Tuesday, February 25th 2020

ZALMAN Rolls Out CNPS16X CPU Cooler and New Thermal Pastes

ZALMAN today announced market availability of its new CNPS16X tower-type CPU cooler and three new STC-series thermal compounds. The CNPS16X features an aluminium fin-stack tower-type heatsink that's ventilated by a pair of 120 mm fans in push-pull configuration, held together by an ABS shroud. The top-plate of this shroud features an addressable RGB embellishment with the ZALMAN logo at the center. Besides this, both fans feature ARGB diffusers along the bore of their frames. ZALMAN has two color variants of the CNPS16X depending on the color of the shroud - black and white. Splitter cables are included so the ARGB connections of both fans and the shroud are combined to a single 3-pin connection.

The design of the CNPS16X involves a direct-touch heatpipe base, from which four 6 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heat pipes pull heat, spreading it through the aluminium fin-stack. This stack features wave-shaped fins that make hexagonal patterns when viewed from the side. This design helps with increasing turbulence and heat-dissipation to the air-flow. Each of the two included 120 mm fans takes in 4-pin PWM, spins up to 1,500 RPM, together pushing around 75-90 m³h of air, with 25-29 dBA of noise output. ZALMAN rates the thermal capacity of this cooler at 150 W. Among the CPU socket types supported are AM4, LGA115x, and LGA2066. The CNPS16X is priced at 59.90€ (including taxes).
In addition, ZALMAN introduced three new STC (super thermal compount) series TIMs, the STC-7, STC-8, and STC-9. The three are aluminium particle based pastes, composed of silicone oil base, aluminium particles, aluminium oxide, and zinc oxide. The STC-7 offers 7.2 W/mK thermal conductivity and is priced at 6.90€ for a 4 g syringe. The STC-8 only comes in 1.5 g syringes priced at 4.90€, and offers conductivity of 8.3 W/mK. The STC-9 leads the pack with 9.1 W/mK conductivity, and comes in 4 g syringes, priced at 9.90€ a pop.
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21 Comments on ZALMAN Rolls Out CNPS16X CPU Cooler and New Thermal Pastes

#1
Vayra86
Holy shit man, that is more plastic than actual heatsink!

And those fins... what is that, nanowire?! This looks really poor
Posted on Reply
#2
TheDeeGee
I remember Zalman was a thing back in the day, with goldplated heatsinks even.
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#3
GlacierNine
Vayra86
Holy shit man, that is more plastic than actual heatsink!

And those fins... what is that, nanowire?! This looks really poor
The fins are fine, it's the same design they're using on the CNPS20X. The leading edge of each fin, and the fin spacing, is varied to decrease the amount of laminar flow and cause turbulence to improve transfer.

The shroud is a matter of personal taste but it's really not any more or less than any other cooler with a shroud.
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#4
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
$65 for a CPU cooler which a $20-25 snowman cooler from aliexpress can thrash....
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#5
Schmuckley
The shroud is a bad idea, heat could be dissipating out of the sides, but no.
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#6
GlacierNine
Schmuckley
The shroud is a bad idea, heat could be dissipating out of the sides, but no.
As long as air is moving over the entire fin surface, it won't matter. Look at the side of a noctua fin stack sometime - it's a flat surface because the ends of the fins are bent up in order to maintain the fin spacing. Air isn't really moving out of the sides of this either:
Posted on Reply
#7
Vayra86
GlacierNine
As long as air is moving over the entire fin surface, it won't matter. Look at the side of a noctua fin stack sometime - it's a flat surface because the ends of the fins are bent up in order to maintain the fin spacing. Air isn't really moving out of the sides of this either:

Sorry but physics disagrees with that. Plastic does not conduct heat, and metal does. By capturing metal under plastic, you are reducing the opportunity to lose heat. Its just that simple and we all know why these shrouds exist. Personal taste = appearance. Form before function. Even if the difference is small... you don't need that shroud and it certainly won't help anything. Its a waste of time, material and effectiveness at an increase of cost.

Ergo, its shit. Repeating some marketing mantra about turbulence does not change a thing about that. De CNPS20X... hehe. Yeah. Let's see a proper review of that and not some random youtuber before we say its done well. I only saw one review of questionable quality. It could still be a good one, that. But this hunk of ABS? Definitely not.
FreedomEclipse
$65 for a CPU cooler which a $20-25 snowman cooler from aliexpress can thrash....
Precisely. All I see here is a Hyper 212 trying to look like more than it really is. 150W... haha good luck with that!
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#8
bonehead123
Vayra86
All I see here is a Hyper 212 trying to look like more than it really is. 150W... haha good luck with that!
^^THIS^^
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#9
Octavean
GlacierNine
The fins are fine, it's the same design they're using on the CNPS20X. The leading edge of each fin, and the fin spacing, is varied to decrease the amount of laminar flow and cause turbulence to improve transfer.

The shroud is a matter of personal taste but it's really not any more or less than any other cooler with a shroud.
Fin density can be a performance factor. Too few fins spaced too far apart can hinder thermal performance. For example I have a Zulman FX70 HSF and it’s much lighter then you would expect given its physical size because fin density is about half of what one would reasonably expect. It’s an OK cooler that could have been better.

To be perfectly honest I don’t think this Zulman CNPS16X actually has a “Shroud”. You can see the fin stack from the side. This looks more like an overly elaborate fan mounting system (front and back fans in push / pull config),...along with an unnecessary plastic cap on the top. I don’t think it effects cooling much if at all though. The ARGB is unnecessary too but some people like that sort of thing.

Some server coolers have actual shrouds and these HSF solutions do indeed work just fine. So I don’t think it’s worth worrying about.

Having only 4 heat pipes seems like the real crime against humanity here,....IMO.
Posted on Reply
#10
GlacierNine
Octavean
Fin density can be a performance factor. Too few fins spaced too far apart can hinder thermal performance. For example I have a Zulman FX70 HSF and it’s much lighter then you would expect given its physical size because fin density is about half of what one would reasonably expect. It’s an OK cooler that could have been better.

To be perfectly honest I don’t think this Zulman CNPS16X actually has a “Shroud”. You can see the fin stack from the side. This looks more like an overly elaborate fan mounting system (front and back fans in push / pull config),...along with an unnecessary plastic cap on the top. I don’t think it effects cooling much if at all though. The ARGB is unnecessary too but some people like that sort of thing.

Some server coolers have actual shrouds and these HSF solutions do indeed work just fine. So I don’t think it’s worth worrying about.

Having only 4 heat pipes seems like the real crime against humanity here,....IMO.
1 - Yes, absolutely, and the tradeoff is always fin density vs the amount of static pressure needed to force air through the fins. Zalman seems to prefer low density low pressure high efficiency, which makes sense since as a company that's been their USP forever - they practically WERE silent computing for years, before the market slowly moved on from their flower heatsinks and figure 8 designs to tower coolers.

2 - Yeah, I agree I don't think it's going to affect much if anything to have that plastic there.

3 - Yep, server forced-air cooling setups are very, very efficient indeed and rely heavily on guided ariflow like this. They're not quiet, but they are incredibly space efficient for the heat loads they can handle - you could easily build silent systems with the same approach, it's just that server solutions never need to be quiet, they always need to be cool.
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#11
dirtyferret
Vayra86
Holy shit man, that is more plastic than actual heatsink!

And those fins... what is that, nanowire?! This looks really poor
The RGB in the Zalman logo will improve performance by 10-15% easily and prevent the plastic encasement from insulating the heatsink and actually increasing temps.
Posted on Reply
#12
Vayra86
dirtyferret
The RGB in the Zalman logo will improve performance by 10-15% easily and prevent the plastic encasement from insulating the heatsink and actually increasing temps.
Ah but ofcourse how could I forget this.
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#13
gamefoo21
I remember when Zalman actually had competitive thermal paste...

I suspect this is more of the same but I would be so happy to be proven wrong.
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#14
UltraThicc
It's actually preferable that airflow doesn't bleed from the side of heatsink.

However, the fin density of this cooler looks depressing :(
Posted on Reply
#15
Mussels
Moderprator
Vayra86
Holy shit man, that is more plastic than actual heatsink!

And those fins... what is that, nanowire?! This looks really poor
i wondered wtf you meant til i saw the pic... jesus christ, theres no metal to the thing
Posted on Reply
#16
Octavean

Too be clear, this isn’t a HSF that I would suggest buying and I likely wouldn’t even try it if I had the opportunity.

However, as I suggested before, it’s not a shroud. This can be seen in the video quite clearly. It’s two nonstandard fans that clip on in an overly elaborate way yet still have side openings. There is also a separate top part. None of this should adversely effect performance although they could have just as easily went with the standard cheap wire clips and no ARGB.

The fin density actually doesn’t look all that bad in the video either but it’s hard to tell.

Again in some ways it reminds me of the Zulman FX70 which was also a little light on the fin density


The FX70 was sold as a passive cooler and thus came with no fans.
Posted on Reply
#17
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Vayra86
Sorry but physics disagrees with that. Plastic does not conduct heat, and metal does. By capturing metal under plastic, you are reducing the opportunity to lose heat. Its just that simple and we all know why these shrouds exist. Personal taste = appearance. Form before function. Even if the difference is small... you don't need that shroud and it certainly won't help anything. Its a waste of time, material and effectiveness at an increase of cost.

Ergo, its shit. Repeating some marketing mantra about turbulence does not change a thing about that. De CNPS20X... hehe. Yeah. Let's see a proper review of that and not some random youtuber before we say its done well. I only saw one review of questionable quality. It could still be a good one, that. But this hunk of ABS? Definitely not.



Precisely. All I see here is a Hyper 212 trying to look like more than it really is. 150W... haha good luck with that!
Actually plastic does, just not as well as metal does.
Posted on Reply
#18
gamefoo21
eidairaman1
Actually plastic does, just not as well as metal does.
Indeed and some plastics can actually conduct heat rather well for what they are.

No plastic is a perfect insulator, it will transfer heat or cool just with a decent amount of resistance.

/Nerd moment over
Posted on Reply
#19
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
gamefoo21
Indeed and some plastics can actually conduct heat rather well for what they are.

No plastic is a perfect insulator, it will transfer heat or cool just with a decent amount of resistance.

/Nerd moment over
Yup good ol laws of physics, too much current destroys insulators on conductors, electrons do cause friction in electronics, heck there is inductance in non coiled wires (current flow) static can build up in water lines and fuel lines.

Longer wire runs require greater Electromotive force/Potential Difference to move electrons in conductor itself but then you hit reactance/impedance (resistance) that it requires wire with larger cross section or short runs...
Posted on Reply
#20
gamefoo21
eidairaman1
Yup good ol laws of physics, too much current destroys insulators on conductors, electrons do cause friction in electronics, heck there is inductance in non coiled wires (current flow) static can build up in water lines and fuel lines.

Longer wire runs require greater Electromotive force/Potential Difference to move electrons in conductor itself but then you hit reactance/impedance (resistance) that it requires wire with larger cross section or short runs...
The example I like to use is an ignition lead on a car, that's rated to handle 35-50,000V the insulation is many times thicker than the conductive core. Even so all it takes is putting grounded metal too close and the electrical charge will still go through the insulation and jump to ground. The insulation is nothing but a high resistance path.

The angry electrons will plow through the lowest resistance path available. An insulator is just a poor conductor in reality.
Posted on Reply
#21
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
gamefoo21
The example I like to use is an ignition lead on a car, that's rated to handle 35-50,000V the insulation is many times thicker than the conductive core. Even so all it takes is putting grounded metal too close and the electrical charge will still go through the insulation and jump to ground. The insulation is nothing but a high resistance path.

The angry electrons will plow through the lowest resistance path available. An insulator is just a poor conductor in reality.
Thats right, inductance is magnetic field
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