like every Zalman cooler I have ever used the CNPS10X Performa has an Aluminum top to the base. The lug in the center of the base is used solely for the AMD 739/939/940 camp now; the Intel LGA and AMD AM2/AM3 camps have some leg work for mounting up the cooler. More on this in the next section.
In case you were wondering, the top is not attached to the base in any way other than the screw pulling it against it. The pipes are soldered to the base.
The base was smooth, but was not polished like Zalman coolers in the past.
The CNPS10X Performa comes with a single 120mm fan. This fan is non LED and has an inline resistor pigtail for its low speed mode. Both are not typical of Zalman coolers of days past where you got a rheostat fan control and an LED fan.
The inline resistor is simple. It still allows for the PWM fan function. With the resistor the fan will run in quiet mode with fan speeds between 900 and 1,350 RPM and noise levels of 17 to 24dBA. Without the resistor you have the performance mode of 900 to 2,000 RPM and 17 to 36dBA.