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nV News Home Page

Zalman Gold CNPS3100 CPU Cooler

Testing and Conclusion

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Testing Methods

For comparison, I used an Alpha PAL 6035 with 7,000rpm fan attached. I tested with an unlocked Duron 700 (OCZ) and an Athlon 1GHz from a local shop that I unlocked with a conductive ink pen. I used 3M heatsink compound.

The overclocking stress test consists of one hour of SiSoft Sandra CPU benchmarks looped with Quake2 loops in software mode struggling in the background. Temperature tests were recorded using Motherboard Monitor upon exit of the game or application after 30 minutes of run time.

The non-overclocked results showed both coolers indentical with temperatures not leaving the 40's.

Overclocking Results

Maximum Stable CPU Speed

The Duron was set to a 10x multiplier while the T-Bird ran at the 12x multiplier. The Front-Side Bus was increased using Soft-FSB and followed by the stress test. The Zalman could not quite hit the same clockspeed as the Alpha when using the Duron. This kind of variance can be attributed to the heatsink compound or even motherboard fluctuations of voltage, but two complete installs of the Duron yielded the same results.

Temperature Results

The temperature results were from the Thunderbird 1GHz running at 1260MHz at 1.85V. This processor gets hotter than anything I have seen before. At first, I was a bit nervous, but I have grown accustomed to seeing 46ºC in the taskbar.

Overclocked CPU Temperatures - ºC

Here we see that the Alpha carries a slight advantage. What graphs do not show is the fact that the Zalman is much easier to live with. The fan on the Alpha with the case closed was audible two rooms away if you try to listen for it. The Zalman is as quiet as the less effective Thermaltake Silver Orb.

Numbers aren't everything...

The most hardcore group of overclockers out there will want what performs best. The Alpha did edge the Zalman cooler in most benchmarks, but only by a miniscule margin. That margin is not enough for me to definitively say which cooler is better for its basic purpose, keeping the CPU from overheating.

The Zalman does however carry a huge advantage in the noise department. The Zalman has enhanced my gaming experience by keeping my CPU running at 1260MHz with out the high rpm whine I had to endure. Any of you with Alpha or GlobalWin heatsink/fan units with 7000rpm fans have to agree that the turbine-like fan can get on your nerves.

The Zalman Gold CNPS3100 CPU Cooler Kit is quiet and efficient giving most overclocker's a new choice in the battle against heat and noise pollution.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2001

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