Zalman CNPS6000-Cu Cooler

Review

posted 5/7/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
Earlier I wrote about steps in silencing a computer using one of Zalman’s many products, specifically the power supply. Well today I have another replacement for another part that generates a lot of noise. While it looks like a copper flower, the CNPS6000-Cu heat sink and fan assembly is one massive silent cooling unit.



The CNPS6000-Cu is made to keep your CPU cool while producing as little noise as possible. The unique heatsink design, which is made of all copper, helps dissipate heat while the fan assembly provides the cool air that’s needed to cool down the heat sink. You may ask why the fan is separate from the heat sink. Well for starters you can actually use any fan you want. If you don’t like the speed of the included fan, you can easily change it out with another fan of your choice. Secondly, the vibration of the fan is not transferred over to the heat sink and to the CPU.

Installation was very simple. After removing my old CoolerMaster cooper cooler I proceeded to put the thermal paste that’s included onto the CPU. After spreading it out evenly I placed the large heat sink carefully on top. The unit is VERY heavy and it’s actually 162g over the maximum weight specified by AMD so you have to be very careful with installation and moving the computer once installed. Anyways, after placing the heat sink on top, the retention clip was first latched onto one side of the board. There’s a hole on the other side of the retention clip and included in the package is a very nice tool that fits into the hole and makes attaching the other side of the clip with ease. Removal of the clip is also a snap with the tool. More companies should look into this, as I never had an easier time installing a clip. My only gripe is that it only latches onto one slot and not all three.

The fan bracket hooks onto the top three slots and has elongated slots to help position the fan vertically. The attachment point of the fan to the bracket can be loosened by the thumbscrew and moved horizontally. This makes placement of the fan easy and following the instructions I was able to correctly place the fan above the heat sink. There’s a fan controller that the fan plugs into to adjust the speed. The dial allows you to gradually increase or decrease the rotation speed of the fan.





All in all, installation took me about ten minutes. It really wasn’t that hard and I’ve had more trouble installing traditional heat sink units. Zalman’s done a good job in designing an easy to install heat sink and fan unit. While it looks intimidating, installing the CNPS6000-Cu was a breeze.



So is it silent? You better believe it is. Before my office sounded like a GeforceFX Ultra but now it’s eerily quiet when my computer is on. I’ve been playing Command and Conquer: Generals for a solid two months now and it was the first time I heard ambient sound coming from my Z-680 speakers like the water sounds and birds chirping. I never knew that there were these sounds in the game and it wasn’t until I installed the unit and reduced my fan noise. Complaints of my computer being a jet engine from my wife working in the same room has now disappeared.

But how does it perform. Well here’s the graph of temperatures comparing the Coolermaster, silent mode of the heat sink, and normal mode of the heatsink. For idle, I took the temperature after the computer was on for about 3 hours. To test load, I ran 3DMark 03 for a few hours and then read the motherboard temperature reading.



As you can see the temperature difference between the Coolermaster and the normal mode are negligible. At silent mode, it does get a little bit hotter during idle but still tolerable. The main selling point of the Zalman though is the low noise operation. It does cool the CPU at a very low decibel rate. My case has one intake fan and one rear fan but they aren’t high power fans for sure. I’m pretty sure I can knock a few more degrees if I installed higher quality fans as I am using the generic ones that came with the case.

It does do the job as advertised. The Zalman CNPS6000-Cu cooler cools your AMD chip with little or no noise. The design of the heatsink does prevent it from installing in some computer cases and the weight will force you to carefully move your computer so as to not damage the CPU. Also I would've liked to have the fan control externally placed. The price isn’t too bad coming in at around $40. If you do want to silence your computer though and you’re not a hard-core overclocker, the Zalman cooler will do it for you. For you PVR builders like me, this cooler will work out well provided you have the case for it.





B+
Heavy and large, the heat sink does the job of sufficently cooling your computer without generating a lot of noise. Just be careful if you ever move your computer once installed though. Zalman's cooler works as advertised and will significantly silence your computer.