Zalman 9500 CPU Fan

Speaking of PC parts, I recently replaced the Zalman 7000B
AlCu in SWMBO’s PC with Zalman’s big brother CPU fan called
the CNPS9500. And by big brother I mean this cooler is BIG.
First, there’s the weight of 530g (about 1.2lbs). Then
there’s the height of 125mm (almost five inches). Note well
that the weight exceeds the maximum of 450g allowed on most
motherboards. Hence, you must be extremely careful when
moving the motherboard with this fan attached. You may even
wish to remove the cooler if you have to transport the board
for long distances over rough roads.

That said, this cooler has significantly dropped the high
operating temperatures the Intel 2.8GHz (Prescott) CPU was
previously registering (around 70 degrees Celsius, at idle).
Even though the smaller Zalman did better than the stock
Intel CPU fan, temps would still climb such that throttling
was probably occurring. But now, with the 9500, idle temps
average around 58 degrees Celsius with the fan slowly
spinning at just under 1,800 RPM. This is much better and
I’ve been able to remove one of the two auxiliary case fans I
had to add to keep the Prescott from melting down. I may even
try removing the remaining auxiliary case fan as it is now
the loudest component in the case and probably isn’t needed
anymore.

Three installation notes may be of help for those of you
who decide to install this fan. As always, proceed at your
own risk. YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.

First, When removing your existing fan, try to read
whatever instructions or warnings you can find relating to
its removal. Whatever you do, don’t just yank the old fan off
because the adhesion between the fan and the CPU is usually
so great that you can literally pull the CPU right out of the
motherboard. Needless to say, if you do this, you could
damage both the CPU and motherboard.

What you usually have to do is very, very carefully,
remove the hold down mechanism (screws or clips) that hold
the fan to the motherboard. Then, very carefully rotate the
fan back and forth until the fan releases from the CPU and
you can safely remove the fan.

Second, be aware that the side of the 9500 with the fan,
faces inward (the instructions do not mention this). That is,
the fan blows through the cooler and then out the back.
Hence, you place the side with the fan facing towards the
inside of the case and the opposite side facing out the back
(assuming your case has an exhaust fan in the back.
Otherwise, you may need to point the exhaust side of the
cooler at your power supply (assuming you have a power supply
with an exhaust fan).

The third installation tip is that you will probably need
to remove the motherboard from your case as there otherwise
won’t be room to reach the screws used to mount the new fan.
In my case, the PSU blocked access to one side of the fan so
I couldn’t reach in with the supplied hex wrench to tighten
down the fan. So, I ended up removing the motherboard
whereupon I was able to mount the fan in a few minutes. By
the way, before removing the cables that attach to the
motherboard, you should make a clear diagram and/or mark
which cable goes where. You should especially note the
orientation of connectors and which pin each connector goes
to.

If your case and motherboard layout has the room for this
behemoth (have I mentioned it’s BIG?), and you aren’t using
your case to transport things for your LAN parties, then this
may be the cooler for you. YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.


Aloha!

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One response to “Zalman 9500 CPU Fan

  1. Sigh. I remember those good old silent days with 386 and 486 chips without any cooling or at best a small passive heatsink.