CoolerMaster Hyper 6

CoolerMaster Musketeer2

CoolerMaster Musketeer

Corsair TwinX512-4000

Enermax CS-5190AL-061


Zalman CNPS3100
review by David, 4 July 2001


Zalman, a company that came to fame when it introduced a revolutionary new design in CPU cooler technology, stressing the maximum reduction of noise while compromising as little as possible in performance. Their famous fan shaped heatsink fan combination is available in various types of materials such as copper and also gold plated copper. After I had heard and read about their obvious good looks, as well as their performance potential, I decided to try it out for myself. Off went an email to Zalman, which came back with a positive reply. Initially I was to receive the CNPS3100 and the ZM17-CU, a copper-finned VGA cooler (review to come later). When I received the package, I was surprised to see a bonus of the CNPS5000-Plus, which is to be reviewed soon also.

CNPS stands for Computer Noise Prevention System, which happens to be Zalman's aim, in which to provide maximum cooling at minimum noise. To date, practically all of their products incorporate an option to run their coolers in silent or normal mode, thus the inclusion of the noiseless connectors.


The CNPS3100 came in very interesting packaging, where the various components and extra parts were arranged very nicely inside the box, so as to reduce the possibility of damage to the heatsink itself, which is made of copper. The contents of the package consisted of:

  • FHS :ZM65BC-CU
  • NP FAN & Bracket :FB176D
  • Thermal grease
  • Screw bolts (Inch-sized/mm-sized bolts)
  • Clip
  • Noiseless connector

The copper-fan heatsink and its clip were secured nice and snug within the box, so you dont have to worry about the heatsink coming to your hands in a deformed state. Zalman took the necessary precautions to protect the easily deformable copper fins of its heatsink. The fan used was an 80mm fan, mounted onto a bracket of sorts, which in turn, is to be mounted to your case, onto the part of the case where your graphics / PCI / ISA cards are secured. A noiseless connector, consisting of a resistor mounted in between a male and female 3-pin power connector.

A small booklet detailing the various stages of oxidisation of copper was also included. Within the booklet also was detailed instructions on how to install the heatsink itself, as well as details on the various models of the fan heatsink available. The booklet was worded both in Korean and English, and the English used in the booklet was surprisingly easily understandable and well written, compared to other manuals I have seen coming from non-western based companies in the past.

There is a small syringe of thermal compound included, which is really nice of Zalman to do. Not many heatsink/fan manufacturers include thermal compound with their products. Included also are a small bag of 3 screw bolts, which are used to mount the bracket and 80mm fan to the casing.

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