The CNPS 9500 LED is an ALL copper heatsink design, which is great compared to traditional aluminum/copper-aluminum heatsinks. Copper has better heat conductivity than aluminum and thus makes a better heatsink material. While this cooler seems to be huge, it is really not all that monstrous. Its circular design has the same radius as the Zalman 7000 series heatsink coolers.
The CNPS 9500 LED also features a figure-eight heat pipe design where three heat pipes are made to act as six. What’s so good about heat pipes? Well heat pipes are phase change coolers at heart, they transfer heat up because inside they have a wick. Once the wick is heated, it vaporizes and moves the heat further up. When the heat moves up (aka. away from the CPU), it is then spread across fins, and a fan blows on these fins with little effort and removes the heat.
Above are the Front/Back/Side views of the CNPS 9500 LED.
The base was hard to photograph because it was very well lapped, but not polished. This means that you can't get a clear reflection, but you still get very good contact.
What you can see in those pictures is the heat pipe configuration. Starting at the base, heat travel through them. Once at the top in a type of vortex/firgure-8 configuration, heat is transferred to the fins.
Above is where the magic takes place. The heat is transferred to the fins.
Zalman is also known for its one-of-a-kind fins. These fins are 100% copper, and each is punched with the Zalman name. These fins are very lightweight, thin, and have a large surface area. Those conditions are great for heatsinks because air moves easily around it while absorbing the heat.
Above you can see the fan attached vs. the fan removed. As you can see, the fan doesn’t have to move 30+ CFM and it can still be VERY effective, because it is basically embedded into the copper design and the air has to go through the fins either way.
The fan provided with the cooler is great and perfect for the cooler. It has blue LEDs built in, and is very quiet. It is around 18db at 1350 RPM and around 27db at 2600 RPM.
With the Fan Mate speed controller, you can adjust to the wanted RPM/noise level without a hassle.