Intel Core i7 Cooler Review

Author:Marc Adams

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Thursday , October 15, 2009

New CPU coolers from Kingwin, Thermal Transtech International, and ZALMAN. While air cooling has gotten about as good as it can possibly get, all of these coolers bring something unique to the table. But do these units perform? We find out.


The CNPS 9900 LED is the newest cooler from the gang at ZALMAN. It continues ZALMAN’s tradition of using the orbital shape to maximize cooling performance. It employs a staggered 2-4 system of heat pipes allowing for cooling on both sides with the heavy lifting being done by the four pipe connections. To help with cooling your CPU ZALMAN constructs the CNPS 9900 LED entirely out of copper.

Package & Specs

ZALMAN uses a creative design to its packaging that is both colorful and protective. There is plenty of info to be found on the box should you find yourself picking one up in person.

Dimensions: 94 (L) x 131 (W) x 152 (H) mm

Weight: 730g

Material: Copper fins with copper base

Heat Pipes: 6 x 6mm heat pipes


  • Intel LGA 1366
  • Intel LGA 1156
  • Intel LGA 775
  • AMD 754
  • AMD 939
  • AMD AM2/AM2+
  • AMD AM3


  • Size: 110 x 25mm
  • Speed: 1000 ~ 2000 RPM
  • Noise Level: 19.5 ~ 38 dBA

Contents & Flatness

Zalman includes a large assortment of accessories to aid with the installation of their cooler. Instructions, brackets, thermal paste and more, it’s all there.

The base of the CNPS990 is extremely flat and highly polished keeping in line with many of ZALMAN’s other heat sinks. The polishing is a nice touch but not nearly as important as how flat the base is. A highly polished base that is not flat will perform poorer than one that is very flat but not polished. In this case it appears ZALMAN gives you both.


Here are some photos of the CNPS9900 from different angles. In the last photo you can see that the exhaust side of the cooler has four heat pipes while the intake side uses two. A smart idea considering the exhaust side will have significantly more heat to dissipate.


Installing the ZALMAN CNPS9900 is every bit as cumbersome as the CNPS10X extreme we reviewed earlier. Removal of the motherboard is the least of your problems. The mounting plate used to hold the heat sink in place is larger than the four mounting holes by design and requires its own screws and spacers to hold it in place before installing the heat sink.

After installing the cooler you will notice that on our board we have excellent clearance on all sides of the cooler including the DDR slots and motherboard caps.

Contact with the CPU is excellent and will help with transferring the heat from heat spreader to heat sink.