Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler Review

by AkG     |     January 27, 2010

Zalman CNPS10X Flex CPU Cooler Review

Manufacturer’s Product Page: Click Here
Part Number: CNPS10X Flex
Price: Click here to compare prices
Tekwiki: Zalman CNPS10X Flex - TechWiki

Fairly recently we took a long hard look at our very first Zalman cooler: the CNPS10X Extreme within the LGA 1366 Cooler Roundup. While it was a very good product with some down right amazing potential, we decried the lack of a real backplate, its less than optimal plastic top retention ring and all round failure to reach its true potential. It seems Zalman not only listened but also agreed with our (and many other’s) complaints. Today we are going to look at a different variant of the CNPS10X CPU cooler family: the CNPS10X Flex.

The CNPS10X Flex (or “Flex” as we are going to call it in this review) is based on the same foundation as the Extreme but does have some very noticeable tweaks, which include a real 1366/1156 backplate. However, the most noticeable tweak is not the backplate but the much more flexible fan mounting options including the possibility of mounting two 120mm fans. This was another factor which did kept the Extreme version from reaching its true potential. Of course, all this tweaking does come at a price; albeit not a monetary one. The price you pay for going with the Flex over the Extreme version of the CNPS10X is the lack of an included fan and the omission of the Extreme’s remote speed controller.

Speaking of monetary investments, the Flex is available throughout North America and compared to the CNPS10X Extreme, goes for a much more reasonable $42 CAD (we recently saw it on sale for as little as $36). Even though we really did like the Extreme’s fan, the ability to run dual fans and do so without breaking the $100 barrier does sound like a reasonable trade off.

To be honest, we are itching to see how good this cooler really is and see if it is as good as it appears to be. While not the most expensive version in the CNPS10X lineup, the Flex certainly looks like the most versatile.


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