Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme review

How much further can air-cooling go?

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Our Verdict

Although one of the best air-coolers on the market we think there are now better options available for chilling your chips

For

  • Good performance
  • Nice looking design
  • Good materials
  • Quiet

Against

  • Expensive for air-cooling
  • Better options exist

Surely we've reached the limits of what standard air-cooling can offer us in terms of CPU chiller, right? Your chips can be fanned down for less money than you'd spend on a night out. So why would you spend around three times as much on what is more of the same in the form of the CPNS 10X Extreme?

The answer that you'll get from Zalman will be entirely focused around performance and silence, both of which the Extreme excels in. Even on the lowest RPM settings of the large 120mm fan, the cooler keeps the idle temperature below the OCZ we had chilling our i7 test rig, and on the highest settings knocks five degrees off the 100 per cent CPU load.

That's some impressive cooling on a fan that you can have running silently. The only problem then is the fact that for only £10 more you can pick up CoolIT's fantastic, Domino A.L.C.

As air-coolers go though the latest Zalman is a solid, feature-rich package. It comes with a generous tube of quality Zalman thermal grease, all the Intel and AMD socket connectors you could wish for and an automatic/manual fan controller that can be locked in place on top of the fan block or routed outside the chassis.

Unfortunately all the twiddly dials and thermal paste in the world can't make up for the price differential.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeCooling Fan/Heatsink
Number of Fans1
Fan Speed1 x 2150 rpm
Brand NameZalman
Connectors4-pin LP4
Application/UsageProcessor
Fan Diameter1 x 120 mm
Fan Bearing TypeDual Ball Bearing
Compatibility

Intel Socket 1156 CPU:

  • Core i7
  • Core i5

Intel Socket 1366 CPU:

  • Core i7

Intel Socket 775 CPU:

  • Core 2 Quad
  • Core 2 Duo
  • Core 2 Extreme
  • Pentium Dual Core
  • Pentium D
  • Pentium 4
  • Celeron D

AMD Socket AM3:

  • Phenom II
  • Athlon II

AMD Socket AM2+:

  • Phenom II
  • Phenom
  • Athlon FX
  • Athlon 64 FX
  • Athlon X2
  • Athlon 64 X2
  • Athlon
  • Athlon 64
  • Sempron

AMD Socket AM2:

  • Athlon FX
  • Athlon 64 FX
  • Athlon X2
  • Athlon 64 X2
  • Athlon
  • Athlon 64
  • Sempron

AMD Socket 940:

  • Dual-Core Opteron
  • Opteron
  • Athlon FX
  • Athlon 64 FX
  • AMD Socket 939:
  • Dual-Core Opteron
  • Opteron
  • Athlon FX
  • Athlon 64 FX
  • Athlon X2
  • Athlon 64 X2

AMD Socket 754:

  • Athlon
  • Athlon 64
  • Sempron
ManufacturerZalman Tech Co., LTD
Product ModelCNPS10X Extreme
Product NameCNPS10X Extreme CPU Cooler
Manufacturer Part NumberCNPS10XEXTREME
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.zalman.com
Weight (Approximate)920 g