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short and lightweight
Other Thoughts: I got this on sale for $30. It replaced a Seasonic 360GP, which was lower wattage and had an electric whine, although you couldn't heart it unless you were close by. This Corsair unit is superior in several ways. First, it is lightweight and short, which makes installation easy in a small ITX case. The Seasonic was almost as heavy as the case it was being installed in, and the length pushed up against the drive cages. The Corsair is a vast improvement in this regard. You also get 450w versus 360w, which gives a bit more headroom. Technically it is better to get the lower watt power supply for better efficiency, but they are close enough to where the difference isn't really worth it. The Corsair fan is extremely quiet and spins slowly while keeping cool. The cables are thinner and have no braiding, but they are much easier to maneuver in a small case. The cables are modular and there are six plugs and six sets of cables, but even in a conservative build you will be using 5 of them already so being modular wasn't really necessary, and there's not enough power or cables if you plan on building a fuller system anyway. But for a small quiet power supply on the cheap for a small quiet computer, this works great.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: ZALMAN CNPS8900 Quiet 110mm Ultra Quiet Slim CPU Cooler
Pros: see Cons and Other
Cons: I wanted to replace my stock cooler that came with my intel i3-4150. It was small and got around 70C when pushed by games, and was somewhat loud at 1500rpm. With it reduced to 1000rpm, I could get 40C temps on normal desktop stuff however, with an almost inaudible 1000rpm. Even though the zalman CNPS8900 cooler won a Tom's Hardware award, they are a poor review site for coolers without the proper measurements and expertise. There were also mixed reviews, especially about the quietness of the fan. I was stupid and bought it because it seemed popular enough, was a low height non-tower cooler that was relativvely inexpensive, and thought that all fans were created equal when it came to sound by reducing RPM. Boy was I wrong.
The other reviews have already gone over quite extensively the hassle of installing this cooler. I'll add on that it is okay to install on an ITX mobo, specifically a Gigabyte H97N-WIFI, but you need low profile RAM (in other words they are short with minimal heatspreaders), and you can only position the cooler with the heatpipes parallel to the RAM (for some reason the manual says its less efficient cooling this way) as otherwise the pipes would push against the first RAM slot. If you have an ITX mobo, check to make sure it looks like the H97N. Those mobos with an extra PCIe 1x slot at the bottom (which is kind of pointless since most good video cards will block it with two-slot coolers anyway) this cooler will probably block your 16x slot for the video card since it's higher up. If the slot is just along the bottom and by its lonesome, however, it should work without issue.
Other Thoughts: Now lets talk about the cooler performance itself. Although temps were a little better than the stock cooler, they weren't amazingly better. 5-10 degrees lower at max and even less when just idling. However, the fan is just AWFUL. Loud, weedwacker sounding, buzzing, and whining. It's not QUIET like the name implies. The reason for the mixed reviews is many people have their computer far away and have a lot of ambient sounds including noisy video card coolers, so in a normal gamer setup it may seem reasonable. But if you have a normal desktop, or in my case, a low noise setup sitting only a couple feet away, it is the loudest and most obnoxious component around, eevn worse than my 7200rpm hard drive at full blast. The RPM range on the fan is really terrible as well. It goes from around 1100-1500RPM. Not being able to go below 1000RPM is just ridiculous. At 1100RPM the fan is semi-loud, but it has an obnoxious whine that pierces through all other noises. You know how in the movies when someone stands near a bomb that detonates and their ears continue to ring afterwards? It's like that. So I set it to 1300RPM. Now it sounds like a buzzing, grinding, loud and awful cheap fan that is on the verge of dying.
I waited for a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 to arrive from somewhere else before shipping the zalman CNPS8900 off to return, my own shipping cost and a restocking fee of course. And oh my stockingstuffers is it night and day. There was literally only a $4 difference in price. I should have just gotten this tried and true one that everyone recommends for quiet computing. Installation was a pain as well, but there was no clearance issues or "right way" to position it. My temps dropped to near ambient during idle (35-36C, it's like 34C around here), and during intense gaming it only goes up to 55-56C. Best of all it is actually QUIET. No high pitched whine. No buzzing. No grinding. No sounds from the fan motor at all. The only sound you hear is air turbulence from the air being pushed. The RPM ranges from 600-2100RPM which is a very good range. I set the RPM to 800 and have never changed it, and it achieves those amazing temps with this low RPM.
TL:DR. Do not buy Zalman CNPS8900. Get Scythe Big Shuriken 2 instead.
Cons: Highly reflective screen. Very bad IPS glow. Poor blacks and washed out, low contrast look. Plasticky screen cover (which is suppose to be glass) is not fully attached. Cheap casing. Wobbly stand.READ FULL REVIEW