Not long ago Zalman shocked everyone by breaking the mold on its traditional cooler design with the CNPS-10X Extreme Series. Adding to their growing arsenal of solutions comes the CNPS-10X Quiet; which hopes to satisfy those who need silence but still demand performance.
Long known for their circular horizontal coolers and downdraft series Zalman has recently changed its strategy in the market. Opting for a more traditional approach; they have started on the path that so many others have done to this day, the tower cooler. At first glance it looks as though not much has changed since we first laid eyes on the CNPS-10X Extreme. However the difference between the two is night and day. The first major revision in the design is the density and number of aluminum fins that dominate this tower.
With the emphasis on quiet computing for this model Zalman shed many fins in the process allowing for a less restrictive flow. Also gone from the Extreme model is the innovative fan control assembly and shroud that sat on top of the cooler. In its place is a simple PWM fan that is capable of speeds from 700rpm to 1400rpm.
Looking at the actual contact surface we see something that is deserving of our attention. Zalman has gone ahead and lapped the the base of this new cooler to a near mirror finish. To the avid user of aftermarket cooling this feature is just as important as any other when we are making our choice. It is nice to see Zalman taking this into serious consideration.
Looking past the base we see the normal fair of 5 connected heat pipes going up and through the fin array. The CNPS-10X measures in at 135 x 100 x 160mm and weighs in at 750g; this is no lightweight for sure. Compatibility always being a concern need not apply to this design. Using Zalmans standard bolt through retention mechanism this cooler is compatible with Intel’s LGA-1366/1156/775 and AMD’s AM3/AM2+/AM2/939 sockets. This multitude of flexibility really shines allowing users to change platforms at ease and not worry about purchasing a new cooler as well.
Although it remains to be seen what the performance will be on this latest 10 Series cooler, it looks like a strong contender in a market that remains saturated with products. It does however edge forward a bit on older designs with the inclusion of LGA-1156 socket support. Giving those looking forward to Lynnfield a clear option. North American Pricing and availability were not available at the time of this posting.