Zalman CNPS8000A CPU Cooler ReviewRJR -
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The Zalman CNPS8000A cooler is a short 66mm tall with a 92mm 1400-2600 RPM fan attached to and actually sitting in the cooler itself. It is of course designed for applications where a shorter stature cooler is needed and you're not going to be doing massive overclocking. The down draft type coolers really help with the air flow around the CPU socket, keeping things like your RAM washed with cool air. The 4 heat-pipe design of this cooler should move the heat from the base to the aluminum fins rapidly enough to do a good job at cooling your CPU, we will see for sure in a couple of pages when we put it to the test against some other coolers.
Here you can see the bare cooler with the fan removed. You can really see in these pictures how the aluminum fins protrude upwards on the sides to increase the surface area of the cooling fins without adding any height to the cooler, since the fan sits down inside these wings. The 4 heat-pipes come up from the base at a pretty sharp angle to minimize the length of the cooler, then go completely through the cooling fins.
The base of the CNPS8000A cooler is perfectly flat in both directions and despite the pictures that look like the surface should feel like sandpaper, is smooth to the touch. Since this is not a cooler you would be doing massive overclocking with, the base finish should be acceptable for its target market of Slim/SFF or HTPC case computers.
The fan snaps on and off of the cooler rather easily, but securely, to reveal a 2 ball-bearing, 12v, 0.23 amp motor capable of fan speeds of 1400-2600 RPM. The inclusion of the Fan-Mate 2 fan controller allows complete access to the fan speed allowing you to customize the RPM to allow for better cooling or reduced fan noise depending on your particular situation.
The mounting of the cooler was fairly easy. The clearance was good, even with three heat-sinks surrounding the CPU socket. There is enough clearance that populating all RAM slots wouldn't be a problem with an 1156 motherboard depending on the orientation of the cooler and the width and height or the surrounding heat-sinks.