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ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

2 out of 5 eggs Brutal install 01/31/2014

This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS9500A-LED 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Pros: Very good looking, very quiet, and I really appreciate the outboard speed control, although it's quiet enough that I'll probably just leave it cranked all the way up.

Cons: You have to be extremely agile to actually install this in an existing system. It's large and somewhat fragile as all you can really grab onto is the thin copper cooling fins. The instructions suggest aiming the airflow toward the exhaust fan(s) at the rear of the computer but the mounting only allows going perpendicular to that on my ASUS AM3 board.

If you're installing on an AM3 socket, this cooler is a nightmare. The spring bracket that holds the unit in place is in two pieces and does not firmly attach to the base of the cooler, and nothing about the hardware helps center the cooler over the CPU, so it's quite a juggle to actually get this in position and latched down. An advanced level of profane vocabulary is a real help.

Other Thoughts: This might be okay for a new build, but that wasn't my situation. I had noticed that the loudest noise in my office was the CPU cooler in my main Windows system. Having just been diagnosed with cancer I decided to treat myself with this really sharp-looking cooler. I shutdown and took the side off the case, removed the old cooler and cleaned off the CPU top, then crawled under the desk with the cooler, the AMD bracket, the silver paste, and the cables. Twenty minutes later I gave up.

I wrestled the computer (this is a full tower that just fits under the desk) to horizontal, removed the video card, got out an extra light, and had it mounted in maybe five minutes. But this guy is just way too tricky to install in an existing system.

On the other hand, it is quieter in here. That should help reduce my stress, but not today.

Shuttle SH61R4 Intel Core i7 / i5 / i3 / Pentium / Celeron (LGA1155) Intel Socket H2(LGA1155) Intel H61 Intel HD Graphics 2000/3000 integrated in the processor Barebone
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

Pros: Small, quiet, and very well put together.

Three heat pipes come from the CPU to a reasonable radiator at the back of the case, an 80mm fan mounts right in front of that.

SATA cables are tied down and routed to where they are needed.

Cons: Connectors to hold the cooler in place weren't obvious in their use and are based on expanding nylon pegs through the motherboard rather than screws.

Optimized BIOS defaults wouldn't run with Windows XP

Power switch is way too close to the CD/DVD eject button.

Other Thoughts: Booting an installed copy of XP consistently failed and rebooted, the XP installer from CD halted before entering Windows or copying files to the hard drive. Using the STOP ERROR I was able to determine the problem as the SATA mode chosen. The defaults are to use AHCI, it needs to be IDE.

Western Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJB 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: I've had extremely good results with WD drives, haven't had one fail in the last five years. This one did replace another WD drive (a 40GB) in a customer's machine, but that one ran fine for over seven years. This one will certainly outlast the rest of the system.

Cons: None.


G. V.'s Profile

Display Name: G. V.

Date Joined: 10/22/01

  • Reviews: 6
  • Helpfulness: 4
  • First Review: 07/26/08
  • Last Review: 01/31/14
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