Zalman's innovative heatsink design has proved to be both effective and attractive. Today we take a look at the latest range of coolers from Zalman and see if they live up to what cooling enthusiasts have come to expect from the company.
Renowned for their unconventional designs, South Korea-based Zalman made it big in the CPU cooler market with their 7000 Series of heatsinks. They took away the idea of a flat base with fins extruded up and a fan on top, and instead used a flower-like design with fins radiating out from the center. Couple that with a big, quiet fan mounted in the middle of the fins and they were onto a winner.
The Zalman 7000, 7500 and 7700 in Aluminum and Copper.
The 7000 series went through several revisions over the years, with ever increasing sink and fan sizes. There was the "value" range with aluminum and copper, all copper for the best cooling, and then of course the inevitable the addition of LEDs for "bling" and the "Fatal1ty" sponsored products.
Today's review is of the latest range from Zalman, the 9500/9700. True to form, Zalman weren't content to follow everyone else, and this was the end result:
9500-LED, the 9700 is even bigger!
The first thing you'll notice is that it's big. However the 9500 weighs only 530g, a mere 80g over the recommended limit set by Intel and AMD, and far less than the 970g of the 7700. Its more recent "bigger brother" the 9700 weighs 764g. The 9500 is considerably lighter than most conventional tower-shaped heatpipe coolers around today, and the 9700 is still a good deal lighter than most of them.
The 9500-LED costs around £30 ($50usd, $70cad), the 9700 around £40 ($60usd, $80cad). So it certainly isn't cheap but it's in line with other large, high-performance heatsinks on the market. And for what you get, I think it's worth it.
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