In this review FrostyTech will be testing out the successor to the Zalman CNPS7000A-Cu heatsink, the CNPS7000B-Cu. While the names may have changed very little, it's clear by looking at the heatsinks that the company has made a few minor revisions here and there, and added in some extra hardware for wider processor platform compatibility. In other words, rather than manufacturer three different versions of the CNPS7000B-Cu; one for the Socket A/462 AMD AthlonXP, another for the socket 478 Intel Pentium 4, and finally one more for the socket 754/939/940 AMD Athlon64, Zalman have made the CNPS7000B-Cu compatible with all three sockets.
The Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu is assembled from dozens of individual copper fins, joined together at the center by compressing the metal under great pressure and bolting the entire assembly in place. This is Zalman's famed 'flower' heatsink technology, and it offers a unique way of constructing coolers with very direct thermal pathways from the heat source. After all, each thin copper fin makes direct contact with the processor - there are no base plates or heat spreaders used on the Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu heatsink. At the center of all of this a 90x90x25 mm fan which spins at 2600RPM and generates only a moderate amount of noise.
While abundant amounts of copper have always been looked upon favorably, the heavy metal does push the CNPS7000B-Cu past the 750 gram mark. At the time of this review, socket AM2 & 775 was not supported by the CNPS7000B-Cu heatsink.
Continuing on in typical Zalman tradition, the CNPS7000B-Cu is a low noise heatsink that can be made even quieter with the use of the included FanMate 2 fan speed controller. When used, the Fanmate 2 drops the speed of the integrated 90mm fan impeller from 2400RPM to about 1350RPM, making it barely audible.
The CNPS7000B-Cu heatsink comes with mounting brackets for the AthlonXP (with holes in the motherboard), Pentium 4, and Athlon64 processors. This means if you're thinking of upgrading from a Pentium4 to an Athlon64 processor you won't have to buy a whole new heatsink when you do.
As the Zalman CNPS7000B-Cu is both a large and heavy copper heatsink, Zalman has developed a strong retention system for the 755gram heatsink. Spring clips are out, and in their place are two 7mm wide aluminum bars for socket 478 processors, and bolt-in-place solutions for Socket A/462 and Socket 754/939/940 Athlon64 processors.
The two aluminum bars slide into the clip spaces in a standard Pentium 4 heatsink retention frame, after which the entire heatsink is dropped into the socket and screwed down in place. An integrated flat spring mechanism holds the heatsink down and applies the correct mounting pressure to the processor core.
With the Socket 754/939/940 system, two brass nipples screw into the standard metal support plate on every Athlon64 motherboard. The spring clip on the CNPS7000B-Cu then firmly screws into the brass mounting posts. Rounding out the list of included items are two aluminum standoffs for AthlonXP (socket A/462) CUPs, a couple screws and paper washers to protect the motherboard PCB.
Zalman FanMate 2
Zalman bundle in a manual fan speed controller with just about every heatsink it sells these days. The Fanmate 2 gives users an adjustable dial to control the speed of a fan connected to the small device, which is great for individually dialing down the speed of certain fans to suit your environment. The Fanmate 2 unit is rated for fans drawing up to 6W power, and will output ~11V to 5V depending on where the dial is set to.
Measuring 70 x 26 x 26mm in size, the black plastic Fanmate 2 box controls a single fan via a 3-pin power connector. Currently, there is no solution for 4-pin PWM fans on the market.
At the Fanmate 2's maximum speed setting (loudest noise, fastest RPM) the unit offers a slight amount of resistance so the fan will not spin quite as fast as if it were not attached (the difference is about 5%).
On the lowest speed setting (quietest noise, lowest RPM) the fan should be running essentially silently with just 5V being delivered. It is important to only use the FanMate 2 with good quality fans that can restart by themselves if the fan stalls.
FrostyTech's K8 Test Methodology is outlined in detail here if you care to know what equipment is used, and the parameters under which the tests are conducted. Now let's move forward and take a closer look at this heatsink, its acoustic characteristics, and of course it performance in the thermal tests!
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