The Zalman CNPS5X Performa is an affordable, yet cutting edge CPU cooler designed to silently cool 100 Watt CPUs and less. Since most current desktop CPUs are under this heat level, this makes the CNPS5X ideal for quiet cooling of today's CPUs. The Zalman CNPS5X Performa is a compact tower cooling design including three heatpipes, aluminum fins, and an ultra quiet 92mm fluid shield bearing (FSB) fan.
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Box arrived and it was the first thing I opened, came ready to mount, pulled off my stock cooler which became gummed up with dust very quickly, this cooler is much taller and the fins are wider apart, add to that a larger fan and it's an easy job to see why this is better, everything went together very nicely, the fan isn't interchangeable, and you can't add an extra one to the other side, but for $10 (after rebate) I can't complain, I've paid more for just a fan, let alone one attached to a hunk of aluminium and copper. Included fan isn't too loud. all in all a solid buy, even at full price.
I bought 2 of these at $17.99--one for an HTPC and one for my regular rig, whose stock CPU fan sounded like a plane taking off under regular load.
A month in I'm pretty happy with the performance and stability, particularly on older systems without much control over them. The fans don't come with a dedicated fan controller switch, something that normally comes on a heatsink this good--but then again a heatsink this good costs upwards of $40-50, never mind 18 bucks. Still, you'll get the most of it if you have a built-in fan controller in your case--though even at full speed under full load, it's a big improvement over the stock fan. The heatsink itself is weighty (but not so heavy I fear about the stress it puts on the mounting; there are some real BEASTS out there these days), and feels well made.
This is my second fan from Zalman, I also have a chassis from them. Always high quality products. I was a bit taken aback by the exposed copper heat pipes and previously the aluminum heat sink pad was built all the way around it creating a perfectly flat side to mount to the CPU but it's well machines and perfectly flat and when you use the thermal paste no problems with voids. CPU runs 32-35 on idle and only 45 under load (i7-4770). highly recommended!
Overall good performance for the price. Keeps my CPU nice and cool and I'm only running it at 1700 RPM. Seems to make out around 2800 RPM when the CPU is under heavy load. I was previously using a stock AMD cooler that came with my Phenom II X4 965BE and that thing would get very loud under heavy load. This cooler stays nice and quiet.
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